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Hoxton and free wifi

Just had couple of days in London staying at Hoxton Hotel. They have free wifi:

Hoxton wifi

Hoxton lobby

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Filed under: Free wifi

First free wifi in a very long while

Free wifi at the Newsroom

Newsroom bar in Minneapolis. Had great lunch there with Will Underwood from Kent State University Press and grabbed my email/updated my RSS feeds/downloaded some new podcats at the same time.

Newsroom in Minneapolis

Filed under: Free wifi

First free wifi in a while

Just don’t come across so much free wifi in my travels these days which I guess is understandable now that people wandering around with wireless laptops is much more common etc and there is a buck to be made. Although, from speaking to a few cafe/bar owners along the way it does seem to be as much about people just taking the piss and sitting all day not even buying a cup of coffee. I hasten to add that I always contribute at least the cost of a couple of bottles of house red and invariably drinks/lunch for whoever happens by. And there is always the little shit in the corner hammering all the bandwith their bit torrent running at full pelt.

But anyway, pleased to add a couple of new ones. Firstly, one of my favourite places to just hang out in the middle of the day in the UK. The Watershed in Bristol is a combined art/cinema/cafe place and for many years (I’ve been going for at least 12 or 13 years) has provided good affordable food and a short balanced and again affordable wine list. And is just a great place to hang out. So, I took the opportunity when had to go to Bristol recently to see the University Press and to pick up some stuff to go grab a late lunch and some much needed plonk (required after day at mercy of UK train service) and was happy to find free wifi.

Watershed

Watershed free wifi

And secondly, the Oxford Tube coach service running every ten minutes between London and Oxford. This is and has been for many years a great service (runs 24 hours and is affordable etc etc). But as many people use it to commute and there are now competing services I guess they see this as a competitive advantage and so it is! And they have powerpoints for your laptops!

Oxford Tube wifi

Filed under: Free wifi

Mobile roaming charges – such a big deal?

Was reading this article where they are talking about charges being capped when you take your mobile out of whatever country it naturally inhabits. I remember that for me the charges were often incredible running into hundreds a month.

But these days is it such a big deal? With wifi in airports/hotels etc/hell even in the street I just use a lot of Skype which now even sends (not receives) SMS coupled with a local SIM for wherever I am and just plug in ‘my home SIM’ once a day or whatever to check messages etc.

I probably wouldn’t have worked so hard at the alternatives if the mobile operators hadn’t taken the piss quite so much. So, with the advent of new phones with wifi and voip clients is it not going to just make a lot of this stuff consigned to the ‘horse stable door bolted’ make a sentence pile?

Filed under: Absurdity, Daily Life, Free wifi, Technology

A few days of Onix evangelism in the UK

Spent the last ten days traveling in the UK trying to see and help as many publishers as possible with their title information. Will write a little more later about what I found in terms of the acceptance and understanding of the importance of good title information and the role Onix has to play in the publishing supply chain. Anyway, a pictorial diary of a typical week.

Waiting on Sunday at the Bombay Bar by gate F63 for the SAS flight to Heathrow:

Bombay Bar, Arlanda Airport

Horrible hotel room in North London as had to spend time with France Lincoln in Kentish Town the next day but at least could walk to their offices from there:

Queen’s Hotel

Dinner comes from kebab shop by Tufnell Park tube station:

Kebab shop

Then spend time working on title information and training Frances Lincoln staff on Onix and title management generally and spend my evening before going back to lovely hotel reading newspaper and having dinner at Assembly Rooms pub in Kentish Town which importantly has free wifi:

Assembly Rooms

Then I have to get the train from Kentish Town up to Luton Airport so I can check in to the airport IBIS hotel in order to catch the 6.30 am flight to Edinburgh. Get up at 4 am and get ready; check out and get across airport to terminal and check in for flight. Arrive in Edinburgh and go straight to Edinburgh University Press and do much the same in the morning as was doing in London and then go to Black & White Publishing also in the city to again to talk up Onix. Like this image in their lobby not sure who the artist is:

Black & White Publishing

Check into IBIS in Edinburgh city centre:

IBIS Edinburgh

Leave 8 am from outside hotel to Geddes & Grosset publishers in New Lanark:

Outside IBIS

Arrive at New Lanark. This is an amazing place which is now a World Heritage Site consisting primarily of the old mills and the houses built for the workers:

New Lanark

And Geddes & Grosset are based in the house of the founder of the village (David Dale) with a great great view:

Geddes & Grosset office

Spend night in Edinburgh as 6 am flight to Heathrow next morning so spend evening at cinema and having UK pub food with its quite bewildering allegiance to bits of lettuce (as ‘garnish’) on the side of just about anything regardless of how inappropriate:

English garnish

Day in London catching up on few things then get train to Cardiff to see Welsh University Press to again talk about effectively managing title information:

Train One

So get to Cardiff talk through managing title information then back in a cab to the station for a five hour train journey to Aberystwth. I am going there to talk on behalf of the Welsh Books Council to their member publishers again about the importance of making sure good quality title information gets into the publishing supply chain in a timely manner and hopefully to demystify a little for them this whole ‘Onix’ thing they keep hearing about. So more trains:

Train Two

I note during all these train journeys that the cost of any one of these journeys dwarfs my flights to and from Edinburgh. Indeed for a few hours on the UK rail network you could get a an Aer Lingus flight from Shannon to JFK. Anyway, arrive at the Welsh Books Council high on the hill above Aberystwth bay and talk to lots of publishers and I think they get it but guess time will tell. At the end of the day many of these are small publishers who are under resourced so finding extra time to spend on quality title information is going to be tough when there are books to get out the door. But think I impressed upon them ‘better title information equals more books sold’ and they understand that.

Welsh Books Council

Great view from the door of the Books Council though! Can’t be too bad to have to come to work here everyday:

View from door of Books Council

Night in lovely UK Bed & Breakfast place on the seafront:

B&B

Before get back on train for five hour journey to Swindon to see a publisher called Green Umbrella to try and spread the Onix message even further:

Station

Get back in London in time to watch the Arsenal v PSV game in a London pub with my friends Gary and Paul:

Gary & Paul

Get up the next day and attend a meeting with a very switched on guy at the Arts Council and the equally switched on Snowbooks team of Emma and Rob about the UK publishing industry and whatthe future may look like before makng my way to Heathrow and catching the flight home:

Home

Filed under: Free wifi, Hotels, Onix, Publishing

More free wifi in Stockholm

String Cafe

Located in ‘Sofo’ on the south island in Stockholm – String has excellent coffee and that all important free wi-fi as well as many powerpoints for when your battery starts to give up on you.

For location and more information click the image above.

Filed under: Free wifi, Swedish Life

More free wifi

As mentioned previously this is a real bug bear of mine and I promised to mention places where it is free and open.

Bars
Hoxton Bar & Grill in Hoxton Square in East London is very much the equivalent of d.b.a in New York (i.e kind of local office when between meeting (see the previous post)). I like it for all kinds of reasons but mostly because when you are in London for any period of days you notice and acknowledge the same people who are obviously doing much the same thing. You take it in turns to plug in to the power and watch each others machine while you go to the bar/bathroom/make a call etc. Generally quiet in the day and bar menu really not that great but all the same I like it in a ‘Hoxton’ kind of way.

In Kent, Ohio my local office tends to be Rays Place which has good free wifi – Good food, good beer, good staff and quiet enough at the times of the days when I need an office. Rest of the time I understand it is a heaving college bar with I suspect all that entails.

Airports
Used to be better is as much as I can say. Well to be more accurate you could get free wifi at Cork. But now this seems to be locked down to some provider (maybe to help pay for the new terminal?). You can still get free wifi at Shannon airport however. For how much longer who knows.

However, if you find yourself in Akron, Ohio you may rest easy the whole terminal is free wifi and seems to work just fine.

Filed under: Free wifi

Stockholm – Couple of days after Christmas

Cafe Sofo

We decamped to a flat in ‘sofo’ area of the city for the Christmas period. Currently sat in cafe ‘Helgulundens Korta Varor’ on Grindsgatan taking advantage of their free wireless as the light fails at 15.09.

Filed under: Free wifi, Swedish Life

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