Today's episode is all about technology that is so ridiculous, it calls for someone to exclaim "kill me." That, or it could actually kill you. Man, that's depressing. We lighten things up with the surfing equivalent of Rollerblades.
I felt obliged to chime in and let you know I’ve completed (and more importantly survived) my road trip west as I moved from Durham, NC to Portland OR. You had suggested throwing a kindle to the pile of tech toys i already had (and a non ATT phone, of course). In the end, I added neither, though I got as far as standing in the Verizon store and considering a mifi card thinking i could use it for data (could justify the price of that either).
I did add a few things though and I thought I’d spec them out for you:
1) Around Me (free iphone App) this is a location based way of finding all kinds of things near you, for the road trip, i used this to find gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores (for buying cheap snacks and water) and the like. The newest update has an options for searching other locations as well, so i could search cities i knew we’d be pulling into for options as well.
2) Public Radio (free iphone app) or the new NPR (free iphone app) – directory and live streaming options of every Public Radio station all the way across the states. Used Public Radio every morning to stream a lil news while we got ready, used the directory to look up news options as we drove. I’ve had Public Radio quite awhile, NPR is brand new and has some neat VOD options as well, which we used along the way occasionally (like listening to old editions of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me).
3) Auto Stitch ($1.99 iphone app) program for stitching and color correcting multiple photos together – i used this to do a variety of AMAZING panorama along the trip (see the attached example from Eastern Oregon near the Oregon Trail Museum)
4) AAA roadside app (free iphone app) – i never used this, but its a new free app from AAA for members (which I am one) to request help to your location with the push of one button.
5) Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA Petbook ($8 book from AAA) – not really a gadget, but we used this every single day. Its a directory of dog friendly motels and hotels in every city. We were able to find somewhere every night the first time we tried thanks to this book.
Other than the audio books I mentioned (we listened/relistened to The Strain, Enders Game, and the Girl Who Played with Fire, FYI)
I think thats about it, tech wise other than what I originally mentioned. For what its worth, AT&T did relatively fine for me – we had one call drop and there were three places where we had no signal when we checked our phone, but there wanst any emergency at the time and within 20 or so minutes each time we had service again. Data-wise, the network did pretty good, though i had very slow edge speeds for much of the trip from the time we hit Mid-Missouri until we got to Oregon (about 2.5 days of travel). In a few of the places we stopped, were that the speed I was expected to live with on my smart phone for connectivity, I’d have to find a better service or a job where connectivity wasnt so critical to me.
thanks for letting me ramble on – it was a great trip, but i’m very happy to not have to do it again anytime soon….
now from Portland, Or & still a video geek.