Windows Mobile in the Hospital


My wife Devvie and I have been spending a lot of time at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital the last few days. Devvie’s mom (my mother-in-law) Rachel, who never smoked a day in her life, was diagnosed with lung cancer, and had surgery last Thursday. The surgeons believe the cancerous area was relatively small and was entirely removed, and there were no heart or other problems during the surgery.

However, when a patient is 80 years old and not in the best of health to begin with, surviving surgery is not the end of the battle. While Rachel’s vital signs are good, and the doctors are able to remove chest tubes, she is still pretty weak, and unable to do much in the way of walking. Activity post-surgery is important, since especially with older patients the body begins to shut down if the patient remains bedridden for an extended period.

Devvie or I or both are at the hospital for hours every day not just to make sure Rachel is getting excellent care (she is) but also to encourage Rachel so she will be more active. Unfortunately, the world hasn’t come to a stop during this period. Devvie and I still need to work while we’re at the hospital, and that means laptops connected to the Internet.

Now for the point of the story. The hospital has WiFi available, but it’s not that dependable. So as a back-up to the hospital’s WiFi, my wife is using our Windows Mobile devices, an HTC Touch Cruise and an HTC Advantage, as modems for her Tablet PC. As I talked about a while ago in Tethering, or Plan B, Windows Mobile makes this easy. Can’t do this on an iPhone unless you jailbreak it.

Internet Sharing is not an optimum solution. In buildings, depending on construction materials, the phone signal can be weak. Indeed, at the hospital, the phone signal isn’t the best, so the speed is basically dial-up. But even dial-up is better than nothing.

We also tried just using our Windows Mobile devices alone to work. For email, that’s fine. But we ran into problems using our WinMo devices to moderate the online courses we both teach. Some of those websites use Java, JavaScript, Flash, etc. I’m using an Opera Mobile beta with Flash support, but still my ability to access features of those websites is uneven. Hopefully this area of Windows Mobile will improve soon with new betas of Opera Mobile (a new official beta was just released), Skyfire supporting VGA devices some day, etc.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Appreciate if you could say a prayer for Rachel. Thanks.

2 Responses to “Windows Mobile in the Hospital”

  • Jeff:

    My thoughts are with you. I spent many hours in hospitals with both my parents and I understand the stress you are going through. But it is so important you are there for her and your wife.

    Although my cell phone carrier is AT&T for the last two years I have used a Sprint broadband card for when I use either a PC laptop or a Mac laptop. It is a usb connection and costs $60 per month. But the convenience is worth it.

  • Jim, thanks for your kind words. Re the laptop card, as I reported in Need for Speed (, I have a
    Novatel Merlin 950D ExpressCard into which I just slip my SIM from one of my AT&T phones. Not sure the ExpressCard really is that much faster than just using the phone as a modem, though it is less clumsy as the ExpressCard is smaller than the phone and unlike the phone fits into an I/O slot of the tablet.

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