Working the Web 2.0

No Connection

Day 7: Mission accomplished--I've given my speech, and the Chicago bean counters seemed pleased. But rather than heading home, I'm making a side trip to St. Louis to visit my Aunt Carolyn. Her house is not exactly a hotbed of connectivity. In fact, she positively revels in the fact that she's the last holdout in the family who doesn't have a PC.

Up in her guest bedroom, my notebook sees several Wi-Fi networks but can't connect to any of them. In theory, my Palm Treo 650 should be able to double as a modem, but the notebook has chosen this moment to fail to recognize that the Treo is connected at all. Dial-up? With enough effort, it might be doable, but the bedroom lacks a phone line, and I don't feel like crouching in the hallway near the closest jack.

Bottom line: For the moment, I'm cut off from my Web-based tools...which, since I'm taking a vacation day, is probably a blessing.

Day 9: Back in the office, I'm gathering data on's Web traffic for a staff meeting. I plug it all into a Google Spreadsheets worksheet and try to print it for distribution...whereupon I find that the service doesn't have a "Print" menu item. A little rummaging around in the help system reveals the counterintuitive fact that you're supposed to use a menu item called "Get HTML" to print. It provides no page setup options whatsoever.

Day 10: On the road again, I try to use Writely's built-in collaborative document sharing, which I've used before with good results, to send a document to a coworker. No dice--I give Writely her PC World e-mail address, but she's already signed up for Writely via a Gmail account, and it refuses to give her access to the file. "Wouldn't Web-based mail be faster?" she asks plaintively. She's right. And so I send her a plain old file attachment.

Special Report: Tomorrow's Technology

The Future of Your PC The Future of Robots
The Future of Cell Phones The Future of Privacy
The Future of the Web The Future of Nanotech
The Future of OSs The Future of You
The Future of Fun 100 Fearless Forecasts
Incredible Tech: Lies Ahead A Look Back
Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the Best of PCWorld Newsletter