I started traveling with two laptops after I had a laptop fail during a trip in 2009 the day of a presentation. I bought a netbook as an emergency, but it didn’t work well and ended up as the bedroom spare for my wife.
In it’s place, I’ve started carrying an 11” tablet along with my 15” laptop. They both fit in my bag, and in the course of 5 or 6 trips, I haven’t needed the spare.
Until SQL Saturday #28
I had some family things come up this past week and didn’t get all my work for Database Weekly done before I left. Since I had some free time on Friday, I was planning on working at the Marriot when I arrived. Everything went fine until I plugged my laptop into the wired connection at the hotel.
No lights, not LAN indicator, no connection. I got a spare cable from the front desk, rebooted everything and no connection. I even called tech support before hanging up after being on hold for 10 minutes. Somewhere in the back of my mind it occurred to me to rule out my wired connector in the laptop. I think it used to work, but wireless is so ubiquitous that perhaps I hadn’t.
Actually I noticed the spare tablet in my bag and decided to plug it in. I’d need to sync it anyway, so I plugged it in and it worked.
I was late to the speaker dinner, and left early, coming back to work, but I was able to get all my work done. Or at least what was important for the weekend.
The last few times I’ve been in a hotel, I’ve had issues with my network connection, so I should have known better than to count on it, but this time, having that spare really saved me.