I'm confused by your question. What do you mean by need? Of course there are no physiological needs for laptops or even cell phones/computers. Laptops are very useful when you're not at home to do various activities which is why they've become so popular. I'm sure if they hypothetically dissapeared along with PDA's live would go on
I have netscape right now since they had the first month free offer going. After that it's $9.95/month. Everywhere I've tried it I haven't had any problems and the speed has been great considering it's dialup.
I find that all three (laptop/pda/smartphone) are critical to allowing a balance of work and life by allowing me to respond to emergencies at all times, and being able to just do other things wherever I want!
it sounds to me like you are looking for an excuse to buy some toys
No, really, it is necessary to be available for support whenever the time is needed. Having said that, a cell phone would be a minimum. As for a laptop, its not really needed unless you travel a lot. You could consider getting a PDA/Cell Phone which would allow you to do most all tasks while out of the office.
Being connectable 24/7 is definitely important in this business. If you are always home-bound or office-bound then probably you can get by without any of those 'toys' but if you travel or commute a lot then it is essential if you want to keep abreast with your customers, datacenters and partners.
Of course, if you are running a web hosts which can live without you for several hours a day or when you go for a vacation where you have several employees or partners who would handle those times then you could treat it as a regular job and not need to depend on these high tech toys.
I have a cellphone with WAP/GPRS capabilities in order to receive voice emails, alerts for server downtime via SMS and the ability to check and answers my emails via the WAP Email Client. I have a laptop which would enable me to do a little more such as the ability to do some troubleshooting when I am travelling.
I don't have to be connected 24/7 just yet, so when i go travelling i take my powerbook in a neoprene glove and put that in my laptop backpack (made by Crumpler) if it a bigger trip.
From there i can usually get online if i needed to, but usually i can work offline. I have all my work on a central file server where I have a simple bash script to copy updated files for when i need them offline. Im also looking to do a little python script to have a CVS like system to commit updated files from my powerbook.
When the need to be more connected arises, i'll probably look into a small phone/pda or get a wireless interent account.
Are you kidding me or are you against technology. Laptops are so much more convenient. Can you carry your desktop in your office itself.... No Ways??? Laptop provides the ultimate convenience I want...
Toys? Of course! I have to admit being a gadget hound. My cell/pda combo doesn't have a big enough screen or Wi-Fi so I will consider a smartphone with all the trimmings to replace that someday!
Yes, support availability is important, but I was more talking in a business owner scenario where support runs on its own except for major escalations or particular hand-holding situations (client purchases, transfers, etc). I think a smart business owner can be available but free to go get business with technology tools.
Originally posted by Plexi_Hosting Depends on your particular situation. I like to have the ability to get to account information, lead info, server stats/management, etc and interact with all of the above.
And also be able to run SSH when I am away from my terminal in case of an emergency.
Remembered the time when I was in Hong Kong and one of the server's web and SQL interface gave way and thanks to my 9500 Communicator ( and a "kind fellow" that forgot to turn on his wiFi password :p ) I was able to save the server before the users started complaining.
GPRS would ahve costed me a bomb overseas.