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
picture by Flemming Funch

"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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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.  

20 Dec 2014 @ 00:24 by Lakhdar @ : ldMCMcljqWobx
Generally there isn't a difference, hoeevwr, dell sells a brand of netbooks that are significantly smaller than regular laptops.I just posted on another question I'm buying a new laptop from Dell (which is why I know that random fact about netbooks) and the price starts at 500. I don't know if I'd go for a used computer .the last two laptops I've had problems with weren't with the actual technology, but the physical wear of it. The hinge broke on two and the first one had stopped being made and there were no parts to replace it with. Go with new  

23 Dec 2014 @ 13:37 by Bogy @ : wSEtzOuvcjJhePXYQgE
try craigslist.com for used loaptp and stuff like that.the difference from loaptp and notebook:notebook has a mainly purpose of being a notebook? notepad ms office stuff like that. you can surf the web as much as you like with no cd/dvd drive well most people call their loaptps a notebook since its kinda the same.now for loaptpslaptops are multi-tasker its used for studio,gaming, digital video editing and picture etc. its more expensive that the notebook.  

20 Apr 2016 @ 20:02 by Keli @ : usWaWmfPksdl
This weibste makes things hella easy.  

21 Apr 2016 @ 02:13 by Jaylan @ : ozFQsPUYEQfauimEife
That's cleared my thoughts. Thanks for cogrnibutitn.  

Other stories in
2012-01-24 00:50: Intellectual Property
2011-11-03 16:51: Seeing the world through the Internet
2009-06-11 18:53: Blogging/Microblogging and work
2008-02-23 17:19: Web 1, 2, 3 and 4
2008-02-22 11:07: Illusion
2008-01-09 22:45: A Communication Model
2007-12-02 20:41: Give One Get One
2007-10-25 21:47: Static or dynamic web metaphors
2007-09-18 22:54: Rethinking blogs
2007-07-04 23:59: Scrutiny of Information

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