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Old 09-05-2007, 07:23 AM   #16
pilot
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I really like a real sized keyboard. I'd have to learn to touch type one handed with that.
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:39 AM   #17
J. Clarke
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Personally I carried my three year old Gateway on my recent trip through parts of Canada. Carried it in Pelican camera bag in a Pelican hard case and it suffered no ill effects at all. The trick IMO is to give it some padding and immobilize it so that it doesn't bounce around in the case.

Basically, any decent laptop should be fine--the things that are likely to fail are the drive due to shock and vibration and the screen due to force applied at the center or to twisting. A decent case will go far to protect both, and modern laptop drives are pretty durable anyway.

Do power it down and not put it on standby--on standby some notebooks will occasionally power up on their own, which unparks the drive (many notebook drives park the head on a ramp that lifts it off the platters) and renders it much more susceptible to vibration and shock damage.

As for cameras, I carried a Canon 30D DSLR with a whole bunch of lenses--the ones I used most were the 10-22 wide angle and the 70-300 tele--the rest I could have levet at home. Next time I think I'm going to carry the Canon with the 10-22 and my Panasonic FZ7 instead of the other lenses in order to (a) save volume and weight and (b) have some video capability. If you're looking for something small, light, and versatile, a Panasonic DMC-FZ8 or its Canon more-or-less equivalent would be a good bet as long as you understand it's limitations. One of the shock- and water- resistant models from Olympus or Pentax would be less flexible photographically but you can throw it in your pocket and forget about it (on questionable surfaces I'd put it in the tank bag though, not to protect the camera but because it's not a particularly comfortable thing to fall on).

One thing to consider--if you're getting a digital SLR, get one with an automatic dust remover--I got dust on my sensor on the 30D a couple of times--if I carry a DSLR on another trip that involves gravel or dirt roads I'm thinking about getting one of the new Digital Rebel XTis for that reason--ordinarily dust is not an issue, but if you're changing lenses on a gravel road you're going to get some dust.
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:14 AM   #18
VelvtRide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilSpace
It's balancing act with money. I have been using a tiny Sony Vaio T350.
I have the T350, too. I've used the hell outta this thing and it just doesn't give me any problems (other than being a bit on the slow side 1.4 mobile processor). It's freakish tiny!

For dumping pics while on the road: I use my laptop, then upload to smugmug. But what about running out of space on your card while still not to your destination? If you have an iPod, use this:



Then you won't have to delete images from the card to gain space.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:05 AM   #19
rocker59
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Last year, I carried my HP Pavillion dv2000 in a Targus briefcase inside a Hepco + Becker pannier during a 2-week, 4,500-mile trip on my Moto Guzzi LeMans.

No problems with the laptop. I downloaded pics and updated my ride report in the hotel room at night. It really saved a lot of time because going through 300+ photos and two weeks of time after I got back wasn't appealing to me. I did that on a trip the year before and it took weeks to get the report done once I got back home...

Utah Trip 2006
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:38 PM   #20
SourcetoSea
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PDA's

I've used the crap out of an old Handspring PDA and folding keyboard for writing. When we paddled the Mississippi, I used a Pocketmail device with pretty good results, but if I were to do it all over again I'd get a wifi-enabled PDA, folding keyboard, and a couple of big-ass memory cards and call it a day. Memory is getting so cheap these days that is just makes sense for me to get a couple of 2-4 gig cards for photos instead of chasing down internet connections all the time.

Here a piece I did on Writing on the Run
http://sourcetosea.net/Blog/files/41...1151b4d-3.html

I also used a service on the Cape Fear River to do podcasts directly from my cell phone called GCast. Pretty cool, and it was free.
http://sourcetosea.net/CapeFear/audio/audio.html

I'm a huge fan of voice recording for journaling. I never seem to sit down and actually write much during the day, but it's easy just ramble on to a recorder. Getting that stuff transcribed is like pulling teeth, but there ain't no free rides!
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SourcetoSea
..........I'm a huge fan of voice recording for journaling. I never seem to sit down and actually write much during the day, but it's easy just ramble on to a recorder. Getting that stuff transcribed is like pulling teeth, but there ain't no free rides!
Good post.
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Old 09-11-2007, 03:03 PM   #22
Jammin
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I think a mini-laptop like the fujitsu would be nice to have, but you're right, spending time on a ride report while you're doing the ride might detract a bit from enjoying where you're at. But, that's probably only if you're on a tight schedule. I think if you're doing a month or longer trip, then definitely updating from the road would be needed.

For my Mexico trip, I'm going to resort to writing down daily notes and using multiple 2 GB SD cards for the digi cam.
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:04 PM   #23
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One my 2 trips cross country & the Alcan5000 ride, I carried a laptop w/ an aircard (cellular link) in the trunk of the bike. I'd upload my pics in the evening & work on the (un)finished ride report then or in the AM.

The aircard was great in most places (not Canada). If there wasn't a signal or it was slow, it seemed that there was always a wireless connection somewhere close by. Libraries were a pretty good bet. Or a hotel parking lot.

One time I was stuck under a freeway underpass during a particularly big T-storm & posted on ADVrider using the aircard from my mostly dry location while I waited for the storm to pass. Here's the post.
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Old 09-14-2007, 03:59 AM   #24
tricepilot OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceRph
One time I was stuck under a freeway underpass during a particularly big T-storm & posted on ADVrider using the aircard from my mostly dry location while I waited for the storm to pass. Here's the post.
Classic example of posting as you go.

What does an aircard run per month $$$$?
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:10 AM   #25
Ladybug0048
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There's some terrific information here and things to think about.

I'll throw this out since it's an easy way to cheat with your ride reports from the road if you have willing friend to help.

When my friend travels he calls me daily, gives me an update of what he's done, where he's been, what he's seen, miles traveled, highlights, etc. He uses his cell phone to take pictures, not the best quality but handy, and sends them to me. I write his reports and email them to his friends and family. He's retired, travels a lot and we have been doing this for about 3 years now.

This works great for him as he doesn't need to take the time to write while on the road. He's checking in with someone on a regular basis so everyone knows he's well and all that good stuff. When he gets home I email him the entire report in a Word doc. and he can add or delete where he feels there is a need, add the pictures from his real camera and he has can "relive" his ride.

He just called me last night with one of his updates, we talked for about 10 minutes, I have all the info about his ride yesterday and he knows it will be documented for him. I get the benefit of being able to hear the excitement in his voice as he tells me of his travels he gets the benefit of having a personal secretary.

This is one way to cheat and get someone else to do the work for you if you can find a willing friend.

Ladybug0048 screwed with this post 09-14-2007 at 04:42 AM
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:49 AM   #26
AceRph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot
Classic example of posting as you go.

What does an aircard run per month $$$$?
It costs a bunch. I think it's around $60 or $70 a month.

But, if the $$$ aren't a problem, it's so incredibly handy & fun.

On the way to the start of the Alcan with Honey at the wheel, I posted from the truck.
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“We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear—fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.” —”Extreme Behavior in Aspen,” February 3, 2003

"The State sees the spectre looming ahead of terrorism and anarchy, and this increases the risk of its over-reaction and a reduction in our freedom." - Stanley Kubrick
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:53 AM   #27
VelvtRide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceRph
It costs a bunch. I think it's around $60 or $70 a month.

But, if the $$$ aren't a problem, it's so incredibly handy & fun.

On the way to the start of the Alcan with Honey at the wheel, I posted from the truck.
LR and I do that, as well, when we're driving in the truck cross-country. We do it a bit different tho: Each of our phones can be used as modems. If we have a cell signal we can connect it to the laptop and dial into Sprint server and bingo! Online. Sprint has yet to disable that in older phones and you can't do it with the newer(non-PDA) phones, so it's free. They can't track it.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:37 AM   #28
Jammin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladybug0048
[COLOR=silver]This is one way to cheat and get someone else to do the work for you if you can find a willing friend.
Haha, that's a great way to do trip reporting from the road. That's awesome.

Here's something that I'm planning to do for my upcoming Mex trip: Mobile Blogging

I'm going to use my camera phone to take pictures and send them directly to a blog (using picture messaging). I think this is a great idea for simple trip reporting from the road. I figure I can add a little caption under each picture (not too much text though) and post at least a few pictures each day of where I'm at. This will allow family, friends and others to track my progress and is a way of checking in every day.
Embrace technology
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Trip Website: JamminGlobal.com
Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:41 AM   #29
VelvtRide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin
Haha, that's a great way to do trip reporting from the road. That's awesome.

Here's something that I'm planning to do for my upcoming Mex trip: Mobile Blogging

I'm going to use my camera phone to take pictures and send them directly to a blog (using picture messaging). I think this is a great idea for simple trip reporting from the road. I figure I can add a little caption under each picture (not too much text though) and post at least a few pictures each day of where I'm at. This will allow family, friends and others to track my progress and is a way of checking in every day.
Embrace technology
That's a great idea, but I'm wondering how well you'll get cell service to send them. Everytime LR goes down there we always check with our provider(Sprint) to see where service is available and its only been in one or 2 places. Usually in the larger citiies.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:22 AM   #30
snadam
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Mobile data

Something I didn't see anyone mention is using your cell phone / PDA as a modem. While getting an Air Card for your laptop is nice it requires that you purchase an additional device and sign a 1 year (or more) contract with a mobile provider. If you already carry a cellular PDA phone (iPaq, Blackberry, Dash, Treo, etc...) you're already paying for a data link.

What you do is set your laptop to dial out to the internet by way of your mobile device. How simple (or complex) that is depends on the device or carrier but it is generally pretty simple. With older devices you usually need to use a USB cable between your PC and phone. With many of the newer devices you don't need a cable as they can talk using Bluetooth.

The speed of the connection is the same as if you use an air card and that speed will vary depending on the carrier you use (AT&T / T-Mobile / etc...) and your location.

I've used my Blackberry to get Internet access all over the world and it's saved me a few times. With T-Mobile the data package is $29 / month on top of the cost of your regular voice plan. Sometimes less if you are on a family or corporate plan. The data plan gives unlimited use so in theory you could get rid of your home phone and home internet connection and use the mobile for everything you do... I know people that do that. Carriers other than T-Mobile tend to charge a bit more and sometimes charge a premium for allowing you to "tether" your device to your laptop.

Since most carriers will allow you to change your calling plan any time you want (without renewing your contract) you can add the service before leaving on a long trip then get rid of the data service when you return.

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