We have been given a new gadget to play with, thanks to Michelle (at 1000heads for 3Mobile), which she says will enable us to blog from anywhere, in the middle of a field if we want, as the gadget will let us connect to a mobile phone network (so no need to head to Starbucks for its wi fi network). So as long as our laptops have power, then we're in business. Blogging on the hoof sounds exciting and might make us feel like important news journalists on an urgent mission rather than the middleagemums obsessed with fashion that we are.
I take the gadget, which is called a mobile Wi-Fi (Huawei E5830 wireless modem for the techies) down to the shed and follow the instructions, which are simple enough, but I am inept at techie things and sure enough, I enter the password and it doesn't work.
Is there a name for the sad, lengthy sigh you inevitably make when anything connected to the technical world of computers or TVs goes wrong? The 'I know I am not going to be able to solve this problem on my own and it's likely to cost me money/lead to me shouting things at inanimate objects/make me cry' sigh.
Middleagedad is admirably competent with computers. He studies the instructions, but the print is quite tiny for our old eyes and it's not great light in the shed so he struggles too. We try four or five versions of the password before he starts to swear at it and call it a stupid machine 'what do you want it for anyway? We've got Wi-Fi in the house' Ah yes but it doesn't reach out here to the shed, which is cosy and a long way away from teenagesons and parental responsibilites.
He inhales patience and we start from the beginning. The little gadget has far too many flashing lights ('modem connected', 'something's roaming', 'battery half charged') in a rainbow of colours that may speak intuitively to those below the age of 40 but make no obvious sense to either of us. We get into double digits trying variations on the password and then lo! with no discernable reason why, we have connection.
And then it's all fabulous. Internet connection in the shed, or the green house, or the car or anywhere there's a mobile phone signal. which is clever. The next day it is beyond glorious, heavyweight sunshine with a shiny blue sky. The new gadgets allows me to sit in the garden and blog from the lawn, something I could really get used to if I could do something about the screen glare…can I have a new gadget for this please?
It is not a cheap thing and it needs to be charged before you can use it, (it lasts about 4 hours, which is plenty of blogging time) adding to the stable of other gadgets that need plugging in nightly. But if you are a regular mobile laptop user with dodgy access to wifi then this is worth looking at, and a second generation version is on the way.