Observations of a travelling geek

Angus Kidman would be proud; I’ve been travelling Singapore, France and the UK for the last few weeks and been giving my 15″ Apple PowerBook, Nikon D70 digital SLR camera and Sony Ericsson S700i mobile phone a workout.

I’ve made some interesting discoveries:

– WiFi hotspots are not all that convenient, especially as they’re not always easy to find just by wandering in countries like France. They’re often painfully expensive too – I paid 16 euros for 2hrs access (the minimum) at a hotel I was at.

jiwire200 – The JiWire WiFi finder widget for OS X 10.4 (Tiger) is exceptionally useful. I attracted many strange looks as I walked down Boulevarde Saint Germaine in Paris with my PowerBook open looking for shops that offered *cough* free WiFi access. (Some genuinely free; some free if you bought a coffee; others just *cough* free). It also provides some very useful info that OS X doesn’t offer like the signal strength for all access points within range to help you pick the best one or move closer to the AP.
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Early adopter syndrome bites again

chocpudAlthough I’m loving my trip and my time in the UK (they sell chocolate souffle in glass containers in the frozen desserts aisle for chrissake), I’m also quite eagerly looking forward to getting home and seeing Kate and having home comforts back (broadband internet, big clean bathroom with fixed shower nozzle rather than stupid corded contraptions that kink).

In anticipation of coming home, I was checking out the Heathrow and Singapore Airlines websites to see how early I’d have to get to Heathrow to check in. I noticed Singapore Airlines has Internet Check-in. It wasn’t immediately obvious why anyone would want to check in over the internet, given you’d presumably have to line up again to check in your bags, but I’m an inquisitive early-adopter so I thought I’d give it a try.

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