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buy an adapter in U.S. or in Oman?
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Noelle



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 293
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:53 pm    Post subject: buy an adapter in U.S. or in Oman? Reply with quote

Hi everyone

I'm sure this is kind of a silly and trite question but I'm wondering if I need to have an adapter on hand when I travel to Oman in a few weeks so that I can plug in my computer immediately. Would it be best to get one before I leave (the U.S.) or is it something I can find at the airport in Muscat, by chance?

Also, do most foreigners purchase a VPN before arriving as well?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15957
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me answer you here. I am pretty hopeless about current internet in Oman. When I was last there, I had dial-up at home. Technology is something that has changed so quickly. There have been a number of threads about this. Did you try a search?

Be sure to have Skype already downloaded on your machine.

VPNs are something that I don't know a thing about. Search that too... especially on the Saudi board because it has come up there regularly.

Your computer will automatically switch to local power, but you will need one of the big clunky British 3 prong plug adapters. They are readily available there for very cheap. Now... if I only knew which box they were in down in the basement, I could send you a supply. Cool

VS
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madrileno



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 146
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not only do you need Skype downloaded before entering the GCC, you'll need a reputable proxy shield/server that isn't also blocked.

Skype is blocked all across the GCC, so unless you've good internet/hacking skills, you'll have to have everything downloaded before you arrive or go a year without Skype or other voip service.
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La Reve



Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 62
Location: Ici

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:07 am    Post subject: Buy an adapter Reply with quote

The current here is 220. IF your computer has both energy sources that you can simply switch from 110 to 220, no problem.

IF your computer doesn't have that, and if it's a desktop, I would suggest removing the hard drive and bringing only that with you, and take it to a good computer place and buy a new computer and have your hard drive installed in the new CPU.

It's not just the voltage, it's also the HERTZ... 50 or 60 hertz... different here than in the USA.

Or you could simply download everything onto an external hard drive (that does not need to be plugged into an electric socket (my tetrabyte one needs that, others don't) and get a new computer here.

Maybe better-informed computer people can help you out.

Beware: Sometimes the transformers available in international airports are for simple things, like hair dryers and are not recommended for computers.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15957
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even since my very first laptop in the 90s (a 356 with a mono screen... DOS... cool) they have been automatically dual voltage and the switch took no action on my part. All were purchased in the US... usually the bottom of the product line. Just take a glance at the little power box. It was an issue for printers though and I always needed a separate 220 power box for it.

I'm sure that Macs are the same... as efficient as they are.

VS
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3843
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:43 pm    Post subject: Re: buy an adapter in U.S. or in Oman? Reply with quote

Noelle wrote:
Also, do most foreigners purchase a VPN before arriving as well?

I'm in Saudi Arabia and use my VPN service a lot, especially for streaming American TV shows/news and to access my US university class. There are plenty of VPN service providers offering cheap rates---I only pay $5/month for mine. If you plan on signing up with a provider, try to do so before leaving for Oman. Hey, congrats on the new job!
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The Steakinator



Joined: 13 Apr 2012
Posts: 71
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used my Dell laptop in Oman (also used it in Syria and Turkey) without issues. I bought adapters at the local Khimji's supermarket in Sur for only, what? 600 Baiza each? They worked just fine, but, of course, like most things at Khimji's, they weren't top quality, not even close. One of them had a tendency to come out of the wall a bit but, like I mentioned, the hardest part was getting the price tag off of it.

The same adapter worked for electronics with the Turkish/Levantine plug in (which I think might be the same in Europe) and the American plug in.

I also had a voltage adapter from the States, never used it once the whole academic year I was there.

I was at SUC and my office computer was a royal piece of $*** that finally completely stopped working a couple of months before my contract ended. The school wouldn't replace it (but also didn't charge me for it) even though there were computer labs full of unused computers throughout the college. Due to this, I had to bring my laptop everyday, which wasn't too bad, but in my situation, the office computer was hooked up to the proxy where all worksheets, tests, overtime forms, etc. are kept as well as to the printer. As ridiculous as it sounds, several of the IT (whether through sheer impossibility, laziness on their part, or lack of knowledge) couldn't make my private laptop 'jive' with the proxy and printer. Thus, I was going back and forth with a thumb drive to other teachers' offices, depending on their mercy (which they were happy to provide) in order to print something as simple as a one page handout. I would definitely bring a laptop. Plus, the college I was at promised laptops to all new teachers in 2011-2012 and never delivered on it - at least in my situation, I was more or less on my own for making sure I had a computer that functioned both in and out of the workplace despite the plethora of promises.

Hope this helps.
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Noelle



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 293
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Got it! Reply with quote

Got the adapter!!! I decided better safe than sorry. Everyone told me that it would be easy (and much cheaper) just to get it in Oman, but I wanted to have it the second I stepped off the plane so that I could plug in my laptop.

A great big shout out once again to the helpful and very informed VS for the support!!!

And thanks to everyone who chimed in on this thread. Step 2- getting an unlocked gsm phone that will work with an Oman sim card...

I'm in the U.S., so these are not exactly that easy to come by. Thank goodness for Amazon!
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The Steakinator



Joined: 13 Apr 2012
Posts: 71
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the phone, you can just buy a cheap Nokia in Oman, there are tons of them in the souq and I doubt there more than $20. I just brought the same phone I had used in Turkey and the Levant and had already been unlocked.
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Noelle



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 293
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that.
I just found out that my order for the gsm phone on Amazon was cancelled. So I'm really hoping that my old phone that I used in Korea will function for at least 24 hours and allow me to make calls. In'shallah...
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The Steakinator



Joined: 13 Apr 2012
Posts: 71
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as it takes a SIM, then it will. In order to get a SIM in Oman, all I needed was to show them a tourist visa. One guy wanted to see my residence card (but it was while I was still waiting for my paperwork to process so I didn't have a work visa), but the next guy, at OmanTel, couldn't have cared less and gave me one right away for, I think, 3 RO
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15957
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noelle... your phone won't work when you arrive. Hopefully the person who picks you up at the airport can help you get a new sim card ASAP.

VS
(I wouldn't count on immediate ability to connect with either your phone or the internet.)
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lostdegaine



Joined: 16 May 2004
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to butt into this thread if you don't mind and ask a question of you Skype users in Oman. I've just downloaded a VPN and Skype onto my computer here ( I already have a Skype account that I set up in the States), but when I try to log into my account through the VPN it won't do it. I just get the little arrow icon spinning in circles and then the Skype box finally says it couldn't connect. Has anyone else had this problem or does anyone have an idea of why it is doing this?
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Noelle



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 293
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uh... oh... That's something else I'm worried about- getting to Oman and not being to use Skype even after I've purchased a VPN. Please post updates on your situation here!

As for the phone- I just ordered a new gsm quad-band unlocked phone that is not for use in the U.S. It was the best I could do. But I'm not holding my breath that it will work once I land though...
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saudi-esl-lecturer



Joined: 11 Apr 2012
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:44 pm    Post subject: SKYPE Reply with quote

If SKYPE doesn't work, be sure that Google Talk and Yahoo most likely does.
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