Monday, 23 February 2009

Modern technology

Girl sitting in cyber cafe

How is my planning coming along? Well, I've sorted out the arrangements for the northern half of the route already, and work continues on the southern section of route. I can split the journey into two sections due to living roughly at the half-way stage, with the added bonus of spending a night in my own bed. All of this I've done from my computer, which is pretty amazing when you consider how much effort would have been required before usage of the internet became widespread.

There would have been a lot of phonecalls and letter writing. I'd have had to send off for paper copies of timetable booklets, instead of simply looking on the Stagecoach website. For accomodation I'd have had to visit the central library to look up the details of guesthouses overnight in the various local phone directories, and then rung round to check on availability and prices – instead of Google and email. And I'd have probably ended up catching a time-consuming train all the way to Thurso, there being no cheap flights to Inverness for £1.56 (plus taxes and charges) available from the FlyBE website. (A website? What's one of those?)

If that weren't enough, there's no way I'd have been able to keep interested parties up to date with my progress. Imagine a frequent newsletter being posted to a list of people in the run up to the trip (blog), or a typewriter being taken with me so that I could keep the newsletters being posted along the route (laptop) – not to mention that steady supply of 10p pieces so that I could transmit progress reports instantaneously from bus station call boxes along the route (Twitter). What amazing tools we have at our disposal these days.

But if all that isn't exciting enough, how does the prospect of using the internet on the bus strike you? Forget those iPhone and BlackBerry devices – for I am a Luddite at heart – I shall get the opportunity to use the wi-fi internet access with my laptop between Dundee–Glenrothes and Milton Keynes–Banbury. Will we one day see free wi-fi access as standard on the local bus route into town?

Image credit: larksflem on Flickr

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