The preceding chunk is dependent on a single setting: allowing Windows to manage your wireless connections. Fortunately, XP makes this the default configuration, but you can verify at any time or change the setting by right-clicking the wireless adapter in the Network Connections dialog box, choosing Properties, and then clicking the Wireless Networks tab (Figure 10-3 already showed this dialog box).
Furthermore, you can accomplish the preceding a bit more simply by right-clicking on the wireless networking icon in the System Tray and choosing View Available Wireless Networks. You see the dialog box shown in Figure 10-5.
Figure 10-5. Making a quick connection to a wireless LAN.
And, you also know that there's an advanced setting that lets your card make these connections without much fuss. To access this setting, click on the Advanced button toward the bottom of the Wireless Networks tab.
You see the dialog box shown in Figure 10-6, where your card will try and connect to any available network, looking first for wireless access points before connecting to computer-to-computer networks.
Figure 10-6. Your card attempts connection with any available network.
This dialog box also lets you alter this behavior, but if you want to connect in a coffee shop, make sure either the first or second option is selected. Generally, ad hoc networks will let you access someone else's computer, but they won't provide access to the Net.