Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wi-fi is everywhere

Cafes and laptops go well together.  There's something about tapping away on a sleek little machine while sipping a drink in the intellectual surroundings of a cafe that appeals to a lot of people.  You only have to peek into a Starbucks or a Cosi's or a Think to see that thousands of others feel the same.  Which is why many cafes offer free wi-fi in order to bring people in.

Wi-fi in cafes I understand.  Wi-fi in some other places... well, it just baffles me.

About six months ago, a burger joint opened up around the corner from me.  I've eaten there.  It's pretty good.  Eating a burger in a burger joint makes sense.  What doesn't make sense is the sign in their window that proudly displays the words "FREE WI-FI!"  I read this and was instantly baffled.  Surfing the web while drinking a double mocha latte?  Sure!  Surfing while munching on a burger?  How does that work?  Wouldn't you get grease everywhere?

I've noticed free wi-fi being offered in bars and diners, too.  I guess it makes a kind of sense, although I have yet to see many people taking advantage of it.  Maybe I should try working in one of those places one day.  In the name of research.



  1. The typical time for me to eat in a burger joint is if I'm travelling somewhere, and to then use their wi-fi to check the mail is practical. Or it was so a few years ago when they started offering free wi-fi. These days I just check my mail on my phone instead.

  2. I was in NYC about a year ago and was struggling to get wifi pretty much anywhere, even some of the places that claimed to have it (some of the parks, for example). I see what you mean about it being a burger places, although the cafe/bistro we hold our weekly indie meet at also serves burgers. You just have to be super diligent with napkins! :)

  3. Every month or so I host an IGDA drink night at a bar and they have free wifi, and some people bring their laptops and show off their projects. The wifi works well for them but I can't imagine people going in there for the express purpose of doing work while quaffing down pints. Maybe I should do that. It would be interesting to see what kind of games I would end up making.

    I wonder if the back office has wifi for their computer system and they figured they'd make it available to the customers as an extra "feature".

  4. I generally don't carry my laptop with me much, but I've recently found myself increasingly going to bars and pubs to study. Sometimes with a pint, but more often I'll just order a coffee. It can be quite nice during the early afternoons when it's not too busy. If the food is cheap I might also order a baguette or something.

    I generally don't take my work to burger joints though. Maybe it's worth a try.

  5. @Stu: I've definitely brought my notebook to bars and pubs! I guess whipping out a laptop is no different, when you think of it that way.

  6. My home country is pretty net-friendly and most places have wifi. We have wifi even in parks is what I'm saying. In fact I expect wifi from a place that looks decent, not too grubby, not too fancy. Pubs and bars? Hell yes. Right now I'm sitting in a bus station commenting on my netbook. :)