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bring Laptop on tour - any recommendations?

Old 06-13-06, 05:43 PM
  #26  
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If your option is to go with the laptop or not go at all, then take a laptop. If you have the option to purchase one, get the smallest one you can find with the longest battery life (are the umPC's available yet?)
What I really recommend is that you stretch yourself and leave it behind completely. There is life on the other side of the screen! If you're an addict you might not know what to do with yourself during non-pedal time, but figuring those things out are what make bike touring fun. The laptop will be a constant distraction to the truly enjoyable parts of your trip.
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Old 06-13-06, 06:43 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by LUCAS
As a matter of fact, my laptop is a Dell Latitude C800. The primary harddrive in the computer works fine. The problem is with the secondary harddrive in my modular bay. I also use the modular bay for a second battery at times.

I was specifically told by a Dell technician that the problem resulted from moving around the computer. He has seen this kind of problem many times, he said.

Regards,
'moving' a laptop around should NOT cause failure... the whole point of a laptop is to be able to move it from place to place with ease... hence the BATTERY. If it was meant to sit in one place all the time, you could save about $150 on each one...

I sincerely hope they replaced that drive under warranty!!!

That said, I commute daily with a Dell Inspiron 9400 .... 17.4" widescreen display... it would be INSANE to try to take this thing on a tour... it's too damn big and heavy. That said, I don't have any real issues with transporting it... I carry it in a laptop backpack strapped to the side of my rack... It adds about 10lbs to my commute all by itself, minus the power supply and any other supporting electronics (I have a power cord for home, and one for work so I don't have to carry it!)
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Old 06-13-06, 06:51 PM
  #28  
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Another option if you can find one, is to purchase a Psion 5MX, and install Linux on it. Runs on 2 AA batteries and sits in your palm with a full keyboard. Has infra red and serial port. Standard it runs Epoc 32 OS and can dial through a cell phone and surf the web and do email.

I prefer Linux on it using a 128 MB flash card tho. The batteries last about a month, and it also has a backlit screen. It's now retro technology, but works well.
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Old 06-13-06, 08:50 PM
  #29  
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FWIW, I'm a few weeks into my tour and am 100% happy I have my notebook.
With my little verizon card I've been able to access the net anywhere. My kit's a max of 5lbs (with ac adaptor and extra battery, still its prolly less) and worth every gram. Means I can update my site, ***** to ytou guys, and carry one some stuff I need to do. Fantastic.
If my laptop were any bigger, I might complain. I just wrap it in a fleece. I don't know how I toured without it before.
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Old 06-13-06, 10:31 PM
  #30  
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I always felt the allure of touring was the opportunity to leave all the nonsense behind and just get back to basics. Books vs web, conversation vs email, a deck of cards vs electronic solitare, pack up and go vs figure out where to charge the damned thing.
IMHO
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Old 06-13-06, 11:38 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by nm+
FWIW, I'm a few weeks into my tour and am 100% happy I have my notebook.
With my little verizon card I've been able to access the net anywhere. My kit's a max of 5lbs (with ac adaptor and extra battery, still its prolly less) and worth every gram. Means I can update my site, ***** to ytou guys, and carry one some stuff I need to do. Fantastic.
If my laptop were any bigger, I might complain. I just wrap it in a fleece. I don't know how I toured without it before.
Congrats, and glad you're having fun! Color me jealous! Hehe.... Anyway, glad to hear that the laptop is working out well for you on your trip. I have enough problems commuting with mine... it's just too damn big, one of the smaller ones would be much nicer for carrying on the bike. Then again... when I got this I was commuting in my Blazer, and never thought I'd be trying to carry it by bike... it was supposed to be a full desktop replacement so I could have all the same software and data at work and at home while I'm programming, without having to worry about synchronizing everything.
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Old 06-14-06, 06:43 AM
  #32  
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i'm still trying to get my bike wired for speakers, much less wi-fi.

I wouldn't bring one unless it was a milspec tough book or equivalent -google search! - , but it sounds like others have had mixed to good results bringing one.

i am usually very "in the moment" on tour, as well as moving most of the time, that a lap top would have limited usefulness outside of cities on my bike, and would prefer to just pop into an internet cafe or small town library. versus hauling a lot of extra weight. flash drive if i needed to bring files, etc.

i do bring a digital camera, and would like to set up a solar charging system for it though. 1GB of flashcard memory is running about 30 bucks or so, so large image collection is lightweight and affordable.
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Old 06-14-06, 07:41 AM
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We thought long and hard but decided we DO want to bring a laptop on our tour, because we not only have a blog to keep up but we also do a lot of digital photography and I will be doing podcasts from the road, so.... laptop is going to come in pretty handy.

We have settled on a Panasonic Toughbook -- not the cheapest or the fastest, but pretty tough, as the name suggests. You can save a bit by getting one shipped from Japan on eBay.
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Old 06-14-06, 11:14 AM
  #34  
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You should look into their 'no-fault' warranty... it's a few hundred dollars (I think it was about $300 when I was researching them for our company) but it covers ANY damage to the computer, up to and including dropping it off a skyscraper (or running over it with a backhoe .... yes, I asked!)
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Old 06-14-06, 11:40 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
You can do it! Leave the laptop at home! You can take these things that are made of ground up trees that are called 'Books' that tell all kinds of stories about all kinds of stuff. They tell stories about outer space and monsters or about crimes or spies or even...gulp...romance - Ewww! And by reading them you can even run, like, movies in your head.

And for writing, there is this other stuff that is made of ground up trees called 'paper'. It's really cool. You use a thing called a 'pen' or even a 'pencil' that transfers chemicals to the paper and makes stuff called 'writing'. It really, really retro and wickedly cool! And the best part is that none of this 'writing' or 'book' stuff requires batteries!

And the very, very best part is that if you drop your book or pen, you won't break it. And they are all - books, paper, pen, pencil - really, really cheap!
touché
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