TITLE: August 7 -- En Route to Florida AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: August 16, 2004 1:23 PM DESC: day one of SugarLoafPLoP trip ----- BODY: My trip to Florida went well. I love to fly out of the Quad Cities Airport. It is small but not too small. The TSA personnel there work quickly and efficiently. AirTran, the discount airline that's the reason I occasionally fly out of the QCs, is fast and efficient, too. And now I have another reason to like this airport: It offers free wireless! The service is through MediaCom. It, too, was fast, and reliable. It was nice to be able to quickly scan e-mail and check a web site for the slides I was polishing. Ubiquitous wireless is the future, but the future is more and more with us today. The shopping mall in Cedar Falls and a couple of local eateries now provide wireless for their customers. How will this change our world? Checking mail and web surfing are the uses most of us make of it now, but they won't be where the real effect lies. I find that I'm sometimes more productive in airports and on airplanes than at home. Airports are, in a strange way, less distracting than the other places I work. I don't know anyone around me, the scenery is impersonal and unremarkable, and I'm away from everything but my laptop and my thoughts. All I really need is an extra battery for the laptop, or good enough fortune to find an open and easily accessible outlet in the airport. But even sitting on the concourse floor, under a telephone to be near an outlet, is strangely freeing -- the words flow. Perhaps it's only the change of scenery. I got as much work done yesterday as I had all week in the office. Tomorrow, I head to Brazil. I'm a bit on edge. -----