In case there was any question, it is confirmed that I am, in fact, a dumbass. When I got back to the apartment, and opened up the laptop, this time with wireless enabled, there were something like nine networks in sight, four of which were open access. Words don’t describe how dumb I feel.
This would be a good excuse to pull a Don Norman, and complain about the idiotic user interface design of the wireless interface, which should be able to detect that the wireless is turned off, and should therefore tell me when I do “View available wireless networks” that “Hey, dumbass, turn on your wireless before you try that!” Except that I just realized that the wireless switch is probably a hardware switch put in by HP, and Windows doesn’t talk to it. *sigh* I can’t escape the derision I’m gonna get on this one.