It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to put up a post here at Shaktronics, and I have a very good reason. As of about two weeks ago, I fled the country for the misty shores of the British Isles, specifically England and Scotland, for a much-needed vacation and a little chance to refresh and recharge my batteries. During my travels, I made some interesting observations about technology and how things are different in the UK versus back home in the United States, which may prove to be pretty interesting to the readers of this lovely website. I’m not a professional traveler, and I’m definitely not a big travel writer, but I’ll do my best to keep things interesting while sharing some tips, tricks, and complaints from my journey.
One of the most interesting things I’ve seen in my travels concerns Internet access. Here in the United States, pretty much every hotel I’ve ever stayed at, from a high-tech hotel near Houston’s technology center to a crappy week-long extended stay, there’s always been Internet access of some sort. From blistering wireless to older-style hard lines, the Internet is everywhere. However, while there are plenty of pubs with advertised WiFi in the UK, it’s not always as free as advertised.
Interestingly, most places that should have wireless Internet aren’t quite as useful as you’d expect. In a lot of places, the free WiFi comes with a mandatory app download of some sort. In other places, the WiFi is achingly slow. Specifically, the hotel I stayed at in London had free WiFi, but it was so slow and hard to connect to that there basically was no Internet at all, except for the lobby lounge–even there, it was two or three bars at best, and spotty. In the room, the wired connection jack actually wasn’t connected to anything! That makes it very useful, and when asked, the hotel staff said that it was a work in progress that would be activated eventually.
That explains the posting drought. Turns out, the free hotel WiFi was neither all that Wi and definitely not terribly Fi. Even the places with free WiFi didn’t always have the free part of the WiFi sorted out. Aside from that, England is awesome. Just don’t expect to get a lot of work done from the comfort of your hotel room.
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