Connectivity Woes For a Mobile Warrior

My recent travels introduced more connectivity troubles than I can shake a stick at.

  • Hurricane Gustav weather made its way up to St. Louis, exposing leaky windows on our side of the hospital. My phone sat in a puddle of water for several hours before I realized that there was water coming in through the window. Needless to say, the phone was fried. Insert unwanted train trip to Verizon store to get a new phone here.
  • The antennae broke on my EVDO modem a day later. Purchased replacement modem during above trip.
  • Hotel WiFi was only available in the lobby. I ended up purchasing an Apple Airport Express portable router so my wife and I could seamlessly share the same internet connection.
  • Hospital WiFi and hotel internet access blocked outgoing VPN ports, which prevented me from doing critical work for several of my customers. Fortunately, Panera didn’t block those ports, but that meant doing the work away from the hospital and hotel room, and also meant I had to do the work before Panera closed at 9:00 PM. Hotels and hospitals – if you are going to offer internet access to your guests, PLEASE offer a solution where you don’t block outgoing ports. Parents have work to do, which often requires the use of a VPN connection.
  • Our hotel was made of nothing but concrete, which made my cell phone and EVDO modem next to impossible to use in our room. The only half-way decent signal I could get was at the end of the hallway next to a window, and even then, I could only count on one intermittent bar at best.
  • Fortunately, I relied heavily upon SugarSync’s services for keeping my data in-sync between two computers I was using at the time. It also provided an instant backup in the event one of my computers crashed. I also relied heavily upon my hosted Exchange account at
  • I forgot to bring a power strip on this trip to St. Louis, so that meant a constant battle of plugging in / unplugging various adapters in to the only available power source in our hotel room.

Everywhere I turned, I had roadblocks thrown up during a time that I needed them taken down. As you might imagine, I am thrilled to finally be home.