Friday, June 27, 2008

Coffee that rocks, WiFi that works

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 2:13 PM

octane-laptop.jpg

octane-room.jpg
Hey, look — it's my Powerbook and a triple espresso macchiato. The picture was taken at Octane, the Westside coffee shop whose "Thursday Night Throwdown" invites baristas to compete to create artsy forms like the heart atop my macchiato.

The espresso here may be the city's best — rich, almost oily, with layered flavors. The shop also serves real pastries and sandwiches.

But the really cool thing is that they offer free wireless internet service (WiFi) and — get this — it actually works!

My usual coffee hangout is the Ansley Starbucks but, once again, their WiFi doesn't work about half the time. Never mind that I pay T-Mobile $30 a month to use it.

The latest problems began when they started offering two-hour blocks of free wireless through AT&T, as well as the T-Mobile service. For several weeks now, neither service has worked consistently. Moreover, nobody knows how to get it fixed. The Starbucks peeps say they don't know what to do about it. Call T-Mobile or AT&T and they apologize, tell you they are working on it — and nothing changes.

Because my gym is an apple fritter's throw from Starbucks, it's more convenient for me to use. But I'll be spending more time at Octane until Starbucks gets its WiFi fixed, which shouldn't take more than 2, 3 or more months and 10 zillion phone calls to AT&T and T-Mobile.

You can find a mixed-media account of a Thursday Night Throwdown here.

(Photos by Cliff Bostock)

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