Ming the Mechanic:
The Digital Bedouins and the Backpack Office

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The Digital Bedouins and the Backpack Office2007-03-17 16:47
5 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Slashdot:
"The laptop and wireless revolutions have led to the rise of a new class of digital 'Bedouins' — tech workers who ply their crafts from Starbucks and other locations with WiFi access. Another article describes some strategies and tools for embracing the Bedouin way of life, and even having fun: 'If you have the right kind of job, you can take vacations while you're on the clock. In other words, you can travel for fun and adventure and keep on working. You can travel a lot more without needing more official vacation time. I've done it. In August I took a month long vacation to Central America, backpacking from one Mayan ruin to the next, and I never officially took time off. I submitted my columns, provided reports and other input, participated in conference calls and interacted via e-mail. I used hotel Wi-Fi connections and local cybercafes to communicate and Skype to make business calls. Nobody knew I was sunburned, drinking from a coconut and listening to howler monkeys as I replied to their e-mails.'"
I like the concept very much, but are we really there yet? I feel very disconnected if I'm not by my broadband connection at home. Even if I stayed within my very civilized high-tech French metropolis, I'd have lots of trouble staying connected. Very few open WiFi connections. Lots of cybercafés, but I'd have to use their crappy Windows computers. My 3G phone should in principle keep me connected, but I haven't figured out how to use it as a modem yet, and the data charges are insanely expensive.

I started trying to work as a digital nomad almost 20 years ago. I'd go travelling for weeks without officially being on vacation, but bringing a 20 pound laptop, and a bag full of road warrior gadgets. But I always had trouble, and it never turned out like I planned. Little things like it being illegal to buy a phone plug in Germany at the time. Or incompatible digital phone systems in hotels. OK, now with wifi and ubiquitous broadband, it should be easier. Except for if all the wifi connections are locked down, or they're $20 per hour. Of if you're visiting somebody with broadband, but they insist you don't touch their USB DSL modem, even though you brought a wifi DSL router.

But I guess it is time for taking a fresh look at the best-of-breed tools for digital nomads.


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5 comments

17 Mar 2007 @ 16:56 by jmarc : Yeah
I've always dreamed of doing something like that while fishing. But I haven't figured out a way to make money online yet, and I always have this vision of dropping a very expensive laptop into the lake whan I clamber to grab my fishing pole after I get a bite ( I lost a sony walkman in the atlantic once, while deep sea fishing, which is probably the basis of this fear).  


20 Mar 2007 @ 13:01 by rayon : My laptop
is too heavy to accompany me anywhere. But what is worse, I see many others lugging theirs to Sunday cafes, with their partners, sitting there completely wordless and silent waiting for a turn (well at least they only brought one laptop along!). What sort weekend/holiday life is this? Or is this merri england trying to keep up? My vacations are still planned sans laptop, I want to climb a hill to look over ancient ruins, carrying a camera, a Guide Bleu, water and binoculars, and pen and paper, while leaving the suitcase behind thanks, uncoverted.

Presumably Ming does this all on your ownsome?  



20 Mar 2007 @ 23:35 by ming : Vacation
I'm not good at taking real vacations, but when I do it is usually based on some kind of compromise, where I can keep working. Which to some degree just means that there are some things (like servers) I need to keep an eye on, so it isn't necessarily that I'd need to be glued to my laptop while sitting on the beach with my family. More than I need to be able to if the need arises.  


16 Dec 2014 @ 21:50 by Мужские браслеты из золота @159.224.32.191 : Мужские браслеты из золота - для уверены
Мужчины не носят украшений - старое заблуждение. Золотой браслет украшает мужскую руку в независимости от обьема мускулатуры. Модные и стильные золотые браслеты из золота покупают сильные, увереные в себе мужчины, обладающие хорошим вкусом. Золотой браслет на мужской руке смотрится органично и естественно. Ширина браслета не имеет большого смысла, но на тонкой руке уместней смотрится не широкий золотой браслет.  


16 Dec 2014 @ 21:52 by Сиалис левитру купить @159.224.32.191 : Таблетки для потенции
Виагра, сиалис, левитра, дапоксетин, super p-force, жевитра - популярные и новые таблетки для потенции и лекарства усиливающие эрекцию. Только качественные препараты от индийского производителя по Российским ценам. Онлайн аптека ciali.ru предлагает недорогие таблетки усиливающие потенцию недорого и без рецепта  


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