For those who haven’t been caught up in this whole wireless craze that’s sweeping the country, this is a system by which, with a piece of inexpensive hardware, you can connect a computer, wirelessly to the internet. The are certain limitations such as you usually ahve to be within 100 feet of what is called a base station (or Wireless Access Point (WAP)) and that WAP needs to allow anonymous connections.
There are several WAPs around San Francisco that you can access for free. One is at Cafe Roma on Columbus Street between Stockton and Union. The owner, Tony, is a really cool guy and proud of his wireless.
Another open WAP is at Cup A Joe at Sutter & Leavenworth. This is another cool place that serves Guiness in addition to having a *free internet connection.
Lastly, if you have a special parabolic antenna you can point it at San Bruno mountain and get a signal from there, since a group of fellows – www.bawug.org have set up a large broadcasting parabolic system on top of that mountain, which will send out a free signal to anyone within about 5 miles or so.
Beyond these locations, most times, if you have a laptop and feel like roaming around a neighborhood, you’ll probably be able to find an open connection. This is called “warchalking” and it’s generally for the utter nerd or desperate soul who needs porn very veyr badly.
* Free Internet means that you don’t have to pay any monthly fee or any other such nonsense to use the internet at the two coffee shops lsited above. Unless you’re a ape-faced moron, you’ll buy a cup of coffee or something else as a thanks for using the internet at these locations. They don’t have to provide free internet and could gouge you like Starbucks so happily will do. Note: The Bawug connection is completely free for ape-faced morons or otherwise. You juse need a bit more know-how to get that one up and running