The Information Frontage Road

How one puts the 'techno' in technobum

When you're a technobum you have two fundamental groups of needs: the techno and the bum, naturally. I'll deal with the bum later, but for now, I want to detail what the techno requires and how I go about getting it.

The basic techno needs are simple: wi-fi and electricity. Fortunately, if you've found wi-fi you've usually found electricity. The best places to find wi-fi are fairly obvious: Libraries, Coffee shops, and an occasional late night eatery will due. However, one has to find these wi-fi hotspots without access to the internet. Enter the information frontage road powered by a beautiful Google app (GOOG-411), maps, and the ancient powerful search engine of helpful people.

The recipe goes like this: I text GOOGLE (466453) something like "coffee 92111" and google sends me back a list of coffee shops near the zip code, complete with phone numbers and addresses. I cross reference those coffee shop locations with my map to find a close one, then call them and ask if they have wi-fi. Wash, rinse and repeat. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find the zip code of the area of the map you are in, and a city-wide search can be too broad. So the easiest thing to do is pick a nearby landmark on the map text GOOGLE for that and then grab the zip code from the results they return. Presto.

Of course finding wi-fi hotspots is not a perfect process. Sometimes, I find it hard to get to the wireless for various reasons (ie. the coffee shop is hard to find, missing or etc.). Enter that helpful 'people search engine' I mentioned earlier; gas station clerks tend to be the best. If anything goes wrong I can pull up my bike, get a little direction and invariably find my way.

So there you have it, the techno process of techno bumming. Of course you need equipment, but I'll discuss that at some later juncture.

1 comment:

Aiguo said...

Hi Ben,

Nice to hear from you. Hope you enjoy your trip on the western coast.