Saturday, October 19, 2002

Saturday evening, in my hotel room in Fredericton. My first mistake: using Outlook to store my webcam32 software. Oops... it took most of the evning to retrieve it. But it's 1:00 a.m., I'm set up now...

Friday, October 18, 2002

Friday evening, at home. I have just read this article about using wireless access to report from a conference and am filled with dread. I am doing what he tried to do, with a webcam too. But then I realize, he made every mistake in the book. I think I can do better.

I'm starting off with pretty much the same equipment. I've got a Dell Lattitude laptop with an ethernet port, modem, SMC 802.11b wireless care, and a Sierra wireless air card. I've been running the 802.11b for a while and I know it works. The Air Card is new, but I have to expect to beyond the range of the wireless LAN from time to time. Like him, I also have a Compaq IPaq. In addition, I have a round Logitech Quickcam, driver software on CD, and I'll be packing a mic a bit later. I thought about bringing the keyboard for the IPaq, but I've never installed it and the IPaq is backup anyways.

My plan thereafter is completely different from his. I will actually bring my laptop to the sessions. I will plug in my WebCam to the USB port and fire up WebCam 32 to begin loading images. If I'm out of wireless range I'll save them to disk; otherwise I'll send them straight to my website. For content, I will type directly into the blog (as I'm doing now) rather than typing into a separate document. If I'm out of range I'll swap the SMC for the Air Card and upload that way. No transferring files, no messing with email. I will also file articles to my website, using a web-based interface. I create my newsletter using trhe same interface, so during the slow sessions I can be writing and compiling.

Berlind's first problem was the lack of hot spots in the conference area. I'm going to a better conference, though. This is their third year providing wireless access and they know the ropes. I actually blogged online during the conference a few years ago, actually sending a message to the WWWDEV listserv from the podium as I gave a talk. I am also confident that the organizer will use a Macintosh AirPort, technology that has proven itself. I have connected at remote locations via AirPort before and I know it works nicely.

I also know better than to use the IPaq as a production machine. It's strictly backup. And even when I use it, I will input directly via the web. I know that ActiveSync doesn't work - it doesn't work properly in the controlled climes of my office, so I haved no real reason to believe it will work under fire on the road. And in any cased, the IPaq won't work with my webcam.

Most of Berlind's problems came from trying to be too fancy. He couldn't connect to the VPN. he could convince Outlook to work (big surprise). He couldn't use his web mail client. That's so silly. I will be accessing a private website with p;assword access. If I need to upload a file I will use WS-FTP, a client that has worked flawlessly for me for more than 5 years.

Finally, if all else fails, I will simply dial up from my hotel room using my modem. It's slow, but so long as I stay well clear of wonky technology - such as Outlook and ActiveSync, I'll be fine.

Fourth test, with webcam photo added
Third test, designing template
Second test post
Welcome to the NAWeb 2002 Conference Blog. This is a test post by Stephen.