7 Days
6 Countries
5 presentations

That's been my week so far, for those keeping score.  I left Seattle last Sunday, and I'm currently waiting in the Airport for my flight to Tel Aviv, which will be my 6th country in a week.  As much as I love to travel, I'd be lieing if I said I wasn't looking forward to at least a couple of days in the same location to relax and decompress.

It's been a great trip so far. I've had some great responses to the DC/iRules/iControl presentations I've been giving. I always love seeing people really get it and become excited about the possibilities of the technologies. It's also been fantastic, as it always is, to hear about the things that are going on in the different regions. From SIP iRules to rate-limiting based on cookie information to control bots, to general questions about what iControl is and how it can be of use. People are getting more and more interested in our Integration Technologies. It's a good time to be on the DC team.

I can't say that my trip has gone off without a hitch, however. It's a little ironic, I think, that just a week ago I was writing about the ability to unplug and how that would effect each of us differently. I speculated at the time that it'd be hard for me to cope with being completely unplugged, without at LEAST email on a semi-constant basis.  Well, no sooner do I leave for Europe than I get to test my own theory.

Upon arriving, I come to find out that my BlackBerry will not establish a connection (voice or data). I thought it was odd, but thought perhaps it was just the city I was in.  After the third city with the same results, I started getting concerned. I emailed F5's IT group, who promptly got our cell provider involved to help resolve the issue.  Long story short, we poked around and everything appeared to be in order, but it just plain wasn't working. 

Naturally, as with an inexplicable problem, it just vanished. About half way through the day yesterday my phone, which I had forgotten was even on because it was, for all intents and purposes, useless, started making noise. "What the...?" I thought to myself. I checked it, and sure enough, it had established a GSM connection all by its little self. I power-cycled, and saw GPRS in big, bold letters that had never looked better, right next to a full signal bar.

Now that I'm back in business with a working connection to the outside world, I could easily speculate that it wasn't "all that bad", but that would be a little less than honest.  While it wasn't the end of the world, it was a BIG pain, and a bit of a concern, honestly, being completely without a cell phone or mobile email while on a trip like this one, where I depend on those tools even more than at home. So, how well would I cope unplugged?  Let's just say I'm keeping my battery charged.