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Along the way...

On part of the route for last week's trip, you pass through some interesting little towns in Texas. By "interesting" I mean "empty." Some of the places are ghost towns, while some only look like ghost towns. One town caught my attention, partly for its name:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chillicothe,_Texas

Yeah. Chillicothe? On the way back home, I think I also passed a place called Iowa Park, which I think had some nice water features, but I was passing by so quickly that I couldn't get a good look or stop for photos.


Also, I was pleasantly surprised by my 3DS! One of its features, of course, is the "SpotPass" feature where it tries to download new content automatically when it finds an Internet connection. Usually I'm at home, so it just connects to my home wireless network that I set up for it... But this trip was the first time I got to try it out with just a random public network!

Yeah, I thought it might work while I was out for A-Kon in Dallas, but for some reason that didn't quite work. At that time, I went to a Starbuck's, and was able to use the browser to connect to their network, but otherwise nothing happened. SpotPass didn't seem to work and I was disappointed.

But on this trip, I stopped at a Barnes & Noble and it worked flawlessly! I just walked in and out and didn't think about checking my 3DS until I was back in the parking lot, but then saw it automatically connected and downloaded stuff (for Dead or Alive Dimensions and the Pokedex 3D app) without any work on my part. Even with my phone, I had to open a page in my browser and accept the terms before I could use their connection. But with the 3DS, I just had to be within range, and it was flawless! No need to open the browser or manually connect or anything.

I then remembered reading an article about how Nintendo was teaming up with AT&T for some hotspots... and sure enough, B&N had one of those AT&T hotspots... So that probably explains why it worked so smoothly. Nice! So next time I'm traveling, I don't need to worry about missing SpotPass content as long as there's a B&N or McDonald's or other AT&T hotspot nearby.

And on the way back home, I did check it out with a McDonald's and it worked the same way. Very cool! Although, wouldn't the Starbuck's one have been AT&T too? So I'm not sure why that didn't work... hrm.

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