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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, Palm devices, cell phones - how to connect, use, which one, and Bike to Bike and passenger intercoms.
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  #1  
Old 25 Aug 2001
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portable word processor

I am riding to SA next month and need a light weight portable word processor to take along. I don't want a laptop, but would like a full size keyboard and screen. It must have downloading capabilities and maybe even save to disk. Would like to have something also that is low on power consumption. There is something called the calcuscribe out, there but it only has an eight line screen. Any suggestions?
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Old 25 Aug 2001
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Well, I just researched that calcuscribe thingy and, while I've not seen one in the flesh, by what I found on the web I wouldn't take one riding with me in a million years. Clearly targeted for growing kids and almost as big as a small notebook pc. My advice is that you research the currnet line of PDA-handheld computers and find something in your price range. There is a folding keyboard for many of them (forgot the brand) that is awesome, just as good as a laptop one in size and feel. Granted, you don't get a full-size screen, but their screens are now very good. Take a look at compaq's iPaq and you'll be convinced (or not - big $$$).

Other than that, if you want a laptop-like keyboard and a laptop-like screen... get a laptop. A small, not so young, cheap machine will do on the road as long as it gets good battery life. I would go the iPaq way, though. Amazing capabilities there.

Just my thoughts, your mileage may vary.

Roberto.
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Old 18 Jan 2002
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I would suggest looking at Psion's range of PDAs. My experiences with a Series 5 (or Series 5mx) have been good.
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The devices are powered by regular AA batteries (no charging problems) and have the best keyboard I've seen so far.
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Durability might be an issue, especially with the hinges, but I've had no problems.
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http://www.psion.com
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Old 6 Feb 2002
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I am planning on buying a Sony Picturebook for my trip (VAIO Picturebook C1 (PCG-C1VP)) (http://www.sonystyle.com/vaio/picturebook/index.shtml) it is pricy (arround $2000), but it has all the features of a laptop, but with a smaller keyboard and screen making it realy compact and light for travelling. It has an extra long battery life, USB port and large Hard Drive (usefull if you travel with a digital camera or want to bring some MP3's on the road). Another big plus is that it has a built in digital camera. Not good for real photos, but easy to get some roadside pictures of you and the bike that are good enough to upload to the web. As such I think it is a good all-purpose RTW PC. Both Fijutsu and Cannon make similar size PC's but without the camera, but from what I can tell, the Sony is the best.

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Old 6 Feb 2002
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The Sony looks interesting, we'll be waiting to hear how it does.

I would recommend getting a real digital camera that is compatible with the Sony though. The idea of getting the laptop out to take pics at the side of the road will get old really fast, given that it should be at the bottom/back of the luggage.

Of course you also want to make sure it's well protected against shock and vibration. There's lots of info in other posts here on that.

Let us know how you do!

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Old 7 Feb 2002
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hey guys,
Let me answer my own question. Sony is extremely durable, have just taken it through the most brutal paces I could imagine and the camera (forgot model but is the top one) and Vaio notebook never skipped a beat and they are a match made in heaven. Check my photos on my site, I know zero about photography. I pull over rain or shine or when snowing for that matter and simply point and shoot. Later download to floppies in my hotel and e mail them home. Depending on resolution it can take from ten seconds to two minutes for each photo on the oldest of machines.
Glen www.strikingviking.net
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