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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 21 Dec 2006
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Question The best laptop !

Hallo all of you,-

In your opinion, wich laptop is the best to take with you on a RTW trip ?
It has to be lightweiht, small and strong.
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  #2  
Old 21 Dec 2006
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Welcome!
don't know yet if this is the right choice, but i'm taking my Mac 12" Powerbook. It's already survived the "drop test", and it's aluminum case easily bends or dents, absorbing impact. My laptap was so bent, one corner was 1/2" off the table...just bend it back into place and good to go. The nice thing about mac is parts are easy to find on the internet (E-Bay) and are quite cheap. You don't have to worry about virus protection and all that PC crap. I bring an extra cord with me and plug in at internet cafe's...they usually don't mind. If your doing photo's and web blogs, the Mac is super simple.
As far as durability goes, well, any computer can get seriously damaged from vibrations, so get a neoprene sleave and pack it well Remember to have everything on back-up in case you need to replace a harddrive.
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  #3  
Old 21 Dec 2006
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panasonic toughbook series?
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  #4  
Old 22 Dec 2006
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Panasonic Toughbook CF-18

Notebook sized and very hardy, taken mine across Southern Africa on numerous occasions and its had some bumps, survived the dust and had a my cold split on it...lost the though - next feature of toughbooks = design should be a funnel to drain the back into the can

Ben
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  #5  
Old 26 Dec 2006
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Smile laptop for travelling

I have had a 14" iBook for the last three years and it has survived a fair bit of travelling and a few drops here and there. A friend who runs a Mac dealership recommends the iBook (now called the MacBook) over the PowerBook ( now called MacBook Pro) , mainly because the body is stronger.

If i was just getting one for travelling, then i'g get the 12" for sure, but i use mine as my main work machine, so the 14" screen is better for day to day use.

But if you only want to use it for email, photos and uploading to HU website (plug plug) then do you really need a laptop? there are plenty of good devices that are smaller and probably cheaper.

What ever you decide on, it will probably do the job fine. Here are some things that i found useful to:

* Buying new and having an extended warranty (three years), this way if it really packs it in then you can ship it off, get it fixed or replaced and only pay for frieght. They are pretty cheap new, and if you buy second hand one how are you to know that some loony has not carted it around the world on a motorbike?

* A DVD burner would be good (i don't have one) but most new ones do.

* A Lacie external hard-drive that is USB powered, a 100Gig one is about $200 (Aust) and getting cheaper all the time. No power cords to carry.

* I use a iPod shuffle for music and my USB key. Just dump what you want to listen to and off you go on a random musical journey. Battery life is great, but you do need to charge from a computer. but again no power cord.

* Wireless internet - there are two main types, one is where you just use a LAN (Local Area Network) and go on the net through a base station. It is amazing how many free networks there are, mostly from unsecured systems in people houses and offices, most of the commercial ones are expensive.
The other wireless systems are the card-in-the-computer version that go out on the mobile phone networks, these are very convenient but usually very small upload limits, not sure if they work in different countries.

Well talking of download limits, my brain needs more coffee, so hope this perspective is useful and happy travelling, both physical and virtual.

Check out skype for internet phone calls, beeming into family and friends via your webcam and if you are really keen you can have in-country phone numbers for ludites to ring and leave messages for you or talk to you when are online ... ok a bit nerdy ... but cheaper then yakking on a mobile and you can use in most countries.

Alright, seeya.

Zephyr
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  #6  
Old 6 Jan 2007
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Alternative?

What about laptop alternatives? Are there any PDA's that I can write html and edit images on? (Like basic cropping and rotating and stuff) I don't want to pack an entire laptop if a PDA and a keyboard attachment will do the trick...

Charles.
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  #7  
Old 6 Jan 2007
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Libretto 100CT

Perhaps it's a bit to old and small for the most of us. But I use a Libretto 100CT. Price: Euro 200.


(Click to enlarge)

It has only a small screen, but good enough for me to use Garmin Mapsource and download the tracks each day. The size is about a VHS cassette. Runs really well! And scheap to replace when gets stolen or broken.

Last edited by MagnaBagger; 8 Jan 2007 at 20:43. Reason: Changed 100C into 100CT!
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  #8  
Old 6 Jan 2007
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Sony

I carry a Sony VAIO ultra-portable - 11" screen and 2.5 lbs. It has held up pretty well for two years. I have three VAIO notebooks and had no problems with any of them.

However, the ultimate for portability with full functionality woudl have to be the new Sony UX series, in my opinion. It is only slightly larger than a PDA, but runs a full version of Windows and comes pre-loaded with a full version of MS Streets and Trips 2007. It has Integrated WLAN, WWAN, and Bluetooth. It has a 4.5" Wide SVGA LCD, touch screen but also has a keyboard hidden under the screen. The screen slides up like a cell phone.

This is definately on my wish list. I could use the extra room in my pannier from the downsizing.
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  #9  
Old 8 Jan 2007
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Thank you!

Thank you! That Libretto is exactly what I need. Small, light, cheap, compact, and it runs Windows! That's perfect! I'm snagging one off of eBay ASAP. Thanks a ton!

Charles.
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  #10  
Old 8 Jan 2007
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Buy right Libretto type

I am glad to be off help. But beware! If you want USB (as I do to use my GPS, telephone and a very small mouse), you must have a 100CT (CT!) or newer. Older Libretto's have PCMCIA cardbus that is to old. I bought a PCMCIA card with 4 USB connections. Works great.

Last edited by MagnaBagger; 8 Jan 2007 at 20:42. Reason: Changed 100C into 100CT!
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  #11  
Old 9 Jan 2007
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Yeah, I do need usb for my digital camera. Thanks for the info. Looks like I can find a 100CT or 110CT for around $300 on eBay, which isn't too bad. Thanks again!

Charles.
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  #12  
Old 9 Jan 2007
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I've been looking on ebay for the same sort of thing.

The Sony C1 series may be worth looking at - a bit more expensive than the Libretto but some well spec'd models turn up on ebay from time to time.
Not quite as small, but better spec'd are the Compaq M300, and various IBM models.

Most of the older laptops will struggle with todays applications, especially if you plan to use it to view your photos at the end of each day.Typical digital photos are around 3MB in jpeg format. A 6Mpixel picture will use 18MB of memory when it's uncompressed by photo-editing software for viewing.
You'll also have problems if you want to hook up in an internet cafe - older models won't have LAN connections, and may not be able to run a wireless card. You'll also struggle to find drivers for some of your devices to get them to work in older systems. I've got an old HP Omnibook 800, which is nice and small, but due to its age it's pretty well useless for my needs.
It may be worth getting something a little bigger, but with a more upto date spec. Look for something with 20Gb of disk space of you're storing lots of photos, and at least a 600MHz processor if you want to do any editing. A LAN socket and the ability to run a wireless card would be useful for sending emails at internet cafes. A couple of USB sockets are essential, preferably USB2 if you're backing up your cameras memory cards.
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  #13  
Old 9 Jan 2007
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Specs of my Libretto 100CT

I have Windows98 running on my Libretto. That could be a problem for new devices. But my new Garmin 60CSx worked with no problems. Also I have a good netword pcmcia card working. Furthermore, I have a USB wireless network adapter whith wireless network detection, so you I don't have to turn on my Libretto first. This wireless device is just new, haven't installed it yet. But it has specific Win98 drivers.

My old Libretto has 64M ram and a 20Gb hard drive. Not too bad actually. But if you want to edit photo's, I admit, it will not be so quick ;-) But still, I can do lots of stuff on it.
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  #14  
Old 10 Jan 2007
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Zephyr has is all pretty wrapped up; definitely get the extra 2-3 year warranty.
I alos wholeheartedly (spelling?) back up the shuffle idea; all your music on iTunes on the lap-top with the tiniest device for listening with ear plugs - and why anyone spends money on a flash drive when they have a shuffle???
My only other coment and only from my experience is; I have had 2 Sony Vaios; love them for their style and pleasure to use, but I had both pack up on my whilst travelling! Both times it was the motherboard which renders it beyond economical repair. The first was within the warranty, the secon just outside. Coincidence? maybe, but I'm not prepared to risk it again!
One last thing; don't be freaked out by a smaller screen than you're used to, especially in the shop; you will get used to it in no time and everything else will seem mutant in comparisin!!!
Have fun!
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  #15  
Old 17 Jan 2007
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Flash

Another way is to get the 500 gig flash drive that has been preset with technology on it. I cannot for the life of me remeber what its called.

But this is how it works.

U plug into any pc thats connected to the net. It then acceses an online pc/storage area or your pc at home. The amazing thing is it ,akes that internet pc look your own pc at home. Wallpaper included. It even sets ur pc keyboard to the way u have set at home. or online. This completey gets away with having to carry a notebook.

the only problem i foresee is forgetting what u did by not writing it down. But pen and paper should do the trick.

I will try to find the usb flash drives name again
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