Simon Kolz

A weblog by Simon Kolz

Have Laptop Will Travel

Leave prepared when traveling with your notebook computer.
Internet connectivity at your destination is one thing to think about when taking your portable office with you on your next trip.
You might want to consider some of the following options:

Make sure you have a dial-up access account. Dial-up offers the advantage of portability. You can connect using any telephone jack. DSL and cable connection providers provide dial-up access for use when away from home.
Check with your Internet Service Provider.

Find out which hotels offer internet connectivity. Most deluxe and extended stay hotel chains offer high-speed internet connections or have a special telephone with a jack for a line to connect with your computer’s modem for dial-up. Some hotels even have a business center with fax and printer access.

Make a list of dial-up access numbers for your travel destinations. Check your ISP for access numbers at cities and towns served. It is best to make a spreadsheet to save on your laptop to use when you get there and for future reference. If your ISP serves only your local area, you might want to get a new ISP if you plan to travel frequently.

Know how to set up an internet connection using the internet connection wizard. To change your access number for the duration of an extended stay, go to your browser menu bar and select Tools, then Internet Options – Connections – Settings
– Properties. Change the area code and the number. Know if you need to dial the area code and the number and include the area code in the Telephone Number field.
Find out if you need to prefix a 9 to the number in the hotel you will be staying to access an outside line.

Wireless connectivity. A cell phone which can be connected to your computer or a slot card which is in itself a wireless dial-in device are useful where it is uncertain whether there exist land lines or you need internet access while on the road.

Bundle neatly all your cords and cables and pack your carrying case for easy inspection of your portable office by airport security personnel at the checkpoint.

Keep track of battery usage. Consider a spare battery, especially on long flights.

A portable, external USB Zip drive is avaliable for notebooks if you use Zip disks for backup and transfer. These are compact and need no separate power source.

Kinko’s Copies offers services to notebook users such as printing from your laptop, dial-up and high speed internet connections and are located in most larger cities.

If your cumputer at the office runs 24-7 and has an “always on” internet connection you might want to subscribe to GoToMyPC service so that you can access your home office computer with your laptop when you are out of town.

Never pack your computer with your checked baggage.

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