They said it couldn’t be done! Well, not exactly, but they were hesitant to even give me the Windows XP brochure, not at all confident that I'd make anything out of it. But I did! Yes, I’m on my open-source netbook, surfing the Saint Mary’s wireless interwebs.
Yes, I realize wireless internet is freely and readily available in every mom-and-pop coffee shop from here to Timbuktu. Why the university chooses to be difficult, I don’t really know. My guess is that they handle private and sensitive information here frequently and need to inhibit would-be wireless infiltrators and eavesdroppers.
But enough with the dropping eaves. Here’s what you do:
Go to your network icon, right-click, and select "Edit Connections..."
Go to the "Wireless" tab, select "Add".
Under connection name you can write whatever you want - "Saint Mary's" is pleasing and appropriate to me, but you could call it "STUPID SKOOL DAT TAKES ALL MA BORDENS" and that will be fine too as long as you remember that it's for this particular wireless network. Now under SSID - the actual identity of the network, what the network calls itself - you must write "SMU_PUBLIC". That's an underscore _ between the SMU and PUBLIC parts. Now you're finished with this tab...
Under "Security", select "WPA & WPA2 Enterprise".
Under "Authentication", select "Protected EAP (PEAP)".
Finally, put your s-number and password (exactly the same as what you log in to the workstations and SMUport with) in the lower boxes. Then click OK, wait a few tense moments, and you should be good to go!
Well, you're not quite home free. The first webpage you'll come up on is about the Acceptable Use Policy. You put in your s-number and password again, then the webpage advises you to turn off your computer for a minute and restart it. Do so. Once you're back on, you may see the webpage come up again, but if you re-register it just tells you you're already registered, so if you find you can surf the web at large you can just ignore it this time. Have fun!