Quote from stuoolong
I was under the impression that if you have a puter or laptop fitted with a Wireless Card and suitable software, you can just tap in to whatever free wireless network you like at no cost. A geek told me this, he reckoned that there were at least three such networks originating just from my street. Many of them are private, he says, but many are either unprotected (meaning you can use their connection without them knowing or caring) or better, they are open to any wireless user.
For more information however, you will need Google at least...
Firstly, there are geeks and there are geeks. Some seeming geeks can barely spell MCSE, others can build entire computing/network infrastructures for the largest companies in the world. Your associate appears, I'm afraid, nearer the former part of the scale, sorry.
Nextly, it's true that there are many unprotected WLANs in towns and cities, but these only extend a few metres outside the stupid persons house and they're, well, in towns and cities where you can get legit access anyway.
Lastly, the two problems with trying to use feral access points (rogue WLANs) is that they're unpredictable (so you have to spend ages wardriving to find suitable ones) and they're not available when you're half way down the A40, for example.
What Paul's after (and we've pretty much concluded he can't really get yet, I think) is a stable, quick, relatively cheap, net connection anywhere he happens to be.
In terms of geekship: the combined geekhood on this site is, in the words of Vader, *puts on best James Earl Jones voice* "Impressive"!
Trust in our words, we speak but the truth.
Never meddle in the affairs of sysadmins for they are subtle and have the root password...