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File by Bluetooth and cell phone or aircard?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Johnny Dangerously, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    As some of you know, I'm on my own now -- freelancing with my own cell phone and laptop. My question is, to ensure I have coverage no matter what I'm reporting (prep game in the boonies, blogging from the back roads, whatever) am I better off with Bluetooth/cell phone connection to the Internet, or an aircard? I've used the former before, with company-issued equipment. I've never done the latter.

    If it helps answer the question, I have a Dell laptop and an AT&T BlackBerry cell phone. I'm sure I overbought on both. A friend said she'd give me good advice on what kind of laptop and cell phone to buy, and she said she e-mailed detailed suggestions to me, but I never got them. So, with a freelance assignment looming, I bought.

    Now, I realize I have Bluetooth on the cell phone, but not the kind of plan that enables me to dial up and connect to the Internet with the cell phone. It's just so I can be that guy walking through the airport and seemingly talking to himself, with some weird thing clipped to his ear. I don't want to be that guy.

    So, am I better off ditching the Bluetooth and getting an aircard? And if so, what do I need to watch for in terms of traps when I buy whatever plan I get for it?

    Thanks. I'll hang up and listen.
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Air cards are God.
  3. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    if you go with the aircard, be very on top of your usage because it's not a pretty sight when you go over.
  4. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    That's why I'd imagine an unlimited plan would make sense? Or, as I fear, are there ways they can get around that and still hit you with a surprise when the bill arrives?
  5. sportshack06

    sportshack06 Member

    Here's what I do.

    You can pay the extra to tether your BlackBerry to your computer (its $15 on most carriers) which turns your phone into a glorified modem of sorts.

    Or you can just pound out your story. Hook your BlackBerry into the computer, file transfer your document onto the phone and then fire it off via your email on the Berry.

    Easiest way ever. And beats plunking down the extra for an AirCard and the extra for the service.
  6. silvercharm

    silvercharm Member

    The price for Verizon air cards is pretty simple. $40 for 50 MB each month (which you can track on the usage tab) or $60 for unlimited. If you're using it to file stories and occasionally browse the internet (I'd say no more than 2 hours a month), the $40 plan is fine. But if you're using the internet for a half hour each day with the card, the unlimited plan is best. I don't know if this is the case everywhere, but if you go through Costco, the card is free as long as you commit to a 2-year plan. You have 30 days to try it out, and can turn it back without paying for the 2 years. If you want to get out of the plan after that, it's $175 termination fee minus $5 for every month you've used (example: to get out after 12 months, it would be $175 minus $60, equally $115).

    And yes, as Moddy said, air cards are money.
  7. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I file stories regularly on a BlackBerry. It doesn't take that much longer to type with my thumbs. I only use my laptop for stories I have time to drive in.
  8. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

  9. bp6316

    bp6316 Member

    Be aware of what carriers have the best coverage in your area. We do live video from some events and have a Verizon card, an AT&T card and a Sprint card. Depending on where we are in town, we need to use a different card for better signals. AT&T tends to work best in most areas here, but that will certainly not be the case everywhere. And don't take the word of the agents at the stores, they of course, have an agenda. :) Ask around and you'll find people with them (especially look around at like coffee shops and bookstores). People are usually pretty willing to share what problems they've had.
  10. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Member

    Seriously? That is awesome.

    my Txted st0riies wud look lik thIs,
  11. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Really, how do you do that? There some sort cord you run?
  12. This is what a guy who works with me does when he covers a game on Friday nights.
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