I recently bought an iPod Touch to replace my old HP iPAQ that had given up the ghost (phrase) after about six years. I use a pocket sized computer (PDA) mainly to read ebooks and listen to BBC podcasts when I can’t sleep (thinking about an early wakeup to do flyers). I also use it to listen to music on the train and very occasionally watch a movie, mainly on long journeys.
I had never thought much of using a PDA for email or surfing the web, but my research into a replacement “toy” led me to the conclusion that being able to connect to the web away from my home or my school may be useful. Hence my decision to go Apple and buy an iPod Touch (it is rather chic to look at, and seems to offer a lot).
So I did some further research: the availability of free Wi-Fi (wireless internet transmission as opposed to 3G transmission used by mobile phones) in Japan is very limited compared to many other countries. So after some more looking on the web,I found FON. If one is willing to share part of ones broadband internet service by installing one of their very clever wireless routers (one of those boxes with a little antenna that you use at home for your wireless network), you then have free access to to Wi-Fi using every other “FON spot” in the world. Their router, called La Fonera 2 (the company is Spanish), is very clever indeed. When you connect it to your internet service, it provides a secure (password protected) wireless connection for your personal use, and a public connection for the use of FON members. Non members can buy We-Fi time and if one uses your service yau can receive half of what they pay.
You can see how it works HERE.
I installed a FON router at my school, Smith’s School of English, Kawanishi スミス英会話川西校 and found that it worked really well. In addition you can “personalise” the service to show your name and web address to anyone using your service. You information also appears on the map of “FON spots”. So it is a useful way to promote your business.
And remember, most notebook computers and webbooks (called Mini’s in Japan) can receive Wi-Fi signals.
I was so happy with the service I installed at my school that I have installed one at home.
I am also having great fun with my iPod Touch.