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    Traveling with tech: A geek goes to Rome




    TOP STORY


    Traveling with tech: A geek goes to Rome


    By Susan Bradley

    These days, most of us wouldn't think of traveling without at least some of our digital devices. But there are pitfalls when doing so.

    Here are a few lessons learned after a week on a Mediterranean cruise ship and five days touring Rome.

    The full text of this column is posted at http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/...-goes-to-rome/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    epierce (2013-07-26)

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    Internet access cost while traveling? What are you complaining about? "On our cruise ship, rates were U.S. .75 cents per minute, and if you logged in for even a fraction of a minute, you were charged for the entire minute. I purchased a prepaid block of Internet time for $99, which brought the rate down to .45 cents per minute. "

    That's less than a penny per minute, or 30 to 45 cents per hour. I get charged more than that for US cellphone use.

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    I too took a med cruise (on Seabourn) where prices for internet access were similar. As our cabin was on the floor where the service desk was, I constantly saw line ups of elderly people that complained about their charges (they had forgotten to log out). I found the speed was unpredictable at best through their satellite. Sometimes I had great response and other times ... gave up. I did manage though while in the middle of the Aegean Sea to purchase a book for my Sony eReader which made me think - wow ... who would have thought this would have been possible?

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    I just returned from a trip to the Orkney Islands in Scotland. The most useful technology device for me was Google maps on my Samsung tablet with GPS turned on. Before the trip I had downloaded the maps I wanted from Google and made them available off-line. That way you don't need an internet connection to view the maps because they're already on the tablet. Whenever I got lost I'd pull over, quickly find my location on the map and get back on track.

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    "I purchased a prepaid block of Internet time for $99, which brought the rate down to .45 cents per minute."

    You had time on board ship to use up 366 hours? 24 hours a day for 15 days?

    Bruce

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    Amazing to read the trouble a very well respected and experienced Geek went to to get Wi-Fi access in Europe. Just returned from a cruise round Iceland and Norway myself and never had any problems with internet on cruise ships or ports Europe is very easy to do free.

    When on a ship revert to the days of paid by minute dialup internet, do everything first, get it ready to go, log on, post it all, log off.

    Anything too big for shipboard wi-fi can be done for free almost anywhere in Europe, If you are on a cruise watch where the crew go to use the internet, you will find the off duty ones in a cafe or outside a building which has free internet. Or just get an app tells you where free internet is, vodafone do loads of free hot spots all over Europe for a start.

    Jonah

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    Never mind. See next post.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    "I purchased a prepaid block of Internet time for $99, which brought the rate down to .45 cents per minute."

    You had time on board ship to use up 366 hours? 24 hours a day for 15 days?

    Bruce
    Aha! Another geek who knows how to use a 4-banger calculator!

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    It's 75 CENTS a minute. not .75 cents a minute.

    Nearly a dollar a minute.

    I'll get the period removed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman Bay View Post
    Internet access cost while traveling? What are you complaining about? "On our cruise ship, rates were U.S. .75 cents per minute, and if you logged in for even a fraction of a minute, you were charged for the entire minute. I purchased a prepaid block of Internet time for $99, which brought the rate down to .45 cents per minute. "

    That's less than a penny per minute, or 30 to 45 cents per hour. I get charged more than that for US cellphone use.

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    When you are walking around and touring you have no time to stop for free internet. Not to mention, I really don't like using cafe's as you have no protection from man in the middle router attacks and other concerns surrounding devices you have no control over.

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    epierce (2013-07-26)

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    Great info as I am planning on going on a Med cruise in the fall. Just wish the MiFi cost was per day of use, not per day in advance, whether you use it or not. Do you know of any alternatives that only charge per day of use? Even if the per day charge is higher, if not used every day the cost could end up lower.

    Did you consider using VoIP on your cell phone over the MiFi for making actual phone calls (while on land) instead of a local phone and sim card?

    Vonage currently has an iPhone app with completely free (up to xxx minutes per month) calls and texting back to any US phone number. It's a promotional tease to make their app more appealing than Skype but the "promo" has been in effect for over a year with no end in sight. The free app doesn't allow incoming calls, but I also found they have a app for existing Vonage customers (which I am) that runs on iPhone and taps into your existing home Vonage line as an "extension" so incoming/outgoing calls use your existing plan minutes and phone number. That sounds like a perfect solutions since you are not home anyway to use up your minutes.

    I've tried both apps at home on my own WiFi lan and they work great, but I was wondering if there would be unacceptable delay or lags when using it on an iPhone via Wifi to a Mifi device. Has anyone tried this?

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    I'm not aware of anyone that offers only per day of use. Verizon now has International mifi units, http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/s...edPhoneId=6655 but I can't figure out the international data plan costs. Another vendor rents the units cheaper - http://www.cellularabroad.com/internatRmifi.php but has data limits.

    We wanted an Italian phone number so that the local folks we were calling would not have to do long distance. We wanted to make sure they wouldn't have a problem calling us.

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    Susan,my children are dual citizens, USA/Spain. We go to Spain for family business and pleasure. Local food is of course one important part of the cultural experience, but europeans tend to be very rigid about eating times (it would be rude to say fascist, so of course I'll refrain from that). Add jet lag and children and you will imagine the relief that the fast food option occasionally provides. Burger King at Las Ramblas in Barcelona had food of better quality than in the USA. Lots of Brit/Germans were loving it when I was there. The most hilarious fast food experience I've ever had was standing outside a McDonalds in Andorra near the French border (Pas de las Casa) watching French tourists haul their brats in and out for a quick lunch. When leaving, the parents had a shocked, displeased and puzzled expression on their faces, such as one would imagine if they had secretly been given food with feces mixed in.

    If you get a chance, visit the train station in Perpignan, which according to Salvador Dali, is the cosmic center of the universe.

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    I had an inkling you had your decimal point (not period) in the wrong place. While I see this error frequently in commerce, it seems odd in a tech column where mathematics plays such an important part.
    ...Not to mention, I really don't like using cafe's as...
    Cafe's what? This is the possessive form, not the plural.

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    I can only say that am human. I make mistakes. A note has been placed on the web version of the story noting the change in the amount.

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