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Old 09-15-2007, 09:42 AM   #31
VelvtRide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snadam
Something I didn't see anyone mention is using your cell phone / PDA as a modem.
Post #28

Quote:
Originally Posted by velvtride
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, 09:43 AM   #32
piratetreasure
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On a cross country trip this past Summer with my brother, I carried my Dell Inspiron 9300 with me in a neoprene sleeve in my Jesse topbox. My laptop is a widescreen model (read: bigger than you really want on a motorcycle), but since it is my only laptop and I wasn't going to spring for another just for the trip, it would have to do. In the zippered neoprene sleeve, it just fit into my topbox, and would ride on top of the asst. liners, powerbars and other relatively soft stuff I tried to keep in there for shock absorption. It worked great.

As far as keeping a "realtime" trip report, I set up a free blog before I left (actually, my wife set it up) and tried to post to it each day. When we would stop for the night, I'd find a wifi signal, usually the motel, and write the day's entry. I'd also upload the pictures I had taken that day to a shutterfly account. My wife, at home, would then take whatever pics she wanted to use and set up a slide show set to music in Windows MovieMaker, upload to YouTube and embed the video in the blog.

This allowed our family and friends to keep up with our trip on a somewhat daily basis and post comments back to us if they felt like it. Most would contact us through email or phone, though.

The results can be seen here:
www.teamamoscoasttocoast.blogspot.com

I'd do it this way again- It worked out really well.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:59 AM   #33
Jammin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvtRide
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.
Yup, definitely a good point. I'm with T-mobile so let's see how good GSM coverage is down there.
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:14 AM   #34
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well, as most know I am a truck driver.
I have two Gateway notebooks, one Sprint Treo 700wx.
Combined I have "net-ability" as long as I have a cell signal

I also have a Sony digiCam, so I am well covered
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:54 AM   #35
Robert_C
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I ahve a wi-fi pda with a folding keyboard here in China and I have taken it on m several trips. I do not recomend it as a writing tool. However, I am not totally bashing it, I carry it nearly every day. It is a good multi-purpose tool. It does nothing well, but does a lot of things.

The web browsing is poor. The screen is just too small.

I have a Belkin folding keyoard and it is good for nothing buy rough notes, not writing. The problem is that the keyboard just does not work well. It often misses strokes or freezes up and requires arcane rituals to get it working again.

I do like it as a book reader, I keep a dictionary on it, As much as i say it is not good for writing on, I do use it for notes that I fix later. I farry it to have notes I have written on my PC with me (it does not work well with MAC OSx). Basicly, I do use it, it is fair at a lot of things but really good at nothingI am expecting to replace it soon. I am looking at the ASUS Eee PC 701. http://www.eeeuser.com/wiki/eee_pc_701 and possibly a palm for PDA functions. I like the price (200-300USD) and the size (8.9 x 6.5 x 1.4 in) I also like the lack of a hard drive in a device like this (one less thing to go wrong).
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:56 AM   #36
celeriac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snadam
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.
Check T-Mobile's T-Zones or "Mobile Web" plan, whatever they're calling it nowadays. 6.99 a month and you can dial in from the computer to use unlimited email and web. Only thing is you have to use a proxy server for web browsing.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:29 AM   #37
Slappy McGee
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I did a trip report of sorts on a two week ride through Nova Scotia last year. I have an AT&T PDA Phone (the 8525) and a ThinkOutside bluetooth keyboard. The keyboard is actually pretty nice to type on and folds down real small. It works surprisingly well. I would type up a long email every 2-3 days and send it from the PDA via the inbuilt Outlook email. The email facility has spell check and basic editing, and I could work on the email, save it, work on it some more, and then send it. Also by using email I could hold it in the outbox if I was somewhere without cell service and then easily send at a later time.

There were a few problems with this approach:
  • International data roaming is EXPENSIVE. I generally rack up a ~75-150 bill when I am out of the country for 1-2 weeks. Most carriers have plans that include free int'l roaming but they generally are in excess of $100/month.
  • It was difficult to deal with pictures on a tiny device. I could get cards that worked in the PDA and my camera, but could not really edit the photos. I could attach the best pictures to the email, but it increased data roaming costs exponentially.
  • Dealing with a website like ADVRider on the PDA to post would be an exercise in frustration. Email had a limited audience, basically just friends and family.
The PDA also has WiFi capabilities, but we tried to camp most of the time on this trip, and nearly every campsite was within cell (GSM) range and a few had WiFi. GSM (AT&T and T-Mobile) will get you coverage nearly anywhere in the world, save for Japan, and I enjoyed sitting by the campfire and writing up the days journal versus hanging around in some geeky coffee shop ordering a double-secret mocca chocco grande vente ultra uber lattachino, or standing in some motel parking lot trying to get a WiFi signal.

I have an aircard that I use with my laptop when travelling for business that works very well that I would consider bringing on a future long trip. The main problem I have with posting from the road is whether you have to do it "live." If you post to somewhere like ADVRider you get a huge audience, but you have to log into the site, upload/link your photos, and write/paste in your journal. Email lets you work offline at your own pace, and from anywhere, signal/WiFi or not, but you have a very limited audience. Ideally I'd like some kind of program that let you setup your post offline (maybe even via an email), with text, pictures, etc., and then post it to the appropiate place in the right format once you connect.

Some of the blogging tools have programs that will do this for laptops and PDAs, but again you lose the benefit of the huge audience ADVRider provides. I personally never follow one of the ride reports that basically says "Hey, I'm on this awesome ride go to this link to read the report" so that is the problem I would really like to solve to make on the road reporting the most effective.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:38 PM   #38
Regio
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Keep it simple!

I didn´t do much research on to what kind of equipment to carry along. I kept it simple. A $700 compaq laptop, a $99 polaroid camera from Le Target and voilá! (I did the TLH from Mexico City and back)

Took pics, downloaded them to smugsmug, and from there to advrider.

Most places had somewhere I could get on the net. It was easy for me "up there". Down here (mexico) I wait until I get back and then do all the writing and downloads at home, but the trips are short, only a few hundred miles...

I think that on long trips you´ve got to focus on the trip and route. Sharing comes as a result of your good planning.

Keep it simple.
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:53 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Regio
I didn´t do much research on to what kind of equipment to carry along. I kept it simple. A $700 compaq laptop, a $99 polaroid camera from Le Target and voilá! (I did the TLH from Mexico City and back)

Took pics, downloaded them to smugsmug, and from there to advrider.

Most places had somewhere I could get on the net. It was easy for me "up there". Down here (mexico) I wait until I get back and then do all the writing and downloads at home, but the trips are short, only a few hundred miles...

I think that on long trips you´ve got to focus on the trip and route. Sharing comes as a result of your good planning.

Keep it simple.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=240071

Above is the link to Regio's RR. Quite the fantastic product! I'm a student of Spanish, so it's even more of a treat, for me.

Bob
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Old 09-22-2007, 12:41 PM   #40
srileo
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Great topic guys!
I am kind of new to motorcycle travel + journalism, having started in earnest only this year. here are my frustrations.

I am an avid photographer and cannot do with a P&S. I have to have my d80 and 18-70 lens. I typically shoot 200-300 photos over a few days. Problem is, i shoot RAW which means an easy 8MB per photo! I have a couple of 2GB cards.

I would love to write from the road at night. I usually end up scribbling in the dark into my diary with all good intentions of transcribing it when i return home. right. never gets done. I end up editing my photos and never get past posting a few on to flickr. again - i want only the best shots up there.

I would love to compose a story with pictures and writing - but given above two constraints it means i need to lug a laptop. My Macbook Pro is the 17" model. Big battery sucker. And i would need a hard case for it that i dont yet have.

What ends up happening is that i have some amazing times, great photos and thoughts i want to express that never make it past my computer and the journal scrawl. No ride report of mine is ever complete :-(

Here are my options that i am weighing:
1) Hope and research desperately for a fold-able keyboard for my iPhone. This alone would solve a huge number of problems. I can get the story-writing done very very quickly. Charging the iPhone as i ride would be pretty straightforward compared to charging the MacBook monster on the go. As added safety i coudl email the notes to myself from anywhere in the US with Wifi or EDGE. However, i have not seen this device yet.

2) Review and mark the photos i want at the end of day in camera. Delete crap at end of day itself and not wait to get back.

3) Get some sort of gizmo to plug into the iphone for taking voice recording. Sync them all in at one go. I have a sony digitial voice recorder and have not yet gotten around to pulling the files off of it. Belkin makes some, but i have not seen any for the iphone.

4) Instead of all three above, get an el-cheapo refurbished 12" iBook with a spare battery that can charge on the go - that way i can write, compose stories and photos, edit photos and email all to myself on the go. syncing the music, maps, etc would be additional luxuries. I cannot bring myself to use a PC laptop though there are some available in the $500 range new.


I am wanting too much i guess. end of rant.
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Old 09-22-2007, 02:10 PM   #41
dangerz
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I use my phone for mobile posting and stuff since it has a full browser. It can also be used as a modem and has a built-in keyboard.

http://www.wireless.att.com/businesscenter/8525/

Not sure about pictures though. Flickr supports mobile uploading and I'm sure smugmug does as well.
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Old 09-22-2007, 02:12 PM   #42
tricepilot OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srileo
What ends up happening is that i have some amazing times, great photos and thoughts i want to express that never make it past my computer and the journal scrawl. No ride report of mine is ever complete :-(
How about a relatively cheap laptop & simple camera, and not worry so much about the final product - if it's a trip report of your amazing times, your audience will appreciate almost anything.

National Geographic photograph quality isn't a requirement, nor is a Pulitzer Prize. Keep it short and simple, little pieces as you are able. And with regards to spare laptop batteries, most of the places you will be uploading to the internet will be places you can plug in the laptop.

But keep checking back in here. There are lots of folks who have learned how to do it. And some of the best in the business have already posted here. As has been said, there is no single right answer.

Above all remember this, you will never know how your ride reports may influence others. A certain famous advrider posted her Alaska trip report last year, and reading that changed everything for me.

Keep having those amazing times, and share them with others, who most certainly will follow your lead.

Bob
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:00 PM   #43
srileo
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Well said TricePilot. i am certainly very guilty of leeching more than my fair share of ADV reports with few contributions of my own. In the end, it is a matter of wanting to share, not making it convenient to share. I'll keep your advise in mind.

BTW, loved your batopilas RR.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot
How about a relatively cheap laptop & simple camera, and not worry so much about the final product - if it's a trip report of your amazing times, your audience will appreciate almost anything.

National Geographic photograph quality isn't a requirement, nor is a Pulitzer Prize. Keep it short and simple, little pieces as you are able. And with regards to spare laptop batteries, most of the places you will be uploading to the internet will be places you can plug in the laptop.

But keep checking back in here. There are lots of folks who have learned how to do it. And some of the best in the business have already posted here. As has been said, there is no single right answer.

Above all remember this, you will never know how your ride reports may influence others. A certain famous advrider posted her Alaska trip report last year, and reading that changed everything for me.

Keep having those amazing times, and share them with others, who most certainly will follow your lead.

Bob
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:26 PM   #44
tricepilot OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srileo
Well said TricePilot. i am certainly very guilty of leeching more than my fair share of ADV reports with few contributions of my own. In the end, it is a matter of wanting to share, not making it convenient to share. I'll keep your advise in mind.

BTW, loved your batopilas RR.


In addition to the Kings of Mexico, if you ever encounter me on the road, you never will pay for a beer (or fruit of the agave) again if I am in the room.

Advrider links like-minded folk from around the world. Glad to count you in that circle.

Stay tuned, October 2007 I bring forth the Sea of Cortez, Mazatlan and Spine of the Devil.

Bob
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:52 AM   #45
SourcetoSea
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Quote:
1) Hope and research desperately for a fold-able keyboard for my iPhone.


3) Get some sort of gizmo to plug into the iphone for taking voice recording. Sync them all in at one go.

4) Instead of all three above, get an el-cheapo refurbished 12" iBook with a spare battery that can charge on the go - that way i can write, compose stories and photos, edit photos and email all to myself on the go. syncing the music, maps, etc would be additional luxuries.
[/quote]

1) No-one's come up with the bluetooth drivers for an Iphone folding keyboard, yet. Believe me, that's about the only thing that's keeping me from pulling the trigger on an Iphone (and the lack of cut n' paste)

3) GCast.com can already do mobile podcasts, but it's be awesome to get that direct voice recording in the Iphone

4) A $300 G3 ibook might be the best way to go all around. I do almost all of my drafts on Google docs these days anyway, and don't need the horsepower of a Macbook for simple websurfing, photo management, etc.

All told - carrying a cheap laptop might be the cleanest way to do most of the journals/photos. You'd carry a separate phone, but I'm a cell-phone killer anyway.

www.sourcetosea.net
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