Hello from Seville, Spain

Not much time to type. Trying to fit a lot of internet into a little bit of time. Just wanted to post real quick about how things are going so far. Here are just a few of the highlights…

  • Barcelona is a wonderful city and we did not have nearky enough time there. The apartment we found on Craigslist was perfect and the host, Kevin, was gracious and kind. The aprtment itself was very well located and was easy access to all of the main parts of the city. I can not detail all of the things we did here, I will do that when I return. Let me just say that there were all sorts of wonderful moments and surprises. Too many to list.
  • Seville is proving to be equally special in its own way. It is a beautiful city. Very old world. Very respecful of its many influences. We saw and amazing flamenco show last night, had tapas in some wonderful little local bars and had a great walking tour today. We hope to get a carriage ride in as well before we head on to Ronda tomorrow.

  • Being able to have the Nokia N800 for internet and VoIP access has been a life saver. It has been a breeze connecting from wherever we can. I even was able to do a little ¨wardriving¨¨with it last night when language barriers prevented the night hotel person and I from figuring out I needed to know what the password was. I simply walked around with the N800 and let it scan for networks until I found an open one. I then connected, started up Gizmo Project and was able to call back home.

All in all this has been an amazing honeymoon so far. Even though Bethany is a bit under the weather we are managing to make the most of every minute. I may post again but I will certainly do a few posts when we return. I would like to go into more detail about so much of what we have seen.

Off to Spain

Princess Bethany and I will be leaving tomorrow for our, much delayed but well deserved, honeymoon to Spain. Here are some details, thoughts, and observations I have before we leave:

  • We plan on visiting several cities over a 12 day period including Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla, Ronda and Granada which should give us a fair sense of the country as a whole.
  • Most of our travel within Spain will be via Vueling Airlines. They seem kind of like a Spanish version of Easy Jet. Unbelievably cheap fares for travel within Spain. We are not making reservations. We will just show up at the airport, choose the flight we want, put some cash down, and go. Adventure baby!

  • While we are staying in hotels in most of the places we are visiting, in Barcelona we will be renting an apartment in the Raval area we found offered on Craigslist. I have had several e-mails back and forth with the very friendly host of the place – he seems like a great guy. I even was able to use Paypal for the deposit. I feel so very 21st century.

  • We will be leaving our laptops behind. Instead, I will be bringing the Nokia N800 and a Think Outside Bluetooth Keyboard for our connectivity needs. We will not only use it for internet and e-mail access but also plan on using Gizmo Project to make cheap VoIP calls. I plan to post about how this works when we get back.

  • I also have a Moleskine City Notebook for Barcelona which I plan to use the heck out of while there. I have already started writing phone numbers for airlines, lodging details, etc. that I will need. I plan on trying to keep notes on places we eat, things we see, etc. I will post about this as well shortly after returning.

Although we will most likely have internet access available wherever we will be staying, posting will be slower than even it’s recent slow levels. As stated above, I plan to post much of my experience when I get back to compensate. Also, I will most likely be slow to respond to e-mail or comments. I will be on my honeymoon after all.

Open To The Possibility

I am not a hacker. I am not a guy who really needs to know what is going on under the hood. When it comes to technology, I like it to “just work”. I don’t want to have to needlessly tinker with it. This does not mean that I wont tinker if the need arises. I just would prefer not to have to do it unless I want to do so or have to do so, but I prefer the option to be mine. While the words “some assembly required” actually make me a little nervous, increasingly words like “this will void your warranty” or “this will break your licensing agreement” make me even more so.

I am not an open source zealot. That being said, the idea of software that is open source, hardware that is open and standards that are open, garners an increasing amount of weight in my making the decision to use technology. Here are some examples:

  • When it came time for me to purchase a new wireless router, I chose one that was based on open source firmware. It works just fine for my needs as it is out of the box. I have no plans to flash it with alternative and more feature rich firmware an time soon. I may never do so. It is just the possibility to be able to do so that appealed to me over other alternatives. The fact that I could add features or capabilities beyond the factory defaults if I wanted to was a huge selling point.
  • One of the big selling points in the purchase of my Nokia N800 was the fact that the software platform that drives it is open source and the Nokia’s own developers are really active participants in the open source project. The platform is based on Linux so there are hundreds of applications being ported to the platform. In other words, out of the box the device is very useful but with so many others able to develop for the N800, it can be so much more.

  • I have increasingly been using Jabber for IM over iChat/AIM. It is the default protocol in the Google Talk client bundled with the N800. iChat also supports Jabber so it easy for my existing “buddies” to find me there.

  • I use GizmoProject over Skype for VoIP. Gizmo is open. Skype is not.

The point is, “open” has become huge for me and I really did not see it coming. I never would have imagined it before recently. Now it is one of the first things I consider when embarking on any technology decision. I suspect I am not alone. I suspect that there are many out there just like me. We are not hackers, makers, zealots or freaks. We don’t want to have to tinker with technology. We just want the option. We just want to be open to possibility.

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