Greetings from sunny and cold Arizona! I’m Chris Guld, and I blog about computer use while traveling. My husband, Jim, and I live full time in our 30 foot class C motorhome and we travel around the country giving computer seminars at rallies and RV parks. We’ve both been computer geeks for quite some time. Now we tour around the country, so we call ourselves Geeks on Tour!
My background is in computer training, database development, and website development. Jim is a hardware and network guy. Between the two of us, we can figure out just about anything when it comes to computers. And I love to write about it all.
When we first started our RV lifestyle in 2003, an informal survey of RVers showed that about half of them traveled with a computer in their RV. Today, I estimate that number at closer to 90%! And, half of those have TWO computers inside! For some of these folks, it is their first computer. They managed to retire from the workplace before computer use was required, and they only have one now because the grandkids want to send them email!
Not all RVers are computer beginners. There are a growing number, like us, who are not retired and who keep working on the road by using their computers. The people who most need this blog topic, however, are the beginners, so I plan to keep the posts at a basic level.
In our line of work, it is essential to have Internet access wherever we go. Before we ever hit the road, we equipped our motorhome with a rooftop, automatic, Internet satellite dish called the Datastorm. It set us back about $6,000 which sounds like a lot, but when you consider it a business startup investment it’s not so much! Here’s a picture of our rig.
There are now several ways to connect to the Internet on the road, and that will be a primary topic for my blog entries. For casual Internet users, you’ll find Wi-Fi hotspots all over the place. There is no contract or other commitment – you pay by the day, week or month. The fees are very reasonable and many hotspots even provide it for free.
If you’re like us, and need Internet *everywhere* then the satellite dish is the way to go.
The third option is cellular. Buying a ‘data card’ from a provider like Verizon and connecting to the Internet whenever you’re in range of a cell tower – which is most everywhere these days. This option is growing in popularity, we talk to people all the time who *love* their data cards.
I’ll be writing more on all of these options in subsequent posts. Make sure to check in here often! I also am active on the RV.net Technology Corner forum – as are lots of other ‘geeks’! Anything you want to know about using computers on the road – you can ask there.