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Free web access away from home

Mar 23, 2002 — I have noticed over the last few months (at least around North Virginia) that most CompUSA stores and some minor chains are starting to network the computers on their sales floor and hooking them to the net. Some even leave WiFi gateways unencrypted, so you can sit outside of the stores and surf the web with your wireless laptop.

This is how it goes: If it is a CompUSA, be prepared to find a cable modem provider sample kiosk. From there you can surf the web, check your hotmail, etc. If it is a CompUSA COZONE, then it probably has an unprotected WiFi network. These sometimes don't assign DNS, so keep a list of free DNS servers in your laptop just to be safe.

If you don't find a cable modem kiosk you will probably find an AOL kiosk which will have the same connectivity.

Some stores actually employ smart people (Microcenter here is one of the few where sales staff know what they are selling) and they will protect their net access with some kind of proxy. If you ask nice, or you go smooch with the Apple lady they will probably unlock it for you.

I just came back from Microcenter, and just to make my point I used their dual 1 GHZ Power PC with the Cinema display to update my [link http://www.veraperez.com]site[/link] with Blogger.

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