Road Warror Reading

by Joey deVilla on November 29, 2006

'Busy Airport' photo by 'superlocal' (see
Busy Airport by 'superlocal'. Click the image to see the original on Flickr.

There are a couple of articles that those of us who travel often (I fly about once every 6 weeks, and I assume that George flies as often, if not more) might find interesting:

First: The Socket Seekers is a New York Times article that looks at the half of the airport computing equation that isn't wifi: electrical outlets. I was surprised to read that some airports are actually adding outlets to meet the demand of travellers with laptops, mobile phones, iPods and other devices that need charging; I was always under the impression that they went out of their way to discourage the use of their electrical outlets.

The article offers some advice that's already well-known to regular fliers that casual fliers might not know: when looking for power, think like the custodial staff. They've got to plug in their vacuum cleaners and floor polishers somewhere. To this, I also add: look for things that rely on wall current, such as vending machines and internet kiosks. I don't recommend unplugging those machines to juice your laptop, but sockets often come in sets of two, and one just might be available. I also travel with an extension cord that lets three people share an outlet and pack a spare PowerBook battery.

Also: Why Isn't Internet Access Free for Travellers? Frank Gruber asks the question on his blog, and the comments seem to be split between “I wish internet access was free in hotels and airports too” and “It's called capitalism, Frank.” I think 'net access works better as a free amenity to attract customers rather than as a profit center.

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