Travel Gear

Favorite Little Things- Tiny Travel Cables

by Scott on January 3, 2010

One of my favorite things to take with me may seem silly but the more I use it the more I like it.  It’s a tiny cable.  The cable came with a Sansa music player that I got so I could listen to audio books from the library since iPods weren’t supported.  You can find them anywhere now.  The cable allows me to not bring a separate power brick for my cell phone.  When using an external drive it’s always right next to me anyway, so there’s no need to bring a 6 ft cord.  There’s no tangling to worry about like with those retractable ones, which sooner or later are going to fail to retract and rats-nest on you.  If you don’t have a memory card slot and need to transfer your photos, the tiny cable works as well as the needlessly longer cable.  Another cable to add would be a 7cm or 20 cm iPod sync cable which you can find at Amazon.  If you bring a laptop or netbook with you everywhere you go anyway you can cut down on clutter with tiny cables.


4 things to consider when buying a netbook

by Scott on December 23, 2009

Many people are thinking of bringing a netbook with them when they travel.  It’s easy to see why:

They’re light – most are right around 1kg.  If you have a laptop right now go weight the bag and everything.   Now go pick up a Harry Potter book. Now which one would you rather carry around everywhere you go in the next year?

They’re small – Some of the really small ones are small enough to fit in a bum bag and not be noticed.  The more common 10 inch screen models will take up the size of a journal or a hardcover book.

They’re inexpensive – If you watch out for sales you usually can get one for $199 – $300.  The math is easy 1 Macbook Pro or 5 netbooks.  I mean I’ll probably loose it, break it or have it stolen anyway.  A great site to keep an eye on is Liliputings Deals of the day.

Their battery lasts forever – Well maybe not forever but many have 7 or or even 9 hour batteries!  You have to carefully look when you buy them, the same model may be available with a smaller 3 to 4 hour battery.  The newer series coming out in January are going to have 10+ hour battery life.

They’re safer then those netcafe’s – if you can find WiFi you don’t have to worry about keyloggers at cafes stealing your info.  There are other things you can do to secure yourself at cafes but that will be a later post.

The difference between a netbook and a laptop is like the difference between a car and a moped.  They will both get you to where you want to go, but one will take longer and won’t be able to deliver as much.

One of the first things any salesperson will ask if “What are you going to use it for?”  This is where you have to be honest with yourself, what are you really going to use it for?  I mean really.  What you need to consider is how much your going to be doing the following four things:

blogging – Yes. This shouldn’t have any problems.  A netbooks strong points are word processing and surfing.

emailing home – Yes. Again web based mail won’t be a problem.  As long as the country your in doesn’t firewall it.

Photos – Kinda. Photos are where they get weak.  If your going to just back up your photos to the netbook. Yes.  If you need to convert from RAW or want to run Photoshop, probably not.  The HP 311 will do a little better at this since it has a different video card.

Video – Yes and a big NO.  Watching online video yes.  It helps to download the new Adobe Flash 10.1 , which makes a huge differnce.   Editing your own NO.

Later I’ll post the downside of netbooks and why you should consider not taking one.

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