Laptop, shaver and modem

Old Feb 13th, 2001, 03:25 PM
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Laptop, shaver and modem

I will be visitng London on business in March (OK, so I'll be playing some too...). What type of outlet adapter(s) do I need to plug in my laptop, hook up my modem and shave my beard? The company's picking up the tab, but I'd like to purchase any accessories before I go in a couple weeks.

Also, what type of download speed can I expect from the British phone system using a 56K modem?

Old Feb 13th, 2001, 04:25 PM
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For your laptop, check it has a voltage selector for 230V (most do). You'd then need a adaptor to convert two pin US plug for three square pin UK socket (widely available at airport shops and electrical/travel shops in London). For your modem, you need an adaptor for US phone plug for BT socket, again widely sold. There should be a shaver point in your hotel bathroom, with switchable voltage (unnecessary if your shaver is universal voltage - most are). As for modem connection speed, I am currently connecting at 50,666 bps using internal 56k modem, which is typical. The lowest I get is around 49,000. Download speed is highest after around 11 pm and esp early mornings (before 8 am). Much, though, depends on the quality of phone system installed in your hotel. Most hotels used by businesspeople provide a modem point in bedrooms.
Old Feb 13th, 2001, 05:03 PM
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Old Feb 14th, 2001, 01:04 AM
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Please note : you can't use a modem to shave with, no matter which ISP you use.

Buy the stuff in the UK, its easily available & then you know you have the right plugs.
Modems are all built with a US style socket.In the UK ask for a "modem adaptor" - a male US /male UK lead.
Hotel bathrooms usually have 2 pin outlets for shavers.
Download speed depends on servers.ISPs usually report you are connected at around 50K.You wont be using that bandwith unless you doing multiple downloads.Most sites are US hosted (even ones) so your wait may be longer - on the other hand you can be online while the US is asleep.
You need to arrange for a phone line to plug into - local calls are not free in UK.If dialling from a hotel room remember to set your dialler to dial the outside access number first, there's a special facility for this.Even then you may have probs depending on the hotel's exchange.
You will need a local ISP.
You can get 0800 access for a while using free trials from the big ISPs.
Free disks with ISP sofware are piled up in many stores.
(with AOL you need a flamethrower to remove the gunk from your system afterwards, plus they keep sending discs forever.Freeserve has overload probs at the moment.)
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 04:42 PM
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Buy your power adapter at the airport and ensure your appliances are duel voltage. The only real challenge may be connecting your modem. Some hotels in the UK still use a non-RJ-11 adapter and you will need to purchase a connecter locally (some hotels have spares but best to reserve ahead) but most hotel chains have phones that accept RJ-11 connector. As previous contributor stated be VERY careful about phone charges in hotels - charges are exhorbitant! If dialing long distance, make sure you have a North American phone card that will allow you to dial a local 1-800 number which will result in a one-time connection charge at the hotel but no LD charges (note: confirm the OTC at check-in - it can be as little as $1.50 or as much as $4.00 per shot.
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 04:47 PM
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Regarding connection speed .... be VERY patient...I have, on occasions, connected at 4800 bps !!!!!!!(from France not UK). Check connection speed before downloading large files. If collecting e-mail from the office through Outlook, ask your technician about Remote Mail options that will minimize on-line times.

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