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  1. #1
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    Watching T.V. from your tent....

    This will probably start a civil war, but I'm going to do it anyway.

    After finding myself very bored today, I decided that before I leave on tour I need a new gadget. I didn't even know this stuff was on the market. If you hate taking electronics on tour and/or you are just anti-phone/internet/tv/etc, stop reading now.

    If you have a cell phone through any of the major providers (I have cingular), you can buy a smartphone/pda phone. I'm gonna get the Treo 650. Now with this add an unlimited internet account from your cell provider (cingular is $20 a month).

    This will allow you to check all your websites, email, etc... from your phone. Awesome right (remember, I just found out you can do all of this stuff. im sure i am way behind the rest of the world).

    But this is where it gets good. You spend another $10 a month and go here: MobiTV. This service gives you like 30 cable channels on your freaking phone. You can watch them from anywhere and apparently it is pretty clear.

    "Read a book!!" you say? Sure, I'll do that too... but this seemed like a nice luxury that I had never read about on this forum. Plus it weighs less than the majority of books.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    Yeah, but how often are you going to be on their high speed network? Unless you're always touring around VERY large metro cores, you're not going to get fast access. You're going to be downloading like you were on a 56k modem.

  3. #3
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    As far as I knew it was always slow. Cingular doesn't offer high speed (or sprint and t-mobile) anywhere, even cities. There IS hotspots for pda's, but that's a different service. But that doesn't stop the tv service from being clear... plus, when you are stuck in your tent for hours slow internet is still internet.

  4. #4
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Sounds nifty, but I likely wouldn't use the TV function that much. The internet would be handy though.

    -I'm currently in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan, headed towards Osh then China. I have a Palm TX handheld computer which is a pretty nifty gadget. For internet I either need a wifi hotspot (slow, and page rendering is "funky"), or supposedly I can use bluetooth with a cellphone (never tried). The upside of my palm is the larger screen, and I use a foldup keyboard. I recharge the palm with 4 AA batteries (4 Alkalines give about 1.5 charges).
    mmmm coffeee!

    email: jfoneg (_"a t symbol thing"_) yahoo (_"period or dot"_) com

  5. #5
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    You could get one of those dvd/tv players. Throw in a few movies and you're good to go.

  6. #6
    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    Why go through the hassle and expance of a tour? Just park a stationary bike in front of your TV, Stereo, PC and dont forget the fan for effect, and your there.

  7. #7
    Hooked on Touring
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    Ah, Xilios -
    You are so scathing - but right.

    One of the mixed blessings of communications technology is that we can wrap an electronic cocoon around us almost anywhere, anytime. I was fortunate enough to have just been up in the Cloud Peak Wilderness at 11,000 feet (That's 943,825 meters, I think). The night sky was filled with countless stars swirling in every imaginable pattern. The half moon rose at midnight casting so much light that you could easily hike down to the lakeshore. Later, back in the tent, I could hear the hooves of elk as they foraged in the high meadows.

    Beats TV every time.

  8. #8
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    Ah, Xilios -
    You are so scathing - but right.
    I was camping before you were born. There are times when a little mindless diversion is just what the Doc ordered. One of my favorite places in Maine is
    Russell Pond which is smack in the middle of Baxter State Park. It's just a few miles
    past the end of the Appalachian Trail.

    One day we were making dinner at a lean to when a guy walked up barefoot and
    wearing jeans and a cotton shirt AND a huge knife in a leather holder. I was in my Forties at the time, but I had never read a Louis L'Amour book. He is famous for saying that all a man needs in the wild is a good knife.

    This was in the 3rd week of August and that far North the temps often dipped
    into the 40's at nite. I had brought an old, beat up sleeping bag that weighed over 4 pounds, but wasn't all that warm anymore. So when it got into the upper 40's, I was not warm.

    So I got up at first lite to make gourmet coffee. I used a Melitta plastic cone and brought little foil pouches of the superb coffee. I would also pack canned milk, which had perservatives and could last for days with careful handling.

    Anyway, I figured our barefooted neighbor could use a cup of good coffee. So I poured a cup, and walked to his shelter, and the only thing there was a big pile of of leaves. This is still before 5 AM, mind you. He must have been unable to
    sleep, and headed back to his car sometime during the night.

    Try and top that for minimalist camping....

    Now, back to the sane world for a moment. There are times when some mindless diversion is just what the Doc ordered....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by xilios
    Why go through the hassle and expance of a tour? Just park a stationary bike in front of your TV, Stereo, PC and dont forget the fan for effect, and your there.
    I don't really see bike touring in the U.S. as that. I mean, if you want to take secluded trip somewhere, it's probably best to stay of the paved roads and stop shopping at gas stations for food. Sure, it's an adventure, but I don't see how a phone with television is any worse than the McDonalds you eat at on tour or the roads you ride on.

    If I want secluded, I go hiking. If I want a fun little adventure, I take the bike...and phone

  10. #10
    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subigo
    I don't really see bike touring in the U.S. as that. I mean, if you want to take secluded trip somewhere, it's probably best to stay of the paved roads and stop shopping at gas stations for food. Sure, it's an adventure, but I don't see how a phone with television is any worse than the McDonalds you eat at on tour or the roads you ride on.

    If I want secluded, I go hiking. If I want a fun little adventure, I take the bike...and phone
    I can see taking a phone (for emergencies and such) but the thought of a TV?
    Maybe I'm mistaken but I thought most would get on a bike for a few days/weeks to get away from the TV. But having said that, I did catch the first couple of games of the World cup at the campsite in Barcelona, this spring, in the end of my tour

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by xilios
    I can see taking a phone (for emergencies and such) but the thought of a TV?
    Maybe I'm mistaken but I thought most would get on a bike for a few days/weeks to get away from the TV. But having said that, I did catch the first couple of games of the World cup at the campsite in Barcelona, this spring, in the end of my tour
    Two words: Weather Channel

  12. #12
    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    I almost forgot a picture is worth a thousand words.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by subigo
    Two words: Weather Channel
    Exactly.
    Knowing which way the wind's gonna blow and if there will be t-storms tommorow is great.
    I like technology. People do it for all sort sof different reasons and those who think they're better for using little or huge amounts of gadgets are fools.
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
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  14. #14
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    the treo 650 is CRAP. you will be totally dissapointed with it. i have had mine for about a year and a half. yes the tv stuff is available but it simply does not work well.. it is like trying to watch a streaming video on a computer that is on SLOWER than dial up speed!!!!

    there is nothing wrong with wanting to watch a little tv on a tour in my opinion... especially when you are by yourself the night time can get flat out boring. I would recomend a portable dvd player for this. they have gotten pretty small now... some about the size of the actual dvd... plus you can easily cary 30 dvd's with you with very little added weight and space. I would have loved to have one of those on my last tour!!!!

    another thing to consider... when going on a "real" tour cell phone signals are hard to come by, especially ones that are capable of providing data.

    just my 2 cents

    Mike
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  15. #15
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    .. i bring a little radio, that picks up both the United states NOAA weather reports, FM/AM AND the TV band.

    sometimes i like to find a public radio station, i often will check the weather report in the AM, AND the TV channels have been listened to on occasion....


    no need for the visuals.

    how about an Ipod or personal video device loaded up with 8-10 movies? i think there should be some way to push a video thru a computer and make it Ipod ready?

    i'm kind of anti tech, but like the radio, sometimes at night, it is great to listen to a little music while eating dinner, then a little sitcom before turning in...
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  16. #16
    eccentric tourer WestOz's Avatar
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    We can't even get a mobile phone signal in most of Oz outside of cities and towns. I've been some places, where only short wave radio works.

    As for weather forecasts, I find the piece of string works best and is most reliable.

  17. #17
    Senior Member sherpa93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    .. i bring a little radio, that picks up both the United states NOAA weather reports, FM/AM AND the TV band.
    I quit watching TV in 2000. Turned it on for 5 min in a hospital a year ago and was glad I quit watching that trash. Looking for a good small radio tho. Tough is Good! I had a 2AA SONY was efficient (2 wks on 2 AA) but sound was bad and after 40 miles on gravel roads today the Antenna loosened up and it be gone. NOAA Wx is good feature. Good sound is nice, I play my MP3s thru a FM Tx and the SONY just didnt do them justice. Anyone care to share your road proven radios?

  18. #18
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    I've got myself a Samsung i730. With it, I can....

    1. Make calls
    2. Send & Check e-mails
    3. Surf the internet through a cellular line or tap into a wireless network for access
    4. Using a wireless keyboard, type full documents on Word and Excel for those interested in documenting their tour.
    5. Keep all credit card and banking information handy on a secured file on the PPC.
    6. Watch Cable channels with the right software (I don't do this, but it is capable)
    7. Use it as a GPS with add ons and extra software

    I don't see why one of these can't be handy on a tour. The only problem I see is charging the thing while on tour. I guess you can do it when you stop for meals though as long as the establishment is ok with it.

  19. #19
    Philadelphian
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    Smartphones and You: An Voyage of Discovery.

    I'd like to share my experiences with my Treo 700 with everyone. I've got more tech nerd then bike nerd experience so far so hopefully I'm contributing something useful for everyone.

    These Treo phones are cool for a bunch of reasons. They are cameras, camcorders, web devices and phones. You can check the weather, email freinds/family, take pictures, store your tunes on SD cards and listen in your tent, and even Watch TV. I'm on the Sprint network. Both Sprint and Verizon do have EVDO in major metropolitan areas, which is about the same as using DSL at home, but the 600 & 650 models don't work on the EVDO. They are stuck with dial up speeds.

    I think the TV quality stinks on the Treo no matter where you are, at least with SprintTV and Mobi. The quality is pretty bad. But, if you're dorky enough you can get DVD rips onto the SD cards that go into the phone and watch moives from it with earphones. Cool, eh? Emailing pictures to people from your tent could be pretty cool too. The networks are pretty big, so you should be able to get on wherever you are, but of course there are exceptions.

    What does this have to do with touring? That's up to you. Tech is what you make it. I bet there are people out there who don't want to tour with anything but a bowie knife and some extra spokes and axles. Others love credit card touring. Some people want to be stand alone for months on end. Some people might love having a digital umbilical cord back to regular life. The Treos are awesome devices, whether they're useful on tour is purely preference.

    P.S. If you're really handy, you could charge it from your generator hub. Just don't ask me how, I don't know!

  20. #20
    Senior Member sherpa93's Avatar
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    How was the Cold war won without cell phones? Was it a miracle?
    Happenstance? What? Throw em all in the lake. Mp3s are Kewl tho.
    So... No advice on road worthy radios? Please..
    Last edited by sherpa93; 08-26-06 at 02:05 AM.

  21. #21
    nm+
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpa93
    How was the Cold war won without cell phones? Was it a miracle?
    Happenstance? What? Throw em all in the lake. Mp3s are Kewl tho.
    So... No advice on road worthy radios? Please..
    Yeah, given that cell phones were introcused in the late 70's, early 80s using military technology. . . .
    Being a retro-grouch doesn't mean you ahve to attack other for enjoying what modern techology has to offer.
    Also, cell phones were invaluble when some dillholes in rural Indana tried to attack me. Dialing 911 and giving location/plate number was enough to cool em down immedatly.
    It doesn't have weather ban, but irivers mp3 players/radios are damn near indistructable, and tiny as hell.
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
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  22. #22
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    I not carrying anything electronic except a flashlight. I do like TV. Still knowing the weather is going to change is probably not much help. Often the forecasts are wrong and there isn't all that much I can do about them anyway. I don't think I have ever called-in an emergency for myself, still if you want to be a victim it's probably a good idea to prepare for it now.

  23. #23
    The Observant One
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    I've been shopping around for a phone/cool gadget. My Game Boy Advance (older model with replaceable batteries) was invaluable for my extended touring/camping trip last year.
    Just last night I was researching the Palm 700's.
    bettergears, which version do you have, the P or W? The difference between the Palm OS and the Windows OS.
    Care to expound a little on the advantages of the version you have or any other info?
    Thanks
    "Go! You have yet time to clean the rust from your sword." - Theoden

    "Life happens. Everything else is Attitude." - Nemesis

  24. #24
    Seek the Joy
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    Try and top that for minimalist camping....
    there are a few people, myself included who have gone ,as a chalenge, into the woods, butt naked (privatly owned woods by the way) and camped, the only thig i had was the skin on my back, and my knowlege of the woods. i only did it for 3 days, however i know someone who stayed out for over a week with no outside support.

  25. #25
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivegotabike
    there are a few people, myself included who have gone ,as a chalenge, into the woods, butt naked (privatly owned woods by the way) and camped
    Mosquito feast!

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