Online with Wireless Ypsi


Eventually, the Wireless Washtenaw project aims to network the entire County, intending to "provide an economic development tool", "attract and retain young professionals", and "reduce the digital divide". Eventually.

In the meantime, Wireless Ypsi is forging ahead, thanks to some of the usual suspects. As stated in the Ann Arbor News,

"Most of the time, when you don't have institutional involvement, things happen much quicker," Robb said. "We didn't need committees, we didn't need an advisory board, we didn't need anything. ... Seriously, in three weeks, we've done what (Wireless Washtenaw has) promised to do for four years."

As of ten minutes ago, I'm the proud host of a Wireless Ypsi node, and trying to coax a few more folks in Riverside to join on - we must prevent the Historic South Side from getting a leg up! (Or at least, reach critical mass of host-participants to make it work before the folks around me currently providing their own wireless signals, attractively named such things as "Hamilton Girlz" and "poopypants69", notice an open node and decide to free-ride my connection into the ground.)

Of, course, now that Ed Vielmetti has picked up the scent, it should be all of five minutes before he's mobilized 1,000 Ann Arborites to do us one better. But, for the moment, Dear Ann Arbor: nyah nyah!

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Naming conventions

I think poopypants is actually a pretty popular name. But poopypants 69, talk about original and creative thought! The UM Hockey chant "If you can't get into High School go to Eastern" comes to mind.

This is, however, very exciting.


Wireless Riverside Association

We did not have a quarom, but it's on our agenda. Talked with Steve Pierce and he has scoped out much of the neighborhood from the River to Hamilton and up to Forest for nodes/repeaters. It's all but a done deal.

Wireless Ypsi Does Not Answer Questions

Funny how wireless ypsi does not answer questions when you e-mail them. I would assume that's a sign of there true character.

Answering questions at Wireless Ypsi

Anonymous wrote:
>> Wireless Ypsi Does Not Answer Questions
>> Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 19 December 2008 - 6:38pm.

>> Funny how wireless ypsi does not answer questions when you e-mail them.
>> I would assume that's a sign of there true character.

Hey Anonymous,

Just saw this post today. (Dec 28, 2008)

We answer questions, what's your question? Please remember, this is not a support forum and we don't regularly check posts here for support. So please call or email us your support questions.

The primary email address for Wireless Ypsi is

You may also email me directly,, I would be glad to answer any questions you might have or call me. (734) 482-9682. That is my direct number.

But why the hatred and personal attacks on character? Especially from an anonymous post? Wireless Ypsi is free and we provide Free Technical Support. How does that reflect poorly on our character?

Never mind, no need to answer, I found this post earlier today.

Sometimes you have to really wonder about folks.

Oh well, Anonymous is not the only one wondering about Wireless Ypsi, I did like the comment about the nefarious reason Brian Robb started Wireless Ypsi in the first place.

To everyone else, if Anonymous actually calls or email me, I will buy a cup of coffee at Beezy's to the first five people that email me to take me up on the bet. That way I can test to make sure our email is working.

Hey, got a questions about Wireless Ypsi, ring us up.


-- Steve Pierce

Wireless Ypsi support

Well good news, anonymous called us. Sadly he called at 2:19a.

I would let you know what he said, but the language he used isn't fit for a family blog. Anon was concise, leaving his message in just four words and Anon made sure he only used single syllables.

Here is the message Anon left if you want to listen, but be warned, the language is not very nice.

Anon knew at least to block is caller ID. If you recognize the voice let me know.

Still, pretty amazing that people can get this angry that they resort to anonymous crank calls. All this over a free Internet service. Ah heck, he probably is mad at us since we blocked him for downloading porn all night long.

Someone else emailed us and said Anon probably works for Wireless Washtenaw. The 20/20 guys have too much class. I am voting on the porn block.

Here is a little good news, Wireless Ypsi hit 12,000 unique users this week and even during Winter break we are averaging over 450 users per day. Amazing.

Happy New Years,


- Steve

Security for Ypsi Wireless

Sure, it sucks to have all of the bloat that Wireless Washtenaw has and I really am impressed that folks are just putting up hardware and internet access for anyone who wants to use it in Ypsi. It is one of the things I have noticed about this town. Things get done here because people are caring and DOING IT (like Ypsi Solar, SAF, Community Gardens, etc). It is where I work and I have adopted it as my second city.

What I am curious about is this. How secure is the Wireless Ypsi project? I mean anyone can put up wireless but what are you going to do when some fool with a virus blows out the network and infects vulnerable hosts connected to it? What about port scanning, looking for ways to penetrate computers, general hacking, etc. Is anyone administrating this network and looking for stuff like this?


Wireless Ypsi security

As stated on their network page:

We cannot guarantee the privacy of your data and communications while using Wireless Ypsi. We strongly recommend you practice safe Internet usage when using any wireless network.

As with any public wireless signal, you don't know who else is doing what on the network, and you shouldn't do anything risky. (A former classmate used to sit in class with a wireless packet sniffer, e-mailing people's passwords to them after harvesting them from the school's unencrypted wireless network, as a lesson in network security.

I have a Wireless Ypsi access point at home and am providing some bandwidth, but I don't use it for my personal, at-home use - I use the non-broadcasting, encrypted signal that I was using prior to WiYi - for exactly the reason that a wireless signal is only as private/secure as you make. This is the setup I recommend to my neighbors asking about WiYi, as well - it's a public service you provide on top of your personal system, not something you replace your system with.

That said, the folks who are promoting/administering the system may be able to provide more detail on any active monitoring that's happening.

first wireless ypsi node in downtown Ann Arbor is up

Downtown Ann Arbor (a short 45 minute bus ride from downtown Ypsi) has its first Wireless Ypsi node running, at Eastern Accents on Fourth Ave one block north of Blake Transit Center. Thanks to Steve Pierce for doing a field install and Carol Sun for hosting it, and as always you're invited to lunch there any Thursday for my weekly a2b3 meeting.

wireless ypsi A2

Rats! I was thinking, "I should schedule one of my A2-based meetings for thursdays before lunch so I can go to a2b3." Then I realized that this week I was in fact in Ann Arbor on Thursday for a meeting that ended around 12:15, and wondering what to do for lunch. Okay, so, "more like this."

Adding more nodes in North East Ann Arbor

I am very excited about your project - I lover what you said - "in three weeks, we've done what (Wireless Washtenaw has) promised to do for four years." I know that might not be completely true, but the end result is you have a network going.

I would like to get the network going trough northside area of Ann Arbor - I am out to Pontiac Trail at Dhu Varren. Any interest?

How big an area does one node cover anyway?