Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Frivolity

It's not a big deal, but why does this happen?

We've been on the road a lot recently, so we've stayed in a lot of hotels. We've stayed in fancy hotels (the del Coronado in San Diego and the Hay-Adams in DC) and we've stayed in Holiday Inn Expresses in little towns.

We're bloggers. That means we carry our laptops with us when we travel.

The internet access at hotels has been generally improving. It's usually free, now - a change from even just a year ago. The hotels are also doing better with the hardware (plugs and ethernet cable connections) than they used to.

But no mouse pads.

Almost every hotel we've stayed at provides us some sort of glass-topped desk. That's fine, except that kind of surface doesn't generate enough friction to work a computer mouse very well.

We need mouse pads. We've used newspapers, magazines, room service menus, etc. to get suitable friction.

We wonder if our readers share our frustrations. It would be so easy for hotels to supply mouse pads in their rooms - they could even put their logos on them.

So this is a plea, and a question, to all you hoteliers out there. Help us out here. If you're going to provide internet access, and a glass-topped table for our computers, please stick a mousepad in the desk drawer along with the Gideons and the stationery.

End of rant.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

While we're waiting for this long-overdue reform to be made, a workaround I've discovered is to have an extra mousepad in the ol' laptop case.

Anonymous said...

I have found that the more expensive the hotel, the less likely it is to provide free internet access. The Hampton Inns of the world give it to you free but the Ritzes charge for it. Perhaps others have found differently.

Anonymous said...

Hotels don't actually put bibles in their rooms, you know -- the Gideons do. Hence the term "Gideon Bible."

Anonymous said...

perhaps hotels do provide mousepads, but inconsiderate guests have stolen them.

Anonymous said...

I've found it convenient to use Gideon's mousepads.

Steven said...

Just put the mouse on a piece of paper!

Soronel Haetir said...

More to the point, what the heck are you guys still using friction mice for? Go optical already, geez. Have never tried it but it wuldn't surprise me if even glass has enough irregularities for optical mice to pick up.

Also, when using my laptop before I went blind I just used the touch-pad. It worked more than well enough.

Anonymous said...

This has been driving me crazy for years! Nice to know that someone else is bothered by this. Like one of the other anonymous posters, I now travel with a mousepad -- but I resent it!

spool32 said...

+1 soronel. Srsly, who still has a friction mouse? You can buy a serviceable optical one for $15. $80 will buy you a high-tech ergonomic laser one that works on reflective surfaces too...

Ken Mitchell said...

Easy answer; learn to use the touchpad on your laptop. Why are you still using a mouse? Want something better? Get a USB trackball.

Anonymous said...

"Have never tried it but it wuldn't surprise me if even glass has enough irregularities for optical mice to pick up."

Ha! On glass optical mice are even worse that the ones with balls. The light shines right through the glass, and the sensor can detect no motion at all.

Anonymous said...

Sorry... I am completely disoriented by this post. Is anyone really still using friction mice in almost-2010? Are you kidding? I am the polar opposite of an early adopter and I have used an optical mouse since 2005.

Also, internet access is not "free" at any hotel, anymore than the McPaper or WSJ plopped at your door is free. You pay for it, embedded in your bill.

Know what? Take your own mouse pad with you; implore mgmt at the hotel to provide rental mousepads. But do not foment an uprising in which a "complimentary" mouse pad is embedded in my hotel bill.

Thx.

The mind boggles...

Fox said...

Came here from Instapundit specifically to say "use an optical", but it looks like I was beaten to the first, second, and third punch.

Anonymous said...

A mousepad in a hotel room is just another place for bacteria to congregate. Do you think they would wash them or change them often?

Anonymous said...

I just use the touchpad on the laptop. No worries.

Mickey Segal said...

Glass tabletops are terrible for optical mice. I suffered through 6 days at a hotel earlier this month and resolved to pack a mousepad instead of using a magazine that kept slipping on the glass.

Anonymous said...

This is an outrage, AN OUTRAGE!

Why has not the Obama administration regulated a mouse pad in every hotel room?

And to think how they chided John McCain for his lack of tech knowledge and usage.... just another example of hypocrite democrats saying one thing and doing another.

Anonymous said...

It really shouldn't be the job of the hotel to provide something like that. They should, at most, sell them in their gift shops to the very few who actually have a need for them. I suspect that the person who has requested such that they be complementary is one of the select few.

Joel said...

Uh, yeah, why can't you keep a mousepad in your laptop bag? Should the hotel provide you with a mouse as well? Why not a laptop, too, while we're at it?

Eric said...

A high quality optical mouse works just find on glass.

Eric said...

er... "fine"

ShawnL said...

What's wrong with the trackpad on the laptop?

I mean if you're picky enough about pointing devices to travel with a mouse, how much harder can it be to pack a mouse pad as well?

Lot's of people have sex in hotel rooms, but they don't expect the hotel to provide the condoms for them, do they?

Kevin said...

How about simply having non-glass desks? And also, how about having proper desks with chairs you can sit up in and work from rather than sink down into? Some (La Quinta) are good at this, but many others totally suck and furnish their hotels and advertise things like "work desks" without any thought to whether a business traveler can actually accomplish any work whatsoever in that room.

I agree it's frustrating and I'm convinced that most in the hotel management business are simply idiots.

Bryan's workshop blog said...

Internet access in hotels is a bigger problem. It's improving, as you say, but still not good.

There's the law of price: the more expensive the hotel, the more likely they are to charge for access, and the more likely quality will be low.

Papa Goose said...

Let's say it again. One word: trackball

Wolfgang muller said...

The internet access at hotels has been generally improving. This really great as people will be easily acquiring access to the internet when they are on the move.

Bryan's workshop blog said...

Depends on the hotel, Wolfgang. Like I said, in the US the experience is really uneven.

There are many other ways for the experience to suck, beyond the cost/quality law I noted.

..."holes" in WiFi coverage, depending on where your room is.
...deliberately created hole of "entire hotel beyond the lobby"
...awful tech support.
...three-month repair timeline (no joke: heard this from a big hotel in Portland, Or)

Anonymous said...

In my experience the Bible doubles nicely as a mousepad. Thank you Gideons.

Anonymous said...

Hotels in China are now required to make condoms available in the rooms - they're not free, but they are there in the tray in the bathroom along with shampoo

spielen said...

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