Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Managing from the Mountaintop - Hardware

In my last post I laid out the backstory. To recap briefly, I had agreed to do the Gokyo Ri trip on condition that I continue working while away. As mentioned in a post at the time this is generally logistically possible due to the 4.5 hour time difference so theoretically I should be able to do several hours of trekking then spend the afternoon online.But this assumed that I would lug my big laptop AND that I would be able to get online.

It was about this time that, due to budgetary constraints, my team was asked to take off a few weeks in September. So I grabbed the chance to visit my family in NYC and dutifully packed my heavy company Dell so that I would still be able to check emails and attend a few meetings. What I did NOT remember to pack was my kindle. 

::shock:: ::horror:: ::gasp:: ::swoon::

Although I bought myself a physical book at the airport, I soon realised that it just wasn't the same. Unbelievably I've become so accustomed to using an eReader that that the physical interface was unsatisfying. ::sigh:: Fortunately I was getting to the states just in time to order the brand spanking new kindle fire HD and get it delivered to my brother's house the day it came out AND due to the exchange rates it only cost £129 at which price it almost becomes disposable. I quickly ordered it without really examining the specs beyond battery life and price.

Well, the kindle was delivered on September 15th and WOW, was I surprised? I was used to my old kindle with the doddering web browser and the display that took me back to the days when I used to use pine or elm for my email. Remember those days? The point is, when I'd ordered the fire I hadn't clocked that I was ordering a tablet. I can be pretty dim sometimes.

That was it, I spent the rest of the day playing with my new toy, setting up email, setting up skype, facebook, photos, whatever. Sadly I was (and currently still am) unable to buy any apps like office or webex because I do not have a US credit card associated with my Amazon account. ::grumble::

And then the question dawned on me - what hardware should I bring to Nepal? Company Dell or Macbook Air? Old kindle that is a power miser or new kindle that guzzles juice? Getting past the questionable wifi, will I even be able to charge these things? Should I bring my solar charger? Is the benefit worth the weight impact?

All of these questions were roiling around in my mind when I got back from NYC and got back to managing my team.

Next Post I start finding solutions and my plan for connectivity in Nepal begins to clarify.

In the meantime, please don't forget to donate to TNMOC and that ALL proceeds will go to the museum.

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