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Sun, 15 Aug 2004
Our roadtrip experience
Last night we got back from our summer roadtrip. OSAF and its sister organizations had a summer picnic last weekend, so we arranged for my regular visit to OSAF to coincide with the picnic. Since this was a family picnic, Julie and I decided that we would drive down with the kids and turn it into a Bay Area visit for her and the girls while I worked in the OSAF offices for a week.

It takes us one and a half days to drive from Bainbridge Island to San Francisco. We've never taken such a long car trip with the kids, so we weren't quite sure how things were going to go. Happily, the kids seem none the worse for the wear, and we were far from going insane during the car rides, despite the fact that we don't have a DVD player in our van. Of course, we did have some alternative forms of entertainment. We listened to a fair number of IT Conversations MP3's via the Powerbook, interspersed with kids songs and just plain quiet times. For fun, I wardrove for a little while, and actually picked up an access point that appeared to be located in an RV next to us. And as recorded in yesterday's post, I fiddled around with using my Nokia 6600 as a GPRS modem. I did discover that GPRS coverage is not quite as broad as voice, as there were a few areas where I was unable to connect.

We stayed overnight at a hotel in Salem, and I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that they offered a free WiFi network. Coincidentally, I spotted this post from Glenn Fleishman ( Wi-Fi Networking News: 27,000 Hotels with Broadband by 2008, Report Says), and it appears that Marriott at least, is right on schedule.

Due to some weird claims about the fire code in San Francisco we ended up staying in Emeryville. I normally stay at a hotel right around the corner from OSAF, but they told me that we'd need two rooms for 5 people, even though one of the five was sleeping in a playpen. That was a little richer than our budget, so we ended up in Emeryville, which was fine. I got a good education on BART, and the family got a taste of the commuting life. The girls have never really seen me commute to work (I did do it for some consulting clients in Seattle, but I think the kids forgot), so it was a new experience for them. Our hotel room looked out over I-80, so in the mornings I'd open up the curtains and let them see all the cars with people going to work. There's just a slight contrast between Bainbridge Island and the Bay Area, and it was good for them to see it first hand.

Also, one night I rehacked our mailserver at home to use IMAP+TLS, which is much nicer than using an ssh tunnel (although I ended up needed the tunnel during the week because the hotel in Emeryville intercepts port 25 -- took me a while to figure out what was going on). I also learned how to read my IMAP mail via the 6600. It can see reading just important stuff in my inbox, but I wouldn't really be able to do much useful e-mail on it. I need enough screen real estate to read the messages, and a keyboard in order to process them.

The family had a good time at the OSAF picnic. These trips always have a relationship building aspect to them, and it was nice to be able to connect Julie and the girls to OSAF'ers and vice versa. Morgen Sagen's kids are roughly the same age, so the kids were able to hang out. The Sagens also came prepared with a cool mini parachute:


(I took the picture with the 6600 too. I guess you can tell what kind of trip it was.) It was also fun to have my co-workers meet Julie, especially since many of them have read her blog. It's an interesting world that's emerging. Several times after I introduced Julie, the rejoinder was a variant of "I read your blog". I am sure that she'll be cranking out the posts now that we're back.

I've got material for a few other posts, but those will have to wait. For now, it's just good to be home.

[23:58] | [family] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
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Ted Leung FOAF Explorer

I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, not those of my employer.

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