Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Chuck for" on the Road - Democratic Platform Convention

I'm in the Hilton in Eugene, Oregon for the Democratic Party of Oregon's Platform Convention. I'll have some actual duties to fulfill but hopefully enough time to give my readers a sense of what is going on.

Chelsea Clinton is supposed to address us Saturday afternoon I'll go. I'll go because it's a short elevator ride and I've already paid for the dinner. I can't think of what a 28 year old investment banker daughter of an ex-President could possibly have to say to me, even if I didn't dislike her mother intensely as a candidate. We're Democrats so I won't ask her any uncomfortable questions, in fact I'll just keep my trap shut.

Somebody from the Obama camp will be around Friday night, I'll go. Congressman Abercromie (D-HI)

This laptop is a battery killer and Hilton's wireless broadband is an expensive pain in the butt. We'll see how this goes.
***Edited for date corrections***


Fred said...

Suggestions for travelers with laptops (assuming they never thought of them):

Always bring along an AC adapter (duh!), but also bring along a two- prong adapter for the plug. That allows the newer three prong male end of you power cable to be plugged into older two prong outlets and, yes, I run into the older two prong outlets all the time.

Bring along at least a 10 foot data cable to use if you end up someplace without wireless. Some motels have data cables in their rooms- Travelodge was one I found- but some don't.

Bring along a standard phone line- length up to you. Even today, some lodgings don't provide wireless or hard line DSL but you can still use dial- up. This assumes your ISP is nearby. I use SBCGlobal which has dial- up numbers for nearly every town in my state.

Caution though: Check with the motel about phone rates. Some allow unlimited local phone calls, others charge through the nose. Luckily, the one time I had no choice but to use dial- up on the road, the motel allowed unlimited local calling and SBC had a dial- up number for that city.

I also keep a list of the local dial- up numbers in the area I'm traveling in with my laptop bag. Same with everything else I mention above. I can connect nearly anywhere, if need be.

Other things I keep in my laptop case: a usb mouse (hate using the built- in mouse on laptops) and a mouse pad.

I also take a standard keyboard with me nearly all the time although, despite being smaller than many other keyboards I have, this one won't fit it my laptop case. I hate using laptop keyboards and only do so when I absolutely have to.

Chuck Butcher said...

I've got good strong Wireless Broadband from Hilton, at $10/day. That struck me as piling on, considering room cost. It's a nice room and all, but not that special and I've stayed cheaper places with WiFi included.

I've got the adapter (I've got a car adapter as well) but a plug in may be difficult to find.

Fred said...

Most places I've stayed at in California offer wireless or hard line DSL for free, assuming they offer it at all.

One place, the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco, had an unusual set up: They didn't really own the network. It was SBCglobal's (ATT). They own it and maintain the wifi there, as I understand it. When we first started staying there, you had to pay extra for wifi. Not sure if the hard line is free (they have that in each room too).

You'd hook up to wifi and be taken immediately to the AT&T page where you'd have to use your credit card to sign up for any number of deals.

One was like $10 a day and one was $25 for three days. I'd usually take the three day plan since we'd usually be there at least a couple days.

I got to thinking, though, wondering why I'm paying extra there when we're existing AT&T customers anyway. Our phone service and long distance is with them.

One day at home I remembered the issue and went to their web page and started looking around. Sure enough, if you're an existing AT&T/ SBCglobal customer, you can add their wifi networks to your phone plan.

For an extra $2 a month on my phone bill I get unlimited time on their wifi networks and they have a number of them all around, including McDonald's restaurants.

Now, when we stay at Cathedral Hill, all I do is log in and I'm good to go. No charges. Only problem is, I pay the $2.00 each month whether or not we stay at the Cathedral Hill Hotel and the other places we normally stay offer free wifi.