Who would have believed back in say 1995, that one day we could have a pocket-sized device that makes phone calls, accesses the internet, plays videos, gets e-mail from many accounts, takes pictures and organizes your life? What is this, Star Trek?
Why yes, this is Star Trek. Nearly.
This week I upgraded from my very handy $50 flip phone to a Blackberry Curve. Why? Because the past 10 days of travel convinced me there is a better way to stay in touch with people besides hoping you have wifi in an airport or a hotel room.
Oddly, the more expensive the hotel room, the more expensive and less reliable is the in-room internet service. The cheaper the hotel, the better the chances of free wi-fi. Makes no sense. Now when I am stuck in a non-cheap hotel, I can refrain from adding $12.95/day or more to my bill. In case you are wondering, medical conventions tend to be in nice hotels and it pays to be in the same hotel as all the action. Pushing a cart full of gear down a cobblestone hotel driveway at 6am in 100% humidity just to save a hundred bucks is not worth it.
Another inconsistency in travel is wifi in airports. My home airport of Bradley Field has free wifi. Same with Tampa, which was very useful during my 4 hour layover last week. Other places it ain't so. I recently received an e-mail survey from Southwest asking about paid internet service on flights. It seems they may offer in-flight wifi for $9.95. Might be useful on a cross-country jaunt, but most SWA flights are short hops. That may go over like the $2 can of soda already abandoned by other airlines.
My internet habit is pretty limited at present: Creative Cow, Digg (less so by the day), News, FB and of course e-mail. The Blackberry lets me do all of this without booting up a computer. Aside from sore thumbs, this will save time, save costs and save electricity. And if there is any truth to the effects of a warm laptop on one's lap, this may save the family jewels!
Well, I still need the laptop to write these blog posts, but the forums are easily accessible.
As discussed in an earlier post, I have linked up with all my old mates on the face book. One cannot turn on a tv news program or entertainment show without hearing about Twitter. It took me a while to wrap my brain around how Twitter is used and if it has any use to me. Turns out it is just another way to get connected to the world. If this blog and my other activities here on the COW are any indication, that can be a good thing. The more people who follow me are potential customers and/or colleagues. Just this morning I received a tweet from a fellow medical video guy in Norway. He keeps a blog about a lot of the same stuff that I do, and he read and posted a link to the article I wrote here on the COW. http://sterileeye.com/
This week I had to take a couple of days to recover from a nasty cold - probably from all that air travel. Between the Blackberry, web-mail and Thunderbird I was receiving e-mail in three places at once - a bit much mind you, but a good indication that not only am I connected - I might have over done it! But seriously, having a phone that also interacts with e-mail is brilliant indeed. Beam me up Scotty!
Thanks for reading.