I finally tried the free MetroFi wireless internets. I was at the Taco del Mar on SE Stark and MLK.

I chose a seat near the window, and even with line of sight to the antenna outside, I could not get a signal. Then I moved about 5 feet closer (but still inside) and suddenly got the MetroFi Free, MetroFi Premium, and one other signal (I forget but not MetroFi or PTP – probably just some random access point in the area).

I was using my MacBook Pro, and Safari, on Mac OS X 10.4.

I was able, at first, to send email using my normal mail program, so it did not appear that port 25 (in tech-y speak) was blocked.

In my brief experiment in surfing, I only saw banner ads on about half the pages I hit. I had thought banner ads would be on all the pages?

Some sites (like Blue Oregon or Jack Bog’s blog) loaded normally, except with the added banner ad sometimes. But on sites where the comments are displayed in a pop-up window – the pop-up window would load AND the main page would load the comments, too. Annoying.

And a health-related site I use, Calorie Count (I was trying to enter my calories for lunch) just kept refreshing over and over again, making the page unusable.

Meh. If there’s nothing else around, I can use it for a quick look-up. But I’m not going to go out of my way to look at their dumb ads.