A story of getting Internet in Osaka

I am having a two week stay in Japan. I have conference the week after and since it is spring break, I left early and try to have some change in life (anyway, what makes any difference if most of one’s life is writing codes/papers/proposals ^^; ). 

I didn’t pack well (it typically happens) since I had another paper due just before I left. I already made a checklist but even that I missed a most important thing… my laptop’s adapter. I still don’t know whether if I dropped it or I forgot it. I also brought my asus transformer. It is easier to read from the tablet than from my laptop even though I can’t really work (i.e., matlab and latex) with the former.

I took my trip as half vacation. I may be able to bear with it if I have connection for my tablet. But I have none… at least not conveniently accessible. The hotel has free internet connection but is wired. They don’t have a cable there also but I guess they probably will give me one if I ask. Of course, I can’t use wire connection with my transformer. I thought of several “solutions”, 1. buy another adapter, 2. bear with it and look for wifi hotspot, 3. buy another laptop.

I started with the first “solution”. I am currently in Osaka and there is a place called Niponbashi. It is like akihabara in Tokyo. I was quite a bit disappointed though that none of them seems to sell any used adapter. But my real disappointment is that none of them seems to be interested in universal adapter. I got an igo juice many years ago and I was surprised that they don’t seem to have any similar product. I gave up after checking out several stores.

As for solution 2, the hotel has no wifi and it seems that no free wifi is not conveniently available in most places of Osaka. Macdonald is a good bet. But I dropped the idea pretty soon no only because of the inconvenience. I also got quite a bit uncomfortable since I haven’t booked the next couple days of the lodging. It seems crazy to book hotel online through public wifi in Macdonald.

Ultimately, I went for my solution 3. Actually the used laptops are quite inexpensive here. I settled on a cheapest one I can find, a fujitsu fmv-830mg (pentium M and 512M ram). It costs me 7900 yen (about 95 US dollars). The bios appears to be from 2004. I reinstalled lxde linux mint and now I can even play youtube on it 🙂  A big downside though is now I get a 5 pound more of luggage. 🙁


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