Author Topic: Computers and the bike  (Read 2662 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Tim

Computers and the bike
« on: November 04, 2011, 11:02:55 pm »
Next spring I'll be doing the western express to the TA.  I'm considering bringing my Lenovo Laptop.  I'd like to bring a smart phone that might not be in the budget.  Has anyone lugged their laptop cross country and if so your thoughts... 

Thanks
Tim
A Ride Dedicated
to
The Unconditional Sacrifices Made Every Day.
www.opawakening.com

Offline bogiesan

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2011, 12:39:55 pm »
Just a wee bit of research will bring up dozens of comments on many threads. Put "computer" into the search field.

There are two positions:
1. You're hauling all that weight anyway, adding a five or six pound computer, case, charger, battery and accessory package is not going to make much difference.
2. You're hauling all that weight?

There are two rationalizations:
1. I need my computer top write my blog capture and upload my snapshots.
2. I…must…be…plugged…in…all…the…time.

There are two opposing proposals:
1. You're hauling all that weiight and are willing to risk it being stolen, broken or lost?
2.How do you think we crossed the country a few years ago? We documented our tour with disposable film cameras, wrote and then mailed postcards, and made a collect phone call every few days, if we felt like it. Mostly, we just cruised along without a care.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline tonythomson

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2011, 01:21:28 pm »
Hiya - you don't say why you want a computer with you.
Getting emails and keeping a blog then there is easy access in local  libraries.
I have just crossed Australia and took my Samsung Galaxy, hardly any weight did everything a lap top can do (for me) plus had several books downloaded on it to read in the tent at night.  It's also easy to carry when off the bike and you have to leave the rest of you stuff on a loaded bike say outside a store.

And a little Catseye bike computer gave me all the info I needed about what distance etc I had done.

In the end it's up to you what you want with you after all you have to haul it.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Tim

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2011, 01:44:23 pm »
Quote
Just a wee bit of research will bring up dozens of comments on many threads. Put "computer" into the search field.


Yep done that.  But to many folks seem to be passive aggressive about this topic.  Hence the reason for interactiing with this board. 

Just a little background. 

http://www.opawakening.com/Pages/default.aspx

This ride is not about me but instead its about our wounded Marines and Sailors who have been injured while serving our country.  Next I would love to do it old school as elluded to in this proposal.

Quote
How do you think we crossed the country a few years ago? We documented our tour with disposable film cameras, wrote and then mailed postcards, and made a collect phone call every few days, if we felt like it. Mostly, we just cruised along without a care.


But unfortuately I need to maintain a realtime and blog like updates.  Good point and I'm pretty old school with tactics and logistics. 
I'm planning to use a live tracker also for views to maintain my progress.  This real time tracking device is getting supplied from a friend who works for a government contractor.  But thats getting off topic...

Thanks for the feedback.
A Ride Dedicated
to
The Unconditional Sacrifices Made Every Day.
www.opawakening.com

Offline pptouring

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2011, 07:17:25 pm »
I used to have a Lenovo for work and I would think twice before hauling that monster thing around. There are lighter and smaller options out there if you can swing it.

We maintain a blog and love taking pictures, so I've carried my MacBook Pro 13" during 3 separate multi-week European bike tours and countless weekenders & overnighters here in Florida. It's fairly light and small and fits nicely in my front pannier. However, I've considered getting something even lighter and smaller, but I'll have to wait until this one dies before I can justify spending the money. 

Remember it's your tour and you're the one carrying the weight, so don't pay any attention to the naysayers and just do your thing! Enjoy!


Offline DaveB

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2011, 09:04:05 am »
A functional but lighter weight and smaller option is a "Netbook".  I have an HP Mini that is small, thin, light. has a battery life  of over 8 hours and does everthing my older much larger lapttop did at a fraction of the cost too (~$250 complete).   All it lacks is a CD/DVD reader.     

Offline reed523

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2011, 08:02:36 pm »
I used a EeePC netbook on my 66 day ride this summer.  Well worth it IMO.  2 of us used it to check email, store pictures (over 1500), and keep a crazyguy journal and blog current.  Keeping it charged was never an issue.  On a related note, i was very surprised how unreliable my att blackberry was.  Had we been relying on it for directions or regular communications, we would have been in deep trouble.

Keith
www.crazyguyonabike.com/whenlife

Offline Ron Scott

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2011, 09:00:35 pm »
I understand the need to keep connected and to be able to take photos and write. But I ditched my laptop when the first Blackberries came out (10+ years ago?) because I hated to lug a laptop on the train and planes. I learned to live my email alone in those days and survived quite well.

Now I get my needs met with an iPad and iPhone. And unless you're going to be coding or getting into heavy Word or Excel work, those lighter tools might work for you too. Even an iPhone alone might do it. I like the new cloud technology too; as soon as you hit wifi you're pics and docs fly back to you home computer...

Offline Tim

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2011, 05:45:34 pm »
Thanks folks for the input.  All excellent feedback.  Thanks a bunch. 
A Ride Dedicated
to
The Unconditional Sacrifices Made Every Day.
www.opawakening.com

Offline MrBent

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2011, 08:55:41 am »
I'm in a similar quandary about a big tour we have planned for next year.  We have a couple of netbooks, but they still clock it at a solid 3 lbs.+ by the time cord, case, etc. are factored in.  A tablet with an external keyboard is something I'm contemplating because I've tried the virtual keyboards on the iPad and they for anything but very basic, short emails.  But I want to give a solid +1 for libraries.  On my cross country tour in 2007, I had paper journals and libraries, and it was great.  I met fantastic people--librarians are among the best of the best--escaped the heat, learned key intel about the local area, often met people who gave me a place to stay.  Even if you carry a laptop, don't ignore the libraries!

Have a great trip.  I've done a fund raising tour for the Wounded Warrior Project.  Important work.

Scott

Offline ChromolyWally

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2011, 01:08:37 pm »
I've carried a netbook on three tours so far.  At 3 pounds it's worth it to me.  Did a tour before that with just a smart phone, and although it did the job, it was much easier and more convenient on the netbook.  I used it for CrazyGuy, e-mail, news, finances, and entertainment.  I had about 20 movies on the netbook's hard drive, which came in handy from time to time.

Offline Tim

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2011, 02:03:16 pm »
Quote
I had paper journals and libraries, and it was great.  I met fantastic people--librarians are among the best of the best--escaped the heat, learned key intel about the local area, often met people who gave me a place to stay.  Even if you carry a laptop, don't ignore the libraries!

Great idea.  Thanks for helping out our wounded warriors. 
A Ride Dedicated
to
The Unconditional Sacrifices Made Every Day.
www.opawakening.com

Offline bogiesan

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2011, 08:43:48 pm »
Now that we have a bit more information, I say, get two iPad 3G units for the trip. Establish your iCloud account about two months before you leave and practice your upload procedures.
There are other tablets on the market, I have used Apple products for twenty-five years, I don't know or care about anything else.

You will want these items in your financial and mass budgetrs: Protective, possibly armored and waterproof, cases for two units; auxiliary charging systems, possibly solar, but likely simply an extra set of li-on booster batteries; camera connectors and cable kits; and maybe an entertaining iPad user book.

Any digital system is subject to loss, theft, damage or destruction. You risk losing your entire trip's archives if you do not have any kind of back up process. You will want to know you can move your data off your iPad and up to the cloud at reasonable intervals or you will want to protect your data in some other way.

Plan carefully, rehearse and practice your data protection, enjoy your trip. Do good things and meet interesting people.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Tim

Re: Computers and the bike
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2011, 12:29:53 pm »
Bogiesan
Great information.  Thanks a bunch but unfortunately my meger budget won't be able to afford that kind of data center.  But I'm probably gonna go with the Garmin Forerunner 305 to link up all data to the Garmin Connect site.  The real time tracking device is gonna probaly be a combo of a smart phone and something like this to do the online tracking.

http://www.instamapper.com/overview.html
or
http://www.accutracking.com/

The only problem with the smart phone tracking is the dead spots thru NV.  I have another option for real time tracking by using the military grade BLUE TRACKER but I'm still trying to contact one of my old operators from my recon bn. 

 
Quote
Do good things and meet interesting people
.
No doubt!!!

Thanks again

A Ride Dedicated
to
The Unconditional Sacrifices Made Every Day.
www.opawakening.com