Cafe Witness

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Unpredictability of Wireless

Since I tend to spend most of my cafe time at one of my regular haunts, I figured I'd stop down to one of the Crazy Mocha locations I don't usually frequent for a change of pace. Considering it's close to where Ann works, I opted for the one on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield.

Then I came home so I could actually use the internet.

See, the frustrating thing for me when it comes to cafes is the spotty internet service. Just because a place advertises itself as having "free internet" doesn't necessarily mean it actually works all the time, if at all.

Part of the problem is my MAC powerbook, which (for some reason) has a tough time picking up wireless signals. (I'm suspecting my antenna is the size of a twig and is buried deep within the bowels of the engine.) Other Crazy Mocha-goers were able to access the cafe's wireless with far less trouble than me. But still, even after moving closer to the wireless homebase (further back in the cafe), I still couldn't get the signal steadily enough to actually conduct any kind of business.

It's not a cafe's job to give us free internet, so I can't fault them completely. But the baristas seem quite used to the question, pointing out that most computer users were huddling in the back where the signal tends to be stronger -- as though there's no flaw in the plan to post "free wireless internet" in the window and then shepherd the users to the back corner. If all I wanted was a drink and a conversation -- or a DVD rental from the cafe's nifty Dreaming Ant video store, in back -- I'm sure I could have made do.

But, alas, I wanted to get some work done, which means I had to take my (unusually watered-down) soy hot chocolate (which, admittedly, was another bad choice on my part -- too musky) and head home.

2 Comments:

  • I hate that. I've run into the same problem at the Panera in Miracle Mile Shopping Center. Fortunately there's another Panera not far away in Penn Center. (Yes, I know it's a chain, but the wireless is free!)

    Scott

    By Anonymous Scott, at 10:31 AM  

  • Nairobi actually has wireless at its Java House restaurants (kind of a combo between Starbucks and Applebee's). The one time I tried, I couldn't get on (with my Mac Powerbook). The problem wasn't the Mac - it was the connection.

    I'm a slow eater too. Always the last one done. But I do drink coffee fast.

    By Blogger Nairobi Paul, at 7:19 AM  

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