Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Navigation and stuff

Once a month, I travel to the neighboring burg of Durham for a meeting. It's not a difficult trip, but it is at a difficult time. The meeting starts at 7 PM, so, I can either drive in the peak of traffic, go early and find a place to sit, or drive at the last minute, hell bent for leather. I've tried each tactic over the years, and I'm becoming more a fan of the early-and-hang-out method. Unless I'm working on that day, I'm usually free, and hanging out at places with WiFi is something of a hobby of mine. Tonight, it's the Beyu Café, on West Main Street. I've usually come here for brunch with the Lovely Bride, so this is my first time coming at the after work/dinner hour. (First note - I am quite under dressed.)

Before I left the comforts of Cary, I chatted with said Lovely Bride and suggested we meet for coffee. She could wait out the traffic, I could come over early and beat the traffic, and we could spend time together. Triple win! As I approached the usual exit, I realized a summertime problem with meeting at the American Tobacco Campus - there is a Durham Bulls game tonight. Every eating place at the Tobacco campus will be packed!

No problem, I'll just fire up Around Me, my favorite "What's Close By?" app. Hitting the "Coffee Shop" category, I found Beyu, where I've been before. The link within the app gives me their phone number, web address, and an option for directions. I called, and they're open. Sweet! Hitting the direction link usually takes me to Apple's Maps app, but within Around Me, it gives me a choice: Maps, Waze, or some other app (I've forgotten which it was). I use Waze almost exclusively. It's a "social" navigation aid, in that the users (on iOS, Blackberry, Android, or whatever) report traffic conditions, which helps the community. Really cool app, if you're in a city of any size where there is a technical population. The Research Triangle of central North Carolina is a huge gang of nerds, milling about with more technology hanging on their persons than is healthy for anyone. When I turn on Waze at, say, 11 PM, there are probably 50-60 other users on the service, trying to find their way home without getting into a bind. Rush hour, the numbers are more in the 500-600 range. That means if there's a problem, you're going to get an alert. So, one tap, and Waze opens up, with my route plotted. I am so loving this century!

So, I sidle up to the bar, order up a local brew, and pull out the trusty iPad for some surfing/writing. (I have several items needing review, as usual!) A nicely-dressed gent plops his laptop bag on the seat next to me, just below the bar where my iPad bag lies. I was a bit curious as to why, when there are 5-6 other empty seats. Then, he pulls out the power supply to his PC laptop, and I notice there is a power outlet in front of that stool. I remember having to grab power where you could - I still do that with my poor old MacBook Pro when I take it anywhere. But, due to this iPad (or, rather, ther previous one), I've given up moving computers around more than my home or the place I work. The next one's going on the desk and sitting still.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Beyu Café,W Main St,Durham,United States

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