I'm fairly mobile for a telecommuter. Not in the sense that I have to constantly fly around to different cities. These days, I'd say I'm becoming more of the average remote worker, when before I was fairly ahead of the pack. Now I'm trying to get back to truly having an unwired work environment.
First change, a better cellphone. For all its capabilities, the Treo is still just too fat. It's certainly come a long way; years back I tested the very first generation pdQ (joint venture of Qualcomm and Palm) which was a total brick, felt almost twice the size in very dimension of the Treo today; (the Kyocera version is second or third generation of the pdQ). With Sprint the only decent non-Blackberry option I have right now seems to be the MotoQ (yes, I think Ed Zander's company needs a break these days). So that'll be the first trial. Nothing unusual there; the Q has been around for a while. The Samsung BlackJack might be nice, but I'm still looking to stick with Sprint because of I'm waiting for 4G to come around. Oh, and I'm gonna try the Seidio double extended battery. Even with the double thickness battery, it is still thinner by a few mm than the Treo, and only the battery compartment. I even tried blogging from the Q and the page loads up fast enough for it to actually work.
Oh if 4G would show up already and with a good phone and fair price tag... Sprint is still working on its WiMAX rollout starting in Chicago and DC and it's unlikely to come to our area till 2009 or after, I'm afraid.
Also to go with that is a bluetooth stereo headset (two over the ear cones with attached mike). This wired headset I have now just wastes time and adds frustration packing, unpacking. Plus something is starting to fail with it. The trade off for easy access is a limit to battery life. For a regular workday of about 4 hrs continous calls at minimum, the Plantronics Pulsar 590 seems like a good choice to test out which I found for less than half price online.
The laptop data access is another element. I need a separate service than use my phone as a modem since I'll be doing both simultaneously fairly often. I've been paying for T-Mobile access and scoping free WiFi sites, but with the IBM discount on Sprint service plans their unlimited traffic high-speed broadband wireless EVDO Rev A service comes out to cost the same. Better yet, I'm not stuck within limits of a single cafe. Back in 1998-99 I used to have the cellphone data service but it was far too slow for the multimeg files I have to send around daily. I'm hoping the 400-500Kbps up-transfer speed for this will actually work out for my needs. In another two years or so, I can bother looking into their 4G offering but this sounds good for now.
As for the computer itself, I think I'll stick with the laptop size and full keyboard rather than try to UMPCs. I realized just how much typing I do, and will have to (another book coming up). So the small keys just slows me down (and that again just adds to my frustration). This Thinkpad T60 works well enough for me now and even higher-end graphics needed for SecondLife seems to work--if I don't have my regular set of 15 application instances running simultaneously. The next one I might consider would be the convertible/tablet laptops, sacrificing some screen space for more versatility to draw images and diagrams.
Assuming I get kitted out well enough, it makes me wonder why businesses aren't paying more attention to a future (possibly idealistic) situation of access-from-anywhere in terms of their software environments too. This harks back to the notion of running apps over the net entirely... reminds me of my days at NC World magazine arguing for moving to network-based computing.
Going mobile... again