Working elsewhere

I am fortunate that my job allows me to telecommute. I work from home full-time and enjoy it. I have everything I need, all the comforts such as listening to whatever music I so feel like and as loud as I wish. I have access to my wife’s awesome cooking. I get to be around my kids. Life is good.

That said, sometimes I need to get out. 🙂

I used to be able to go to my buddy W’s house. It was perfect. Interet access, comfortable digs, good food, and someone to talk to about work things which made it like a mini office setting. But W recently moved, so I no longer have access. Consequently, I’ve been wondering what I can do and where I can go when I need a change of work surroundings.

The key thing I need is Internet access, given the nature of my job. What’s cool is Austin has a great many places with free WiFi. I found a couple nice lists here and here. Trouble is, none of the spots are really ideal.

Some places are just right out. For instance, I will not go to the airport just to get WiFi access. Or some hotels may have free WiFi but you have to be a guest and get their passcode. So those places are out.

What does that leave?

The Austin Public Library, or restaurants and bars (including coffee shops).

None of this is ideal.

The library actually seems like the best bet. There should be electrical outlets to plug into. The place will be fairly quiet and conducive to learning, and some ability to be private. The downside is no food or drink. Plus if I had to take a phone call, I can’t easily do that.

Restaurants have pretty much the opposite problem. No problem with food or drink; in fact, I’d argue if I was taking up a table for a long time that I better buy some food and drink. If I need to take a call, no problem. Electrical outlets can vary (one nice restaurant near my house apparently has only one open outlet, up by the front south-facing windows… heat, glare, no workie). But it’s going to be noisy, especially at meal times.

Bottom line is, it’s good to see Austin is quite friendly and accessible. While much of this free WiFi may be limited for circumstances like mine, what it really shows is you can whip out your Internet-enabled phone (iPhone or otherwise) and do things. So while you’re having dinner, you could look up where to go afterwards. Or maybe you just want to see what traffic is like, or what the next showtime is, or when the next train/bus is coming. Having free WiFi “everywhere” is quite a boon.

Now I just need to find a place that can work for me.

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