Loading Software Before You Go
As an experienced road warrior, it is likely that you already know what software to load into your laptop (or PDA) before you leave. It's still worth observing that there is no guarantee that you will be able to access the Internet just because you have Wi-Fi enabled equipment. You need to plan to be self-sufficient. This means loading the software you'll need before you go. At a minimum, you should probably bring on your computer or PDA:
Drivers and related software for your Wi-Fi card (see Chapter 8, "Adding Wi-Fi to a Mobile Computer," for more information about the software that might be required).
Wi-Fi hotspot directory information (see the next section, "Taking Hotspot Info with You," for more information).
Software to access a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if your company operates one (see Chapter 18, "Protecting Your Mobile Wi-Fi Computer," for more information about VPNs) and if it requires special software.
An Internet browser.
An email program such as Outlook.
All of the general software you will need, including contact management, word processing, presentation, and any specialized software related to your job or interests.
There's nothing more inconvenient than arriving in a strange city for an important meeting, and finding you don't have the one piece of software you need. So think carefully before you leave, and be sure to load anything you think you might even possibly need.
Also, particularly if you are going to be doing a lot of flying, be sure to load some recreational programs (such as music, video, or games) before you leave home.