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Weblogging from Various Ends of the Earth? 44

J. Lawless asks: "My friend and I will both be travelling to remote portions of the globe next fall -- he in a pan-Australasian motorcycle trip and I on a trip into Italy. We both have the same problem: how to get content (text and photos) onto the Internet given that our only lifeline to it will be through random Internet Cafes? It would seem that some sort of PDA to be able to do text entry and image integration would be best, but then what? Most, if not all, cybercafes take a dim view of dropping software on their box for access. For added difficulty points, Dave will be spending much of his trip without reliable electricity hookup, so how to keep the mess running?"
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Weblogging from Various Ends of the Earth?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Who can live without reading your blog while you are on vacation?!!

    Your ego and blogshare can barely stand it!

    Why don't you spend your time there learning, enjoying, experiencing. Leave the updates until you get home. I mean really, are people voting on what you do next during your trip?!
    • Absolutely. Just get out there and unplug yourself for $deity's sake! The world will not end without internet access!
    • it's a good way to force yourself to keep a diary.

      when writing a weblog most people write for themselfs anyways..
    • For the love of gawd, this is a site of geeks and nerds... we tend to do things because we want to, to push boundaries, or just for the bloody hell of it. Who cares what about the usefulnees to other people, or the practical applications. No, Hemmingway's adventures weren't relayed in real time, but that's not the point. If their version of "sit back and enjoy the scenerey" involves also debugging conectivity problems, so be it.

  • Laptop with a GPRS card. Or a Bluetooth GSM phone with a Bluetooth equipped PDA. I used the former as a solution when I went to NC and it was very helpful. Total access to whatever you want all the time.
    • I guess that he might be going to places not covered by the gsm network.
      However, I think that a laptop is the way to go.
      And I guess the cybercafe guys won't object if you plug your laptop to their LAN.
  • simplest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cheezus ( 95036 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:02PM (#7457930) Homepage
    A lot of blog software will let you post via email. Get a palm with a modem and email in your updates.
  • gprs camera phone?
    the quality in the camera sucks(and in some it's not even fit for a small pic on a blog), but it's ok for blogs(in 3650 at least, and in 6600, 7650 distorts quite a bit) and travel pics. plus you can't beat having the ability to take the pics on the phone and then ftp them where you like(or use some blogging software to automate even that part). this is one thing that they(smartphones) really are actually pretty good at doing, staying connected to the 'internet world' while having some adv
    • Actually this is the best possible idea.

      You'll have GSM access throughout Italy, and I'm sure the local mobile phone carrier provides GPRS (high-speed data).

      Then just send your pics to a picture blogging service via MMS, most of which also have text blogs you can update from your phone:

      CamBlog [camblog.com] + a Blogger [blogger.com] account
      mLogs [mlogs.com]
      RareWindow [rarewindow.com]

      For many, many more services and tools for Mobile Text/Picture Blogging, check out the left column on this site [cameraphonereport.com] ("Moblog Hosting Companies"), and the right column on this [moblogging.org]

  • You might consider a multifaceted bag of tricks for getting data from your camera and computer to the cafe's computer or network.

    1. Wifi on the PDA/laptop
    2. USB thumbdrive to transfer from a PDA/laptop
    3. PCMCIA card adapter and compact flash or SD memory
    4. Camera with USB cord and the same memory format as the PDA (cafe's might not object to connecting to your camera and you could put PDA data on the memory card in the camera.

    Enjoy your trip!
  • This is what I do when I travel abroad: First of all, buy a lot of cards that work with your camera, because you can never seem to have enough. Since my camera uses CF, I pack a USB CF reader that works with XP without having to install anything, and requires a simple install on 98/2K. When you get to a decent sized city I look at the option of net cafes -- a lot of them now have machines with CF readers already setup, call around first.

    If that doesn't produce any results, the odds are pretty good that
  • I use the IPass network via IAcclaim [acclaimtech.com] so that I can work from anywhere in the world - something like 10000 cities if I remember correctly.

    I pay about $7/month plus a reasonable per minute fee to be online. Looks like they have software for PDAs now too.

    Problem is jacking into phone systems around the world. I have had success in India, Germany, Slovenia, the UK, and the US, but in Austrian and Switzerland I found myself having to twist wires together because they had an odd wall plug.

    That said - take the
  • How about.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom7 ( 102298 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @06:30PM (#7458284) Homepage Journal
    You could try, you know, not using the internet for the time that you're on vacation.
  • Write it down, in ink. Take pictures with a camera. When you get home, if it's still that interesting, write it up and post a summary.

    I recently found an old journal I wrote during a trip I took about 20 years ago. I didn't have to find the right kind of drive to read it or the right kind of markup parser or editor to read it. And... I didn't have to wish Google hadn't cached the embarrasing parts.
    • Eh? Err... uhh.. what it down? "Write"? Using what? Ink? Isn't that the stuff that squids shoot at you if you piss them off? Why would he want to document his travels using ink? It seems so.. archaic...

      I think he should just lay down fiber optics everywhere he goes and bring a laptop. Problem solved. And he'll be doing the locals a great service by bringing them into the 21st century with the rest of us!

      ... writing? ... with ink... !?
  • by Noodlenose ( 537591 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @07:38PM (#7459037) Homepage Journal

    Of course, for every American venturing outside God's own country, everything is an adventure. Italians, do they have computers or even refrigerators? Australasia only uses flint and bongos for communication, right?

    Best to take a shitload of bogrolls and Dr. Pepper cans with me, because over there they probably only have these aboriginal drinks, like larvae juice.

    My advice: leave your electronics at home and discover the world through your eyes and ears, not a lens and a keyboard. Speak to people. Find out why they hate USians.

    If you really can't help it, take an old, used Ibook and a compatible digital camera. Store Pics/Sounds/Files on an USB Keychain Ram-Plugin and use that to swap files between your Ibook and internetcafe's computers. You will see that extraUSians have computers too.


    • Re:Americans.... (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Wow-- I guess I can understand that many Slashdotters don't read the linked articles, but how can you possibly have skipped reading the story itself? In your rush to American-bash, maybe you missed this:

      ...how to get content (text and photos) onto the Internet given that our only lifeline to it will be through random Internet Cafes? (emphasis mine) .... Most, if not all, cybercafes take a dim view of dropping software on their box for access.

      Shocker: he knows that internet cafes exist! Maybe you didn

      • by GCP ( 122438 )
        Nice conclusion. The poster you're responding to is a condescending jackass. Someone asks for help and he turns it into an opportunity to insult Americans. "USians"? What an idiot.

        Keeping a travel journal is a long tradition among travelers from many cultures. Some of the greatest travelers of the 19th century mailed copies of journal entries back to correspondents at home. Making that journal available to ones family and friends in real time is something they would have appreciated. I can tell you from pe
  • by xanthan ( 83225 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @09:10PM (#7459957)
    Don't worry about real time updates. Really, it's just not that important. If your family wants to hear from you to know that you're alive, get a cheap calling card and give'm a ring.

    For the purpose of keeping a journal (which is a very respectable thing to do on a trip like that), take your laptop and your digital camera and use it for dumping pictures and taking notes. No internet access. No email. No games. Do nothing on your laptop that you can do at home.

    I recently took a trip through California. The laptop rules were simple: dump pictures onto it and jot down notes. That's all. And you know what -- I loved it. My wrists felt better, my head was less congested, and I spent enough time checking out things that I normally don't get to see. You know... a vacation... ;-)

  • by Charlie Bill ( 34627 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @10:06PM (#7460420) Homepage
    Thanks for all who answered the question asked. The information is useful. Dave and I have generally ruled out laptops on a portability basis, but good ideas there as well.

    As to the haters -- what question did I ask? What question did you answer? I generally detest the Internet and blogging for the same reasons you do. What can I do about it? Whine?

    No. Make it better. I write, its what I do. Relax. Go find something you do well and do that, 'cause clearly lifestyle advice ain't your bag.

    For the record, yes -- I do know how to enjoy myself quite well offline and have taken enough photos and jotted notes to suffer the inadequacy of those later: "WHERE is this now?" For my previous trips, I've enjoyed a leather journalette, but where's the challenge in that? Nowhere.

    Vis noodlenose's suggestions that "COMPUTERS ARE EVERYWHERE" -- clearly you ain't been where I been, brother, and I'm glad I won't find you there next time I go.
  • Tips for travel blog (Score:2, Informative)

    by prabha ( 538549 )
    For travel blogging, i assume you need to upload few interesting pics took on your way.

    My suggestion is to buy one of Sony Cybershot models(Eg: Sony DSC-P92).
    The advantage with this model, drivers are very small and easy to install.
    And after installation it creates a USB harddisk(which has all your pics(.jpg format) in it), just Preview with IE and upload to your blog.(special photo extraction software is not required)
    Install the drivers over internet and connect your camera to the usb port.
    (Keep th
    • The advantage with this model, drivers are very small and easy to install.

      And why not just use one of the many digital cameras that do not even need a driver to work as a USB hard drive?

  • Hmmm, I think you'll find internet cafe's are not as common in outback australia as you think.
  • I'm assuming you don't want to use a regular weblog, and want to keep your regular website updated. In which case read on. Most towns in Australia have internet cafes / services, even in the outback (sometimes in the local library), and most allow command line ftp, which I found was the quickest way of maintaining my web site on the road without uploading special software. So far as uploading photos is concerned, I used a digital camera that gave me two options (i) hope that the internet cafe has a compute
    • Geez, a good helpful answer. Thanks, Phil. I assume I can sleep in your backyard on this trip next year? gl4ss comment was also good.

      I'm taking a 1966 Ducati 250cc motorcycle. Yeah, not the "best" bike, but what's the point of doing something easy? There's no way to upgrade the electronics on a Duc for a laptop because, based on my earlier slashdot question, you can't tricklecharge a laptop. It's a small bike. As one guy put it, "a Schwinn with an engine". Space will be a premium and even with the
  • And use a damn pencil, paper, and an old fashion camera!

    I'm all for using technology to make our lives easier, but you start going out of your way in order to incorporate technology into something, it gets a bit rediculas.

    Ask yourself if it is really that important that people have a report of your trip as you do it, live on the internet?

    Take a look at the advantages:

    • Compatibility, both forwards and backwards. A pencil can write on almost any plain surface, including paper! You can also write on the ba
  • For your trip into Italy you could get a "flat-rate" (always-on) wireless Internet connection through GSM/GPRS for only 19 Euro per month.

    You don't need a landline
    Coverage is all over Italy
    An handset with builtin GPRS modem will cost you as low as 100 Euro including USB-to-phone cable.

    Calling home will cost you much less than using public phones or, worse yet, hotel room phones

    Speed is nothing to shout about (about 43Kbps downlink)

    Write to me if you want more details:
  • About a year ago, my wife and I faced a similar situation: we wanted to write an online travel journal while on vacation in Viet Nam. We ended up using my slashdot journal [slashdot.org], though we had to forego posting photographs (not too big a deal, however, since most of our pictures remained undeveloped until we returned to The States).

    If you read further along [slashdot.org] in the journal, or if you caught the article [slashdot.org], you can see that I faced similar problems with portable computing equipment. I got some of the same, unhelpfull

  • I bought a Fujitsu P1120 and put Linux on it. It weighs 2.5 pounds with the extended battery installed (~4.5 to 7 hours depending on backlight) and has built in wireless. And 256MB mem, 30G drive, and a touch screen so you can navigate the web by plonking on the screen with your fingers when you're bored with the clitermouse. With the built in wireless, you can use any open wireless net you come accross... I download my photos, compile my journal, handle all my email, etc.. locally, and then have script
  • check out this site http://www.roundtheworldbybike.com/ this guy is biking around the world and keeping a blog of the entire trip. Ging from my personal experiance of travelling all over the developing world , is keep it simple as possible , the nicer gear you have the more likley you will be robbed dust is your enemy, especially for electronic equipment, bubble wrap and plastic bags to seal your gear will make a huge differeance you will be suprised how much internet access you will be able to find , get a

FORTRAN is the language of Powerful Computers. -- Steven Feiner