: Zeroing Out "> The two pair of computers in my system tray that indicate active Wi-Fi and VPN connections had both disappeared. I clicked into iPass, which Id used to log on. No sign of a wireless network in the vicinity. So I rolled up my sleeves and invoked Windows Wireless Zero Configuration to reset. No soap. Reboot? I tried it. Nada. Just for grins I clicked on iPass to see if somehow it could identify the network when Windows couldnt. It did. I was good to go for about 45 minutesand another cup of coffee, this time accompanied by a scone and then gremlins entered the Net and kicked me off everything but AIM. "The networks down. Whats the problem?" called out the customer next to me who sat at his laptop with a cup of soup of the day, a grilled turkey sandwich and a stack of books he intended to buy.I suggested to my neighbor that he might want to reboot. "Ill just go across the street to Panera Bread," he said, "they have free Wi-Fi over there and the lattes free on Mondays." "But the Wi-Fis not working," I told him. "Yes it is, I just came from there," he said. "So why did you come here?" "I like the soup." With that, he left, stopping by the cashier to pay for his books. Evidently, whatever had been wrong at Panera had been fixed, so I closed up the Vaio, ordered a cup of coffee to go, and stopped by the magazine rack on my way out. I couldnt leave without checking out the latest CD and DVD offerings. Now wouldnt you know, there was the collected first-and-second season of televisions best-ever commedy"The Office"just begging to go home with me and, around the corner, that Classic Sinatra CD Id been wanting happened to be at the listening station and, well, it sounded so good. When I got to Panera Bread, sure enough, there was no signal. I resisted the temptation to tell my fellow traveler Id told him so and ordered lunch instead. Back to Borders. Hey! Hey! Hey! Everything worked. I celebrated with a cup of coffee, contemplated heading to the strip mall down the street after work to check out the shoe sale at Lazarus, and tallied this latest hot-spot experience:
Bagel: 79 cents
Coffee (four cups): $14.76
"The Office, The Complete First and Second Series": $59.99
"Classic Sinatra, His Great Performances, 1953-1960": $15.29
Smokehouse Turkey Panini with diet soda: $4.39
Wi-Fi without resorting to Zero Config: priceless.
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What, indeed? Wi-Fi access should be as plug-and-play as anything else on a computer, and it isnt. Believe me, nothing makes the counter helps eyes glaze over faster than mention of the phrase, Zero Config. I ordered another cup of coffee, instead.