Mobile (Home) Computing While Traveling

Mobile (Home) Computing While Traveling

Gregory Han
Jul 7, 2010

Teacher and freelance writer Kate Convissor has been working for Herman Miller for 17 years. Here she shares her summer workspace with us.

"Those Gen X, Y, and Z whippersnappers may be all about mobility and working-wherever-you-are, but we boomers can be adaptable, too, as Robin noted in a previous ,Discover blog post.

Darn right.

I recently traded my Aeron chair for a campground bench and my home office for a 14-foot trailer and am about to test the limits of all this mobile technology ballyhoo. I've only gotten as far as northern Michigan, but so far I've learned:

1. I can't work outside. All that natural light that office workers covet overpowers even the brightest computer monitor and strains my aging eyes. So I'm forced into my cubicle-sized and non-ergonomic office that also is my living space.

2. Wi-Fi is ubiquitous wherever there are people. However, no people; no Wi-Fi. There is, apparently, technology that brings Wi-Fi to your computer via satellite signals, so theoretically I could get it even where cell phones fail. My friend says the device works "like magic," but I'm testing the limits of my budget before I bite on the added monthly charge.

3. So far, cell phone coverage isn't bad. Even in the middle of the forest, I can often pick up two bars, which is enough for a semi-dependable conversation—or a call to 911.

4. I can recharge my computer with an inverter attached to my truck battery, but the adapter gets really, really hot. I haven't crossed national boundaries yet, or tried, like my Gen-Y daughter, to send photos from Peru, nor have I sampled the smart phone gadgetry beloved by my kids, but so far technology has been reasonably mobile. The biggest adjustment has been losing instant and continuous Internet access, but I'd say the view is worth it.

Originally published at Lifework by Kate Convissor.

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