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Travel Tech Q&A: Oki Data Australia's MD Dennie K Kawahara

Oki Data's MD shared some of his travel stories and a few pieces of advice on what tech to bring when going abroad.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

Oki Data Australia's Managing Director Dennie K Kawahara talks about his favourite tech to accompany his travels and shares a horror story about what happens when you miss your flight just before a holiday.


Oki Data Australia's MD Dennie K Kawahara.
(Credit: Oki Data)

What tech do you travel with and why?

A big old calculator. Nothing gives me quicker calculating results than my old calculator.

I carry an iPhone, iPod Touch and laptop. I was using my iPod Touch before I got an iPhone, and have always used it for personal activities, like Skype, music, news, etc. I keep my iPhone strictly for business usage.

I also use a security filter over my laptop screen, to protect work from the view of the public on planes and in public areas.

What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?

I like to keep up to date with news from around the world. Therefore, my favourite apps are all news related and enable me to stream news.

I often download podcasts and listen to them at double speed for my brain exercise. My most commonly used apps would be from BBC, CNN, NHK [Japan Broadcasting Corporation], LBC (London's Biggest Conversation), and DR (Danish radio station).

Personal travel advice/tip?

My number one tip? Only take carry-on luggage wherever possible.

It's also very important to be extremely friendly with staff at the check-in counter, immigration and, of course, flight attendants. You never know what bonuses you might gain or inconveniences you might avoid.

How do you deal with jet lag?

I always make sure I align my activity with the local time in the destination city, as soon as I depart. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I guess I just cope. I don't like taking any sleeping pills.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

I once missed a flight from Denver [Colorado] to Newark [New Jersey], my then-home was in northern New Jersey. At this time, I was due to go on holiday the next day.

I had to buy an exceedingly expensive ticket, which took me to the next best location, New York LaGuardia airport. It was then a long cab back to Newark to get my vehicle, and then drive to my home.

All that, and I had to return to the airport in the morning to take my holiday. In the end, I made it to my holiday, but at great expense. And I was exhausted.

What is your dream travel tech to have on planes, in airports or at hotels?

Wireless power supply.

What is your favourite destination city to work or visit, and why?

I love going to Fry's Electronics in Silicon Valley, California, and shopping through the "geek" items. I also love to do the same in Akihabara (Electric City) in Tokyo, Japan. It's a fantastic experience that I recommend to any tech geek.

Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?

Las Vegas — McCarran Airport, Nevada. Where else in the world could boast a more interesting "people watching" environment than Las Vegas?

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