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Thread: Need (or want) to stay "connected"?

  1. #1
    Registered User cehlbeck's Avatar
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    Need (or want) to stay "connected"?

    Do you need (or want) to stay "connected" on the road? I'm not talking about cell phones in the helmet here, but a way to use email or do online banking on the web. We tried the smart phone route. Then last week tried taking the laptop (it was OK). While packing for a week, the laptop took more space than we liked, so we tried the tablet route.

    Here's reasons for doing it and what we ended up with and why on our blog by clicking here. Of course your mileage may vary by preference of operating system or needs.
    Chris Ehlbeck
    BMWMOA 168990
    Chris & Donna's Motorcycle Journeys

  2. #2
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    I bought a nice 11.6" Acer dual core AMD netbook (722) for $200 at Target on sale and that does it for me. I really wanted more memory than the typical netbook as well as the full 1280x720 screen, big 320gig HD, and a battery that lasts a good 6 hours. It is not much bigger than my iPad2 and tremendously more functional. Plus, it came with the full Win7 home edition instead of the limited starter edition.

    I thought the iPad2 would do it, but not being able to run full photoshop, dreamweaver, ms office, etc. was a real handicap, as was the inability to hook up the GPS to plan rides, upload routes and download tracks. I need my USB ports to charge things overnight, and the multicard reader for photos and videos (the huge hard drive helps there too.)

    Once I found out most/all McDonald's have free wifi (and surprisingly decent coffee) it has become my ever present trip companion. Can also tether to my Tmobil blackberry for no extra charge when wifi isnt convenient. Got a hard-sided neoprene sleeve with a pocket for the compact charge cord and it lives happily in my 22l top case. Does everything my i5 laptop does absent the DVD drive, just a bit slower
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  3. #3
    Rider on Ramald
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    Quote Originally Posted by cehlbeck View Post
    Of course your mileage may vary by preference of operating system or needs.
    Running a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 ($199) as my GPS and music and connection beast... have it tethered to my phone or my MiFi when not in WiFi range.

  4. #4
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    iPad for me. There is ALWAYS room for it and it connects just about everywhere if you get the cellular version. I can't tell you how many trips I've taken when the laptop wouldn't fit (and was left behind) and the netbook just wasn't fast enough to watch video dumped from the camera during the trip. You get what you pay for.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  5. #5
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Voni and I each have a 10" notebook - hers an Acer, mine and eMachine that are identical in every respect except the name on the lid. They, along with power supplies and other miscellaneous both fit in one case I carry in my top case. They are both XP machines and do everything I do at home on my bigger Lenovo or Voni does on her huge Lenovo. I also have the GS911 software on it and can take the GS 911 with me when we travel.

    Since we live on the bikes about 4+ months a year this is how we get email, post pictures, etc.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  6. #6
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Last 2 years a Dell netbook. Very durable. I will upgrade in the near future to a ultra laptop of some sort. As much as I would like a get by with a tablet or iPad I do way to much keyboard work.

    I must put a plug in for public libraries. Before the netbook I kept in touch using them. Not very convenient perhaps but a great resource none the less.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  7. #7
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
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    I have a Macbook, but I might take a step backwards and pick up an old ibook G4 for on the road. They are dirt cheap and with a 12" screen, smaller that the Macbook. That way I don't have to worry about my good laptop if there is a problem.
    Lynn
    MOA #57883
    Current Ride: 1995 K75 Standard
    Past: 1978 Yamaha XS 750, 1976 BMW R60/6

  8. #8
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    Use a 6 battery ASUS netbook with mid size hard drive for prceisely the reasons Ted gave,
    I-junk lacks the needed functionality of real computers and a phone is a pretty poor sub for a decent gps. (I actually got rid of my smartphone and carry only a phone- not one who really wants to be any more connected than my pc's allow. Hey, I'm RETIRED).

  9. #9
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    I-junk lacks the needed functionality of real computers
    Depends on what you need to do, eh? Bashing someone else's choice helps how? I can't think of a single reason to lug a laptop anymore. You can connect a keyboard to an iPad if you need to type a lot. If you need a laptop, it's fine by me.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  10. #10
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    It all comes down to what you need, and finding what best suits those needs. My iPad is awesome for the actual act of traveling, I can watch movies on planes, do email, browse the web (sans flash dangit), listen to music and audiobooks, all in a quite compact package. That said, when travelling on the bike I don't really need that stuff so I usually just take the netbook+.

    When I get to a hotel or more often campground, I try to get a spot with an electrical hookup, or just exercise the quite robust battery. I plug in my iPhone and blackberry to charge, and use the third USB port to download photos and videos from the camera or my GPS tracks from the GPS. I usually get some work done using MS Office (secure VPN=more flexibility being out of the office), fire up Mapquest to plan and upload new routes, go through photos and videos, etc.

    I do travel with both when not on the bike, together they are smaller and quite a bit lighter than my now seldom used 15.4" laptop. When on the bike though I usually just take the netbook. What can I say, I like my gadgets - simplicity for simplicity's sake has never worked for me.
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  11. #11
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    After trying travel with a small laptop, then a notebook and finally a 'New' iPad i have settled on the iPad. I have used it all over Canada, the USA and Europe.

    The one thing (mentioned above) that is a negative for me is that there is no software to drive my GS911 available for Apple devices. For that I carry an old BlackBerry that can connect via Bluetooth and has no data plan.

    Life would be perfect (for me) if a developer would build an App for the GS911. I do know that Apple is not the easiest company to deal with on the App front and have significant experience with them at work so understand the lack of the App due to GS911 volume of devices in the field...
    Ken
    [2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blue) - Mine]
    [2007 R1200RT (Sand Biege) - Hers]

  12. #12
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogthebasher View Post
    Life would be perfect (for me) if a developer would build an App for the GS911. I do know that Apple is not the easiest company to deal with on the App front and have significant experience with them at work so understand the lack of the App due to GS911 volume of devices in the field...
    Not sure i understand this logic. Rainwise has an app for my weather station. There can't be more than a few hundred people using their network interface thus far. I bought one of the first in June.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  13. #13
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Being cheap has kept me using the Dell Netbook (XP) that I bought while on the road a number of years ago, and finding the old IBM Thinkpad just too damn big and heavy to carry around. The Netbook fists nicely in a sidecase, has been wonderfully durable (and reliable with XP on it), and does everything I need (including running the GS-911 app.) It has WiFi and BlueTooth, so if I can't find WiFi, I can use my Android phone as a mobile "hotsport"..

    Can't see a lot of reason to change. Ipad might be nice, but I'd miss a real keyboard, and the cost seems a tad more then I want to spend. I'd rather spend the $$ on a new GPS or a trip to use the new GPS on.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  14. #14
    Registered User cehlbeck's Avatar
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    See there's something for everyone. I just happens that the PlayBook fit our needs. While the laptop is nice, when you tour 2 up, space is at a premium (even on a K1200LT or any touring bike) and that's why we went the tablet/iPad route.
    Chris Ehlbeck
    BMWMOA 168990
    Chris & Donna's Motorcycle Journeys

  15. #15
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    14 inch IBM Thinkpad T60 with a solid state drive, 4 gig RAM and XP here. Lays flat in my top case and takes very little space.
    Nom de Plume:
    Steve Aikens, Clovis, NM
    BMW MOA #6218
    IBA# 442

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