Portage Bay
Portage Bay

Travel & Technology

I think this is the second time I’ve written about travel and technology. The first time was many years ago when I wrote an article for my president’s column in the monthly newsletter of the Seattle Macintosh users group. That article was about trying to work from the Coast Starlight (Amtrak train) on its way from Seattle to San Francisco. That was before WiFi and cellular data networks. Actually, it was even before things like that were posted on the web, so I can’t even link to that article.

Now I’m writing about the recent trip I took to Seoul, Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Tokyo (yes, I tried to squeeze too much into one trip). Hiroshima is a very interesting city. One of only two places in the world where you can read informational plaques that refer to when an atomic bomb exploded. The Hiroshima peace memorial park and museum is very moving

I made several notes that I thought were somewhat worth sharing:

  1. Don’t forget your adaptors. I now have at least 3 of the power adaptors I needed because I didn’t bring any and had to buy new ones.
  2. Internet speeds are great in Korea and Japan, even at the airport. I’ve never had such fast Internet at airports in the US. I had no trouble remotely logging into databases and servers in the US to get work done.
  3. The airports all have multiple small rental places where you can rent a WiFi hot spot for not too much cash. Then you have WiFi with you everywhere, even on the Shinkansen (bullet) trains. Then you just return it before your flight back to the US. Much cheaper than international roaming on your phone.
  4. The big electronics market in Seoul did not seem to me worth the effort, unless you’re looking for fans, logic boards, monitors, etc.

From a technology standpoint, I would say traveling in Korea and Japan was perhaps actually easier than the US, since sometimes the airport and hotel WiFi networks in the US are only barely fast enough to get anything done.
~John Newhoff