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Getting wifi at the OBA

A few weeks ago I posted about the OBA, because it is such a nice place to work. I'm there now. Last time I mentioned that the OBA offers free wifi, but I hadn't found out how it worked yet. Well, I've got it (this post is my witness), but getting it to work was a drag!

First, you are required to log on to a specific hotspot which only lets you go to  specific registration site (ask the people at reception, they will tell you more details). You register yourself. You go back to reception and get your registration activated. You think you're there? Not by a long shot!

counter on floor 2 where one can obtain a connectivity guide (only in Dutch)You are now required to go to floors 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 (Dutch floor counting system, as the numbers on the floors are printed on each floor, it seems easier to use the same numbering), find a round white counter (with lots of computer screens on it), and ask someone (the employees wear an OBA uniform) for the Connectivity Guide.

The guide is in Dutch (I asked, but for operating systems Vista and up, there is no English guide), but if you follow the illustrations in the seven-page documeny precisely, down to the very last checkbox, at the end of the long and arduous journey there lies the internet, secure and well. Of course, you can always ask one of the OBA people to help you.

Now, when I mentioned the wifi at the OBA last time I wrote, I had no idea it would be this much work to get connected. This post serves as a warning for all those who enter here and want to use the internet. But it is also a reassurance for the non-geeks among you: if I can get it to work, then surely, so can you!


Great place to work: OBA near Central Station

entrance of the OBA (public library) building near Amsterdam Central StationAmsterdam's new public library building  (Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, also known as the OBA) east of the Central Station is a modern building in glass, wood and concrete. The inside is mostly white, airy and open.

The design makes the place feel like a store, only you are not allowed to permanently keep the things that you take home. Eventually, you will have to come back here to return your borrowed books, cds, dvds or even sheet music. But that is no punishment.

This is not just a library. This is a place to be, where you can peruse the extensive magazine collection, surf the internet on the free computers, enjoy the view from the terrace on the 7th floor or have a snack, drink, lunch or dinner in the La Place restaurant (also top floor).

If you're lucky, you can enjoy an impromptu piano concert, like I did, the very first time I visited the OBA. Someone was playing amazing jazz on the piano near the entrance on the ground floor. It gave my visit a kind of magical feel.

My tip? If you're looking for a quiet place to work, away from your own home (for whatever reason), the OBA has plenty of space. And afterwards, you can head out to Vapiano (read my review in the restaurants section) for an excellent pizza, for an even more excellent price (they start from E5,75).

The central library, as this branch of the OBA is called, is open every day of the week, from 10am until 10pm. It's supposed to have free wifi too, but you need a password (probably obtainable at the reception desk on the ground floor?) to make it work.

Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam
Oosterdokskade 143
1011 DL Amsterdam