The Barnes and Noble I found has a coffee shop (a starbuck's) which isn't too bad to hang out in but it closes at 5 on saturday and isn't open at all on sunday. I thought it might have wireless internet but instead it has "Wayport". Sigh.
I think charging for wireless internet is dumb. Electric lights are there as a convenience for customers and a place that even _thought_ about trying to separately charge for lighting would clearly be too stupid to stay in business long. The other wildly successful model here is the pay toilet, which just screams that you run a friendly, classy establishment. The fact the technology is new doesn't change the nature of your customers.
But pragmatically, I tend to leave 40 or so browser tabs open at all times (my pending to-do items), and when I fire up my laptop it tries to reload them all, and if they all get redirected to the wayport login screen I lose them. (I can fix it if I notice soon enough: ctrl-alt-backspace to kill the desktop without saving, switch the wireless card off, and then restart the desktop. They all become "could not connect" errors but it remembers where they _are_. So it's only a minor annoyance, but it's still actually worse than having no internet access at all. If I forget and shutdown with them pointed to the wrong place, it's more than just an annoyance.)
I found out that the McDonalds is open to 11pm (even on sunday), but I had lunch there today and found out on my way out that they don't do drink refills. You have to buy a new drink, full price. Which means I'm never going back there. (The Wendy's next door does refills no problem.)
So this week was busy (either being at work or hanging around with Garrett after work), and now it's the weekend and I'm trying to get general geekery done. I have several bright-red-flashing style pending items to do in Busybox, and also an update to some linux-kernel documentation I wrote, putting Firmware Linux back together enough I can test busybox with it, taking advantage of the new QEMU... A decent short-term agenda.
My hotel room has a TV in it, which is highly distracting (I keep turning it on for background noise and then being distracted by the darn 60hz strobe light. It's not so bad when I have DVDs but I keep switching around thinking that there has to be _something_ on. So far the only thing reliably worth watching is "the daily show"). But if I turn it off it's too quiet, I can go for about 15 minutes before I turn on the TV again. Yesterday I got some stuff done at Barnes and Noble (disconnected from the internet) until they kicked me out at closing time. Now I'm sitting at my desk at work (there's nobody else in the entire _building_) and it's just too quiet to concentrate. (My condo in Austin wasn't nearly this quiet. There were cats. I could open a window. The case fan on the PC at my desk is the loudest sound here. That's not a good thing.) Wandering the streets of pittsburgh it's all big imposing buildings that are all closed.
I miss Metro. I really miss Metro. Yeah, the craptacular music was often _too_ much background noise but there were _people_ and _drinks_ and _couches_ and _wireless_ and at its' _worst_ it was open until 3am and I could _work_ with this.
Hopefully this is just an adjustment period. Once Fade gets here we can go check out the local universities and maybe I can find a decent coffee shop where I can get some actual work done. In the meantime, I gotta fix mount -a, figure out what to do about initrd running /linuxrc as PID 3, and try to make the e2fs stuff work on big-endian systems...
(It's so dry here my _hands_ itch. That's not right.)