Coffee, Tea or Wi-Fi?
Wireless broadband access is great when you're on the road. But sometimes, the only thing that's hot at a Wi-Fi hot spot is the coffee.Once upon a timea little over a week ago as a matter of factI found myself in a northern suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio, with this Web site to update and no broadband connection to help me do it. This is the story of how yours truly, with her trusty Vaio-con-Wi-Fi adapter under her arm, remote access accounts for both Boingo and iPass on her desktop, a credit card in her pocket, and a pair of sturdy hiking shoes on her feet, made a half-mile trek to hot-spot heaven in search of broadband nirvanaand what she didnt find when she got there. Dont get me wrong: Over the years, Ive come to love wireless hot spots. Theyve given me freedomfreedom from having to look up dial-up local access numbers whenever Im on the road, freedom from racing off to Radio Shack for a phone cord whenever Ive left mine at home (which I was wont to do BWFbefore Wi-Fi), and, most of all, freedom from watching my life pass in front of me while trying to preview a Web page over dial-up or send an e-mail with a PowerPoint attachment.
Its not that I consider hot spots my friends. Those of us who wear Wi-Fi stripes tend to think of them more as a birthright. If God never wanted humankind to connect through hot spots, he wouldnt have allowed Intel to create Centrino, now would he? And so, those of us who dont have Centrino inside do have some form of Wi-Fi adapter. We tend to check the signal strength in our system trays as regularly as we do the time.