After Hours

Travel tech Q&A: Accellion's Kieran O’Shaughnessy

The enterprise mobility software vendor's director for Asia-Pacific shares his travel experiences.
Written by Spandas Lui on

Accellion's director for Asia-Pacific Kieran O'Shaughnessy spoke to ZDNet about some indispensable travel gadgets and his harrowing trip during a London security scare in 2007.

Accellion's Kieran O'Shaughnessy. (Credit: Accellion)

What tech do you travel with and why?

I carry a Sony 14-inch laptop, iPad 2, iPhone 4, Huawei MiFi personal hotspot, and Audio Technica noise-cancelling headphones.

What tech do you love abroad, where and why?

I have a personal Huawei Wi-Fi hotspot that is indispensable when travelling abroad. I purchase an inexpensive local prepaid SIM card, and am then able to connect my smartphone, tablet, and laptop to Wi-Fi, which not only keeps me connected, but saves me from using expensive hotel internet services.

Good-quality noise-cancelling headphones are an essential travel item for me for long-haul international flights.

How do you deal with jet lag?

I always stay awake and active until a reasonable time at night in the new time zone on the first day I arrive. Doing this generally means I get a good first night sleep in the new time zone, and therefore acclimatise quickly.

What (if any) travel websites do you use?

I use the Qantas website to book most if not all of my travel, hotels, and rental cars. Using a single website keeps arrangements simple and in one place.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

In 2007, I landed at Heathrow in the middle of a major security scare which closed all UK airports for a few days. I was transiting through on my way to Glasgow, as I had managed to obtain a photographers pass for Celtic Park to photograph a Celtic football match.

Heathrow was in utter chaos, with no one knowing how long the airports would be closed. Rather than a one-hour onward flight to Glasgow, I eventually managed to secure the last seat on an uncomfortable and long overnight coach to Scotland, but did at least arrive in time for the match.

For the homeward journey, I had to purchase a hard-sided suitcase to house my camera gear, as the expensive and fragile equipment had to go as checked luggage, as the airlines had banned carry-on luggage when they recommenced flights.

Thankfully, my camera gear arrived undamaged, although one corner of the hard-sided case was severely dented, and gave me heart palpitations when I first saw the damaged case on the baggage carousel back in Sydney.

What was your last tech purchase?

I recently purchased a pair of Audio Technica noise-cancelling headphones in Singapore to replace a Sony pair that were removed from my checked-in luggage in transit between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Where is the best place you've been for duty-free tech shopping?

I don't tend to purchase major tech items offshore; however, I still find Singapore great for peripherals and other add-on items, both in terms of selection and pricing.

Favourite destination city to work/visit and why? (In relation to technology.)

Wellington, New Zealand, is my choice, primarily because of the availability of good, free Wi-Fi through the CBD. This is a great service provided by the city council, and something other cities around the world should emulate.

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