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Want free wifi at Starbucks? Here’s how you do it!

ETA: Since I wrote this post, Starbucks has added free wi-fi to all of their stores. You don’t even need the gift card to access it! But you can still register your gift card to get some extra perks, like coupons and promos.

Sometimes you just need to get away from your desk. You have a lot of work, too many interruptions, and you just need a change of scenery. As a mobile worker, I have the flexibility to work from just about anywhere. I’ve looked all over for the best wifi spots, but they are so expensive! Paying for multiple accounts that you only use occasionally cuts into your bottom line. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like paying for anything that I don’t use regularly.

Triple Coffee
(image: LotusHead on sxc.hu)

We all know that Starbucks has wifi capabilities. But you need an account with their provider. Unless you have AT&T service at home, you have to pay to access their wireless spots at the coffee shop. Whether you pay for a single day’s access or by the month, it gets expensive. Unless you know the secret to getting up to two free hours of wifi! Yes, it’s free and no, you’re not doing anything untoward to get it. The last time I asked about free wifi at a local Starbucks, the person at the register didn’t know a thing about it. But I knew I had read something a while ago and I decided to find out.

Do you have a Starbucks gift card? They’re free. You should get one. And here’s why.

Put a few bucks on the card. You only need to use it once a month. Plus, if you’re working at one of their shops, you’re probably already buying something to drink or eat anyway, right? So just load that money on the card and use it instead.

Now you can qualify for free wifi access. Go to starbucks.com. Then choose the starbucks card link (or just go there directly). Then click on the “Register Your Card” link (or, again, go straight there). Enter the card number and security code as asked.

You’ll create a starbucks.com account. And when it asks you if you want to register for free wifi, say yes! You’ll also set up an AT&T account that allows you to log in at any starbucks shop that uses AT&T wifi. After you set up the account, all you have to do is connect to the wireless where you are, open your browser, and enter your login information. Voila! Free wifi for two hours. And all you had to do was register a free rewards card! Additionally, your card balance is protected if the card is lost or stolen. And you can add funds online if you’d like.

Going somewhere like a coffee shop and working has helped me when I needed to concentrate but just couldn’t get it done at my home office. Or when traveling (hotel access is so expensive). Having a couple of hours of free wifi helps keep me more mobile without spending a lot of money on a broadband card (which I have also done).

I love how easy this is, and wish Starbucks would let more people know about it. When they first rolled out the program, they had flyers in the store. Now it’s hard to find info unless you know where to look. And now you know! So go grab yourself a cuppa, pop in those headphones, and get to work.

(I was not paid in any way for this. I found all the info on my own and just wanted to share something that’s easy to do and helps me out when I need to work somewhere other than my house. Cross-posted to my other site.)

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Get ready for some change

Soon I will be changing around my template again. I’m looking for a design I like. If I could just whip up my own, I totally would. The best I can do is a new header, but I don’t want to try that with this design. Too many other things to change. So things may get a little wonky for a bit.

And here’s hoping I don’t accidentally move a critical file into a completely new directory. Doggone drag and drop. Wish me luck!

(test)

Category: techie talk  9 Comments

blogging is fun again

Between the new site design, new version of WordPress, and finally getting my domain name pointing correctly after way too long, I believe that blogging is finally fun for me again. Yippee!

I’m really just a big dork and new toys are always great fun for me. Oh, look! Something shiny!

Yeah, it’s kinda bad. But at least this new toy is FREE!

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Reading: SEO Bible by Jerri L. Ledford

I’m about 1/4 of the way into the SEO Bible by Jerri L. Ledford. I’ve been meaning to read up on Search Engine Optimization. While I know some of the basics, there’s a lot I could learn and do better. And I think Ledford’s book will get me there.

She starts out by explaining SEO, what it means, why it’s important, and why you should be using it. The first two chapters are dedicated to understanding SEO, including the basics of what search engines are and how they work. Ledford also recommends creating an SEO plan before you build your site (if you can). She also makes it clear that certain techniques are more likely to get you banned from search engines and should be avoided.

Ledford’s writing is easy to understand. She doesn’t talk down to the reader or use too much jargon that makes the book difficult to grasp. She explains each concept thoroughly before moving on to the next topic without droning on & on.

I’m currently in Chapter 3. I’m moving through it slowly so I can absorb the information – and there’s a lot! The main book is almost 300 pages, and close to 100 more comprise the appendices and glossary.

So far I’m finding a wealth of information with clearly explained topics and instructions. I feel confident that as I progress through the book I’ll be able to implement Ledford’s recommendations. When I get further along, I’ll revisit my thoughts on the book. And as I incorporate her advice, I’ll let you know how it goes.

WordPress 2.5

I just installed the newest version of WordPress – 2.5. At first, I was a little confused and didn’t know where to find things. But now I’m digging it. It’s a cleaner design and actually easier to use.

I still need to figure out where everything is, but in the long run the simplicity will be a plus. Too many links tends to overwhelm me. So yes, call me crazy, but I think I may like this dashboard better than EE. Maybe it’s because EE is more CM than I need. But I work in all kinds of CMs in my job, so it’s not like it’s intimidating. More like, frustrating to try and find what I need.

I’m a techie, yes, but not when it comes to the more complicated server stuff. I’m just not used to it and it takes me a long time to research something. And there’s lots of trial and error. Right now, I just don’t have time for all of that trial & error. Nor do I have the money to pay someone a few hundred dollars to do it for me, even if it is a business expense. Other priorities right now. Someday, I would love to just pay someone to take care of everything in the background and allow me to just write. Right now, that’s just a line on the wish list (take a number!).

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