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Roaming Hotspots, Batman!

I didn’t even know that roaming hotspots existed until two days ago, and now I am one!

I need the Internet. Anybody who knows me knows that. I need the Internet more than I need shoes and if the choice was Internet or trousers, I would have to wear some sort of skirt. Every penny that I have earned since 2001 has been earned online, but I was making money online five or six years before that too.

So, when we came back to rural Thailand in August, it was a shock to my system to be without, since the free government Wi-Fi doesn’t penetrate to our house. It used to but not now that I need it. I have spent six weeks chasing hotspots where the signal did reach and they roamed hourly.

Needless to say, I got very little work done, and my income plummeted like a stone. Then I fell ill and for three days and all I could do was stay in bed.

No books, no Internet, nothing to do… it was driving me mad, so my daughter went out to get me something for it – a SIMM for an old dongle I had in a draw. That didn’t work and the lazy sod on the helpline just told us, ‘Modem kaput, bye”.

The next day, my daughter went further afield and came back with a small gizmo I’d never heard of before. It is one of a breed of roaming hotspots. It is rechargeable, cost £40 (but I suspect that that includes travelling expenses), pumps out 65 Megabits and unlimited bandwidth for £2 p/w.

I think that it’s marvellous. A charge lasts about five hours, but during that time, I can sit anywhere I like in Thailand and enjoy as good a service as anyone  – be it on the beach, on a mountain, or in a field of cows. I assume that it will work abroad too, if supplied with a relevant SIMM, however, I will never know, because I have promised the gadget to my daughter when my wife and I return to Spain next month.

I was telling a friend last night about having become a roaming hotspot, and he said, ‘ Welcome to the Twenty-first Century!’

Ironic that, since everyone I mix with considers me their reference book for all things computer-related. Perhaps I need a broader base of friends, but if I were still living here in three months, they would all become roaming hotspots and do away with their current expensive wired or wireless connections.

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Podcast: Roaming Hotspots, Batman!