At the “Teaching The 21st Century Student” conference in Amarillo, Texas, on January 17, 2011, the video input converter for the projectors in the Amarillo Civic Center required an open USB port on the presenter’s laptop to function. The day of the conference, as Murphy would have it, all Internet access for the City of Amarillo (including the Civic Center) was down. No wifi connectivity was available for ANYONE, and no wired Internet connectivity either– even on the stage. The entire building was offline, and we had about 1000 educators in the audience for this TECHNOLOGY conference. Fortunately, this was a BYOB (bring your own bandwidth) event for me. Armed with a tethering cell phone, I was able to get online to download our presentation slides from Google Docs, download YouTube videos we were sharing via saveyoutube.com, and connect “live” to the PollEverywhere and Wiffiti SMS polls we used during our presentation.
Since my MacBook Pro laptop only has two USB ports, and I neglected to put an inexpensive ($15) USB mini-hub in my backpack before the trip, we were not able to use a remote control slide clicker during the presentation.
This wasn’t a HUGE deal, but it was a bummer. That was the “USB famine.”
In the future, to avert a repeat of this situation, in addition to remembering to “BYOB” I’ll bring along a USB mini-hub.
Long live high speed, cell phone data connection tethering options.
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