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Old 04-16-07, 06:08 AM   #1
staehpj1 
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Electronics

I am wondering what to do about electronics on our upcoming transam. Options seem to include everything from carrying a laptop to carrying nothing but the digital camera and a bunch of memory cards.

Since there will be three of us to share the load carrying something seems to make more sense that if it were just me.

How is access at libraries along the way? Can you usually upload pictures from libraries or is usb typically disabled?

Does anyone carry a laptop or a sub-notebook on long tours?

Am I missing any obvious options?

Pete
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Old 04-16-07, 06:33 AM   #2
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There's the Nokia N800, which is pricey but nicey. For three people, it doesn't seem unreasonable to take a light laptop if that's important to you.
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Old 04-16-07, 06:42 AM   #3
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- i typically have sshd running on a high port on my firewall... allows me access from anywhere in the world via an ssh terminal client... (from there i can launch any X client if coming in via an X session - perhaps a KNOPPIX or Ubuntu live CD?)

- you can also have AppGate's MindTerm running on a minimal httpd on your firewall... this will allow direct access to your system (for file transfer, email, etc.)... you can log in through *any* Java-enabled Web browser...

- here's a demo session:

http://www.thp.uni-duisburg.de/~fred.../MindTerm.html

(note that you'll need to enable temp perms if you have Adblock running)

- oh, and Mindterm is free for non-commercial use...
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Old 04-16-07, 06:47 AM   #4
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I carried a small notebook with a verizon wireless card on a coast to coast trip, as a necessity to stay in touch with work issues and also to update my journal day to day. It seems a lot of people do it that way. Personally, I found it a big PITA.
I'd take a LOT of pictures and write down everything that happened that day in a small notebook. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!! Not just the usual weather and wind, but EVERYTHING your feeling and experiencing.
At the end of the trip, your group can sit down and put it all together in electronic format.
Much lighter, more convenient, and doesn't unnecessarily cut into your enjoyment time.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-16-07, 07:29 AM   #5
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Carrying a laptop seems to me to be more trouble than it's worth. You have to find places to plug it in to charge it, pack it so it doesn't get damaged, and worry about it getting stolen. All for what? Better to use local library access for things like checking email. For photos, you should be able to find photo services that will transfer your pictures from your camera's memory card to CD or DVD at a nominal fee. Or, just buy a handful of 1 GB memory cards and swap them out as they get full. Memory cards are pretty cheap now.
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Old 04-16-07, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linux_author
- i typically have sshd running on a high port on my firewall... allows me access from anywhere in the world via an ssh terminal client... (from there i can launch any X client if coming in via an X session - perhaps a KNOPPIX or Ubuntu live CD?)

- you can also have AppGate's MindTerm running on a minimal httpd on your firewall... this will allow direct access to your system (for file transfer, email, etc.)... you can log in through *any* Java-enabled Web browser...

- here's a demo session:

http://www.thp.uni-duisburg.de/~fred.../MindTerm.html

(note that you'll need to enable temp perms if you have Adblock running)

- oh, and Mindterm is free for non-commercial use...

Another option is to install vncserver on your home computer. Versions for linux and windows. This way you desk top can be accessed through a vnc clinent that you can cartry on a usb stick or a web brouser. Putty is a good small ssh client that I carry with me has worked in internet cafe before.
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Old 04-16-07, 09:30 AM   #7
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Nobody's mentioned the PocketMail yet. It's for e-mail only (no upload capability) but it's low tech and works great anywhere there's an analog phone connection...pay phone or cell switched to analog, which is the setting that usually works best in the boonies, anyway. It's about 3x6x.75 inches, weighs maybe 8 or 10 ounces and runs a long time on 2 AA batteries.

On my cross-country last summer, I thought a long time about whether to carry a loptop, finally opted for the PocketMail, and was really glad I made that choice. The few people on our tour that had laptops were constantly searching for wi-fi somewhere, but I just sat in camp and sent my journal entries/daily messages to friends & relatives with little or no trouble.
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Old 04-16-07, 09:37 AM   #8
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Items like this are great for keeping your gadgets going on the road:
http://www.semsons.com/pocpowban.html
http://www.semsons.com/unbaexwiusbp.html

The top one can charge rechargeable batteries, and it can also charge your ipod and camera from those charged batteries. It uses USB cables to attach to the device and you can use an assortment of adapters to attach to any other kind of device. If you're really stuck you can just buy some AA's and pop them in and power whatever you need.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:09 PM   #9
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Nearly all public libraries have computers with high-speed Internet access open and free to the public. Thank Al Gore and his phone taxes you pay which funds that. As your paying for that anyway you might as well take advantage of it. Just take whatever memory card your camera uses and a USB card reader for it. The computer in the library will allow you to upload your photos to any of many photo sites on the Internet dedicated for that service. While your there you can e-mail your family and friends of your progress. One library I stopped in had a problem with my camera and cable and needing to load a driver on it to access the camera. The card reader solved that problem. You just plug it in a USB port and it appears as a drive on the libraries computer, no additional software required. If you do feel the need to take your laptop all you need is a wireless network card in it.
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Old 04-16-07, 04:12 PM   #10
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The video iPod will let you down load pics directly from your camera. If you only use it to download images, the battery will last for a very long time.
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Old 04-16-07, 04:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou
Nearly all public libraries have computers with high-speed Internet access open and free to the public. Thank Al Gore and his phone taxes you pay which funds that. As your paying for that anyway you might as well take advantage of it. Just take whatever memory card your camera uses and a USB card reader for it. The computer in the library will allow you to upload your photos to any of many photo sites on the Internet dedicated for that service. While your there you can e-mail your family and friends of your progress. One library I stopped in had a problem with my camera and cable and needing to load a driver on it to access the camera. The card reader solved that problem. You just plug it in a USB port and it appears as a drive on the libraries computer, no additional software required. If you do feel the need to take your laptop all you need is a wireless network card in it.
So, you found that generally library access allowed connecting USB devices? That is good news. It sounds like it makes taking a laptop a lot less of an advantage. I am not sure I still remember how to write with a pen and paper though

Still, something the size of a libretto, or the lighter Viao's, or even the Dell Lattitude D420 would be a reasonably small load when shared among 3 people.

My opinion is that the quality of Dell laptops has gone downhill lately, but Dell's no fault warranty would be a big plus if it got broken on the trip.
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