Travel Preparations Part 2

14 03 2011

Thought I’d hit you guys up with another look into the work that’s going on in the run up to my global adventure. Before I continue I just want to clarify something. Whilst I refer to this as a global adventure, I’m not making solid plans because I’m never too good at such things. As such, it may last a month or over a year, I may go round the world, I may not make it out of Europe.

So, travelling light is the key thing here, but I want to be able to communicate with friends, families, and of course you dear blogosphere inhabitant. What this usually means is sourcing a netbook or a laptop, not a problem for me as I have both. My laptop, however, weighs in at over 3kg all in and doesn’t include a power adapter. Not light. The netbook weighs in at a healthy 1.5kg all in, certainly giving it the option of being useful out in the field. Yet I’m not taking either of them, I’m going to be using my trusty Palm Pre.

Don’t know what a Palm Pre is? No surprise there, they aren’t setting the market alight in sales so here you go.

Palm Pre

Nice. Mine is an original Palm Pre, 8Gb of memory with quad band technology, bluetooth, wifi, hi speed mobile data (dependent on network), all the kind of stuff you want from a smartphone (including a slide-out keyboard which makes life easier than an on-screen version). There are downsides to the Pre, despite the awesome UI (user interface) it does have a pitiful 3.1 megapixel camera and it’s known for draining its battery very quickly.

So with the phone sorted, it was time to pimp out the Pre so that I could use it for all my communications (and to a degree entertainment) needs. First off was to unlock the phone so that I could insert SIM cards from other countries, essential as using the home SIM would cost an absolute fortune. Unlocking is normally frowned upon with smartphones (prepare to be seen as Satan if you unlock your iPhone), Palm are little more relaxed about things and so I was able to do the job myself thanks to the lovely people at NextGen Servers.

Next on the list were apps. these are;

Facebook – A free app from Facebook which, whilst it doesn’t give you complete functionality like the website, still does enough to make a difference.

Bad Kitty – This is a nice little Twitter app from SuperInhuman Industries (nice name) which certainly has done the job well so far.

Poster from – WordPress app created by Gabriele Nizzzoli which is an example of how apps should be, just so damn useful it’s untrue

Angry Birds – Rovios runaway hit was inevitable and will help to stem the boredom when things are going slow.

Monopoly – EA Games released a very usable version, again, helping to while away the hours

This is it for now but I will be adding a GPS app so that I can show a trace of my adventures for future reference on here, plus a couple of other things in order to edit pictures and help me to cope in strange lands

As stated towards the start of this post, battery life is not so good, especially as the battery is 18 months old, and things like GPS drain the battery extremely quickly. Previously you’d buy a spare battery but smartphones take a while to shut down and restart so that’s not as practical as it used to be. My solution is a bit of belt and braces with a travel charger from Palm, backed up with a Power Gorilla from PowerTraveller.

What’s that? You may say unless you’re already bored of this post (it is longer than I thought it’d be). This is a Power Gorilla:

Power Gorilla

Basically it’s a huge battery with an intelligent control system and should keep my phone alive for about five days. Doesn’t sound like much but then I do mean five days of constant usage, no breaks. With a little discretion, such a setup should mean that even without going near a power point for ten days I’ll still be good.

Ok, long post done, I’ll try to keep them under control in the future

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2 responses

14 03 2011
Rachael Black

you’re not only making progress, but I’ve learned about two items that I never knew existed.
Damn. wish I could go traveling with no set destination. I envy your ability to do this and am thrilled that you are doing it!

15 03 2011
nullfuture

Well what can I say, you have a kid n a significant other n a house. I have none of that so I’m able to up sticks and go, the only limiting factors being money and ability to enter a country (Taiwan already out of the question for some reason, Russia too but for other reasons).

Don’t get me wrong, when I return to the UK I’ll probably be broke etc, but that’s for then and I’m not even giving it any thought, no point, it’s too far in the future for me.

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