Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Managing communications whilst abroad

I posted a while back that I had acquired a CnM Touchpad 2, which is a cheap Android tablet clone, using the Android 2.1 operating system. I bought this for the sole purpose of being able to communicate with those at home while we are out of the country during the coming winter. My main concern was that I didn't want anything with me, such as my laptop, which is an expensive piece of equipment. The Touchpad fits the bill, but also brings with it many shortfalls in its use. It has limited connectivity to mobile broadband dongles, being compatible only with a few on a list printed in the instructions. The file handling systems are also very basic, and take time to get used to. Having said that, all I require of it is to send and receive emails, post to Blogger via email, access Facebook, and store images from both my camera and Nokia phone. Whilst abroad I intend to connect to free wi-fi hotspots, and hope that this year that will be helped by the fact I now use BT Broadband at home, which gives me access to thousands of free wi-fi hotspots around the world, using their BT Fon and BT Openzone access points. I did investigate taking my Three Mi-Fi dongle with me, but they charge 1.75 GBP per MB for data roaming. Another alternative was using a company called ABroadband, who sell data worldwide at a flat rate 0.53 Euros per MB. This is somewhat cheaper, but still far more expensive than my home service. They also want 99 Euros for their micro sim card and a Mi-Fi dongle linked to their service. I managed quite well last year using the free wi-fi available at town centre cafes etc. I hope I have now mastered the Touchpad enough to do what I want to with it, and this will be the proof. I have written this post as an email on it, attached an image, and hope it works!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Canal Cruising Indian Style

Margaret has been back from her Indian adventure for a couple of weeks now and things are starting to return to normal. We also have our own boat back, which we will now visit only a few times before the full onset of winter. The last part of the holiday in India consisted of a stay at the Vivanta by Taj Kumarakom followed by a drive to Alleppey with a cruise and overnight stay on a houseboat or kettuvallam. These were originally used to transport rice on the backwater canals, today they are mostly used for leisure, although the canals are still used in all aspects of daily life from washing, bathing, and transport.