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The Alternate Reality, Episode 4: The International Excursion

Mat Newman  August 22 2010 14:37:00
I've been in Malaysia now for almost a week, and am pleased to report that everything - again - just works.

It's my first trip overseas since making the switch from Windows to Ubuntu (Linux).  Wireless networking again wasn't a problem anywhere that I've been able to get a connection, and the "Network Connections" feature built into Lucid Lynx (10.04) is a great replacement for my old Lenovo "Access Connections" utility under Windows.

Network Connections is a great tool to create connections, store settings and even customise and reapply options without having to mess about with network interface configurations, just as Access Connections was under Windows.  Access Connections is supplied with ThinkPads (first IBM Access Connections, and then the Lenovo branded version) running windows, and it's a great utility that means never having to touch the networking properties section within the Windows Control Panel.

I messed about initially to get my Telstra broadband USB modem working when I first switched over from Windows, but in the end found that once the correct drivers were installed it was simply a matter of "Ejecting" the USB virtual CD-Rom (which is a feature of the Telstra-supplied ZTE series modems) to activate the broadband connection on the device.

So now I have the USB Modem roaming happily here in KL and accessing information and keeping up to date is a breeze.  Picking up a pre-paid Sim from one of the local suppliers and inserting it into the modem was a piece of cake, and a much better option than paying for ad-hoc Wireless access at the many hot-spots that are available, so having an unlimited download SIM for the equivalent of AU$7.00 a week is a pretty good option.

I'm also really happy with the battery performance under Ubuntu, an initial deep cycle of my batteries actually recovered 10Wh and that combined with the lower battery drain I'm now getting almost 6 hours to a charge.

So good connectivity, good battery time and a stable system ... that's everything a business traveller needs for an International Excursion.
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Mat Newman

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