Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
The Internet

Net Access On The International Trip? 142

lbjay asks: "A month or so ago there was a great Ask Slashdot regarding Internet access while on an American road trip. I'm interested in the inverse -- taking a notebook PC and digital camera on a six-month "World Tour". Destinations include various points in Europe, NZ, Australia, Chile and Central America. In my research so far I've narrowed it down to either hauling around a bunch of phone apapters and a line tester, or purchasing a GSM cellphone, modem and connector kit. I'm really leaning toward the later because it just seems easier and more flexible. The max connectivity speed of 9600kps sucks, but all I'm really looking to do is monitor and update a couple of personal Web sites. I'm sure there's more than a few Slashdotters out there with experience doing something similar. I'd love some advice on how well this setup will work. Details: the notebook will probably be either a Thinkpad 240 or the latest Z505 Vaio running RH6.2. I'm looking at Omnipoint for the global cellular service (Ericsson handset). Modem will be either Xircom or 3Com."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Net Access On The International Trip?

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Countries outside of the US have access to the internet? When did this happen?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here's a sugestion: Take a pen and a journal, and write down something your grandkids will enjoy reading someday. You don't need to be connected every minute of your life, you stupid fuck. Cripes!

    Dear slashdot,

    I am not on the net when I blink. How do I give my eyelids an IP address?


  • by Anonymous Coward
    Can't you just go on a vacation without having to use a computer? Would it honestly kill you? Damn people.. Technology is fun and all that shit.. but you don't have to be constantly using it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I recommend you to use a Nokia 8890 GSM phone, whenever it becomes available. It claims to operate in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and in the Americas, since it works both in GSM 900MHz and 1900MHz bands. It weighs 91 grams (yeah, I'm an European myself, but it translates to the 'ultraportable' category of cellphones.) and it has long standby times. http://www.nokia.com/phones/8890/index. html [nokia.com] for more information. GSM900 coverage in Europe is very high and the best thing is that you won't have to use any kinds of modems and adapters with the phone, as it has a IR port on it and functions as a modem itself. I have a Nokia 7110 myself and its modem works perfectly at 9600bps with a laptop. Not to mention the blue background light on the display which is somewhat cool =P

    The only prob is that I'm not sure whether the US operators will be able to grab these phones at least sometime soon, so might not be usable if the trip is planned to start next week or so.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    How about, dare I say it, go offline? Bring your camera and your notebook to store the data. But everytime I been out travelling, I have found that I'd really not wanted to be connected to ye olde homeworld. Of course, being so long time away requires a lot, but still no-one should be so important that others couldn't take your tasks while away. And if you are so important I hope you get the $$$.
  • Agreed on this issue. There are internet cafes all over Asia as well. Slow, to be sure, but generally fairly cheap.

    If you really need/want to carry around your hardware, I would suggest you put a network card in your laptop. Then you could just unhook the connection for the PC in the internet cafe and drop it onto your laptop. The internet cafe may not agree with this, but most of the time the attendant will have no idea what's going on and you should be alright if you return everything to its original state.

    The other option would be too make sure your websites are entirely configurable from your browser. That's what I do - I build web-based admin software for my sites which allows me to add/update/remove content at will from anywhere without having to carry anything around. This has saved my @ss more than once, as I have been on the road and been told of problems with the site - just found the closest hole in the wall netcafe and fixed it.

    drop by if you're in jakarta ...
  • The Motorola L7089 is sold by Omnipoint as well. $400, works on 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz. Have it, love it, just wish it worked in Japan (which uses its own completely proprietary system.)
  • Also agreed. I paid about $1/hour for a cybercafe in Guatemala City. Only problem was they were crappy slow Win95 boxes with 640X480 resolution. Ouch.

    But at least it let me know quickly when Linux 2.2 was released. :-) (except for the minor point that I had to wait until I got back home to USE it...)

  • If you're going to Mexico to relax on the beach, that might be reasonable.

    If you're taking a long trip, there are plenty of advantages to being connected. At least for geeks. Like keeping family and friends updated by sending them photos. And trading stocks if you're into that -- who would want to miss a great buying opportunity because they're cut off from the market? Not to mention checking Slashdot. :-)
  • I dont really know what the status in other countries is, but here in germany there are a lot of call by call prviders.
    So assuming you have an modem with all the necessary plugs it should be possible to use them instead of an expensive global coverage plan
  • I think the title is spelt correctly ;)
  • I have the new Nokia 7110 with built in modem, which chats to linux irda quite happy, cuts down on the cables / cards needed and lets you do Matrix impresions :). It is a dual (not tri) band phone, so is europe only (not US), I mainly use it with my Palm V and I have had no problems. It also supports 14400Kbps / ISDN in the right area (It works in Manchester where I live) but not in more out of the way places. My girlfriend has a Motarola LT7089 (I think thats the number) it isn't a WAP phone but is Tri-band and has IR / modem. The problem is that in the docs it says the IR in windows only :( I haven't had time to test this as my laptop doesn't have an IR port. Anyone reading this have any info on this could you drop me a line please. I agree with the other poster who said about getting a cheap / 2nd hand laptop to take with you, I think that would be a much better bet. I would also take some sort of backup medium, cdr or 2nd hdd if you can. Or keep the hdd / laptop seperate (my laptop has a removable hdd)
  • Internet cafes are the way to go. I've used about 10 of these in the UK, France, Greece and Japan and all of them were just using some simple NAT box and DHCP. They are always affordable (~$5US per hour). Most of them don't give a rats ass what you do with the connection, they just want their money. If they give you a hassle, there is always another one nearby.

    None of them minded me plugging in my laptop and using it instead of their cheap clone systems.

    If you are dead set on using dial-up, IBM global services, UUNET (resold through a 3rd party), iPass, and AOL (believe it or not!) are all solid choices with access numbers all over the globe.

    GSM would be nice, but I'd bet that it won't be as convenient or work as well as either of the first two methods.
  • The tri-band motorola L7089 will do PPP through the IR port and works in more places than any dual band can.
  • I have just been travelling with my thinkpad 560Z and my Motorola L7089 and although I had to look for a good signal before I logged on I kept in touch every day. The L7089 even works in countries with backward technology like the USA. I do not think that there is a more flexible mobile for travelling. Do not assume that the mobile you have will work everywhere.

    Whatever, have a good trip and enjoy opening up those eyes.
  • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday April 24, 2000 @07:59AM (#1113273) Journal
    There were articles in TidBits about this recently. The first [tidbits.com] is pretty Mac-centric, while the second [tidbits.com] is more relevant to the question here.
  • In London, UK and Amsterdam they were all over as well (www.easyeverything.co.uk [easyeverything.co.uk] !!! there is a hot commodity there). This is definitely the way to go. Nearly all of the coffeeshops in Amsterdam have some sort of access, you just have to find the ones with a fully enable browser (w/ java or whateva floats your boat if you dig java ssh) and/or telnet.

    But if you have the dough, good luck with gsm...

  • There are some payphone-like Internet terminals in the UK, from BT - unfortunately they are touch screen only so basically useless except for clicking through a selection of sites... Sad but true.
  • If the phone system is up to it, you can use ISP roaming - you get an account with iPass or GRIC, then you use their (Windows) dialler software to automatically use the closest ISP on their roaming programme.

    They do cover Nepal, Thailand and India, though phone line quality may be enough of a problem that an Internet cafe is a better option. Details at http://www.ipass.com/accesspoints/ and http://www.gric.com/zone/isplocator/. The downside is that you pay by the hour typically on top of phone charges, but it's cheaper than an international call.
  • by Cato ( 8296 ) on Monday April 24, 2000 @08:53PM (#1113277)
    I agree about cheaper looking bags - I try to carry laptops in a non-standard laptop back (e.g. a backpack with no logos, and sometimes one that looks quite beaten up. I also put power supplies etc in my main bag, which also looks quite old and valueless and is never locked.

    This helps with customs agents and with baggage theft at the airport - if your checked baggage looks like it belongs to a student, it's unlikely to get stolen from. (The only time I had things stolen from a bag was in a hotel in China.)

    Online backups of your laptop data are a great idea - consider NetStore and similar if you use Windows, or an ftp site plus pgp if you don't. Makes a big difference to how quickly you can get going again.

    A GSM phone is probably a good overall solution to check email; I use a double band (900 and 1800, works in most countries except US and Japan) Ericsson SH888 - sent email from my Palm III in a Hamburg cafe this weekend for extra geek points :)

    I also sometimes carry an acoustic coupler - these go up to 28,800 bps now and are good when you have a hotel phone wired into the wall, quite common outside the US. Also, take some telephone socket doublers (US models) as sometimes you can use these to get a connection from the phone end of the wire. Check www.teleadapt.com for lots of road warrior kit, but buy it somewhere else as they are very expensive.

    If you have to plug into wired phone sockets, you'll need a panoply of different phone adapters - though some hotels just use US plugs, the cheaper/older ones probably won't. Teleadapt shows you what you'll need.

    ISP roaming is a big hassle - if you use GSM this is not an issue as you just call home (go GSM if you can afford it, or go wired if you need more online time). GRIC and iPass do roaming services that are probably well worth the hassle avoidance - you use a single Windows dialler that knows how to talk to all ISPs on the scheme. If you want a single ISP, try IBM Global Network (now bought by AT&T, www.ibm.net), who are good quality and have good coverage - I use them for work travel, but I'm not sure about non-Windows support.

  • by Saurentine ( 9540 ) on Monday April 24, 2000 @07:53AM (#1113278) Journal
    Whatever you do, be sure to specify that you need a worldwide usage compatible handset. The US GSM frequencies are different from those used in other parts of the world, and the 99.9% of the Omnipoint handsets sold in the US use "worldwide" GSM technology, but US frequencies.

    Omnipoint is using misleading advertising at best by implying that any phone you buy from them will be useful anywhere. Unless you specify, and pay extra (a lot extra) you'll get a phone that only works in the US.

    It will probably be better yet to rent your GSM handset in the countries you visit.

    The worst part is that most Omnipoint salesdroids don't know these facts.

  • As many posters have said, make sure you get a GSM phone that works in countries other than the US. The USA uses GSM1900, other countries use GSM900 and GSM1800. The phones that support "all of the above" are pricy, not to mention what the roaming charges might be.

    You're probably better off just getting a kit with a bunch of adaptors in them. Targus makes a little kit that has both power and phone adaptors for most European-type countries (note your laptop power supply will need to support the voltage -- most of them do). Some hotels even have RJ11 jacks, which makes life a lot easier.

    As far as a global provider, some have suggested IBM's former ISP (now owned by AT&T). UUNet also offers this service. If you happen to live in USWorst country, they offer a Global Roaming feature for an extra $5/month as part of their ISP package. If you happen to use them as an ISP anyway, this is by far the cheapest way to get global Internet access. Their POP list doesn't include everything you can actually log in via, but if you go here you can search and find a number for wherever you happen to be.

    -- PhoneBoy
  • I meant here [wcom.net]

  • by Mad Browser ( 11442 ) on Monday April 24, 2000 @08:00AM (#1113281) Homepage
    IBM Global Network (it's since been bought by AT&T - www.ibm.net will still link you there) is a great service.

    They DO have numbers many places and you can download a text file with the numbers from their site.

    Their dialer software only runs on Windows but they include instructions on how to dial in from a Linux box (they use a non-obvious username / password combo that you wouldn't guess by looking at your username).

    They also have dialer software for PalmOS and WinCE so Linux might not be far behind!

  • At least the Olympus (and any other digital camera using smart media) can use this cool device I saw in the IGo catalog last night.

    http://www.igo.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDis play?prmenbr=1&prrfnbr=263923&cgrfnbr=30&c rpcgnbr=281&top_crccgnbr=28&bot_crccgnbr=30

    It is a smart media to floppy disk adaptor for offloading of images from digital cameras. I have also seen Compact Flash cards taht come with USB cables that plug straight into the CF card.

    Use these in conjunctions with Internet cafes, and you'd be pretty well set.
  • Blackbox [blackbox.com] and Mobile Planet [mplanet.com] sell an accoustic coupler that claims to be able to do 14.4kbps. Of course, it depends on the quality of the line...
  • It's suprising nobody has posted this yet.
    Go to http://www.gric.com

    These guys team up with ISPs(very possibly yours) to allow ISPs to offer their services even while their customers are travelling in other companies.
    I know that Mindspring/Earthlink supports it. Others surely do. Basically it allows other ISPs to check your radius(I think) servers to authenticate you.
    Call your ISP and find out if they support gric.
    And when I did tech support for an unnamed major ISP, we were told about this, but I never got a call about it. So anyone you call will be very rusty on this. Call twice, or three times to make sure, if they say they don't support it.

  • Doh. I meant Countries instead of Companies up there. Feel free to tear apart spelling and grammar.
  • Hi,

    Having traveled through Europe a bit I can tell you that the easiest way to get access is to stay at a major hotel and use their business centers or use an internet cafe.

    Barring that you might want to just go for the adapters and modem (The adapters is not that big of a deal, just a small bag very light). I used a PSION gold card [psiondacom.com] which has country switching and a GSM option. worked well in Germany, France and England.
  • With nano-tech, you can make an ip masquerade/firewall machine (running Linux) smaller than an eyelash hair.

    In my experience, even if you buy the machine with the honest intent of only using it for a firewall, you still end up wanting to play a games on it sometimes. Playing Quake on an eyelash-sized computer would suck.

  • Does Al Gore know about this? I'm telling!

    Of course he does, what do you think he is, a dummy ?

    Uh.. oh wait. You probably do think that way, let's try another line.

    It was his idea to bring Internet to the rest of the world. This way he could use this in his campaign.. imagine: he expanded America to cover the rest of the globe via the Internet. Mighty dude, he.

  • Countries outside of the US have access to the internet? When did this happen?

    Aw, dammit ! It was supposed to be a secret ! First you find out that there is life outside of the US , and now this.. what is this world coming to ?

    Please, don't tell anyone about this. Let's just keep it our secret, ok ?

    ) The infamous McDonald expedition in the 1950's

  • I am going to Hakodate, Hokkido, Japan this summer and was wondering about Internet access too. I've tried searching the web for ISPs, and haven't been able to come up with much. The closest I've come to a solution is maybe signing up for IBM/AT&T Global Internet access, and making a long distance call into Sapporo. However, I'd really prefer a provider with a local number in Hakodate if possible. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks.
  • Thoreau was a free-loader who just mooched of of his sister. :)

    Seriously, I do agree with you. But I don't have a choice. I want to take a long trip (six months), and I need to work part-time while I'm travelling in order to fund the trip. Six months with a laptop is better then two weeks of email-free bliss, at this point in my life.
  • Certainly sounds reasonable. I've found Omnipoint to be good when you are in coverage range. I'm near the Philadelphia, PA area in the US, and get good coverage out to the suburbs. I've was in Singapore once since joining Omnipoint, and rented an international capable handset directly from them for the trip. Very reasonable for 30 days or less, ~$40+insurance if you want it. You want to get them to set up the international roaming option about a month before you leave to avoid trouble, 'cuz I called them every couple days for two weeks prior to my trip trying to guarantee it would work when I got out of the country. And it still wasn't enabled until my second day there. But after that it was fine.

    Rates are reasonable (personal opinion), but you'll pay less than $1.00 minute if you give them the $2-3/month international fee for picking a country to roam in. You could end up paying more than that from some hotel land lines, so I consider their rates reasonable. My voicemail notification worked also. And you can cancel the $2-3/month after you travel if you are an infrequent traveller.

    I carried the Ericson i888, and it worked just like my normal Ericson, only it could roam on GSM 900. I flew through SFO, Tokyo/Narita (no coverage, no GSM) to Singapore and had coverage everywhere but Japan.

    I'm purchasing a Motorola L7089 (L2000 Asian) because it does tri-band, whereas the Ericson is only dual band. Both phones have infrared data capability, which I plan on trying out once I get the Motorola.

    And the Sony Viao looks like a good choice. I just picked one up, and a SuSE Linux install went fairly well, although the Viao's (Z505RX) floppy/cdrom standard equipment make it a little tough to install on. Check out Linux Laptops [utexas.edu] for great help on setup and which laptops have been tested.

    I also found good deals on the Viao's at Ubid [ubid.com] and Ebay [ebay.com].
  • If you're working on the latest, check out

    several unresolved issues with the z505hs still
    ongoing, they also have winmodems! I have
    sound (oss)
    display (1024x768)
    netcard (eepro100)

    working, but I don't have everything working nicely with power management etc.
  • Forget about the GSM Modem... You got the issue of different fequency bands (900/1800/1900), which you might be able to solve using a TriBand phone... But then, you also need the Data services, which most operators outside of Europe don't offer yet, or aren't part of roaming agreements. Also, most roaming agreements outside of Europe aren't really working yet.

    You have two choices left... One is to use a Global ISP, like IBM Global Network (I've hear it works pretty well).

    The other choice is to rely on cybercafes on each country. Every big city has a bunch of them, as do most mid-size cities too.

    My recomendation is to do both... get an IBM account, and do some reseach on cybercafes on the cities you'll stop.

    And if you plan to stop in Venezuela, send me an email :-)
  • what if he worships sheep?

  • Well since satelite phones are expensive you might want to rent one. I always thought they were cool and last time my dad was in jordan he saw a lot of ads for sat. phones because they don't have the coverage we have in europe and the US adn japan. Anyway you might be able to rent them in the country your in but i think it would be better to rent it before you leave.
    Here's some sites but search on google, altavista, whatever.


    This is a page at stanford but it seems out of date. It just tells you your options and it's recommendations
    http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/comp/telecom/cellp hone/int-service.htm
  • The Sony Mavicas are wonderful digital cameras. I bought a few of them for my company and the biggest selling point is the fact that they store their images on plain floppies as normal JPEGs.

    No cables, smart card adapters or funny file formats. All you need is a laptop with a box of floppies and a box of disks. They even capture short MPEG video clips with sound.

    And the battery life isn't too bad either (2-4 hours).

    http://www.sel.sony.com/SEL/consumer /dimaging/ [sony.com]

  • I may well be missing the point as I'm British and so don't know the companies concerned, but...

    There's at least one non-Erricsson phone sold over here as triple-band GSM so capable of worldwide roaming - the Motorola Timeport.

  • >Avoid the 'no bills' pre-paid GSM cards you will see all over europe. None of them currently offer international roaming, so when you move on you'll be screwed.

    Since a month or two we got international roaming on dutch prepaid phones, guess also in other countries. I have a Libertel [libertel.nl] prepaid phone with "IZI Extra". I pay fl 10,- ($5,-) a month for roaming in 80 countries. Rates are quite good but must be billed to a dutch citizen.
  • This is a real gem. You might want to look for a file called arlog.txt on your machine. Not sure (any longer) where it's stored. As of IGN 4.20 arlog.txt was all sent to an IP address in the 32.xxx.xxx.xxx IP block. Unbeknownst to you, I might add.

    For those of you who don't have this trojan installed, my last copy of arlog.txt reported my OS, free memory, free disk space, modem type (!) and access level (e.g. administrator, user).

    BTW I reported this to Slashdot, and to IBM as incident 0901142. They had a rep of whomever it is that wrote AccessRamp send me a letter saying what a wonderful idea it was for me to trust them.

    I use another dialer when I use NT now.
  • Well, the Nokia 8890 [nokia.com] does say it is GSM 900/1900. I didn't look at all the models -- Nokia makes many combinations, including an analog attachment (NAM-1 or NRM-1?) that snaps on the battery holder of some models. Also consider a $30 RangeStar clip-on [alternativewireless.com] antenna for a signal boost in weak areas.

    The reasons I chose Nokia are the interface options [www.hut.fi] and Linux interface [fatburen.org] (although I almost didn't because of Nokia not supporting Linux well).

    There also is a Nokia Card Phone, a PC Card with a GSM phone, although I don't know what it supports.

  • You could get a Motorola L7089, which works on all 3 GSM bands, and you can interface to with IR... Pretty sure you can get a global charger. You're going to be in pain when you see the cell phone bills though; if you stay in any one place long enough, you're advised to buy the local disposable SIMs. (eg Orange SIMs or Vodaphone SIMs in UK, ...)
  • A single band GSM will serve you well in Europe. Coupled with a ultraportable like a Psion 5MX, will let you surf on the beach.

    But you don't want to do this for serious work: it is horribly slow (9600bps), the latency is even worse and the telephone bill is going to be ... entertaining. I know.... I use it that way when I am on holiday.

    Using landlines, you need an ISP with an international presence. IBM Global Network is the only one I think with a wide enough coverage and no nonsense roaming on the standard account. ( maybe a small surcharge)

  • Another option is iPass, really simple software creates dialup networking icons for the management clubies to use (doesn't stop them calling in the odd hours of the morning - but at least I can talk 'em through it in my sleep)
  • If SIM-swap roaming will work for you, why not just buy a pre-paid European GSM handset? (hmm, modem facilities?)
  • its clearly stated in their literature. only *one* handset will work - an ericsson. its a multi band digital and analog with global roaming. ive had omnipoint prepay for 2 1/2 years now with global roaming and an ericsson set..used it in the UK, germany and the US with no problems. i really *love* their service..no hassles, prepay once with no monthly fee (well..they deduct $25 per month effectively since your minutes "expire") and no recnneciton charge if you forget to pay or keep your balance upto date. plus they usually give you bonus minutes ( i get 200 or so per month for $25..but im a long time user ) and their network is accessible everywhere ive been.
  • I'm planning a holiday in Thailand and I came across the following text on the 'Net:

    RCFoC reader Chris Sunseri recently spent three weeks traveling to the roof of the world, Nepal, and while passing through Thailand on the way, he found that their CS Internet is now offering free Internet access to any GSM (cellular) phone user! Register for the service, use the IR ports in your phone and notebook (or purchase a cable to connect them together), and you're on the Internet for the cost of the airtime.

    I own a Nokia Communicator PDA/GSM 9110 [nokia.com] Phone combination so this is ideal for me (no extra hardware needed).

    In case anybody wants to know the details: Just dial 900-937 (No login name, no password) and you're online.

    I've never seen anything like this in the western world, let alone a -supposedly- backward country like Thailand.

  • I havn't seen or heard of one for a long time, but as late as 14.4 kbps modems, there were capable acoustic couplers similar to the old style acoustic modems. They are a little more elaborate, allowing for a decent hookup to even odd shaped phones, but something along those lines should allow for an acceptable connection from anything that can carry the signal. It would also free you of having to take an expensive cell phone, or a plethora of connectors. I do understand though that they are rather large.
  • by iainr ( 43602 ) <iainr@dcs.ed. a c . uk> on Monday April 24, 2000 @07:56AM (#1113309) Homepage
    Is there any reason why you've not mentioned an acoustic coupler? One of our Professors spend some time on his Yacht in the med and pulled his e-mail down via payphones and a coupler. I've no idea what sort of speed you'll get but it might be a lot easer than trying to sort out which of the local mobile companies you want to connect to and I'm fairly sure you'll get better than 9600.
  • Thanks, someone has a sense of humor.

    Lamo moderators marking me as flamebait, losers.

    Probably IPv8 referred to urinating vegetable juice.

  • Internet Cafes are a great place to make friends with the locals.

    Often the workers or owner will be glad to meet you and an offer to help with a vexing local technical problem will be appreciated.

    I had a great time helping the proprietor at a cafe in Petra, Jordan rig up an internet phone package so he could lower his long-distance charges. I was treated to a meal and a lot of insight on how the net worked in the Middle East.
  • I did mean the camera - although I agree that it ain't that bad.

    A nice side effect is that you can give somebody a floppy with a picture of them on it as a gift. At long last a use for all those AOL disks we were carpet-bombed with!
  • which you can find in most capitol cities and major tourist areas. You can rent a system for perhaps a dollar or two an hour. This sure beats carrying a laptop around and they have already solved the "last mile" problem for you.

    Offloading the digital camera would be a problem, as the system is unlikely to have a PCMCIA interface. While a Sony Mavica would work everywhere using floppys, they are a bit bulky.

    I suppose a RS-232 interface from the camera to the computer could be established on an ad-hoc basis, however those drain batterys rapidly.
  • I live in Sweden and have a mobile phone service that provides internet access as well. I just did a two month trip to New Zealand/Australia, and visited Thailand and a few other places along the way.

    The phone is an Ericsson 888, which has a built-in IR port, and its the only use I've ever found for the IR port on the computer (Toshiba Satellite). It took a bit of fiddling to get the computer to talk to the phone, and you occasionally had to reboot windows cos the IR port just dies, but otherwise it works well enough - 9600 is OK for downloading email.

    Never any problems actually accessing the internet and downloading web pages or email via POP. Halfway through the trip they changed the configuration on the SMTP server (to prevent forwarding presumably), so I couldn't send SMTP email any more, and noone could figure out what was going on. I ended up using a HTML emailer in the meantime, which was just fine for keeping in touch with the family.

    GSM works well pretty much anywhere on the planet, except of course the USA and Japan. It was pretty convenient to be able to stick the phone down by the laptop and connect up while sitting by a swimming pool at a hotel in Bangkok!
  • You may want to go with a Nokia handset (6100 series - not the 8800 series) as I understand they have better data throughput than the Ericsson handsets.

    No, the transfer rate is limited by the network, not the phone. On the other hand, Nokia makes much better phones in almost every other respect (and they look way better too), but in this case it might be irrelevant, because AFAIK Nokia doesn't make a 1900/900 Mhz GSM model.

  • I stand corrected... I thought that all GSM phones were limited to 9.6kbps, but I guess I was wrong. How is the higher transfer rate achieved? Are they still using one full rate timeslot but limiting the overhead, or what?
  • Well, the Nokia 8890 does say it is GSM 900/1900.

    True, I didn't realize it was out yet. I just checked and it seems to have been released...

  • I'll second sdelmont's recomendations, with some clarifiers.

    Avoid getting a cellular capable modem if you are going with the GSM option. Most GSM phones have a 'modem' built in, I put modem in quotes because what they are offering is a modem-like interface (ATDT+44171...) to the pure 9600 baud bitstream of GSM. Sometimes you can get 14400, but only in civilised countries :-) Any attempt to run a cell capable modem over GSM will result in 1200 or 2400 baud connections, quite a waste of bandwidth.

    I swear by nokia phones right now, the 6150 is the best 2-bander on the market. You can do PPP connections through the IR port, but its best to get the serial port cable, do a quick search on the web for how to get the cable without paying for the windoze software.

    There are 2 GSM phone regions, US/Japan, and everywhere else. So buy your phone at your first stop outside the US, don't even think of renting the cost will kill you. In some countries you have to buy a service plan with the phone, so shop around on the web before leaving. Best idea is to get a service plan from a cheap country, either norway or england. It might be impossible to get service in some countries without having a provable permanent address there (france, UK, germany).

    The best thing about getting a GSM phone with an international roaming account is that you will have a phone with you at all times so you can give that number out to your family and a select few friends. Although the caller pays the first hop, if you are in another country besides the one of your service, you will pay the additional roaming hop, and that runs about $1/minute.

    Avoid the 'no bills' pre-paid GSM cards you will see all over europe. None of them currently offer international roaming, so when you move on you'll be screwed. Most of them don't even allow the phone to be used in data mode. The nice thing about the pre-paid cards is that they have created a used phone market, and you can sell your GSM phone for 50%-75% of its original price when you are done with it.

    Cybercafes are your best bet for most of the updating your website, at least for the text bits. The cost per hour is going to be a lot less than any dial in land line or GSM option. And you will have the leisure of filling out your hour by reading some /. stories. Some of the more clued in cafes run DHCP and have a few ethernet connections for travelers with their own laptops, and charge you the same per hour. Print out and laminate all the options for pump/dhcpd before leaving the house, know your tools. AND REMEMBER, don't log in as root on your home box from a cybercafe!

    There are a lot of options for keeping connected when going walkies (walkabout for the antipodeans) so don't just restrict yourself to some cool but very expensive gizmo. And test your connection options before leaving, from a few cybercafes and libraries, you will learn that many machines will not have telnet or any other connection software except a filtered web browser.

    the AC
  • I travel 40+ weeks each year, and I've always got my laptop with me. 'Course, its how I make a living :-) I sometimes carry other equipment, cameras, signal analysers or radios.

    The one big advantage to traveling with a digital camera is that you will take tons of pictures of things you wouldn't waste film on. Especially if you can store hundreds of them to your hard disk, and email them to the friends you were thinking of when you saw the shot.

    Customs agents the world over have the highest incidence of brain spasms you will ever see. Logic and common sense go out the window whenever they are presented with something out of the ordinary, and it can be a real hassle getting your equipment back. Twice in the last few years I've had my equipment seized flying into Paris, and once into Heathrow. It takes a lot of work over a period of days or weeks to convince the idiots to give back your equipment, and they will usually tack a on import duty. Less bureaucratic countries will just seize your stuff until you pay a random import duty 'ransom', which you can usually do in just a few minutes. Computers are starting to be accepted, but any accessories, especially digital cameras and mini-disc players, get snagged. You have to provide proof that the same camera is available for retail sale in the country, so avoid the latest and greatest.

    Carry your expensive stuff in a battered looking small backpack, similar to a book bag. This hides the fact you have something heavy (==expensive) to attract thieves. DO NOT carry your equipment in heavy duty protective cases, especially Zero Haliburton or Pelican. Those cases attract a 100% response from the drug agents, and the dogs are often trained to sniff out drugs sealed inside those style of cases, so they sound just on visual and you will get strip searched. After a few times when it takes you 12 hours to cross a border and your friends crossed in 12 seconds, you will toss the expensive case.

    My best suggestion is to travel with a cheap old laptop that you don't care if it gets stolen or smashed. Because on a 6 month trip, I'd say the odds of it returning in one piece are pretty low. Don't risk a brand new vaio. And buy the occasional disposable camera with a flash, for carrying to the beach or disco or other places where a valuable camera would be gone in an instant.

    The disadvantages of traveling with a ton of film is that they all go through x-ray machines repeatedly. A few times and you can't see the fogging except in controlled tests, 10 times and the fogging is slightly noticible, 30 times and you will have trouble recognising half your shots. Just buy film during the trip, and get it processed locally and then mail the negatives back home. You can give away the prints to the pretty girls you meet along the way :-)

    the AC
    So funny you would mention Kerouac, had a long discussion about him this weekend.
  • I used IPASS on a month-long European trip with a laptop. Worked great everywhere except Venice, Italy. Can't say enough good about IPASS.

  • Countries outside of the US have access to the internet? When did this happen?

    Does Al Gore know about this? I'm telling!

    "Rex unto my cleeb, and thou shalt have everlasting blort." - Zorp 3:16

  • Does anyone what they call a hot bowl of grits in France?

    cuvette chaude de granulations?

    "Rex unto my cleeb, and thou shalt have everlasting blort." - Zorp 3:16

  • by Gildenstern ( 62439 ) on Monday April 24, 2000 @07:54AM (#1113323)
    Well the company I travel for gave the the following configuration.

    Running on an Omnibook 900 I have a 3Com PCMCIA modem with an X-Jack plug. To connect to all
    the jacks they gave us universial phone adapter.
    It's got about two dozen parts that drop into
    this quick adapter. It's really small and easy
    to use. As for the line test they make them as
    small a ink pens.

    We use a service on our Win NT laptops call
    IBM Global Dialer. IT's you basic ISP but
    has number for almost everywherein the world.
    I haven't been on a trip yet were I haven't
    had a local number. I don't know if it runs
    in linux but you might be able to connect to
    it with the standard dialer.

    .sig not found
  • Hey, you could probably get the entire company just by assuming their liabilities! Just think of the service you would receive as the sole user!

    Now, keeping the satellites in proper orbit may be a little tricky while on the road. You'll probably need to port all the controll software to Linux, but you'll have plenty of time to do that since you are on vacation!

    But just think of the coolness factor! Want to impress that cute chick on the beach? Just bring down one of the satellites as a show of your affection. That'll be a whole lot more impressive than a drink with a little paper umbrella...


  • Hehe.. yea, Nepal is like a third-world country! You dont expect to get internet there! :)

    I traveled to Nepal last February, hoping that I could get away from computers and the internet for a while. Hope quickly vanished, as I was surprised to see internet cafes on every street corner!

    GSM Cell phone coverage is available too, but only in, and around the parameters of the major cities. Next time I travel there, I will probably subscribe.. only a modest fee :)

    Australia has internet cafes, but they are very expensive. GSM is even more expensive, and you may need to get a dual band cell phone since Australian frequency bands might be different to the ones in the US?!

    However, if you have some money to spare, get a satellite phone. Globalstar will be offering data services [globalstar.com] soon. The handsets can operate in either satellite or GSM mode, and they have a cool aerial [globalstar.com] (and a built in modem).
  • I have spent quite a bit of time in South America, and I was very happy with ATT Worldnet's service.
    They have local numbers in most cities (at least all the cities that I visited).

    Sometimes the bitrate wasn't the best that I've seen (21kbps), but heck, it worked just fine.

    and no, I'm not affiliated, etc...

  • Another solution for your comms problems might be getting an INMARSAT ( www.inmarsat.org) certified phone (Such as the sets made by Nera or NEC) that can give you up to 64Kbps links. They connect to your computer through the serial port so they are Linux friendly and they can be used as voice or data devices (Although not simultaneously)and they work all around the globe provided that you have line of sight (Not that hard to get BTW)

    The only cons are:
    -Expensive: expect a set to be around $2000 and the service isn't cheap either.
    -Bulky: The sets are roughly the same size as the notebook you'll be carrying and equally heavy (Around 5 lbs.)

    Worth a check if you're so desperate. If you can live with less speed and spotty coverage (With roaming charges) go for a GSM-900 phone, or even a Nokia Communicator.

  • Just in case nobody has mentioned it: the USA and Japan use different GSM networks to most of the world. That is to say, your US GSM mobile (unless it's a triple band mobile) will not work in Australia or Europe.

  • I just returned from a visit to Argentina (I used to live there) and am now the owner of a laptop with a fried power supply. Fortunately, it's an old beast and I was doing backups while away...

    For my travels, I took my trusty old laptop and used GRIC to connect (they have partner ISP's all over the world). I also used cybercafe's where applicable to do some tasks.

    I wouldn't bother using a cellphone - the lack of world standard plus roaming access is a pain in the butt. I can use my Australian GSM phone in Asia and Europe (frequencies, protocols and roaming agreements) but I can't use in the North or South of America (even where GSM is offerred, it's often the wrong frequency or there's no roaming agreement). So much for globalisation :)

    I found GRIC was fine, although I've not yet received the invoice for my "roaming" fees. I was presented with quite a list of various parts of the world, although only one ISP was in the club for Buenos Aires. Fortunately, they had a really good link to the rest of the world so the world wide wait wasn't *too* bad.

    Most of the places I was at in Buenos Aires had RJ-11 sockets for phones, so I could just "jack in" as required. Here in Australia they often have a wierd three-prong plug setup - you can buy an RJ-11 to wierdo adaptor at any Office Works/Comms/Tech type-store.

    Make sure your laptop power supply is auto-switching (don't plug a 110V system into 240V - it's beautiful, but short lived and only works once :)

    I picked up power socket converters when I arrived (couldn't find my old stash) but I could have picked up a few before I left at the airport shops here in Melbourne (you should be able to do the same there).

    So, all up - I was quite able to tour around, access the 'net, get email and check web pages (I've set up our project management system so it's on the web - means I can see how the company's going from anywhere in the world - what's a holiday? :)

    The only problem was that Argentina's power supply is going through a bit of a crises (like the rest of the country). While I was in Buenos Aires, I witnessed a number of power surges and fluctuations around the place. In offices, they generally have a power conditioner hooked up and specially marked sockets to plug computers into. At my in-law's house, we turned on the lights in a room one day and the lot of them blew out. An older computer fried its power supply at a friend's house. My laptop's power supply is dead, probably thanks to a surge or something.

    So, while you may have comm's, plugs and all that sorted out, don't trust the power supply. Even in some parts of Sydney I've seen UPS's singing like a canary. If you can get some sort of easily packed & carried line conditioner or mini-UPS, do it. Otherwise, carry a spare power pack for your laptop :)

    Oh - I had no problems with my equipment going in & out of customs. The laptop is in an old, well worn no-name laptop case. They didn't even ask to see if it turned on or not. I guess they're used to business travellers (even those who wear baggy raver-pants and alien or Ferrari t-shirts to travel in :)
  • One thing about this gadget - it requires an accompanying floppy for its driver. So you'll have to pesuade any nice Internet Cafe to "upgrade" one of their machines (and I hear NT does not like it one bit - what a surprise!)

    On the plus side - it's very fast, and you can also write to it (giving you a monster floppy if you put in a 32 MB SM card).
  • the dual-band ericcson is called the i888. Another one that no one's mentioned (for good reason) is the Bosch World Phone.

    and depending on how long you plan on being over there, you may want to sign up with a provider over there, and not omnipoint. but that would be up to you. thier roaming rates may not be as much. (about $2.50/min is the usual for international roaming)
  • Remember that having GSM voice doesn't necessarily mean that a country or region has GSM data, and you'll pay by the minute, but it does go pretty much everywhere outside the US.
    • AT&T Global Networks is the former IBM Global Network. (shameless plug for my employer). Directly provided IP dial service in most major locations, about 1500 POPs worldwide, about 1000 outside US. Fancy dialer if you're using Win9x, but you can also download the phone number list for Linux, etc.
    • iPass is an international partnership of ISPs - you dial into a local ISP, and your ISP will bill you some hourly surcharge. The surcharge may depend radically on the particular package your ISP obtains from iPass, and your ISP may also charge a monthly fee for access to it, so if you've got more than one ISP, check their offers.
    • GRIC is a different international partnership of ISPs, similar to iPass.
    • I've heard AOL offers some international dialup as well, but I don't know the extent.
    • Does Equant offer any dial service to the public, or only its members? It's tied in to an airport-industry partnership, and some part of the company provides network services worldwide, generally concentrated near airports (which may or may not be local calls to the major metropolitan areas.)

  • You may want to go with a Nokia handset (6100 series - not the 8800 series) as I understand they have better data throughput than the Ericsson handsets.

    Just a thought.
  • "Only the US is geared up for the information age, with our corporations dominating world economy."

    Dominating, yes. But let me give you some statistics from Norway. More than 50% of the population have access to the internet. >30% own their own computer. 90% of tennagers (12-19) own a cell phone. WAP phones is sold dirt cheap. (And are comming into regular use. You can pay your bills with the phone if you want). All schools have internet access for the students. Dunno how these figures stack up against US figures, but i think we're pretty wired up here...
  • He meant 9600 bps (i.e. v.32)
  • In virtually all countries you have a plain old telephone in your hotel. The next thing to do is getting the Access Numbers for the specfic country. (There are several providers for international internet access)

    If luggage and money is unlimited in your trip you should search for a satellite dish.

  • I think that it would be wise to swap the server/desktop arguement you just made. BSD is for servers, Linux is for desktops (and Windows is for cluebies).
    If there is a God, you are an authorized representative. - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  • Omnipoint (or the other US GSM carriers) should now have 3 phones that work internationally. The Bosch and Ericsson World Phones are dual band. The Motorolla Timeport is tri-band. I'd suggest getting the Motorolla phone. I'm not a big Ericsson fan. I had it for a while but lost it on a train. The Tri-band is really a big benefit if you are in major cities. With the roaming coverage from the US via Omnipoint you generally have roaming ability on all 4 carriers. On the dual-band phones you only have the ability to access 2 of those (the other band is the US freqs). Prices differ per roaming agreement. Renting phones there isn't a bad idea. I ended up having to buy one. And whatever expense it is here, getting one in europe w/o a contract, expect to pay double what you pay here. Thankfully I had someone to run it through to. The benefit of the Ericsson is that it has a built-in IR modem, so assuming you aren't running NT, you can in theory connect to it w/o cables. Dial-up I used IBM/ATT Global services. They used to be really cheap before they implemented their "roaming" policies. They seem to cover most of the major cities with decent connect speeds. It does get pricey by the time you get your bill, or if you are on as much as I tended to be (work related).
  • Last summer, I was in a small town in Thailand, and I was using Ipass. Sitting in my hotel room, batting mosquitoes, and suffering through a monsoon squall, I successfully repaired the mail server back at work stateside before the beginning of the work day there. I've found Ipass will have dialins when there are no other ISP's available..including aol and friends. I've used Ipass from all over the world in both rual and metro areas, and I've been much pleased with it. It works on linux fine, as it's a normal PPP connection. Just use Pusername@isp.com and set up a login script (which is usually standardized anyways) Everything else is as normal. Look at Ipass.com [ipass.com] for more info. Dan
  • It will probably be better yet to rent your GSM handset in the countries you visit.

    Yeah, and you can still use your US-based SIM card while travelling overseas. Since I travel to Europe often but hate my local GSM provider, I've had thoughts of buying only a SIM card just to use it in a rental GSM set next time I head to the Motherland (France).

  • I guess it really depends on who'd be calling you doesn't it? If I was to have a SIM card with a US-based phone #, it'd be much cheaper for friends to call me while I'm abroad. But then that's because I'd be footing the bill for the international LD isn't it? :)

    I guess with a Euro rental or prepaid handset they could still call a single # to get me...just that they'd be footing the international LD bill.

  • I am not on the net when I blink. How do I give my eyelids an IP address?

    Of course there is a solution! Use the Embedded Eye Lid DHCP (EEL-DHCP) [baheyeldin.com] . It only supports DHCP, so you cannot run a mail/web server of it, but until we release Full Embedded Eye Lid Server (FEELS) it should do the job.

    By the way, what do you do when you sleep? Brain implants is the answer!

  • I did a couple of trips to Japan and North America last year, taking laptop and dig camera with me. Used ipass and it worked fine.

    As a note for modem cables, found the best option was often just pulling the cable out of the phone and connecting it to the modem. Cause most phones have the same connector, which is also the same as the modem. Can't remember what its called though. This work in residences, motels and hotels in Japan, Canada, and seven states in the US. Of course, still take cables with you, also check lonely planet as they have some good information on the countries net connectivity also.


  • I am using a very simliar setup. RH6.2 [redhat.com] on a SONY Z505R (the modern one would be the HS or HE I think) [sony.com] with a Motorola L7089 [motorola.com] tri-band phone. Works everywhere I've been (UK, Switzerland, Belgium, USA, Canada). No need for a modem either, just IR the phone to the laptop. Not the cheapest solution, but it does work well. Just make sure that you contact your local mobile provider and enable world-wide roaming. Some GSM providers have better roaming agreements than others. Shop around before you sign up if you are planning to roam in North America or Australia. I can't help much with that, since I am in Canada and use FIDO aka Microcell. [www.fido.ca]
  • It covers both the GSM 900 and 1900 bands

    Not to mention that it has a metal-alloy frame, it doesn't break easily. Having had a phone with the same chassi but different freq. and dropping it more than once...

    Modems, there is no need, the I888 has one built in with either serial or IR connection.

    Link: as for the lenght, blame the homepage, not me :)

    http://mobile.ericsson.se/spg.asp?template=produ ct_page&grid=grid2&Menuleft=menu_left_B&Su bheadtext=sh_B1.Xa&Menumid=menu_mid_B&Menusub=menu _mid_sub&Combo=inc_MobPhoneCombo&ProdId= 8881
  • Why only a one-week supply????
  • If cost is an issue, and you can overcome the one-time hardware costs, Mindspring/Earthlink Global Roaming is only 10 US cents a minute in 80 countries around the world. The times I have tried it, it has worked well. Also, Internet cafes are growing exponentially, and are usually not very expensive. A month ago in London, I got an hour of access, with USB and serial ports, for only a pound.
  • I feel your pain! I face the same issues at work. If you're really set on taking a laptop, you need to sort out two separate but related issues:

    1) Local dial-up access. You really want a service that will give you connectivity in most countries. I use iPass [ipass.com], available through many ISPs, and reliable so far. I've used it at multiple locations in the US and Europe and so far hasn't failed me. It uses Compuserve or SITA/Equant POPs. Many of the numbers support ISDN. Note that you will want a service like this even if you are using a mobile phone.

    2) Mobile connectivity. I have used a Nokia 8850 [nokia.com] and an Ericsson i888 for mobile data, both are OK. Neither needs a cable, both use the IRDA port. The Nokia is GSM 900/1800 (European and Asian dual band), the Ericsson is GSM 900/1900 (Europe/USA dual band) and is much uglier than the Nokia. (The Nokia has just become available in Euro/US dual band.) Both of the phones feature built in modems, so the only software necessary is a Windows modem config file that takes up about 9k (yes, nine thousand). Other phones with an IR port do not incorporate data hardware, and require a soft modem on the PC. If you have local dial-up, using a mobile phone need not be terribly expensive.

    However, you might be better off using Internet Cafes or a landline modem for the most part. Most Internet Cafes will let you set up a dial-up connection. If you're using a landline modem and need to dial out, however, look for a fax machine. Most of them use an RJ11 connector on the end of the cable that plugs into the machine, so with a double ended RJ11 adapter you're in business.

    Take as large as possible a memory card for your digital camera, to minimize need for uploads.

    Good luck in your travels! Make sure you're ready for multiple possibilities!
  • Close but no cigar. The Nokia 61xx series does support enhanced data rates at 14.4 kbps, as does the 7110, but not the 88xx series. But you're right, the network does have to support the enhanced data rate. The Nokia 8890 (just announced) is dual 900/1900.
  • IBM are well supported here in New Zealand but are bit expensive. Still a lot cheaper that GSM. You could also try www.i4free.co.nz while here, which is, as the name implies, free. I would imagine that both would work with Linux. The phone connector used here is the BT standard (same as UK ?) and you can get a standard US RJ11 to BT lead cheap at most computer stores, hell if you are in Auckland CBD email at david@NOSPAM.annett.cc and I might be able to drop one off.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday April 24, 2000 @08:26AM (#1113357) Homepage
    Although Iridium [iridium.com] is defunct, you wouldn't know it from their web site. Except for some fine print mentioning an "urgent message", the site looks just as it did before the operation went bankrupt. You can look at the latest handsets and even send messages to Iridium subscribers from the web site. Hey, 2400 baud, worldwide!
  • ...my solution for europe was to just bring a notebook and digital camera, store pics on the notebook, and use the plentiful net kiosks at train stations to check email and perform system maintenance. Many nicer hotels also have ethernet connections, so in a pinch you could use that approach (and expense it!)

    It beat fussing around with compatibility issues every day.

  • When in Hong Kong, I used the IBM internet connection.

    IBM (now AT&T) there is a large coverage. Both locally and internationally. If AT&T didn't screw it up, there still should be some pretty good coverage.

    I would recomend bring some alligator clips, a small screw driver, some power adapters. The poiwer supply may be able ot handle the power, but what about the connector?

  • why? Why not eschew the obfuscations and have a trip that is actually a vacation, rather than a trip away from the office. Doesn't anyone read Walden Pond by Thoreau, or The Dharma Bums by Kerouac anymore?

    Take a rugged Nikon FM2, a 35mm lens and about 6 dozen rolls of Kodachrome 64. Leave computer at home. Enjoy the trip.

    Advantages: get away from office. Customs easier to clear with a camera rather than gizmo electronics. Bill for film cheaper than new laptop. Not a fragile. Hard to fry camera on crappy phone line/power line. Don't have to diddle with power adapters. Weighs less. Can be carried on board. Picture quality much better, archival.

    Disadvantages: Hardcore email withdrawl (lasts one week, but traumatic. Opium withdrawl supposedly more intense, but doesn't last as long. Your decision...) Arriving home to about 765,000 urgent email messages. Have to spend boo kou bucks on film processing. Have to scan film in. Won't end up with "so I'm at the airport and this guy whips out an uzi cuz he thinks my laptop is a bomb" stories. Can't say "my computer has been around the world".

    I opt for the less is more approach however.
  • by prankster ( 162363 ) on Monday April 24, 2000 @08:27AM (#1113378) Homepage
    You might want to check www.nomadabc.com. A Danish Hong Kong based female fund manager did a 2 year world tour on a motor cycle with a portable office while writing a book. There is a section on her use of technology. It might make some interesting reading even if you don't know her personally as I do.
  • I used to use IBM.net (now AT&T http://www.attbusiness.net) for their great roaming while in Europe/Japan/Australia - they have lotsa local POPs, and fairly good tech support.

    However, they introduced roaming fees a couple of years back, so if you access from a different country, you`re paying between 4.8 and 9 bucks an hour extra (depending on which plan you use)

    That said, there`s little competition around...in Europe you could use the Free ISP`s (eg Freeserve in the UK), but I dunno about their prevalance in other territories.

    Most internet cafes should be amenable to plugging in digital cameras if you talk nicely to them !



  • I just got back from a 3 month backpacking trip to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, and if spending 700$ on a digital camera had not meant shortening my trip by a month, I would have done this : 1. Would have gotten a camera with a floppy interface (Sony); 2. Would have gotten a *very* small & light portable pc/device, ideally with a floppy as well, to write my little stories; 3. In advance, would have created an empty web site with plenty of templates and made sure I could transfer files to & fro with HTTP. 4. Would have transfered all my files/images in Internet Cafes. That's it. Though they can be expensive (and often don't offer FTP services - and are not at all likely to let you install any software whatsoever on their machines), Internet Cafes are numerous and by far the easiest way of going about it. Good luck! r.

The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is the most likely to be correct. -- William of Occam