I had setup several systems that would allow me to continue working while in Hanoi. Everything worked great just before the wedding, but fell apart sometime during the wedding day. Some of you asked how I had setup to work remotely, so here’s the details of what I used to work remotely and why it doesn’t work now.
Perhaps the most important task is accessing my computers back home. Doing so will allow me to perform about 80% of my work. I had setup GoToMyPC.com (http://GoToMyPC.com ) because I had thought that I would travel more than I have, and I might use Internet café computers instead of my laptop from time to time. The monthly service charge is a little steep, which is about $20/month to access two computers. I could have used PC Anywhere or other remote access software to perform the same task and save some money. On the other hand, the system was very easy to install, easy to use and has been about the only thing that didn’t break down on me while in Hanoi.
Ha and I have used Skype (http://skype.com) to chat with each other for months. Skype is a glorified instant messenger service, like AOL and Yahoo Messenger. Skype uses the latest VOIP technology, which makes for very high quality audio and video chats. Skype has services that allowed me to make and receive calls while in Hanoi at very reasonable rates and with very high sound quality. I was making calls through Skype to friends and clients who thought I was still in America. Everything worked great until Skype decided to block my account.
It appears that Skype thinks I stole my credit card, and I’m making calls from Hanoi with it. I have spent the past few weeks trying to convince them otherwise, but have been unsuccessful so far. I have a backup system for outgoing calls, but the sound quality is very poor. Long story short, I’m unable to call my clients from here and must rely completely on E-mailing them.
Computers at Home
I became impatient while trying to fix all the technical problems that I was having and overloaded my main computer at home. Murphy’s Law ruled the day, because the crash happened on a Friday night and there would be no on around my house until Monday morning to reboot my computer.
What really shut me down was something that would cause problems even if I were still at home. The E-mail server I use through my ISP service crashed and the problem hasn’t been fixed yet. Much of my outgoing E-mails are not delivered, and I’m not sure if I’m receiving all of my incoming mails. Those who have AOL E-mail addresses are probably not receiving my E-mails because my E-mail server has been banned by AOL.
The one non-technical thing that is tripping me up is the time difference. The work day here in Vietnam starts about the time the work day in California ends. This causes a problem when I need to call clients back home. I have to get up very early in the morning or work very late at night to make calls at a decent hour in California.
All these problems amounted to a lot of work just to get me back in operation. Fortunately, I’m quite technically inclined and very resourceful or I would be unable to work until I returned to America. With a lot of patience and a little luck, I should be able to crawl my way back to some level of productivity in a few days.