inside the bag of goodies
the big slide show... (more)
My favorites so far... (more)
Peak behind the curtain...
The mystery explained... (more)
Most of my computer work on the road is done on an Apple iBook, shown here hard at work at the Keflavik airport on a previous trip to Iceland. Go ahead, sneer at the "dominant" system (remember how well dominance served the dinosaurs) and bash the Mac, but this little workhorse has a long battery life, rugged exterior, heart of gold, and it is so cool it catches everyone's eye.
To protect the laptop during travel in my backpack, I rely on the GrabPac case for the iBook. It is a really original design that suits the thing it carries, providing a cover yet easy access.
The photographic gear for this trip is far from professional, but does the job. My camera is an Olympus DL450 (trick question, how does one get a photo of their digital camera?), with a top resolution of 1280 by 960 pixels, decent enough for web work. A 32 Mb SmartMedia card gives me 72 photos to play with. I have always been a fan of the compact Olympus 35mm because they always seemed to have very sharp focusing lenses.
Moving the photos to the computer is pretty quick using the Microtech USB Card reader. This works well since it can read the Smartmedia cards from my digital camera as well as CompactFlash cards that other cameras may use. Image editing is done with the versatile heavyweight, the only contender, Adobe PhotoShop and its partner software, Adobe ImageReady, performs excellently for the image compression and conversion to JPEG format. The batch processing features make this procedure even easier. My batch action resizes the Super High Quality camera images (1280 X 960) to 500 pixels wide, auto adjusts the brightness/contrast, and saves as a medium quality JPEG, typically ranging from 25-80k. I review each picture making further adjustments, roations, crops, as needed. For some of the telephoto shots where the subject takes up only a portion of the image, say of wildlife, I crop the original first to approximately 500 pixels wide to maximize the subject, and thne run it through my action.
Digital is not quite everything! I still enjoy using my trusty Nikon Nikkormat as the digital camera does not match the quality for prints. I bought this one from a lady that came into a camera store I was working at in 1987, and used it for all of my Geology field work.
It did especially well for my favorite photo of Antelope Canyon taken in October 1997 in this lovely corner area near Page Arizona.
For external storage and backup medium, I carry the Imation SuperDrive, who's floppy sized disks pack a whopping 120 MB in a slim form. Though to me not as durable and reliable as a Zip Drive, the SuperDrive is valuable because it also reads floppy disks. (What is a floppy disk? I have not used one in years ;-)
To not live sans protection for all of this important data, I use the free backup software Redux, which is so simple one does not even need a manual.
International travel calls for a bag of assorted adapters for electrical and phone jacks. I went with an entire kit from RoadWarrior whihc also includes the important Modem Saver International, a tool for testing phone lines for wiring and protecting from surges that might zap your modem. Another nifty thing in the bag is the retracable coil of telephone cord. I found a much better price for the kit from Beyond.com.
Connectivity to the net is critical, and for moving around country sized distances, you need an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that provides dial-up local access numbers in different cities. I had very good luck in New Zealand with Orcon and in Australia I used Telstra's service under the "BigPond" brand.
For tracking important dates, persons, details, notes, and occaisional time-wasting game, I carry a Handspring Visor which runs the same OS as a Palm organizer.
In a dusty corner or an obscure art museum or perhaps it was a garage sale, I came across the Impressionistic version or perhaps the psuedo "Handspring Monet"
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