I posted this to my blog, so it should show up on planet code4lib soon:
I'm sitting in the Events Management office with the Georgia Center's network specialist; we're working together to identify the problems on the wireless network.
UGA required the Georgia Center to install a Bluesocket appliance, which as we've learned is a bit flaky under the load of a hundred geeks. The Georgia Center can open up firewall holes for us as far as that goes, but UGA's network also has egress filters and intrusion prevention systems that are causing havoc for us.
Here's a gedankenexperiment for you: Pretend you're a heuristic device trying to identify network security problems. You're seeing dozens of connections from the wireless network to port 6667. Would you guess that it was more likely a bot infection or the sudden convergence of a hundred geeks?
Another problem we've identified: During a large download, somewhere between 2-5MB, your connection will freeze up. The only thing you can do is log out and log back in. Using a download manager might help a little bit, but it won't be fun. There's no solution for this yet; personally, I've given up on downloading those so-called "urgent" security updates from Microsoft, since the network security devices seem hell-bent on preventing me from doing so.
And then there's Trend Micro's HouseCall. Have you been silently redirected to their site? That's Bluesocket's default behavior when something goes wrong, apparently. When you see that, it means Bluesocket has had a little accident and needs to be changed.
Log out and log back in. If you closed that login window, or it was blocked automatically, release and renew your DHCP connection.
Hey, we're a bunch of geeks - can't someone make a Firefox add-on that will automatically log us out and back in again every 60 seconds?
One final note: The network technician, Robin, is going to be joining the code4lib list to post announcements as the Georgia Center team keeps working on this. Be nice to him - he's one of our number, and he's frustrated and embarrassed by the mandated, but nonfunctional, Bluesocket appliance. I'm sure we'll help him in any way we can.