I’ve been thinking for a while about the best way to provide almost-always connection to the internet for my laptop.
There are times I could be more productive if I had an internet connection – such as sitting in a cab, on a train, in someone elses office, and most importantly, when doing a demo for work in a location without a network or phoneline that I can use for connectivity.
My new T40 has built in Centrino wireless (802.11b), but WiFi is only good when you have a hotspot you can link in to. Most airports have hotspots, as do a growing number of hotels, and there is a significant number of cafes and other such businesses beginning to provide hotspots too now. However, at a hotel or an airport I can usually use dialup almost as effectively (and much more cheaply), and I rarely spend much time in those other locations where I am likely to find a WiFi hotspot.
So to provide the range of coverage I need (at the expense of speed and usability unfortunately), I think GPRS is the way to go.
I’ve thought about a bluetooth adapter along with a bluetooth enabled GPRS phone, but I like my current phone and aren’t looking to replace it right now.
I think the ideal solution really would be a GPRS PCMCIA card – I already have a SIM card (my personal phone, which is semi-permanently diverted to my work phone) which I could use with it.
So I need to find something that’s reasonably priced AND certified to use in Australia – that’s possibly the biggest impediment to buying something here in Hong Kong – never sure of the certification of such devices, or whether they will even work on our networks.
The Nokia D211 is a PCMCIA card that has a slot for a SIM card and does GPRS as well as Wi-Fi . . . but it’s about $540 in Australia.