I try to check my sales and support emails at least twice a day, every day. I managed this 362 days in 2007 (I took a break for Christmas day and 2 days I was in Germany at a conference). But providing this level of service can prove to be a problem for a one-man software company when it comes to taking holidays. Last year I restricted holidays to places with broadband Internet access. But finding child-friendly accommodation with broadband access proved to be quite a headache.
I have considered getting a Blackberry, but I really need something that can run my application to do proper support.
After some dithering I have now finally got mobile Internet access for my laptop through 3 Networks at £10/month. This provides 1GB per month of free data in the UK. You can get a higher data allowance with a more expensive contract, or a pay-as-you-go contract. But 1GB/month will hopefully be sufficient for my needs. Data costs outside the UK are a frightening £6/MB, so I will probably have to look for alternative arrangements if I take a holiday abroad. Vodaphone offer contracts with more reasonable roaming rates, but the contracts are much more expensive (£25 – £99/month).
Installation of the USB mobile modem and software was very easy – it took me about 5 minutes from opening the packaging to being connected. Only time will tell how good the coverage and service are. Watch this space.
Having mobile Internet access could also be a useful back-up if I lose my landline broadband connection. This is quite reassuring after several website outages and a failed harddisk in the last couple of weeks.