Chris Thistlethwaite on 29 Sep 2017 10:37:11 -0700

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Granted you're all likely talking about downtown Philly spots, but I'm in the same boat outside of the city. For those interested, the Farmhouse Coffee and Espresso Bar is great in Downingtown. It's just down the street from the Station Taproom, right off the train.

Haven't tried VPN, but wifi is solid and the coffee is good.

-Chris T.

On Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 1:18 PM, Lee H. Marzke <> wrote:
I would love to find some new spots as well.

I often drop in for a few hours at  Wegmans Food Cafe, McD, Dunkin,  Starbucks, and Barns & Noble to get out of the office,  all of which have generic WiFi.
These places often have power available in a few places as well.   But many times you will need to run on battery.

The best  performance  / reliability is typically at Wegmans.

Note that most of these sites only open ports 80 and 443 outbound.  I've found I can't get email  on my phone without using the VPN,  as
only webmail clients appear to be supported.

To get around this I run my office OpenVPN server on multiple ports.   I've found that I can always connect to OpenVPN on 443/TCP
instead of the normal 1194/UDP.         I also have an ssh server running on port 443 just in case my OpenVPN is inop.

Note that  VPN over double TCP is not optimal,  but it works for me most of the time.

Note that the WiFi typically does not 'see' the VPN traffic,  and thus will lock you out of the WiFi portal after the inactive timeout ( typically 2 hours) so
if your connection suddenly stops,  just drop the VPN,  and re-authenticate to the portal.

Recent Ubuntu clients using OpenVPN need to use the update-resolv-conf script something like this to
update DNS forwarders when the tunnel is up.    This also removes them prior to downing the

ca ca.crt
tls-auth ta.key 1
cert cert.crt
key key.key
up /etc/openvpn/update-resolv-conf
down /etc/openvpn/update-resolv-conf

Note that the Ubuntu GUI  (Network Manager) does not call this script !, so while the VPN
may come up with Network Manager,  DNS out to the Internet doesn't work.


From: "Ron Guilmet" <>
To: "Philadelphia Linux User's Group Discussion List" <>
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2017 12:19:23 PM
I'm trying to change up my work routine. Of all of the advantages that come with working from home, there can be too many distractions as well.

Thanks Ron

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Lee Marzke,
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