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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, smart phones - how to connect, use, which one, and intercom/radio systems.
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia



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  #1  
Old 2 May 2012
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hard drive backup for your laptop

Top tip for any laptop with a hard drive:

- Buy a bigger harddrive, same interface. (I have a 500GB in my little EeePc, with G-force protection... if it falls more than 22 cm's it will park the harddrive so it won't get ruined in the fall of your laptop onto the ground, when running)
- Buy a HD-casing with USB interface, 6 USD on dealextreme.com. free shipping.
- Clean up the drive in your laptop, but leave essential software on it. (don't forget temp-folders, waste bin, download folder, restore points, etc.
- Put new drive into your laptop, and install your windows or whatever, mapsource, skype, etc. onto the new drive.
- Put 'old' drive in the USB-casing, and use it for backups.

In case your 'new' harddrive stops working in your laptop (which is the most vulnerable part), you can simply put your backup-drive in it and start up on windows (or linux, or whatever) and get online to skype with your mom!

p.s. at your own risk, but on a lot of laptops this is very simple to do yourself.
Be aware, there are different interfaces for the drivesdepending on the age of your machine; buy the one matching your laptop an the same USB-casing! SATA is the most common.
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  #2  
Old 3 May 2012
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HI,

I think loosing windows and baying a new hard drive isnt a problem but loosing videos and fotos you took on the road is the worst what could happen thats why i recomend to use SD Cards to backup your fotos untill you have fast internet to copy them to the clowds or on your server back home...

Travel save, Tobi
Riding the rough west coast through Africa part 3
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  #3  
Old 3 May 2012
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My EEE PC 901 has 64gb SolidStateDisk, no moving parts and I have a USB drive for backup.

If your main disk fails, the EEE and many others are capable of booting on an external HD, if configured to do so, so no need for installing the disk in the laptop.
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  #4  
Old 12 May 2012
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do agree Solid State is better, but we have almost 200GB's of movies on our laptop... :-S.
Pictures and GoPro-shots of 14 months on the road is 67GB, think that is still the problem with solid state. It is either too small, or soo expensive that you cannot travel anymore ;-)

For backups we use DropBox, super easy if you have a friend or family 'back home' who is online a lot and empties it for you!
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  #5  
Old 12 May 2012
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SSD is not better. Pretty much every SSD drive on the market has abysmally high failure rate. 6-12 months, tons of the die. Just look at long term reviewers. And when SSD dies, it's hard to recover anything. It just dies one day with no warning.

My setup has been to use a big HD in laptop, and a big portable HD.

Dropbox/etc is fine in theory, but in most places in the world the upload speed will be abysmal. You will not be able to consistently backup anything sizable amount of data.
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Old 13 May 2012
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SSD: knew from my work that they do not outrun HD's in lifetime when used 24/7.... didn't know that it was this unreliable.

Dropbox: I know... ordered five 8GB micro-sd's for my trip through africa. 6 bucks a piece, free shipping at Dealextreme.
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Old 18 May 2012
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You can also use the new Google Drive ( drive.google.com ) to backup your data. The free plan have 5gb but you can buy plans to up to 1TB for US$49.99 per month, you can also use Gmail to improvise backups up to 10gb for free.
I usually use my netbook with SSD, and external HD (both with a TrueCrypt protection installed) and upload the file to dropbox. Doesn't work very well to huge files, but for photos works pretty well.
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Old 18 May 2012
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I use a 64Gb USB stick. They're getting cheaper all the time and I believe you can get 256Gb now. They're small, easy to carry, reliable and you can carry your own programs on them so all you need is a borrowed PC or internet cafe to do nearly everything you can do on your own PC.
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Old 11 Oct 2012
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Dropbox is awesome... if you have access to decent upload speeds.

If you are worried about your operative system, one option would be to run it off a memory stick, maybe even carry a second with a copy. But I agree, loosing the OS isn't a biggie.

SSD is great for the reasons mentioned, but is expensive per MB.

Another option is to use USB flash drive memory sticks for backup. These are compact and easy to move between computers and can for some aplications be more practical than SSD. Also, if you use several sticks, you don't have all your eggs in one basket. The USB3 versions are very fast, but quite pricey at the time of writing, especially the ones with large storage capacity (256GB). But, USB2 versions with smaller capacity are often tossed arround as advertisement giveaways... go to a major techie event or expo and fill up your pockets, or check out dealextreme.com, they close to 2000 different kinds in any shape, size and color.

One benefit of cheap flash drives is that if you are really paranoid, you carry one backup copy with you and mail one home.
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Old 12 Oct 2012
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Hey - Just cloud is a lot cheaper as an online back up option - they have a 30% link under secrete page at the bottom.... but here is an extra trick - sign up and wait a few days, they will email you with a 50% off... wait a few more days and they will offer you 70% off... awesome huh! Its a lot cheaper that drop box or google drive
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  #11  
Old 12 Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustaphapint View Post
I use a 64Gb USB stick. They're getting cheaper all the time and I believe you can get 256Gb now. They're small, easy to carry, reliable and you can carry your own programs on them so all you need is a borrowed PC or internet cafe to do nearly everything you can do on your own PC.
Good point. I would to buy one with a "trigger" (don't know right term) to physically block any writing on it (as with SD cards), since internet cafés are the place to certainly get them infected with a virus (or many). But i had some USBs failing after intensive (ab)use... and sometimes fear to lose them due to the small size.

I've carried a Trascend Storejet which is rugged and reasonably fallproof and it worked very well. Now you can get 1 Tb and 3.0 USB, very quick.

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