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Sorry I am not a techie so this might sound lame to some of you.
I will be commuting over one hour on train each day. To kill this travel time, I am interested in wireless internet solutions (ipad, wifi card etc). Few options I could think are as follows:
(1) Ipad with 3G - what are the best 3G tariffs for ipad? Does 3G work on a train? I will be interested to browse, read news, do email and facebook...usual stuff...
(2) Wireless USB key - i have a ultra light notebook which I could use, possibly this option works if the data charge for USB key is cheaper
(3) Swisscom live - i read on Swisscom website that you can watch TV on mobile / laptop while on the move. This sounds too good to be true. Any experiences?
(4) any other possibilities?
Any suggestions, especially from fellow train commuters, will be gratefully received:
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I have to spend 3x 4 hours on the train each week, so here's some advice from a pro:
- There are two things that will keep your sanity intact: 1. travelling 1st class, 2. do some work on the train.
watching videos, listening to music etc. will be great for 1-2 months but as a long-term strategy, this will simply not do. Believe me, staring out of the window for an hour while listening to music does NOT make time go by any faster.
For 2. you'll need a notebook and a USB dongle or a MiFi. The latter will set up an ad-hoc WiFi hotspot for you so you can share one internet connection with all the devices you have along. In any case, you'll need a mobile internet subscription. Go Sunrise or Swisscom, forget about Orange because O doesn't have an EDGE network (yet) and very spotty 3G coverage. Sunrise and Swisscom are more or less en par in terms of coverage and speed, so pick the cheapest solution from those two providers. Or even better: make your employer pay for it. Tell them you need to get some work done on the train and that you require mobile internet for that - worked for me :-)
An iPad might be a notebook replacement for some - but since Apple removed VLC from their App Store, there's no video solution that'll play DivX , so this is pretty much a no-go. Also, working on the iPad CAN be a possibility if you have an external USB keyboard and are willing to settle for Pages as your word processor. If you go for an iPad, I'd definitely choose the MiFi solution for internet, rather than putting a 3G card in the iPad. The MiFi will let you use the internet connection universally, for other devices as well (if you choose to bring your notebook, for example, once in a while), while the 3G iPad will tie the subscription to one single device.
What also REALLY helps: make sure that your employer counts the work you do on the train towards your work-time and lets you go home earlier. I know of several employers (including mine) who will do that. It's a fair deal: some of my work (such as answering my email, scheduling meetings, even some server management) I can do on the train just as well as in the office. So my employer lets me count the morning commute to work as work-time - meaning I'll only spend 6 1/2 hours each day in the office. Otherwise, I'd be leaving at 6 in the morning and getting back at 8 at night - not good.
Anyway, the most important thing is that you have a clear strategy and that you actually put some structure in the time on the train or the commuting business will wear you down and have you looking for a new job in no time.
ps: I don't commute because I like it - I commute because there's no qualified work to be found in the area where we have our house and my wife has her good job.