Connecting to The Cloud Free WiFi Service in the UK

Problem: Unable to connect to The Cloud free wifi for the first time. Browsers spin till they time our and give you an error about DNS.

Context: The Cloud is a free wifi service in the UK at various coffee shops including Cafe Nero.

According to the instructions it is as easy as 1, 2, 3 to connect and signup. Even the brochure’s Mac trouble shooting basically says, “Just connect”. But for me it never was able to connect.

Looking in the console there were errors like this: “5/27/14 1:34:47.149 PM sandboxd[463]: ([598]) ntpd(598) deny file-read-data /private/var/run/resolv.conf”

This does provide a clue, because resolve.conf is basically the file that holds a list of name servers to use for DNS.

Solution: Clear out any custom set DNS name servers in your Advanced network settings.

I had configure my DNS settings to use Google’s DNS, namely If you clear this out then The Cloud can set the name servers to what it wants them to be.

Problem/Solution Documentation

When doing development you often run into problems that you have to spend a great deal of time figuring out the solutions to. Generally that’s because the problem isn’t common enough to have a lot of documentation or its so common other people don’t post about it.

These problems also have a tendency to crop back up, but after you’ve forgotten how you solved the problem. The solution is of course to write something down.

I’ve come up with a system that is serving me well. When I have one of these problems I create a new note in my Development notebook in Evernote. It immediately gets three headings added: Problem, Context, and Solution.

The Problem is what you encountered you have to find a solution to.

The Context is what environment or circumstance is the problem in. For instance is it with Magento or iOS?

The Solution is how you solved the problem.

Once I started doing this, I decided I’d start blogging my answers. Those previous Problem/Solutions can be found on my personal blog. From now on they will be here on the Reactuate Software Blog.