While traveling this past holiday season, at one of the many airports a kid was busy talking on her cellphone and complaining about how she was having such difficulty finding a phone number. At the other end, it sounded like her mom was navigating through her Facebook page to locate the phone number in question. Have we really become so dependent on network connectivity?
Have we really become so dependent on network connectivity?This recently resurfaced again when a popular business journal recommended that a road warrior should consider a full compliment of on-line tools. Even something as pedestrian as a spreadsheet can be hosted for you remotely. How does this kind of configuration really help someone on the road who is intermittently connected? Once your PC falls out of WiFi range or the number of RJ45 outlets approaches zero on all nearby walls you must now rely on the data stored locally on your computer.

Despite the fact that Google is doing some interesting stuff with Gears, most web sites aren’t going to be bothered to adapt their systems with the Gears overhead. This leaves you with the option of hosting your own data on your own local computer. Is that really all that difficult to do?

NetworkBefore the advent of the Internet, and the popularity of Web sites, it was actually quite common for people to store things like email and phone numbers on a local computer. In fact, there are a litany of software programs capable of providing excellent user interfaces to manage this kind of data. If you think about, storing a few hundred gigabytes of MP3 files will make a few megabytes of Excel data look incidental.

Unfortunately, the real challenge is to make users aware of when they are connected. There are so many mechanisms now for being connected, many users don’t even know how or when they are in fact on-line. It may be your cellphone providing high-speed connectivity, or maybe your computer has EVDO, or every once in a while your WiFi kicks in. As a last resort, there is a ethernet plug on your computer that you can use for wired connectivity.