Network Access at LinuxTag (and Vodafone hotspots)

Same procedure as every year. One of the hardest things at LinuxTag is to get Internet access. My experience this year is a follow-up to long discussions in the previous years following-up to my complaints. However, the problem seems to be persistent.

First of all, the WLAN is not working. WLAN access is provided by a different organization than wired Ethernet access, and nobody from the WLAN team was around to comment on why.

Wired access is almost impossible to get, since there are only _three_ public Ethernet ports available at this time - apparently due to a lack of multi-port Ethernet switches. The network admins were nice enough to allow me access at one of the non-public infrastructure switches, though.

Even after finally having access to an Ethernet port, I wasn't much more excited. The only thing that worked was HTTP via a proxy, and SSH. So no way to do speak commonplace protocols such as IMAP-over-SSL on port 993. Or to access Subversion-over-Webdav servers on non-standard ports. Or to build up an IPsec tunnel :(

Luckily I'm in the situation to be able to do SSH tunneling, but not everybody has shell accounts on their mailservers...

Then I tried the Vodafone hotspot available in the Conference Hotel. Not only do they charge ridiculous EUR 24,95 for 24h access, but they also offer something that barely can be called "Internet access". So far, I've only been able to establish HTTP(s) sessions and IMAP-over-SSL. There's no outgoing SSH working, and also no IPsec.

This leaves me now with the option to run between the two adjacent conference and hotel buildings. SSH works in one place, but IMAPS only in the other. Surprisingly, I never have similar problems at any other conference that I attend - and if you look at my schedule, you notice I travel to a lot of conferences.

I've already decided to have my bank cancel the Vodafone credit card charge since they promised me Internet access, but all I got was WWW-and-IMAP. They should have told me before, then I wouldn't have bought their services.