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Do you take your laptop when you go to Europe?

Do you take your laptop when you go to Europe?

Dec 20th, 2008, 12:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,319
Travelgourmet, I agree that 16GB can easily get tight, and that was a major concern. Then I saw how inexpensive USB flash drives are these days. I decided to go with the Dell, and use a USB flash drive if I need more space.

One of the best surprises, when I opened the box, was to discover how small and light the battery charger for the Mini 9 is.
Heimdall is online now  
Dec 20th, 2008, 02:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,145
"my hotel had wifi but it would not connect with my Asus. Such is the fate of a two star hotel. "

IN the past year, not one 2* French hotel has failed to give me reliable, free, WiFi access. And go out of their way to do it - for which they didn't charge. I've had 5* hotels in major business centres throughout the world (including the US) either fail, or so mess my computer up that it couldn't connect anywhere else. And charge me through the nose for it.

The reason internet reception is now so universally good in really cheap 2* French hotels is that you usually deal with the owner - for whom internet connection is a vital business tool. But you often have to talk directly to the receptionist - and reasonable confidence in French helps here. In chain hotels, however posh, clients' Web access is just a chore.

Knowing how to (and being prepared to) ask for help is essential in getting Web connection in any foreign country. Understanding the country helps too: in the US, owner-operated, non-chain, internet cafes often provide practical help in getting access that Starbucks or Marriott can't or won't be bothered with.
flanneruk is online now  
Dec 20th, 2008, 05:45 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911


The hotel on-site computer guru certainly tried. He spent a half hour in my room trying to connect. Each floor had a different access code. We could get halfway into the system but then it bumped me. His computer worked but not mine.

He spoke no English but I have a reasonable ability in French. This was a 1970s throw back family owned hotel with an extremely amenable owner and staff.

spaarne is offline  
Dec 20th, 2008, 07:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 709
Good point! Didn't even think about my USB drive or iTunes. I'll be looking into that this week as I try to kill time before leaving a week from Monday. Thanks!
Kyliebaby3 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,424
I practically always take mine.

I like to make/change plans depending on weather, whim, etc. Internet access is crucial for that. To me, having to do/remember "studying" ahead of time about opening hours, metro routes, and so forth to places I may or may not go to is more "work" than taking a laptop or similar and looking them up as I need them. But to each his own of course ...

I also like to stay in touch with family/friends via Skype. Why fool around with photos? - With the webcam on my Mac I can show them in realtime the view out my window in Paris. ;-> They love it! (Just joking about the photos obviously - I'm not actually suggesting you carry your laptop EVERYWHERE as a real-time camera. But my real-time window-view displays have always been a hit. Plus with the sound they can even hear the church bells ringing - or the Paris taxis whizzing by, as the case may be.)

Having my laptop has even meant I have been able to book my own train tickets in Europe for last-minute side-trips that the train agent said were full! (I used websites to research alternative routes that still had tickets available.) I find my laptop an invaluable travel aid DURING the travel.
NorCalif is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 03:59 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 9,705
I take mine because we are usually away for a month. With the computer, I can pay my bills, check my credit cards and keep up with email.

I also find it useful for checking out exhibits and various opening times. With the RATP site in Paris and tfl site in London, I can get the best bus or metro routes to where I want to go. It's also great for making reservations.
avalon is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 36
No way!

I check my emails every few days in the hotel or cybercafe.

Try to sleep on the plane, or fly Britisch Airways: personal video for everyone
Taaner is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Your next phone may very likely be a computer.

Whether it's an iPhone, G1, Blackberry, or one of dozens of SmartPhones, you can have some capability to surf, email, and store information useful when traveling. The ability to run programs like nanika.net/metro is a plus.

So when you're shopping, check off your requirements against each model before you decide.

Right now, you can have a Wing or Shadow for $50+tax (all in) at microsoft.com/windowsmobile/tmobile1/default.mspx
Robespierre is offline  

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