if you set your iBook to DHCP and the location to automatic and the wireless setting to use best signal strength it will automatically connect to any open wireless network. The IP address will be whatever that network assigns you (most likely an internal network address like 192.168.1.x) iChat and other IMs, as well as email will all work because they don't care what IP address you have.<br><br>For networks requiring passwords and such, you might want to setup up locations in the network panel. This allows you to configure different setups depending where you are. So when you go to work, just select you Work location and it will know the setup for your work and do the same with your home location.<br><br>I tried my iBook in an Apple store (which has an open network) and I was chatting with my wife via MSN messenger instantly. Really neat tech.<br><br>