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Traveling with the Visor

Sat Oct 14, 2000 - 1:01 PM EDT - By James Hromadka

Getting Started

I remember it was only a few years ago that I enjoyed flying. Now I have the dubious distinction of having only one flight that had no problems - my honeymoon.  My wife jokes that she's never flying with me again after some of the trials we have faced on trips (see my website for some tales).  So it was with some reserve that I left for the short trip from Houston to Dallas for the Microsoft Exchange & Collaboration 2000 (MEC2000) conference.  Why the heck would I go there?  Believe it or not, I'm not (yet) full-time with VisorCentral and do most of my writing in the evening.  So start buying those banner ads so I can work full-time :).

My Hotel roomDallas is only an hour's flight from Houston, but I haven't been to Dallas since my wife graduated from SMU.  So, knowing I was going to have a lot of downtime, I went with the following:

• Visor Deluxe
• @ctiveLink
• Thincom
• Stowaway keyboard
• Backup module (just in case)
• Extra AAA batteries
• MiniJam w/ earphones

Below you will find an account of my week in Dallas, and what I learned for the next time I travel (Fall COMDEX).

Monday - Day 1

Ok, I have everything I think I need packed and ready to go.  We get to the airport with 20 minutes to go, and I say good-bye to Elexia and get on my SWA flight.  It's a 45 min flight with no problems(!), so I pull up AvantGo and read some of the BBC news and Salon during the trip.

After the flight to Love Field, I get into my Oldsmobile Alero rental and try to find Maple Avenue where the Stoneleigh Hotel is.  Tip: don't listen to directions from car rental places.  Tip 2: know the area BEFORE you go somewhere.  After driving on I-35 for a while, I tried to exit and turn around on Maρana road.  I then pull out the @ctiveLink (while I'm pulled over) and try to get an idea of where the Stoneleigh is.  There was no U-turn (figures) and I wound up driving on back roads before I got back to a freeway.  Then as I drive I realize that none of this is familiar.  When I drove by Texas Stadium I knew something was wrong.  Turns out I got on Loop 12.  Sigh.

So I eventually find the hotel (which is only a few miles from the airport) and unpack. Looking at my list, can you guess what I forgot? -- the cable for the Thincom.  So I use the @ctiveLink to communicate with Elexia and Marcus and let them know my phone number at the Stoneleigh.  I then take the shuttle to the Dallas convention center and take care of registration, then come back to the hotel and get a bite to eat at the Stoneleigh Pub (excellent hamburgers) across the street.

Marcus sends me a message and suggests that I get a SpringPort modem since Xircom still hasn't sent me one.  Great idea, so I pull out the @ctiveLink and do a yellow page search for CompUSA.  There are several on Dallas Parkway, so $1.50 later in toll fees, I'm at the store and buy the module.

Back at the hotel, I use Avantgo to connect to my web mail and take care of things while watching the Bucs-Vikings game on MNF.  The SpringPort is very nice and I'll be reviewing that in the future.

Time for bed -- now if I can only get the hotel to get the room temperature right.

Tue & Wed >>

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