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Technology: Can't Leave Home Without It

As my wife, Laura, and I head north to Quebec for a vacation in a few weeks, we'll have a traveling companion: a laptop PC. We aren't alone. Lots of people bring their laptops on vacation.
As my wife, Laura, and I head north to Quebec for a vacation in a few weeks, we'll have a traveling companion: a laptop PC. We aren't alone. Lots of people bring their laptops on vacation.A just-released survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Intel reveals that one-third of American computer users or their families have taken a laptops with them on vacation, and half will likely take a laptop on a future trips.

I don't feel a need to stay connected to the office while on holiday--the last time I vacationed, I didn't check my E-mail once. (I did on previous vacations, however, mostly to clean out my E-mail directory so I wasn't faced with the laborious task of deleting a thousand or more messages upon my return.)

But, I am addicted to the Internet as a way to communicate with my kids, relatives, and friends; to find out what's going on in the world; and to discover new places to explore. It's part of my daily routine that I don't want to give up even on vacation.

How addicted? Recently, traveling south on the New Jersey Turnpike to visit my daughter in college, I was sitting in the backseat chatting with her via America Online's Instant Messenger, using a cellular link. I thought it was cool; she didn't think it was anything special (today's generation gap).

According to the survey, the most popular app for laptop-using vacationers: checking personal E-mail (72%); watching DVDs, listening to music, and playing games (56%); and gathering trip information online (45%). Only 43% check work E-mail.

This vacation, the laptop will store the digital photos and videos I'll shoot. And it'll serve as my security blanket to keep me linked to my real (or is it virtual?) world.

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing