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Failed by my technology on the way to Prague

We took MIR TV to Prague over the weekend. It’s a super city — steeped history, stunning architecture, friendly people.

We met some smart folk and we captured some good footage. That’s ANOTHER 3 hours of video to edit!

I had quite a lot of people querying why they heard more or less nothing from me via Twitter (I’m at ew4n) during the weekend. The answer is simple. I trusted in my technology and it spectacularly failed, before I’d even arrived in Prague.

If I’m Twittering, I prefer to do that via two mediums: iPhone Tweetie Client or Blackberry GoogleTalk Client hooked directly into ‘Pingdotfm’, the user-gateway name for the service has been continually offline for days. It’s super when it works. I just type in a sentence as though I’m chatting via the excellent Blackberry GoogleTalk client and … woosh, my message is echoing across tons of services in seconds.

But that’s not been working for some reason. So my fall back plan? Tweetie. I expected to do a few Twitpics, a few updates now and again and so on.

But no.

Here’s what went wrong.

I stayed in a hotel at Heathrow the night before we were due to depart. Instead of the Yotel, I picked the Sofitel which is actually *at* Terminal 5. It’s nice and new and efficient. I placed my fully-powered Blackberry and fully-powered iPhone 3G next to my bed, set both alarms for 05:45 and went to sleep. I said I’d meet Dan and Ben for breakfast airside at about 06:30. Plenty of time.

At 04:20 I woke up suddenly and saw the time. No bother. There was time for maybe one more REM cycle. At 6:40 I glanced at the hotel clock, just to check the time.

And then I started effing and blinding. Oh the language that came out of my mouth.

I’d turned to my devices to query why the alarms had not worked — or HOW I’d slept through them. Arse, arse and thrice arse.

The answer? Well, there’s next to no signal in this hotel — for SOME reason. Perhaps it was the area my room was located in? My Blackberry had NO power left, my iPhone was displaying the ‘power me up please’ screen. As I cursed my rubbish technology — I was *depending on it* — I swapped to the other fully charged Blackberry that I’d brought with me. That worked. No such luck for the iPhone.

And of course I hadn’t brought a charger. Instead I’d brought a camera and all the gubbins that you need to film reasonably professional in a European city. No space for ANOTHER charger.

What happened to erase the power on both of my handsets in about 6 hours?

Simple. Because there was SOMETIMES mobile service but generally NO mobile service in my room, both handsets spent 6 hours doing this:

* Logging on to the network
* Trying to setup 3G services
* Oh no, no 3G services available
* Falling back to 2G
* Oops lost signal
* Hunt for signal
* Found the signal again; logging on
* Logged on

.. and repeat.

The net result being they’d sat and drained themselves. Completely.

Come on. How *annoying*.

I should have put both of them in ‘airplane’ mode.

I had a fully powered Blackberry, thanks to the spare battery I brought along. I *should* have brought my iPhone charger. Fat lot of use it’d have been whilst I was walking the streets of Prague though.

I think I need a Proporta.

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