Road Rules – Rule 8

Who: David Berlind (, editorial director for business computing, ZDNet
Home Base: Medford, Massachusetts
Mileage:100,000 miles per year
Favorite destination: San Francisco
Don’t leave home without: Extra laptop batteries

“It’s too easy to feel disconnected when you travel. That’s why I always reserve a hotel room that has a fax machine. There are lots of benefits — and the ability to send and receive faxes may be the least important one. One big benefit is that if you need to be on the phone and online at the same time, you can unplug the fax machine, plug in your modem and laptop, and use the fax line as a data line while you talk on the phone.”

“Late last year, for example, I logged onto the Web from my hotel room and noticed that several tables on ZDY2K – ZDNet’s channel devoted to the year-2000 problem — were displaying information in the wrong format. I called our production staff; they fixed the problem; then I reloaded the page, saw that it was fixed, and was on my way.”

“You can also use the fax as an in-room printer: Using a program like WinFax PRO, you send documents to the fax number and let the machine print them out. When I’m at a conference, instead of lugging around a laptop to stay up-to-date with schedule changes, I just fax myself a new schedule every morning and take the printout with me. At a show like Comdex, I might have 15 meetings a day. Faxing myself schedule changes and carrying an updated plan of attack in my pocket means that I rarely miss meetings.”