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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 18 May 2006
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Thumbs up ultimate travellers computer has arrived?

http://www.handtops.com/show/news/12..._official.html

looks really cool!
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Old 19 May 2006
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...if it wasn't running on a spinning harddrive, which are all suceptible to braking from shocks, vibrations and more, I'd think it would have been an awesome invention. But, I think we still have to wait a while until we get a great travellers computer, one which runs on a robust non-mechanical storage that also has sufficient space to room many gigabytes of files.

There are pocket PC's out there that have built in QUERTY keyboards, GPS, quad band GSM, EDGE, 3G, BlueTooth, Web Cam + a second Photo/Video cam, etc, all in a poket size format. If we could only get these with more storage, waterproofed, and with better lences, then you could leave your pc, your phone, your camera, your mp3 player, your GPS, and your cam corder, all at home... the time will come. There is only one thing preventing this from happening at this stage; lack of available large inexpensive and non-mehanical storage capaity.
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Old 19 May 2006
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I'm not too keen on the 'all eggs in one basket' answer that Wheelie suggests. I prefer to have my camera, phone, computer etc. as seperate items. If I loose / break / have stolen one item it would be less of a disaster than if I only had an all-in-one item.
Hard drives are much more robust than they used to be. There are mp3 players with hard drives, cameras with hard drives (IBM micro drive), and some modern hard drives not only park but 'lock' when switched off, further reducing the risk of disc damage. The new Sony seems to have a slot to take a memory card (the same as most laptops), just copy vital information, pictures etc. to a memory card, most of which are available with capacities up to 4 gb.
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Old 19 May 2006
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Cool

[QUOTE=Wheelie]...if it wasn't running on a spinning harddrive, which are all suceptible to braking from shocks, vibrations and more, I'd think it would have been an awesome invention. But, I think we still have to wait a while until we get a great travellers computer....QUOTE]

Hi Wheelie, they exist and have existed since at least the mid 80's.
A company in the UK called Husky Computers was one.

Take a look at http://www.ruggednotebooks.com/ and if you have enough cash I'm sure they will fit you up with one that will do all and more than you want.

There a also companies that make them for use in the field by the military so I'm sure they are pretty tough.... might not run Windozs though.

Cheers,
John
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Old 19 May 2006
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My greatest objections against the notebook soultion, unless driving a car, is its size and weight. Riding a bike, I welcome all solutions which saves me space and weight. Smaller and fewer gadgets, battery eliminators, cables, and what not, makes life far more enjoyable on the road. And, as for putting all ones eggs in one basket, the only thing I'm really concerned about, is loosing my files, of which there is allways the backup solution (which in my opinion should be pursued no matter which solutions one goes for). Further, in temrs of putting all ones eggs in one basket, if for instance your day pack, with all your gadgets, is lost, then you have numerous gadgets which will need replacing, not just that one.

In my humble opinion, the ruggednotebooks are too costly compared to the overall performance they offer, though way cool. And, I'd be terrily worried about loosing it. Also, although many manufcturers claim longivety and ruggedness of their haddrives, only time can prove this (we will just have to wait and see). Manufacturers have been making such claims for ages, and very few in my case, has been able to live up to their promise.

HTC, or in some places also marketed under the brand qtek, have really advanced smartphones/pda/pocket pcs like the one below. They've got pretty much all the functionality one could wish for at a reasonable cost, but comes just alittle short on a few attributes. It can do all the things all your other gadgets can do, just not as good. The camera lense objective is of inadequate quality, the storage capacity is too small, it is not weather proof, and it runs on a Pocket PC OS rather than XP. Although i would still carry one in place of a lap top, I'd still bring my GPS and digital camera and DV camcorder.



The only good reason I can think of for bringing a pc while adventuring in the first place is if one needs to work en route, if one needs to edit a web site, or if one wishes to edit video and photos while travelling. So, what do I bring? In place of my stack of lap tops at home, only an old fashioned journal. All my computer needs are covered through Internet cafes. I love gadgets, but they can take away the attention from adventuring.

The pocket sized gadget pictured above has:
  • WLAN
  • GPRS
  • Quad band GSM
  • 3G and/or EDGE (I think)
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • Web cam plus additional photocamera
  • Built in qwerty key board
  • IR
  • Touch screen monitor
In my opinion, this is the ultimate travel computer to date, but still not good enough to justify the expense.
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Old 20 May 2006
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I took a laptop on a year long pan american trip - packed in ali panniers with some of the foam packing it was boxed in. Had no problems with vibration and am still using it two years later. I chose it over the PDA type option because I could write a journal, update a website, store photos and burn back up CDs, plus store music (my mp3 player had no hard drive)

This new Sony looks like it could almost be small enough to carry in a pocket - which really reduces the exposure to vibration, pack size and weight is negligible, yet it could still do everything I would want of it. For me this beats a mobile which has limited functionality and connectivity as a hub for other gadgets.

Ok, one of the reasons for travelling is to get away from these modern trappings - but I still love 'em
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Old 20 May 2006
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Wink

I think technology is great - but when I'm travelling, I prefer to keep it simple and take a good old-fashioned notebook and pen!
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