Technology and Gadgets

A technology traveler’s toolkit

When I travel around town to cover various events, I usually carry just a couple of things, since I’m never far from home and all of the equipment I need. Going to Denver, I’ve been spending some time putting together the technology kit that I will need in order to be able to post to this blog the same kinds of things I do when I’m home. Of course, the biggest consideration is size: I don’t want to carry around a whole lot of gear nor do I want to look like a geek :) So pretty much everything I carry will have to fit into the shoulder bag that I normally carry. Here’s what I’ll be taking with me:

Blackberry Pearl. This cell phone will be the ultimate life line should everything else I have with me fail. I can take pictures with it, although not very good ones. I can post to my blog from it, although without being able to choose the appropriate categories for posts. If all goes according to plan, though, it’s primary function (outside of phone calls and email) will be to act as a modem for my laptop, using Bluetooth.

Lifebook P1510D. This computer is my primary traveling laptop. It’s a little slow, compared to my other computers, but I’ve been trying to tweak it as much as possible this week to make it faster, particularly when connected over BT to the internet. Expecting that I will need to be long periods away from a battery outlet, I bought a new, long lasting battery for it.  The higher capacity battery adds a little bulk to the unit (it protrudes about 3/4 inch out of the front) but I should get somewhere around 5 hours or so out of it.

Canon Powershot SD900. This 10 mega pixels camera is a point-and-shoot model, which has served me quite well since I’m not much of a photographer, anyway. It also does video in hi-def. I’ve got a 4gig card in this unit so I can store quite a number of pictures before I need to unload them.

Kodak Zi6 HD video camera. I just got this a few days ago. It records hi-def video at up to 60 fps and also serves as a backup still camera. (The photos from the Obama event were taken with it.) The drawback of this unit is that it saves video in Quicktime (MOV) format. Since I use Windows Movie Maker for processing videos, I have to convert the videos over to a format recognized by that program. (The Kodak comes with video software but it pales in comparison to WMM.) VLC to the rescue! That software not only reads the MOV files but is able to convert them to many different formats.

Software. Outside of the aforementioned WMM and VLC, I’ll be using Windows Live Writer for writing posts.  This off-line editor allows me to minimize the amount of internet time that I need, which maximizes the battery life of both my computer and my cell phone. For handling photos, I generally use Microsoft Office Picture Manager. It’s not as robust as some of the other photo editors out there but works quickly and easily for adjusting lighting and cropping.

I don’t intend to carry the various chargers around with me. I will have extra charged batteries for all of the devices except my cell phone. Hopefully, this setup will work in Denver. We’ll find out soon enough ;)

7 thoughts on “A technology traveler’s toolkit

  1. Vivian,
    I take a lot of pictures and cameras are battery drainers. Take several rechargeable batteries and a battery charger with you. I like the Energizer 15 minute charger. It’s lightweight, comeswith a cigarette lighter plug, and it’s been a lifesaver. I got mine at BestBuy!

    Glad that you are going as my representative. Have fun!
    BS

  2. The Canon uses a rechargeable battery (3.7V li-ion battery pack) and I have two of those. The Kodak came with rechargeable AA batteries and a charger, plus I have more. A cigarette charger won’t work for me: I won’t have a car :( I’m taking all wall chargers for everything.

    Now if I traveled a lot, I’d have one of those multiple charger thingees.

  3. I don’t want to carry around a whole lot of gear nor do I want to look like a geek

    You realized that the rest of your post pretty much contradicted that statement, right? :)

    I made a real effort to only buy things that could be recharged via USB. Not always possible (see, e.g., my SLR), but it sure has simplified my power issues (of the AC and DC sort, anyway).

    Looking forward to see how that vidcam works out.

  4. Posted from Hays, KS; en route to Denver.

    Howdy everybody!!

    We are tired, but excited. We will be into Denver tomorrow night, and we are staying with my brother. I have gotten a flood of Big Tent email tonight, since I have been away from the internet since Tuesday morning. Yikes!

    Looking forward to start posting Saturday night into Sunday, with photos of course. Monday morning will be hectic but exciting.

    Vivian, Call me if you need anything, I am serious. If you want to get together Sunday, let me know. I will be downtown picking up my credential anytime after 10 on Sunday.

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