Home / Columns / Campus Newton / “RouterIHardlyKnowHer”—Campus Newton explores the network nebulas of Auburn’s WiFi wit

“RouterIHardlyKnowHer”—Campus Newton explores the network nebulas of Auburn’s WiFi wit

Campus Newton—a new column about life and times on the Plains in 2012 written by two current Auburn students. Alex Miller is a sophomore business major making his TWER debut, tag-teaming with TWER vet Justin Lee, a junior majoring in journalism. Read at your own risk.

The War Eagle Reader has given the world many views of Auburn unseen — past, present and future. Today we explore the next level: The unseen airwaves of the city.

With our new collaborative column for TWER, we knew we had the chance to do something different, something unique. As two students on the ground and enrolled in Auburn, we knew we could use the column to give Auburn alumni, expatriates, and anyone who cared to read, the chance to experience Auburn through students’ eyes, as it is in 2012. We knew we could bring to this site the sort of vivid, genuine, and thoughtful writing that this university and town deserves.

But instead, we decided to get in the car and drive around town near campus looking for funny WiFi names.

Everyone has found at least a couple of them when clicking on that drop-down list. Maybe a router named after a movie reference, or a home network given the title of a superhero hideout. And we’ve all been there—trying to come up with that perfect, original name—when we first set up our own wireless router.

So armed with a slow set of wheels and a dimmed Macbook with half a battery to burn, we set out to find that perfect WiFi name, and to better understand our neighbors, our community—what they cared about, what they thought about—in the least invasive way possible: By stalking through apartment complex parking lots looking for signals. And thankfully, for every Belkin10111 there was a creative gag on an Auburn cheer, and for every unoriginal Linksysnet789, we found an exacting shot at Nick Saban and Alabama.

Like everyone’s yearly fantasy football team names, WiFi signals are a way for even the little guys to express themselves, and the pigskin opinions of Auburn football fans were in the air (literally) early. The first network we found? Seriously Barrett Sucks. This was only the tip of the iceberg. Soon the airwaves led us to Feed the Dyer and Feed the Reed. Evidently these signals weren’t strong enough to reach the athletic department (or Gus Malzahn’s Blackberry) last year.

Of course when anyone sets up their personal wireless network, the last thing they want is their neighbors to log on and siphon their Internet, and there are some networks floating around Auburn trying to ward off signal stealers with their very names, like NoAccessHere, NoNotHere, and StayAway. But we have more appreciation for some of the more creative scare tactics; I don’t think anyone in Auburn is going to want to hit up dialup74, VirusGalore, FBI Surveillance, or especially SABAN NATION.

That’s not to say that everyone in Auburn was stingy with their WiFi and unwilling to share. The enterprising owners of signals like 5bucksto105, Bring beer to apt. 40, and Password for Alcohol appear to be turning their wireless juice into profitable business ventures.

The networks of Auburn conservatives stuck out like the guy wearing orange to an all-blue football game. DontTreadOnMe-GetYourOwn, I Pay Rent Too, Abraham Linksys, Jesusislord, and of course TitsCarsAndFreedom pledged allegiance through the night air like so many campaign yard signs. No matter what side of the political fence you’re on, it warms our heart to see members of the Auburn Family exercising their rights as free Americans with their access points!

Speaking of heartwarming, Auburn’s nerd / geek crowds are well represented in our results. We must have been passing a large contingent of electrical engineering majors when we picked up Gryffindor Tower and Peanut Butter Jelly Time (a five-star reference, ScruffyNerfHerder, hit Justin square on the face with nostalgia)… and what must life be like at the duplex that has NerdHerd living right next to cougarden?

If those were the E.E. majors, we’re assuming I like HALO, Hyrule and Pikachu belonged to chemistry and math majors. These references remind us that the “winning” Auburn spirit is alive and well on Xbox Live. And the personal acceptance we found in a router named Skynet proves that the nerds are indeed “self aware.” (The forestry majors must not have discovered wireless home networks yet, because we couldn’t find a Git R Done router anywhere.)

Of course, the Greeks of Auburn spoke to us as well. They told us that Guy Harvey likes men, and that they live at the Fratcastle. Not even a block from old fraternity row iDontStudy reminded us that with a good test bank and a good times at the bar, C’s and D’s will still get degrees.

Some of the best names we found were punny plays off of new classics from the pop culture lexicon. Timeless signals like Hide ya kids, Hide ya Wi-FiRouterIHardlyKnowHer, and PrettyFlyForAWifi are sure to entertain neighbors and guests for years. But some of these names just left us wondering. If we found derpderpjr, then where is Derp Derp Sr.? And where is the “herp” in all of this?

We definitely had some strange, low points in some dark corners of Auburn: DancesWithSmurfs, Meth Emporium, Guy’sweekend(nogirlsallowed), Iwatchyoueverynight, and friedgoatz to name a few. Thankfully none of these folks were anywhere close to where we live. We now believe the phrase “better out than in” doesn’t necessarily apply to WiFi names; Sometimes Motorolla18251 is perfectly fine.

By the end of our search, we had come full circle, names like ALLIDOISWIN comforting us and bringing us back to a better Auburn football time not so long ago. And the signal StartRollison just brought us back to a kinda’ weird time not so long ago.

We definitely did learn more about our neighbors and community in our journey, even though we don’t exactly know what it is that we learned: Take for one, last brilliant example brittany’s ass… so many questions, but at least it was password protected.

At the end of the day, we feel comfortable saying that there are no stupid WiFi names, only stupid people. So dust off the Belkin, step up your name game, and get to building a community. But always remember to keep your router password protected.

Know of any crazy network name hot spots around town? Let us know in the comments, we’re planning a sequel.

Do you want TWER to keep on keepin’ on? Do you have $5 a month?

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About Alex Miller and Justin Lee

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