Friday 1:27 a.m. It's been a long day for me, but I'm not done yet. I'm usually up this late; and tonight is no exception. I'm working on the introduction to the Mobile Nations Podcast that's due to be recorded later in the day. I need to search the internet for some podcast-y music, but there's a problem. There's no internet to be found. You see, I've been away these last few days, visiting my grandparents and helping the family with a few things. They don't have an internet connection; but thankfully, I have Tether.
Tether is an application installed on my BlackBerry and laptop computer that lets me use my smartphone's data plan to connect that laptop to the internet. Most carriers charge an additional fee for doing this. I'm almost always around a WiFi connection, so I don't tether enough to really justify paying an extra $15 each month ($180/year) to my wireless carrier to make use of the data plan I already pay for.
Tether (note the capital "T") is one of the more expensive applications made for BlackBerry, but it well worth the cost. Each and every time that I've found myself in need of an internet connection and no router in sight, I'm thankful that I purchased it long ago. Tether proved its usefullness to me not only at my grandparents' but on the drive home, too.
Friday 2:30 p.m. With the intro completed and emailed, I begin the long drive back home. It had taken a while to find just the right piece of music, and Tether kept up with me the whole time. The internet ran a bit slower than I'm used to, but that's to be expected. The 3G network isn't incredibly fast. Still, I was able sample some 30 pieces of streaming music before I found the right one. Tether never missed a beat.
Finally on the road, I get an email: Rene Ritchie needs the original music I used for the introduction. I have no idea what the song is called aside from some odd number and letter combinations. The file is on my laptop, so I know what to do. Stopping at a gas station, I connect my BlackBerry to the laptop and soon Tether has me on the ‘net. A few minutes later, Rene has the music file he needs.
This is why I love Tether. I'm in the middle of nowhere, a half-mile south of Where? and slightly to the east of Random-South-Carolina-Town-#0279. Because of Tether, I'm browsing the internet on my laptop while stopped on the side of the road. Tether isn't an app I use that often, but it certainly falls in the category of "I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it." And today is certain a "need it" kind of day.