a roadwarriors day at the office.
Today was another perfect example of mobile computer done by the average slider.
Having to go on assignment to deal with two clients i was out the door
at the crack of dawn. The crow had not managed to belch its tune and I
was already on the train to Antwerp. Having to deal with to entirely
different ‘mission objectives’ i was faced with an awkward dilemma :
What laptop would accompany me. In front of me ? The Ibm Thinkpad
running Vista, fitted with every tool a pc-consultant needs in order to
"revise and repair" any Windows environment AND housing the bright red
UMTS datacard dat guarantees a slither of connection to the WWW from
just about every spot on the planet. A completely customized computer
that offered me every bit of the diversity that a Windows platform has
to offer + custom vpn connections to the network at the office. On the
other side my Macbook pro was waiting in its silver glory. Its sleek
brushed lines hiding a very diverse and powerful multimedia computer.
Where the Thinkpad would march like a Stormtrooper in the corporate
environment, stark, well equipped and uniform.. The Macbook pro was the
free mason that laid in waiting of whatever creative urge I could
muster up. Since I was going by train and had to carry everything
myself it was either going to be one or the other.
The choice was made and the Macbook pro got to ride along, mainly
because one of the "mission objectives" was editing video, re-encoding
and creation of a "compliant dvd movie" that had to play on just about
every dvd player in the country. The Thinkpad murmured something about
‘creative hippies’ and "you’ll be sorry about this" but gave up in the
long run. But this gave the Macbook pro a difficult extra aspect to
its daily routine. Now the free spirited creative companion had to face
at least half a days work in a corporate environment where it needed to
interact with windows machines and active directories and stuff like
that. The absence of a ‘full pcmcia slot" denied it the ability to gulp
down the pcmcia card so it was up to the stray wifi to hook us up to
the internet’s. Because in all fairness … we are lost without an IP
.. are we not ?
As i ride the train home I look back on a succesful day with my little ‘free mason"
In the morning, while getting a cup of coffee at the local Foodmakers,
I made a crucial discovery to the success of my day. While waiting for
my latte to arrive I whipped out my ipod touch only to see I
accidentally left the wifi function on. This gave me a quick overview
of the wireless networks that where available in the area. A quick
hookup to the ‘freewifi’ SSID that appeared on my list was sufficient
to find out that indeed : unprotected (and not illegal) wifi was
available in this coffee shop. A well focused scan of the room provided
several locations with good seeting and nearby power outletts. My
mobile office for the afternoon was born.
Using the "ipod touch" as a quick wifi scanner is an ideal way to
swiftly scan the area for open wifi without having to break out and
boot up an entire laptop.
So after a windows-filled morning where my Macbook interacted
with the "winny world" through RDP clients and samba shares it was time
to get to the creative part of the day. I had an appointment with the
client at five to drop of the finished DVD’s. So of to the coffee shop
it was. A few minutes later my "home away from home" consited of a nice
pluche loveseat, a low coffee table, a Macbook pro, some empty dvd’s ,
a mouse and of course : a few latté’s. With the free wifi i managed to
interact over the web with "company base" and by using web based
outlook, msn, twitter, google etc .. it felt like I was snugly in the
fold. Aside from the awesome power and the easy of multi-media use I
did not even notice I was on a mac. The Freemason danced through the
corporate maze like it had always belonged there.
in retrospect ? This was a true test for a slider. Leaving
behind the trusted and predominant computer platform to go out into the
world on a "creative computer" and manage to survive 🙂 Wonderful. ..
and being able to do all this on the road ? even more wonderful.
Letting the web work for you and letting go of the ties that bind us to
our desk at the office is a very very liberating experience.