[Hidden-tech] computer connections while traveling

Jonathan Dill jfdill at jfdill.com
Wed Dec 15 14:36:49 EST 2004

Hi Keri,

Are you traveling with friend(s)?  Is this your first time traveling to 
a third-world country?  My wife is from the Dominican Republic and I 
have been there twice, send me e-mail if you want to chat about where to 
go and what to do, and especially safety concerns if you haven't been to 
a third-world country before.  It's really not so bad, but you might 
need a little street smarts education for getting in and out of the 
airport safely and if you will be going outside the resort.  Personally, 
I would leave the laptop at home and take a break from the Internet 
unless you really need to do it for business purposes.

The good news is that telephone service in general should be the same as 
the US standards, but resorts and hotels may have their own PBX digital 
phone system just like hotels in the US, so you should try to check with 
them to find out about standard "analog" phone lines or other 
availability of Internet access.  Better resorts are probably providing 
some sort of Internet access these days, but a lot of things in the DR 
are still backwards so it's hard to say.

If you will be staying at a resort or upscale hotel, you should check 
with them to find out what kind of receptacles and power they provide 
because it could be different from the DR in general.  Any good resort 
should have their own generator(s) and power supply, but different 
resorts cater to different tourist populations and might have different 
power to cater to those groups.  For example, resorts on the North Coast 
around Puerto Plata tend to cater to German and French tourists and 
might have similar outlets to what you would find in Germany or France 
vs. around Santo Domingo they tend to cater to US tourists.

Outside of resorts and upscale hotels, electrical service in the 
Dominican Republic is extremely unreliable and I would not count on it, 
so leave your blowdryer at home, you will be too damn hot and sweaty to 
use it anyway :)  Electricty follows the US standard 110-120VAC / 60 Hz 
with the same power receptacles.  In a typical DR household brownouts 
and blackouts are a daily occurence that you can count on, and 
middle-class or lower homes may have jerry-rigged electricity, for 
example my wife's parents have a single 30-amp circuit with a 
Frankenstein-style knife switch for the entire household.  Their 
electricity was out every night from 6pm until after midnight like 
clockwork.  Ordinary hotels and motels will probably be affected by 
these same brownouts which may also affect the phone service.

Keri Heitner wrote:

> I will need to use my laptop in the Dominican Republic next month.  
> Does anyone know if I will need adapters for the telephone line 
> connection and the power supply, or if hotels there are equipped 
> similarly to the States?  If I need to purchase adapters, is there a 
> Web site that lists what is needed for which country?



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