Laptop computers - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-11-2003, 12:38 AM   #15
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Laptop

Hi Diann:

I use Telus as my Internet Service Provider. I have high-speed DSL at home, but also get 5 free hours of dial-up access. Telus has a listing of phone numbers for many small towns in BC, and I can dial in for no long distance charges. I am not sure if local dial-up will also work in Alberta, but you can call them for no charge at 310-4NET.

I am happy with the service and happy that I have yet to pay long distance.

Rick
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:36 AM   #16
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It works! Subject to laws of electronics

It took a while to install the software and such last night. I started out on the patio, just for the thrill of listening to the night sounds of the woods while on the Internet, but the mosquitoes were attracted by the glow of the laptop.

So, I went inside. My cell phone battery was dying by this point. (Shoulda thought to charge in the car on the way home with my new cable.) But I did manage to get the computer to recognize the cell phone as a modem. Then it told me it was not configured correctly.

I called "customer care" and sat on hold for a while. Then a cheerful person referred me to the web department and I sat on hold for several more minutes. A cheerful woman came on the phone and told me by bill was overdue and I was about to have my phone service disconnected. I assured her this was impossible, since I had purchased the phone only 25 hours ago. We went back and forth ("I can't see anything but that you are overdue and your phone service is about to be disconnected, you'll have to talk to customer service.") I was patched through to someone else. Then the system hung up on me. I called back and went back through the phone tree where the voice gave a different number for internet problems. I didn't have a pen handy and there was no option to repeat the number. I called back with pen in hand. Got lost in the phone tree. During my fourth call to customer service (still on hold) I was playing with the set-up and somehow stumbled on the right sequence of buttons.

I was surfing wireless!! At 230 kbps!!! I didn't even need an ISP as a go between. I immediately went to Fiberglass RV to report my success. And then the battery died.

Can't say much for their "customer care" service though! I did talk to someone who assured me that the Internet was free with my plan unless I downloaded something. I suggested that all web surfing is downloading. The woman explained that it only conted "if I really downloaded something." I asked if this meant downloading files. She said yes. She then said "it is like 1 cent each if you download things." Whatever. I think she meant 1 cent per piece of data, but I am not sure what size a "piece" is.

Oh well, at least it works! I'll just try again with a charged battery.
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:59 AM   #17
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laptops (oh, what fun)

JR:

I can hardly wait to hear your next adventure. I fully understand your experience with "customer care" as we just went thru a similar experience with a company for 4 days.
I sure hope you didn't download any "things" or you might just end up with a bill for $900.
Ya gotta love all this modern technology and the tech help they so willingly provide (NOT).

I'll be waiting for your next installment............hope you are charging that battery !!
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:59 AM   #18
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Very interesting, JR!

Be sure to let us know if there is any sticker shock when you get your bill for the service.

Thanks for the report!

:cblob
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Old 06-11-2003, 10:06 AM   #19
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JR:

Keep us informed on the Sprint Web. I have a Sprint phone and it is internet ready, but I was told I had to use their ISP and pay extra for that if I used it. So I never hooked it up . If it works the way you said it may solve my travel computer problems.
Thanks
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Old 06-11-2003, 10:59 AM   #20
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You do pay more...

You have to have a web-enabled phone ($9 for two right now) instead of the "free" Nokia phones. Then you have to have a Sprint PCS Vision plan, these run $15 more than a comparable plan without "Vision." If I am understanding them right though, I don't have to pay for anything else "extra" except downloads. And, it only works in the Sprint network, so I'll still be using the dial-up service from a lot of campgrounds.

I envision stopping at Walmart/Kmart/Flying J/Camping World within the network one night and using wireless Internet do any necesary research, update my web page, locate a campground with hook-ups and make reservations, find a local dial-up number for that area, and then using dial-up while at the campground the next night to check e-mail as necessary. Imperfect, but better than nothing.

Hey, why don't we have an egg shaped smiley with eye-balls at the window?
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Old 06-11-2003, 11:18 AM   #21
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Total cost for my mobile office...

Toshiba laptop with rebate $950
External floppy drive $75 (optional)
Cell Phone $49 plus $36 set up fee
Cell to laptop cable and software $40
Inkjet Printer/copier/fax machine (bought 3 months ago) $138 (optional)
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Hardware total: $1,288 plus associated taxes

Monthly Big-Zoo ISP for dial-up $8
Sprint Service (2000 minutes, 2 phone lines, unlimited calling between phones, free roaming, PCS Vision, unlimites nights and weekends, free long distance, etc.) $110 month
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Total software cost: $118 month plus taxes

Not exactly cheap, but this system is replacing my desk-top computer, my previous cell phone, my "real" phone, providing all my long distance, Internet access and providing a cell phone for my mother (she drives a 27year old car, I really want her to have a phone). All with more power and faster speed than the system I am replacing (but also with more bugs possible). I plan to almost full-time for about 6 months, maybe more. I would not have spent this much for the occasional weekend trip. I am trying to make it possible to work from anywhere and I do writing/PR/marketing, making this setup necessary for survival.

If you already own various components it would be cheaper. Also, you can go with a cheaper plan.

And, from what I can see, most of this will not work the minute I cross into Canada. Ah well, no system is perfect!
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:39 PM   #22
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My new job is providing me with a free cell phone that has unlimited nights and weekend minutes. I already have ae laptop and I'm going to use the cell phone to hook up to the laptop for free nights and weekend calling when I camp. :)

Nancy
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