Cover V05, I02


Editor's Forum

During the next few weeks, I expect to have ample opportunity to test the real-world practicality of "telecommuting." I'm planning to drive cross-country to attend the USENIX conference in San Diego. That's some 1,500 miles in a 1978 vintage motor home.

(On second thought, maybe a trip in a '78 motor home isn't really such a "real-world" test. Oh, well.)

I'm planning a very leisurely trip with lots of sightseeing and photography, I'm also a semi-professional photographer, specializing in product and special effects photography. (I've used many of my special effects photos as covers for The C/C++ Users Journal and Windows Developer's Journal.) On this trip I hope to do some serious landscape work. (For the other shutterbugs out there, I'll be carrying a Minolta 35 mm system, a Mamiya RB 67 system, and a Toyo 4 x 5 view camera and will be able to do E-6 processing on site.)

Even though I'm planning a lot of play during this trip, I still need to keep in touch with the magazine staff to review proposals, manuscripts, and galleys. I'm hoping to do all that on-line from my motor home -- though I'm not exactly certain how.

Of course, I've done remote work before, but usually by a direct login to our machine here -- and just to pick up email during short business trips. This trip is so long that I'll have to do more than just email -- and as a nomad, I don't think I can count on being granted long distance privileges in all sites and I'm too cheap to pay for hours of cellular time.

So, I'm planning to stop every few days in a city that is large enough to have a local CompuServe number and a campground with telephone hookups, or a convention center where the pay phones have data hookups. If that doesn't work, I'll use my good-standing as a private pilot and go beg to set my notebook up in a local pilot's lounge. And if that doesn't work ... well, it seems silly, but I guess I could park my motor home in front of a cheap motel room long enough to make a call. How weird!

Wish me good luck -- I may need it.

Sincerely yours,
Robert Ward