Posts Tagged ‘Austin free wifi’


The dial-tone was buzzy and full of static and then it disappeared altogether. This was Monday at 9:00 am; it returned at a little before 5 pm yesterday. That makes over 24 hours without a land-line. And yes; I’m a laggard when it comes to adopting technology, which means it’s POTS or nothing. And let me just say, that the lodgings that promise Internet access don’t always have it up and working or working well. I blame only myself for any Luddite tendencies, but I blame the torrential downpour, aging infrastructure, and the telco for the problem. One variant or another strikes many neighborhoods south of the river from time to time, making life especially unpleasant for businesses. But that’s another story.

It’s South by Southwest, remember, and school’s out and lots of us are taking breaks from work to entertain visitors from far and wide. Here’s what I found when I sought a way to check in. I did not try the City’s free WiFi in the same building, but I did stop in at the Austin Java now serving as a cafe and more in City Hall. The tables are sturdy, the chairs are excellent, and the people are friendly. Even though attendance at SxSW this year seems to be a little light, going by street presence of people with lanyard i.d., there were plenty of attendees at Austin Java. The connection’s good. Food and coffee are available beginning at 7 am (great for early birds!). I know someone who’s returning to try the Eggs Benedict. Acoustics aren’t good, but that’s the only drawback.

For the extremely reasonable cost of a cup of coffee and some pastry or another beverage and an ice-cream cone from the cafe, Ventana del Soul came to my rescue another time during the POTS outage. There, also, I found out-of-town SxSW attendees. This is a great place for people to keep in mind for meetings, formal or in- and large or small. The signal is strong but a little slow; it’s great there there are so many electrical outlets. The natural light is a plus, and the people are always very pleasant. Those waiting may read some of the many up-to-date magazines, and there are board games, too. Supporting Ventana del Soul supports its mission.

Best of all was the Howson branch of the public library. Howson is a reader’s place and so was exceptionally quiet for working. Sign-up for access was quick and simple, with no need to possess or show a library card. Desks aren’t that many, but I worked at one. The height was ergonomically correct, there was sufficient work surface, and the electrical outlets were on the desktop. The signal was strong and downloads were instantaneous. I’ve never taken a laptop to the library, but I certainly will again. Next, I think I’ll try Carver and Ruiz branches.

Wooldridge Square is on the network serving the APL system, I see; when the day is sunny though, even Wooldridge shade probably won’t help with screen visibility. I don’t know what’s the best on-line directory to free Austin hotspots. The ones I tried were just ones I remembered hearing about. So this was my first adventure. Of course, an on-line directory is of no use when it’s needed for the reasons I needed it; nevertheless, it would be very helpful to bookmark a few directories for the future. The directory of access points at Auscillate is extensive; I wonder whether there’s one even better.

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