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Jonathan Erickson

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

In Transit

October 22, 2009

I'm on the road again, this time heading for the Symbian Exhibit and Expo 2009 in London,  by way of  Paris. As for this route, let's just say that I needed to check out the Grateful Dead album covers on exhibit at the Museum d' Orsay.

But the highlight of the trip so far has been my taking out half a Metro load of passengers on an embarrassing tumble. The train hit an unexpected hard stop as I was standing by the door. Visualize, if you will, bowling where I'm the ball (although I don't think of myself as that round) and the other passengers were pins. Not a strike, but probably a spare. Definitely a spare. I ended up sitting on the lap of a young lady who was nice enough, but I suspect she thought I overstayed my welcome.

The small hotel I'm staying at has a beautiful old wood elevator about the size of a phone booth. Of course, that comparison is probably lost since phone booths have gone the way of buggy whips. I've used the elevator a lot since my room on the third floor has good cell phone coverage but can't get enough signal for Wi-Fi. So I go to the tiny lobby which has strong Wi-Fi but crummy cell phone coverage. I can receive calls but not initiate them in the lobby. I end up IM'ing someone that I'll call them, then taking the elevator to the third floor to make the call. Then taking it downstairs again to finish what I was doing. Yes, I know Skype is probably the anwer. At first I was trying to get onto Internet using the hotel's access, but alas, it didn't work. I finally got on using the access of the hotel next door. The owner of my hotel says that's okay. I don't about that. There is a PC in the postage-stamp size lobby of the hotel. I tried using it, but it has a keyboard unlike any I've seen before. All the number keys require Shift to use, as does the period. And the keys seem randomly scattered around. Maybe someone can tell me what kind of keyboard it is.

My usual office in Paris is at whatever Starbucks is handy. Unfortuately, there are no Starbucks in the neighorhood I'm staying at -- yes, hard to believe but true. Consequently, I'm back at an old standby, the Starbuc's at George Pompidou Center. Seems like home by this point, and I've bought enough Internet time by the hour that you'd think I'd get a frequent Wi-Fier award or something.

Yes, I know I could have saved myself a lot of time and trouble by staying at a big-named chain hotel -- Hilton, Hyatt, or whatever. But where's the fun in that?

I'll be reporting on real stuff once I'm in London at the Symbian event. See you then.

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