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Wireless Travels

While this post has nothing to do with VoIP, it does have everything to do with mobility, as in my mind, the two are interrelated.

Yesterday morning, I boarded an AMTRAK train north to Santa Barbara from suburban San Diego's Solana Beach station. The journey, about five hours, is no more in time than driving would be...with a few caveats. I don't have to drive. I don't sit in traffic. There is power in the train cars to plug in and power my laptop and cell phone (since my car charger is among the missing that's an extra bonus) and one more thing...I can work on the computer the whole ride up, versus drive and only think or talk on the phone....and most importantly be fully connected to the Internet for the lions share of the journey.

Both my Sprint PCS-1XRTT and Verizon EVDO card will keep me connected, and the view of the Pacific Coast on the very comfortable Surfliner can't be beat. No traffic jams. And free coffee. I used the Sprint card end to end, for two reasons. Faster upload speed and more consistent connection based on past experience.

Once in Santa Barbara, I walked all of a few blocks to a waiting rental car; a Mustang convertible lowered the top and headed off to the Wine Cask for the second of two Santa Barbara County Wine Futures tastings.

Using Yahoo Maps, while on the train north, I found an integrated hot spot map, showing no fewer than three Centrino approved hot spots within easy walking distance. This new feature is a godsend to those of us who lead (or prefer) a modern era nomadic lifestyle. Once I got to my hotel, the Embassy Suites in Lompoc, about 45 minutes into the wine region and only 20 minutes from the amazing Chef Ricks second location in Santa Ynez, I was online again using free in room Wi-Fi powered by Wayport. The FREE is the new part, for it was only in October when I last stayed in the same property, when they charged for the service. Since then Hilton, Embassy Suites' parent has made Wi-Fi an amenity, making their properties even more attractive over the competition.

With Starbucks down the road a few blocks Wi-Fi in the wine country seems to have arrived. With the train and connectivity, this makes going to Santa Barbara or even Paso Robles an easier way to go, and is much less tiring and much more productive than ever before.


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