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Old 09-04-2007, 01:09 PM   #1
tricepilot OP
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Trip Reporting on the Road

When planning to make a great trip, might as well plan to produce a great ride report at the same time....during the ride

Ride reports from the field, as they evolve in-progress, are very entertaining. I'd like to see tips on the technical end of producing a ride report "on the fly" versus waiting to return home with camera full of photos and a lot of writing to do. I'm sure there are many ways to skin that cat.

What type of laptop, what type of camera, and especially how to connect, both here in the U.S. as well as Alaska, Canada, and farther beyond the border (my personal interest is Mexico and Latin America). That's the type of information I'd like to see in this thread. Some people look like they're in the middle of nowhere, yet are posting 20 pics a day and telling a great story. I like the aspect of virtually riding along with them, as its happening.

- Tips
- Tricks
- Finding internet connections
- Gear recommendations
- Internet service providers
- Internet cafe sites in interesting places
- Uploading photos (hopefully to smugmug, to support Baldy and this site).

If you've done a trip report "in progress", what did you do right, what went wrong, and what would you do different.


Muchas Gracias in advance!

Bob


tricepilot screwed with this post 09-04-2007 at 02:26 PM
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:20 PM   #2
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Finding WiFi in America and Canada wasn't too difficult. Asking if there's a internet coffee shop usually works. Buy a cheap cup of coffee and it's usually free. Some places I've ran into had weird deals though were they tried to charge for wireless. Even places like Wendy's or McDonalds will have it, if you can stomach it. Libraries usually have free wireless even in some small towns. I've sat outside on picnic tables near USFS offices and picked up their wireless too.

Doing a trip report from the road can eat up a lot of time, so if you're on a schedule I'd say wait.

Next time I do a ride report from the road I plan on getting a simple URL that will redirect (like http://www.tiny.cc/) to the AdvRider report. Something that would be easy to give people on the road instead of a long URL for a thread here. Maybe even print up some cheapo business cards.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:01 PM   #3
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Load you pics onto your laptop.
Borrow net cafe cord.
Hope smugmug sucks up your pics.
Get a cold 6 pack and fresh pack of cigs.
Let the lies pour forth...


It's whatever works for you, not necessarily someone else.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:27 PM   #4
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=195016

This was one of the classics that started my appreciation of Mexico.

Were you ever in an internet cafe in Mexico where you could not connect?

Bob
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:47 PM   #5
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I've had stuff turn to dust in the sidecases.

Wondering if an armored laptop such as this (Panasonic) would help

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Old 09-04-2007, 04:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=195016

This was one of the classics that started my appreciation of Mexico.

Were you ever in an internet cafe in Mexico where you could not connect?

Bob
One Net place in Champoton, MX two years ago where the two young, entrepreneurial punks running the joint and I couldn't figure out some cable config/whatever thing.
This actually turned out to be a good thing, because the other Net place dude let me smoke while typing in his place. Everybody knows nicotine makes for better BS.

Granted, back in Hannibal's time, not that many people carried laptops on their elephant; things are different today, and it's not an unusual request for a customer wishing to plugin their own idiot box.

The need to dump pics is probably 77% of the reasons I like to carry a laptop. And the other 33% really makes no sense...
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:00 PM   #7
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I carry the laptop ontop of my clean and stinky clothes, and I've never had one to die on me...while on the road.

It's really how you pack them, IMO.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:40 PM   #8
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I found using a flash drive works really well for transferring pics and words to your site. You can usually use them anywhere, and if you are using your laptop, you've already composed the report and have it ready to send. Makes the internet cafe bill smaller.

I like using a blog as well. Less distraction from the peanut gallery.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:02 PM   #9
Spicy McHaggis
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Those Toughbooks are bad ass.

Also expensive as all hell...about 3000 bucks or so, last I checked.
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Old 09-05-2007, 02:15 AM   #10
tricepilot OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spicy McHaggis
Those Toughbooks are bad ass.

Also expensive as all hell...about 3000 bucks or so, last I checked.
l


Agree. I'm thinking a smaller, much less expensive model that's carefully packed as Lone Rider said is the way to go. Basic camera, basic laptop and just get out there and go for it. That way, if something happened to either one of them it wouldn't break the bank and you could more easily replace one or the other and move on.
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:21 AM   #11
SWriverstone
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A few thoughts to add...

Don't underestimate the build of your laptop—I carried my HP Pavilion laptop (a big "desktop replacement" model) on its side in one of my hardcases, only wrapped in a fleece jacket, for 5,000 miles to Newfoundland and back last fall—on a KLR! Never had a problem. I'm posting this on the same laptop now. (That was 90% pavement, but included some mileage on bumpy dirt roads.)

Also, if your digital camera uses SD memory cards, get one of these:
http://www.simpletech.com/commercial...ves/Bonzai.php
Really fantastic—it's a USB key ("ThumbDrive") that accepts an SD card of any size. (Great if your laptop doesn't have an SD slot, or if you want to upload pics from another desktop somewhere.)

I found that even in remote areas of Newfoundland, wi-fi was everywhere (especially in motels). It's getting that common. I think these days, wi-fi has almost reached the point of electricity—people think you're hopelessly backwards if you don't have it and blow off your establishment!

IMPORTANT TIP! Much as we all love to post our reports and pics directly into forums like ADVRider, you're better off posting to your own website or photo-hosting site (e.g. Smugmug, Flickr, etc.) where you can also add text notes for each photo.

I posted tons of photos and wrote thousands of words on another forum during my trip...and a month after I returned, the site crashed. (UGH!) So I re-did everything on a Smugmug site. Though I doubt ADVRider is going anywhere, I still think you're better off posting to your own site (and back everything up when you get home!).

Scott

Newfoundland 2006 Photo Journal:
http://swriverstone.smugmug.com/Travel/352156
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot
I've had stuff turn to dust in the sidecases.

Wondering if an armored laptop such as this (Panasonic) would help

The Toughbook family isn't as tough as some of them look. The Communications Electronics Command started fielding them and found that they too have their problems.

It's balancing act with money. I have been using a tiny Sony Vaio T350. I would shoot for smaller size which will give you the ability to pack it away better. Mr. hard on my Toys Steverino and Shogs used pelican cases and even her POS monster Gateway survived the Alaska trip.

If you are hard over, there is the Durabook, Dell is now in the ruggedized market with an intermediate on under the Dell brand and a full militarized one that we just got to play with at work. The only catch is, the Panasonic and Dell are right pricey.

I think the big thing after fixing several notebooks for people that have traveled, is assume that it will break. Be like Bob and get your six pack and upload your stuff at every opportunity and also keep things backed up on thumb drives or an external hard drive. If it doesn't break, it might be stolen or lost as well.
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:11 AM   #13
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I'm using a cheap Dell that's been to Panama and back. So far,.....

Back up often, upload often. New laptops are starting to get cheap. It might be worth your while to buy a new cheap one and start off with that.

My last trip south, I used blogging software. I liked using that. It kept the distraction of the peanut gallery to a minimum. I also used a trip report thread for pictures. That made a place for comments. Hmmmm. I wonder if Baldy is busy.
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:29 AM   #14
tricepilot OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilSpace
I have been using a tiny Sony Vaio T350. I would shoot for smaller size which will give you the ability to pack it away better.


Here is something similar



Computer giant Fujitsu displays the company’s new paperback book-sized notebook PC “FMV-Lifebook U8240″, based on the latest platform of Intel’s Ultra Mobile Platform 2007 and a 5.6-inch swivel and flip multi-angle LCD display on its compact body, weighing 580g, at the company’s advanced technology exhibition in Tokyo on 18 May 2007. This will be available for sale in the market during next month with an expected price of $1,200
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:55 AM   #15
PhilSpace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot

Here is something similar



Computer giant Fujitsu displays the company’s new paperback book-sized notebook PC “FMV-Lifebook U8240″, based on the latest platform of Intel’s Ultra Mobile Platform 2007 and a 5.6-inch swivel and flip multi-angle LCD display on its compact body, weighing 580g, at the company’s advanced technology exhibition in Tokyo on 18 May 2007. This will be available for sale in the market during next month with an expected price of $1,200
Awesome, and the right price. At that size, you can easily protect it and not feel too bad if it disappears or get's JackHole'd.
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