Last week Julie and I spent a couple of days working from a cabin on one of the islands off the Sunshine Coast. There’s no cable or landline phone service to the cabin, so the only way we could manage this feat was by using the Internet Tethering feature on our iPhone.
For those outside the Cult of Mac, tethering transforms your iPhone into a modem for your computer. You use the phone’s 3G signal to access the web at slow but manageable speeds. You’re not going to play World of Warcraft, but it’s good enough for email or work-related web surfing.
This is kind of a game-changer for us. It means that we can work anywhere there’s 3G cell service. How much of BC is that? Not very much, but it’s a good start and I suspect that it’ll get better. Still, the promise of working remotely more–as well as always being able to access the web on my laptop in the city–is excellent news.
Canada Line, Ho!
When we’re in Vancouver, we usually stay near Cambie and Broadway. So we’ve been anticipating the opening of the new SkyTrain line for months. Since it opened last Monday, I’ve taken it like, 17 times. Okay, maybe more like six times, but it’s fairly awesome.
The trains are frequent and spacious, and it takes only 25 minutes to get all the way out to Richmond Centre. It’s a joy to ride the Canada Line right now, because it’s entirely advertising-free. All of the poster frames are empty, and the video advertising screens are off.
My only criticism of the Canada Line is that the subterranean platforms are aesthetically banal. Having ridden subways in a bunch of other cities around the world, I’ve always enjoyed it when individual stations have distinct designs. The Canada Line platforms look pretty much identical. Maybe this is due to time or budget restrictions, and there are plans to individualize the platforms down the road.
On a vaguely related note, we went out to Richmond Centre for a meeting on Wednesday morning. We walked through the mall–I don’t think I’d ever been before–before the stores were open. We passed several hundred Chinese seniors doing calisthenics to the music of, oddly, the Counting Crows. It was, I must say, a little Maoist. There was also a smaller group doing Tai Chi. I’d heard of seniors doing mall walking, but the scope of these exercising oldies was truly impressive.