Skip to main content

This is Auckland Calling

So we moved around the world. But even with a quarter of a tonne baggage allowance (yes, really) there's only so much tech you can justify carrying on an aeroplane. Especially when you've got to get through security clearance.

I narrowed down my travel kit to a few essentials. My MacBook Air 11 and iPad Mini made it onto the plane with me, whilst my Transformer Prime and Acer Timeline were entrusted to the hold. I could only narrow down my phone choice to three, one on my person and two in the baggage (what do you mean that seems excessive?) For entertainment I carried my PS Vita - gaming quality is just a different league from a phone or tablet.

On arrival the first job was to track down local SIM cards with data - best deal seemed to be a Vodafone prepay (difficult to sign a contract with no address or bank cards) which offered 250MB of data with a $20 top-up. Great! Except that Android's super helpful automated tasks caught me out. Google+ and the gallery app ate through the data allowance by uploading images I was taking - within 12 hours it was all gone... aaargh! One $40 top up later I had a 1GB allowance and background tasks which consumed data firmly denied in the Android control panel.

Next task was to add a data connection in our apartment, easy enough barring the wired Ethernet connection required. Hitting up a local Apple dealer got me a rather nice USB to Ethernet adapter and we were off and running. OS X's ability to allow a wired connection to be shared through wireless - turning the MBA into the world's most expensive wireless hotspot - has allowed us to work pretty much as usual.

I've been hugely impressed with the amount of wifi that covers Auckland - provided free by the Council in the City Centre, on the city's buses and even onto the beaches. Most of Auckland's excellent (and locally owned) coffee shops offer free wifi too.

So things are getting back to normal on a technical front down here. Now, did anything exciting happen whilst I was offline?


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.