I will be doing quite a bit of traveling for the next several weeks, so I’m taking my web development on the road. Much of my traveling will be an experiment to see just how easy it is to work (or play – it’s really not work to me) on the road.
With my 13-inch Macbook Pro, my Verizon Wireless MiFi air card and my Son driving, it’s really not that hard to work from the car. I’m not quite as efficient as I am at home with my faster Comcast connection and my dual monitor iMac set up, but I can still get the job done.
Of course, some areas are easier than others depending on the signal I get with my Verizon MiFi. Since I have an iPhone with AT&T, I can tell you that the wireless signal is about the same. When my iPhone has no signal, I can pretty much count on my MiFi not getting a good signal either.
Working from hotel rooms isn’t much different from working from home. Of course, I do miss my dual monitor, big screen set up at home and the faster internet, but usually the hotel internet is a little faster than the MiFi, and the hotel chairs and bed are a little more comfortable than working from the car.
I’ll keep you posted, but I think the best tip I can give today is to get the MiFi wireless adapter instead of other air cards because I can hook up other devices on the road such as my iPad, the kids computers and gaming devices, etc. I can have up to five devices hooked up whereas with my old air card that plugged into the pcmcia slot on the computer, it was much harder, if not impossible, to share the internet connection with the other devices.
Another road trip tip would be to stop often and work from coffee shops instead of trying to work from the car. It’s much more efficient since the MiFi isn’t constantly trying to find another cell tower to connect with. It still works, and often works well while traveling, but when you get on the open road in between larger cities, the signal gets pretty weak and sometimes non-existent. That can be pretty frustrating if you are in the middle of an upload or download. Otherwise, offline development works just as well from the car, although not quite as comfortable for long stretches.
I think for the rest of my trip I will plan to stop at coffee shops, restaurants and other comfortable spots to work instead of working from the car quite as much. I think I will be a little more productive there and I enjoy seeing more of the sites while on the road rather than having my head buried in the computer. It will also break up the traveling a bit more too. It may drag my trip out a bit longer, but it will probably be worth it.
If you are traveling, don’t forget to take along a power adapter for plugging in the devices while on the road. The hours seem to pass much faster for me when I’m working in the car for some reason and batteries seem to run down more quickly. It’s probably just my imagination, but the battery seems to die at the most inconvenient times.
As I said earlier, I’ll be on the road for several more weeks, so I’ll keep you posted with other tips as they come up.