The joys of mobile net access

The night before the conference as I packed my bag with camera, pen drive, usb cables and all the usual tech paraphernalia, I debated whether to take my work laptop or my personal laptop. Ok, so neither run MacOS, but I figured my personal laptop would probably give me more geek cred, and more importantly it’s lighter, quicker to boot and runs faster. In the end though I decided to take the work laptop because a couple of days earlier a project I have been involved with for the past few months went live so I decided it would be useful to have access to the corporate LAN and all my code, just in case there were any problems. The problem with taking the work laptop on the road is that its over-protective security policy will only give me web access if I connect via a VPN connection back into the work network. This means that to get online I have to connect to WiFi, log on (if it’s Openzone) and then log on to the VPN, so quickly checking email takes forever! To make matters worse, if I’m on a flaky connection that drops out even for a fraction of a second, the VPN will disconnect and I have to start again. At FoWA there was free WiFi throughout the conference hall which was great, except that every time I logged in to the VPN it would throw me off as soon as it connected. Not sure if this was the WiFi hotspot, or my work network security. Either way it was a pain and meant that the only way I could get online was to sit outside the conference during the breaks and log on to an Openzone hotspot.

Lesson learned. In future I’ll take my own laptop.

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