Author Topic: Tablets/IPad or laptops  (Read 11556 times)

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Offline bogiesan

Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2012, 11:05:25 pm »
This topic comes up often around here. I have this to say: I carry my phone on tours because it seems prudent. I have always carried a journal so it comes along, too. I do not go solo nor do I go self-contained so I really dn't care about GPS or advanced functions on the phone. I no longer take many photos becasue I have found the thousands I already have never get looked at anyway. I carry a paperback and one magazine and replace them as necessary on the road. I have found music with earphones to be more isolating than enjoyable. I like to send postcards because they are so much fun to receive.

Mostly, when I'm on a bike tour, I'm on vacation. From as much as possible.

I've seen people run their businesses from their bikes, every reest stop and camp is a chance to check in and make decisions. It's sad and I hope someday they can get away, really get away.

The challenge of bicycle touring with minimum electronics is worth attempting. You may find it liberating. You may find it disturbing and unsettling. Try a few days with just your phone and then try a few days fully plugged in and up.

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

Offline sspeed

Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2012, 02:27:02 pm »
I've been debating this topic as well.  I don't want a laptop or tablet along to blog or check email or anything like that, I can see wasting way too much time doing that and missing out on other cool opportunities.  I just want to save a GPS log of my entire ride and upload it every now and then.  Call me nerdy, but I love being able to go back and look rides over from that perspective.

I have a Garmin Edge 500 and I'm not sure (I'll have to check, maybe it has much more capacity than I realize) that the memory would support 3-4 days of 6-10 hours of riding without clearing it out.

I guess I also have a Garmin eTrex Vista HCX that supports a memory card and I could record out to that instead, which would solve my problem.  It also has better routing functions if I wanted to supplement the paper maps.

Offline Gif4445

Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2012, 05:11:19 am »
On my tour to the Black Hills, https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doc_id=11208&v=Fw , I used the voice recorder on my Iphone extensively.  I tend to forget pretty easily, even when updating a journal daily.  This worked very well.  I used an Ipad 2 to write the journal.  It was ok, but not without challenges.  I found using the keypad to be better than expected after getting used to it.  A laptop or possible folding keyboard would probably be an improvement, but the iphone/ipad option was lightweight.  On CGOAB, I had to be a little creative with the Ipad.  When writing  a lot of text, I soon found out there was no scroll option or arrow down feature on the Ipad. (at least I was unaware of any)  Finally found if I used the copy function and enlarged the copy box, I could move down text that way.  I used my Iphone for photos and emailed them to myself, downloaded them to my Ipad and then to my journal.  Could probably take a shortcut with the correct wiring or whatever, or get a good camera and go direct from camera to Ipad.  But again, would have to bring along more stuff.  Of course the Iphone and Ipad use the same lightweight charger.  And I have been happy with most of my photos.  I understand all of you that make a point of getting away from technology on your tours.  Especially those of you that use it a ton on the job.  However, it was important to me to have a functional journal to share with my friends and family who wanted to follow my ride.  And for me to re-live the journey from time to time.

Offline sspeed

Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2012, 08:49:54 am »
Another nice lightweight option for journal-type emails is a bluetooth keyboard.  I have one that connects to the droid phone and ipad that actually makes typing bearable.  It probably wouldn't make blogs with photos much easier.

Offline Gif4445

Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2012, 10:27:47 am »
Yes sspeed, I considered and looked at some bluetooth keyboards.  Keeping it lightweight, I could have taken my Iphone and the keyboard.  Actually, the Iphone works better for a lot of things than my Ipad, if I wanted to leave the Ipad home.  I wouldn't have to have Wi-Fi and there would be no need to download photos either, as they would already be on the Iphone.  But the size of Iphone screen is an issue, as was the added weight of the keyboard if I took Ipad and bluetooth keyboard.  My daughter just informed me yesterday that I could get a virtual keyboard for $200.    http://www.hammacher.com/Product/81759?cm_cat=ProductSEM&cm_pla=AdWordsPLA&source=PRODSEM¬

Offline Gif4445

Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2012, 10:36:52 am »
Also sspeed, you mentioned wanting a GPS log of your trip.  I unknowingly had that, or something close, when I chose the location function on the camera application of my Iphone.  It showed a map of all the places I had taken a photo.  I took enough pictures along the way that it made for a nice bread crumb trail, with info on location, date and time of day I believe.

Offline drakedean

Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2017, 11:58:15 pm »
I'd still go with handy and reliable laptops. I have this Acer Chromebook, 11.6-Inch Laptop that I bring along whenever I'm into adventure. Everytime I go out into something, I document everything. I'm actually loving this little laptop. It's very solid feeling and looks pretty. Battery is long life as well.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2017, 09:17:28 am »
This is a similar query...

I use RideWithGPS on my desktop at home for route planning.  I'd kind of like to have the same capability when on my upcoming cross-country trip.   I've tried RideWithGPS route planning on my Android Smarthphone and my wife's iPad mini and it doesn't work.  I'm contemplating getting a small laptop just for this functionality.  Has anyone else found a way to do route planning on an Android phone?  I may just decide to go the public library route rather than carry a laptop. 

When hiking the Appalachian Trail a few years ago (just a section hiker), I found that my smart phone was perfectly acceptable for taking photos, keeping a journal and internet use (where accessible).


Offline sspeed

Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2017, 10:11:25 am »
So I never replied with what I did....

Basically I had my Garmin Edge 500 recording the route.  I would charge it each night and it had more than enough capacity to keep all of the daily logs.

For pictures I used my phone with geotagging turned on.  I turned it on for any pictures, and shut if off again when done.  I charged it each night or daily at parks.

I posted each picture to Instagram, then had Feedburner grab the RSS feed, convert it to XML and I embedded the XML on my site.  People, like my kids and family, could then see pictures real-time as I took them and I didn't have to put any time into making that happen beyond taking the pic and posting it to Instagram.

When I got back I took the pics and the GPS logs, and ran them through software that could put the pictures on the map in the place I took them, essentially created a map of my route with pictures.

You can see the now old site with what I mentioned above here:

http://www.motate.org/biketour/
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 10:13:58 am by sspeed »

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2017, 08:13:38 pm »
I prefer to record my observations, etc., daily, at the end of the day.  I'd already forgotten stuff when I tried to collect 2-3 days at once.
That is true, but I find that if I type a few sentences every day on my phone I have enough to jog my memory when I want to flesh out the journal later.

I advise keeping it light and simple.  I'd recommend taking a net book at the very most.

BTW, anyone ever try roll up or fold-able USB keyboards that weigh under 8 ounces and supposedly work with many smart phones?
My father tried a roll-up at home for his kitchen... Supposed to be designed for hospital use, waterproof so it can be cleaned... Worked great for a bit, but when rolling it, the plastic sheets inside became misaligned and wouldn't sit flat, then a hole formed at one of the keys, and it stopped working because they washed it, not realizing that it was no longer waterproof. Maybe there's others that are better but my fold-up keyboard works great with my tablet and I keep it, my Goal Zero Venture 30, and my 10" Galaxy S2 tablet (in a cover) in the same dry bag. I'm thinking about making a custom cuben fiber bag specifically designed for it all, but that's another topic.

As to the OP...I'd say a laptop is way too big, and a smartphone is way too small. I think the answer lies in between. Paper is heavy, and if it gets wet, forget it, whatever was on it is lost. A small tablet with 4G you can sync up and use something like Google keep to journal your trip, if you get it wet, your data is still in the "cloud"

 A small tablet or large phone will charge fairly quick, and it can double as a phone, a GPS, a camera, a computer... I can even edit videos and photos. A large smartphone might suffice for just posting and basic needs, but not for editing.

It all depends on your needs though, and as stated, there is a temptation to use it as a time waster after your ride, although, when power sources are scarce, you learn to be frugal or you risk a dead device until you can recharge it

I originally wanted a 7 inch tablet, but they're getting difficult to find in any variety. I find I like the 10 inch and would find it difficult to go smaller... To bad you can't test drive them.

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk


Offline Touring_on_a_Bicycle

Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2017, 10:47:50 am »
I'd still go with handy and reliable laptops. I have this Acer Chromebook, 11.6-Inch Laptop that I bring along whenever I'm into adventure. Everytime I go out into something, I document everything. I'm actually loving this little laptop. It's very solid feeling and looks pretty. Battery is long life as well.
I have to 2nd the Acer Chromebook 11.6in is 3lbs.3oz and it is linked to my LG K7 Smartphone  and I use the Acer Chromebook for my facebook bike touring groups
and pages and I do Stealth Bike Camping Trips in Southern California