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Big Fat WOW!


Charlie Black, Office Staff Volunteer

As an Alamo PC Staff volunteer, I am sometimes asked by visitors or club members to let them use our  Alamo PC computers to download their e-mail accounts from  one of the many  free e-mail accounts available only on the Internet.- such as Yahoo!, HotMail, Alta Vista, or other internet providers (AOL, Compserve, SW Bell, etc.)  As a matter of policy the Alamo PC does not permit this; however, I always try to suggest places where local free Internet access may be found.- primarily the San Antonio Public Libraries and  at some San Antonio Public Schools but provided one lives in their school district.  I also mention one can also pay for Internet access at most Kinkos locations.

A new free high speed Internet access location has now arrived in San Antonio, is now available to the general public and it really is a WOW!

Located at the North Star Mall- on the main (street) level, near the Food Court areas, is the kiosk of the Big Fat Wow, called simply WOW At the kiosk -you will see boldly displayed around the top - six flat 42” color TV screens presenting local and national  advertising in multimedia and highly visible to the public. Just below the large screens are 12 17” Compac iPAC computers, using a version of Windows 2000. These computers are smaller than the traditional desktop computer and have a computer keyboard and a mouse. There are no CD-ROM or Floppy drives. 

There is comfortable seating at each computer and a pleasant attendant will sit you down, briefly explain the system and how it operates to access the Internet, and then leave you on your own with the keyboard at your hands, and the 17”monitor screen in front of you -visible only to you.

Seating at the computers is on a “first come - first served” basis, but there is no time limit, unless there are others in line for a computer.  If there are people waiting, a 15-minute limit is enforced.  

Mr. Armando Quintero is the manager of the North Star WOW Kiosk and will cordially assists you to the Internet via WOW. There you can open an e-mail account, read your email if you already have an e-mail address, send a message to a friend, or just browse around to visit museums, read the news or search for whatever suits your fancy!

You are welcome to drop by and meet Armando or his associates and see just how fast a T-1 using DSL can be. The WOW kiosk is open 10:00 AM through 5:30 PM, Monday,Tuesday, Thursday,Friday and Saturday.

As of now, I have added the North Star Mall WOW kiosk to my list of free internet access spots to which I can send people who are looking for places to download their e-mail accounts or just browse on the Internet.

For details on WOW locations throughout the United States and find more details including employment opportunities, go to: [www.bigfatwow.com

There are three things I find wrong with the concept and implementation with this program: 

  • There is no printer attached to the iCompac computers, so I will have to write down my incoming e-mail messages. 
  • There is no computer access slot for a floppy disk where I could download and copy my incoming or sent email messages. And most importantly: 
  • Why didn’t I think of this myself when I was younger??

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