A really great overview video condensed into a quick presentation. You really MUST watch this video and pass it along. You can learn more and pass it around by going to The Story of Stuff website.
the inmarsat I4 satellite sits in a geosynchronous orbit (meaning they stay in one place relative to the earth). each satellite can provide coverage for roughly 1/3 of the earth. the high altitude of the orbit, roughly 22,200 miles, causes high latency, around 1 second.
a rental package shown with a Hughes terminal and mac ibook along with some sort of phone system.
the more you spend on the terminal the more bells and whistles you get of course. You can get faster “guaranteed” bandwidth, up to 256Kbps for video conferencing type streaming needs. Built in RJ-11 phone jacks enabling direct phone connection as well as bluetooth phone headset options so you can go wireless for phone (or data for that matter). most seem to support standard network connections enabling you to connect a router or switch, etc. i thought this would be a nice option to even use for home use if the price were a little cheaper. the only limitation would be if one of us travel seperately the other is without a connection.
the launch of the last inmarsat I4 satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
in conclusion, i think this seems like the best option yet, but pricing will still be the barrier. this brings me back to the emerging technology problems i spoke of before. besides price, it’s pretty unclear how well the technology actually works. i’m sure it works for field reporters to upload the latest video piece to the main office in a pinch from the middle of nowhere, but i’m looking for practical day-to-day robustness. if i don’t find any better options, i will probably use this one on a rental basis for remote trips in places like nepal and bhutan. however, unless prices drop considerably, or a company like this wants to sponser my reviews of their products (offers welcome!), i don’t think i’ll be using this as a practical all around solution anytime soon. it’s looking more and more like i’m going to have to get a land based hard wired broadband solution once we get to korea, or if i’m lucky they will have some kind of korea based EVDO solution. but i fear that whatever i get there will only work there so i’d have to reinvest in hardware if i went somewhere else. finding information in english about korean broadband is a tough task, i think i may have to wait until we arrive. i just hope they have a solution at all, especially if we live on an island!
1) photography / video / audio – best methods to transport gear and best methods for safe and secure storage of data.
2) laptop – want to have mobile broadband connection if possible, GPS capable with mobile realtime mapping cababilities. safe and secure data backup solutions.
3) cell phone / PDA / blackberry type device
that covers the basics i guess. it’s complicated figuring this out, there is such a broad range of uses, it can quickly lead to multiple pelican cases loaded with gear… which is what i’m trying to avoid here. i’m really trying to distill down the amount of gadgets and maximize their usage, which means bleeding edge i guess. which causes problems because the technology is usually still emerging and not very stable.
i’m very happy with the mac platform and so my decision is made there. i’ll be travelling with a macbook pro and shipping over my two g5 macs and 23″ monitors. i’m set using the D200 camera and the lenses that i already have. i would like to get another battery and some studio strobes. i’m looking at getting alien bees once we get to korea. i’d like to pick up an 8GB compact flash card at some point as well.
as for video, i’m going to take the VX-2000 but at some point i’d like to upgrade to HD. i shot the HDR-FX1 and the Z1U some and i really love the quality, but even though lighter, it’s still bigger than the VX-2000. i’d like to find something smaller, but for now, the VX will work just fine, especially since i have all the accessories, etc.
in the audio category i’m going to take the 4GB ipod which i’m very happy with except for the stock headphones, which suck. i’ve been living with the built in speakers on the macbookpro while travelling. they suck!!! once we get there i will have to either ship over the surround sound system i have here or just spring for a new one. it will be essential, being the movie and music junkie that i am.
this looks like a great compact GPS solution that will work with a variety of devices, but i still have more research to do!
the iphone is great, but it won’t work in korea, at least not yet. 🙁
researching the cell phone brought me to other possibilities regarding the last issue, broadband. i found information on EVDO (Evolution-Data Optomised). it’s basically getting broadband-like speed internet connections using cellular technology. that means i could surf the internet on a train, in a car, anywhere i can get cell phone coverage basically. that would be a very good thing.
picuted above is novatel’s merlin xv620 EVDO card that will fit the macbook pro’s card slot.
if anyone out there has any insight on the cell phone or broad band issues, please let me know!
ok, so now that i’ve got this google maps integration going i’ve been researching options for attaching GPS units to my nikon d200. it’s already a bit of a pain to have to go out and get geo coding info every time i upload a new image to the gallery. it’s hard to even remember where the hell i took the picture most of the time, let alone the exact location. ok, ok, i know most of you are thinking, does it really matter? well, yes and no, depends on your specific qualities, or maybe hang-ups? anyway, after some short researching it seems there is no killer option available yet. the one i’m most attracted to at this point is pictured above and more info can be found at the dawn technology website. i like it because there is only one single short cable that plugs into the remote interface on the camera and then just a tiny little unit that can mount to the hot shoe or on the camera strap, nice and compact. the down side is they use a different connection out of the unit for connecting a remote, kind of a pain since i’m getting nikon’s remote already that has their connection type.
the other option i like is getting the standard nikon mc-35 GPS cable adapter and using a little serial to bluetooth adapter, shown above. the advantage to this seems to be that you can use many different GPS units on the market, and it’s wireless. you do have a bit more cables and things hanging around now though.
the trouble with most of these units seems to be that they have these “boot up” and “TTFF – Time To First Fix” issues. the first option i mentioned seems like it works pretty quickly once it boots, but you must then leave the camera on for it to aquire your postion quickly. the d200 already eats batteries pretty quickly, so leaving my camera on all the time kinda worries me. will i have to buy three or four more batteries now? ha ha.
the cost seems to fall somewhere around the $200-$500 mark. kinda getting pricey. i love how streamlined the first option is, one cable and small unit, but i only get to use it for my camera. i’d love to be able to get something compact and sleek that i could also use for car trips, travel, or marine. that’s where the bluetooth option seems to shine.
i still have some research to do it seems. if anyone out there has done this already please let me know! once i get a unit up and running i will finish off the software so that it will suck the latitude and longitude info out of the EXIF and then i won’t have to think about this anymore, which will be a delight!
ok, so getting a pair of shoes is a major deal for me these days. i mean, who really wants to spend like $100 on shoes anyway? i had this pair of black montrails for a long, long time… maybe like 4 years?? anyway, pretty good shoes but the back part where your heel goes wore out after like a year. “wore out” means it got a big hole… slowly it became a pot hole, then all the stuffing was hanging out, then it fell out, then i had these shoes that kinda hurt. ok, so i know most of you out there are thinking, “yo dude get a new pair of shoes”. but as i read more and more i can’t help feel bad about a few things… first off, paying $100 bucks seems harder and harder, not to mention that i’m expecting the thing to fall apart (by design i wonder???) in about a year. second is the way the shoes are made. i mean i’ve seen way too many videos now about factories in some far off country with little kids making like two cents per hour and people not being able to pee and other really messed up stuff… which makes the $100 price tag seem even more hard to swallow. i know business is about profit, but ummm… not sure if i can go along with those ethics any longer. third would be the materials they use to make these things. what’s it doing to me, is it going to last 1000 years and choke a sea lion when i’m done wearing it?
ugh… so many things to consider. i have a heavy conscience about this stuff, not to mention not being able to afford it. so now you know why i haven’t bought a pair in four years… but, i finally broke down, meaning nancy did a bunch of research and ordered some for me online… 🙂 i got a pair of trail running shoes because i like to run, hike, go through water, etc… seems like good all purpose outdoor sports shoes for me. this company makes it’s shoes in china, but here is what they have to say on their website:
at least they have a page like this. most companies don’t. it’s still hard to make buying decisions based on more than look and style. but if more people out there demand information on working conditions, recycling, etc., you bet things will change in a hurry. it’s up to you!
so here is a picture of me sporting my new shoes. notice my perfect posture and savvy style… grrr… rare and wonderful, huh? so this is where the dinner part ties in. i’m also coming out of one of my favorite pacific grove restaurants, takara sushi. i rarely eat sushi there being that i’m a vegetarian who only occasionally eat fish. but they make the best udon in town i think, and for some reason they’re about the only place in town that makes it! monterey is a tough place to find good asian style noodles. but takara makes a vege style udon meal that is pretty darn good.
threw this picture in because all the little eating places in pacific grove are like cottages. you kinda feel like you are trapped in this lala doll land or something. sometimes it seems too perfect, i’m always waiting for somebody to start pointing at me and screeching like invasion of the body snatchers or something. hahaha.