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Friday, January 25, 2008

5 Reasons Not to Work Wireless in a Cafe

As I mentioned in a recent post (Why I Didn't Buy a Dell), I have finally joined the notebook "elite" (I usually join elites about 10 years after they are no longer elite) and one of the things I was really looking forward to was being able to sit in a cafe, sip a coffee or two and work there as a change from the home office, connected to the internet of course via the cafe's wireless hotspot. In fact that last post was written in a cafe.

However, I have noticed some drawbacks to this approach which I would like to share with you!

  1. Increased exposure to passive smoking, if you live in a country which has not yet banned smoking in public places (like I do)
  2. Increased distractions - (un)interesting conversations around you, attractive barmaid, friends who happened to have the same idea, AND picked the same cafe and keep talking to you, loud music you don't like, etc.
  3. Security risk - some no-gooder hacking the public network and stealing your trade secrets, or, more likely, people looking over your shoulder and reading your romantic/steamy/seedy/just plain embarassing Skype conversations
  4. Reduced time for work because of limited battery time (if the cafe is one that doesn't let you plug in)
  5. Reduced time for work because you've drunk 4 cups of coffee, you really need a leak, but you can't leave your laptop out for someone to help themselves to your pride and joy, and taking your laptop in the toilet with you would be just too anal!
To be honest, that last one is the greatest problem for me. Every time I have tried this so far I have been absolutely bursting by the time I finish up what I'm doing, hurriedly stash the notebook, pay the tab and run to the guy's room.

I'm sure you can add to this list. And by the way, most of these could be construed as advantages too...!