Tech Observations on a Motorcycle Ride

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technology while travelling

This is a guest post from Richard Hay who is the owner and webmaster of WindowsObserver.com as well as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional.

I would have never thought that I would get so many tech connections and observations during a recent road trip.  Tech is truly all around us and even running down the interstate it was very apparent that many things are changing on the tech landscape.

My wife and I did just over 2,250 miles on our motorcycle between Jacksonville, Florida and San Antonio, Texas.  I added 575 miles myself on a round trip to Dallas, Texas and back to San Antonio so I could visit the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

As we rode along I found myself thinking about a lot of the things I saw along the way and I want to share not only those observations but also some of the tech that helped us along our trip.

Wi-Fi – I think nearly every hotel billboard ad along the road showed Wi-Fi was available and the vast majority of them were offering free Wi-Fi with the rooms.  I remember when it was the exact opposite and you had to pay anywhere from $9.95 and higher to get online.  Reliability was also questionable but it seems that those issues are sorted out and we experienced a strong Wi-Fi signal in every room we stayed in.

3G Access – I am on AT&T for my HTC Tilt 2 and I had 3G access along the entire route along I-10 between Jacksonville and San Antonio as well as I-35 which I took up to Dallas and back.  At every gas stop and hotel stay I had a strong 3G signal and so could have used my phone for connectivity if necessary.  I know everyone complains about the various networks and their reliability but I was impressed to have such good access across over 2,800 miles of highway.

Electronic Billboards – These used to be a novelty to see along the road but there are a lot more of them out there now – especially within city limits.

Bing Mobile App – I used this for quick checks of distances between a stop and our next goal.  The app uses your mobile phones GPS to determine your current location and then you just type in the place your looking for.  Within just a few seconds I would have a quick idea of how many miles we had to our next stop or daily destination. by using the Directions tab.

Weather Radar App – We saw our share of rain along the way including crossing the Mobile Bay bridge with the rain blowing sideways at us.  This app was handy on stops to look down the road and see what type of rain might be waiting for us.  I even used this app to see that rain was dissipating in order to decide about not wearing rain gear for that next leg.  It was so accurate that  on both occasions the prediction was right and we did not get wet.

WinMoSquare App – I researched several ways to provide family with the ability to track us on our ride and it turned out that fourquare was the perfect way to do that.  At each stop I did a check in which marked a spot on the map and they were able to follow our progress that way.  Plus I earned a few badges along the way!

WordPress – Since I knew we would be on the road for most of each day I pre-prepared some postings for WindowsObserver.com that would post automatically using the WordPress scheduling feature.  This worked like a champ and I was able to make additional postings as necessary during our nightly stops.  Of course I was able to do that with the great free Wi-Fi along the road.

So even being on the road with motorcycle handlebars in my hands tech was coming at me from several directions.  As a connected guy that was important to me so I could stay in touch with what was happening in the tech community.

Have you noticed any new ways technology has helped you in your travels?

Image Via B-radlinks.