Yesterday I was in an airport and ran into a bank of AT&T 2000 phone booths. The phones had been pulled out; there were four little private booths to sit and . . . well, I don’t know. Just sit.
I did a great deal of air travel in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Business travel has changed so much then. Back then, I used to seek out the AT&T 2000 phone, because they had the best data connection for me to dial into my Earthlink account. “Dial in,” it sounds so quaint. I even joined the USAir Club, not for the fancy peanuts, but because then I could depend on there being good phones for me to dial in.
Just think what business travel used to be like:
- Dial-up Internet from payphones
- Using calling cards to pay for the dial-up access
- Roaming charges on your cell phone
- Leaving and checking voice mails
- Reconfiguring Outlook depending on which network you were using
- 5.5 pound laptop
- Expensive flights
- Studying maps
And now, here is a recent trip:
- Used MiFi for 3G-speed Internet access, until I realized the airport had free wifi
- Held conference call using 1-800 number and bluetooth earpiece
- Voicemails (if I ever get any) are transcribed and emailed to me with Google Voice
- Haven’t touched Gmail settings in a year
- Thin and light netbook, less than 2 pounds
- Dirt-cheap airfares but squeezed seats
- Use my phone’s GPS for everything
And that’s just off the top of my head.
What is “normal” now that we will think is quaint in ten years? Carrying a laptop?
(In case you want to know what the original AT&T Public Phone 2000 looked like, here it is:)