Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Whilst on the Run

Lists are the foundation of most worthwhile and practical exercises. Before we embarked on our adventure I cataloged my mobile digital strategy with gusto. On the whole it has been successful and has only needed a couple of tweaks as we have made our merry way around this part of the world.

I hope this information will be useful for anyone who takes a laptop traveling, enjoys using the internet and maybe tries to write a bit each day like myself.

Do not count on WIFI or even a network cable

Whilst we have been very lucky with most of the places we have stayed it is sometimes necessary to find an internet cafe. Some are nice and have a table set aside for laptop users but some are not. The setup of some internet cafes makes it tricky to appropriate network cables for your laptop as well. I incurred an electrical charge this morning doing this, shocking.

If you blog use Post2Blog

Post2Blog is a wonderful piece of software which allows you to compose your blogs offline and then publish them when you are ready. It is more elegant than using notepad and it is actually more powerful than using the standard blogger and wordpress editors.

Get Protected

You will need antivirus protection on your machine. When you leave the firewalled protection of your home and start having to use memory sticks and public internet terminals you will start to notice your antivirus software earning its keep.

Don’t believe me? skim over this

Scan performed at: 9/2/2008 23:17:51 PM
Scanning Log
NOD32 version 3401 (20080829) NT
Command line: H:’

Date: 2.9.2008 Time: 23:17:55
Anti-Stealth technology is enabled.
Scanned disks, folders and files: H:’
H:’system.exe - Win32/Autoit.BA worm
H:’RECYCLER.exe - probably unknown NewHeur_PE virus [7]
H:’dvd.exe - probably unknown NewHeur_PE virus [7]
H:’My Pictures.exe - probably unknown NewHeur_PE virus [7]
H:’Apps.exe - probably unknown NewHeur_PE virus [7]

That particular scan found 447 infected items on my memory stick. This was after one use on a suspiciously slow internet terminal.

Do not count on a lot of power points.

This hit me the most in Thailand. Especially when we were staying in bungalows. One power point would be the norm and sometimes they would be in very odd positions. I picked up a very sneaky double plug which also acts as a universal country adapter. Just head for a hardware store.

Shrink those Pictures.

Pictures add a lot to writing but they can also add a lot of time when you are paying per the minute to upload them. I use the Microsoft picture resize power toy for easy right click and compress of our photos. I suspect Apple users have something equally elegant, in fact I am sure they do not even have to think about things like this.

Mesh is best

When carrying an assortment of widgets, gadgets, plugs, and sundry necessities it can be quite a bother to find them. One of my handiest tools has been a mesh bag which came with an IBM think pad. It is easy to spot my power adapter mouse etc and the mesh means it is easy to find with your tactile senses when diving into a backpack.

Look after your gear

My pride and joy retractable targus mouse started behaving erratically in Chiang Mai. The replacement whilst cheap has the propensity to self destruct when it falls off the bed. Flooring is usually tiled, carpet is a rarity. Things will break if you do not look after them.

In one of life’s crueler ironies my traveling partner managed to destroy my 500 gigabyte portable hard drive by foot massaging it off the bed today. A small annoyance but it gave me the impetus to complete this post.

When you have a writing idea

Write down a sentence or even just a phrase. It is far easier to come back to something rather than nothing. Just look at my blog.

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