Site icon Jake Ludington

Traveling Light and Cutting the Cord

In preparation for our Thanksgiving trip to Disneyland this year, I’m trying to travel light in the technology arena. Because I’m the go-to guy if anything goes wrong on (okay, I’m the only guy), I must have a computer with me no matter where I’m going. Cutting the size of that computer down has always been a goal I’ve met with varied success. I used a Tablet PC from Fujitsu for awhile and found it handy, but ultimately had to return it to Fujitsu. I liked the idea of the ASUS EEE PC when it launched, but ultimately realized I need at least the 1024×600 screen resolution I had with the Fujitsu. HP presented me with the solution in their new HP Mini 1000 line, which comes in either a 10.2 or 8.9-inch screen size. I opted for the 8.9 since the resolution is the same and in theory a smaller screen should use less battery. After 70 minutes of round trip time on the ferry tonight, I’m reasonably convinced the HP Mini will work. I answered some emails, responded to instant messages, edited a couple photos, and uploaded a handful of files, which covers the bare necessities of what I might need to do. With easy connectivity via my Verizon EV-DO card, I’ve cut my backpack travel weight by at least 3 pounds. Makes me wonder if I really need a 15-inch laptop at all, since most of my video editing is done on a desktop system.
The biggest frustration I find in adding a new computer to the mix is managing all the stuff I need to have available. In some ways, this week’s newsletter is dedicated to that problem, because uploading files to a central storage location like makes sure I can always find the files I need no matter what computer I’m interfacing with. Picnik comes through in a pinch for most of the photo editing I might do. And I could presumably do a fair amount of video editing with Yahoo’s Jumpcut service. Not to mention document and spreadsheet management with either Google Documents or Zoho. Still there are things I find convenient to have that all take time to install. Roboform is one thing I won’t be without. I need SnagIt for screen captures. I use Google Talk almost daily, although that’s one I can access from Gmail if I need to. And getting all the software updates installed on a new computer can take an hour or two, depending on what software you need. I’d use PCMover for something like this, but I’m not really moving PCs.
Do you have a ritual you go through to setup a new computer? How about when you travel? Are there things you sync with your laptop before you leave? Or do you keep files somewhere out on a network where they are always accessible? Share your thoughts.

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