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CalendarMarch 20, 2018

Wi-Fi in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Wi-Fi in Buenos Aires, ArgentinaI was in Buenos Aires a few weeks ago and did my usual survey of Internet connectivity in the city.

The airports (both EZE and AEP) had readily accessible Wi-Fi and surprisingly fast data speeds. However, once I got outside the airport, it was a different story. In the few days I was in Buenos Aires, I did not find one free wireless hotspot. I didn't even find a free Wi-Fi connection where I had to sign up with my email address (which was common in London).

Each hotel I stayed at provided Wi-Fi, though the experience differed widely among the hotels. The first hotel provided free Wi-Fi with a standard password used by all guests. The connection was reasonably fast, but nothing like my cable connection back home. The second hotel provided Internet access with a custom login for each room, but with a maximum of three devices per room. That is a problem when you have two travelers, each with a laptop and smartphone. The third hotel provided Internet access with a universal password (that was way too long) and a very choppy Internet connection. It only worked about 20% of the time, which was problematic when I was trying to load Google Maps before I journeyed out into the city.

Fortunately, most restaurants and coffee shops in Buenos Aires provide Internet access to patrons with a custom Wi-Fi password. (It helps to know a little Spanish when requesting the password, since many Argentinians do not speak English.) I attempted to make my usual Starbucks stop to see if I could get free Wi-Fi without a password, but this was how the Starbucks near my hotel looked in the middle of the day.

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CalendarJanuary 22, 2018

Wi-Fi in London, England

Wi-Fi in London, EnglandI do my best to provide updates on Internet access in all the places I travel. As 2018 began, I realized I forgot to provide an update after my recent trip to London. So... better late than never.

Overall, Wi-Fi is readily available in England, but still not as ubiquitous as in most large cities in the United States. Free Wi-Fi was particularly hard to come by, even in busy areas. The norm seemed to be the "sign-up to access the Internet" option, which I've never liked. In all my years using the Internet, I've never signed up for a "fake" email account. For me, it's usually not worth providing my personal information to a random company for a few minutes of Internet access.

Even Starbucks, recognized internationally for their free Wi-Fi more than the quality of their coffee, often required me to create an account in order to access their Internet connection. At least some Starbucks locations offered free Wi-Fi with no hassle.

The popular British coffee/pasty shop, Pret A Manger, which can be found on roughly every street in London, provided Internet access at every location. But... only after signing up with a valid email address. I suppose if I had been in London for an extended period of time, signing up for Pret's free Internet would have made sense, but for my three-day stay, I refrained.

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CalendarDecember 6, 2017

Looking for a laptop this Christmas season?

Looking for a laptop this Christmas season?The most popular question I receive at PC.net — by far — is:

"What laptop should I buy?"

I'm not sure why this question is so popular, but perhaps having a domain name like "PC.net" draws some PC-related questions. While I have an affinity for desktop computers, I know quite a bit about laptops as well. So if you're looking for laptop recommendations, you've come to the right place.

I just published my Christmas 2017 Laptop Recommendations.

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CalendarNovember 10, 2017

Why I Returned the iPhone X

Why I Returned the iPhone XI feel like I broke up with a girl because someone better came along. A few days later, I missed my ex and realized my mistake. Fortunately, my ex hadn't moved on and was willing to take me back. I said goodbye to the iPhone X today and am happily reunited with my iPhone 7. ❤️

Before I explain why I didn't like the iPhone X, let me first say it is an amazing phone. Even my 7 might understand its allure. The X is easily the fastest iPhone I have used. The apps open rapidly and the scrolling is silky smooth. The resolution of the OLED screen is amazing and it has better contrast than any of my previous iPhones. The X's built-in speakers are noticeably louder and produce a fuller sound than those in the 7.

Face ID, introduced with the iPhone X, is incredible. It works in the dark and when I'm wearing sunglasses. I can be looking directly at the phone or at an angle and it still works. More importantly, it doesn't work when anyone else uses it. Face ID is an amazing technological achievement.

So why did I return the iPhone X?

There were a few things that bothered by about the iPhone X, which got more annoying over the course of the week.

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CalendarSeptember 13, 2017

That Notch Tho

Apple introduced the new iPhone 8 yesterday. Then they introduced the even newer iPhone X.

Why no iPhone 9? Because 7 ate 9, of course. Maybe the number 9 is bad luck in the tech world. Microsoft jumped from Windows 8 to Windows 10 and now Apple is skipping the nine in the their iPhone line. I suppose Apple could still introduce an new older model (does that make sense?) called the iPhone 9 next year, but let's not worry about that for now.

The only thing I'm worried about right now is that "notch" at the top of the iPhone X screen.

Apple iPhone X Notch

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- PC (Per Christensson)