On June 21, CNET News reporter Daniel Terdiman will start Road Trip 2009, his annual journey through one region of the United States in search of the most interesting destinations to write about and photograph. This year's trip will take him through six states (Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming) and will focus on three major themes: military and defense, energy research, and natural wonders.
But no road trip would be complete without a vehicle, and this year, Terdiman will be driving in and road-testing an Audi Q7 TDI. A so-called clean diesel vehicle, the Q7 is designed to be fuel efficient and low-emissions. But it also has a plethora of high-tech capabilities built into it, not least of which is iPod integration and Bluetooth hands-free phone integration.
Already an iPhone 3G owner, Terdiman is very familiar with Apple's hit smartphone. But when the new iPhone 3G S was announced, he couldn't resist giving the new device a try, particularly given its ability to shoot video, incorporate a compass, and zoom in on photo targets.
Terdiman is also very familiar with the MacBook Pro line, since he uses one every day for work. But given the opportunity to try out the very latest MacBook Pro 13-inch model, complete with SD card integration, the latest multitouch tracking, and an advertised seven-hour battery life, he couldn't say no.
Terdiman will also be trying out a 32GB iPod Touch to see if running Skype is a good way to keep AT&T out of the equation and to see what having his entire music collection easily at hand on a device running iPhone OS 3.0 is like.
After hearing about Amazon's Kindle for some time, Terdiman was eager to try out the latest version, the Kindle 2, and see what it's like to use the latest technology for e-book reading.
Over the course of Road Trip 2006, 2007, and 2008, Terdiman has taken thousands of pictures with several different cameras. This year, he'll be carting around Nikon's new D5000 digital SLR, which includes the ability to shoot HD video, and also has a flip screen.
Verizon's MiFi 2200 is the first of a new category of devices: a mobile hot spot. Bringing in a signal via the Verizon EV-DO network, the MiFi then puts out a Wi-Fi signal that up to five people can use. It is battery operated and not much bigger than a credit card.
Inmarsat's Explorer 500 is one of a series of mobile satellite modems on what is known as the broadband global area network, or BGAN. The device allows a user, say a war correspondent or an oil field foreman, to get on the Internet from just about anywhere. And whereas satellite phones are still not usable as modems for Macs, the Explorer 500 is.
In addition to using the Nikon D5000 to shoot HD video during Road Trip 2009, Terdiman will also be using the Flip UltraHD video camera. The device, like its standard-definition cousins, allows users to quickly and easily upload video to services like YouTube.
LiveScribe's Pulse pen is designed to allow a user to take notes and record a conversation at the same time. The pen uses special paper to map the notes to the recording so that it's possible to instantly go back and listen to exactly what was said at any given moment.
During Road Trip 2009, Terdiman will attempt to utilize multimedia as never before. As such, he'll be turning to at least some of the applications in Adobe's Creative Suite 4 Master Collection for content editing.
Since Road Trip 2009 will take Terdiman through some very remote parts of the country, he'll be carrying Iridium's newest satellite phone, the 9555, with him in case of emergencies.
HP's Officejet H470wbt is a mobile printer that allows users to print high-quality documents anytime and anywhere, and without needing a physical connection between the device and a printer, or a power cord. This should come in handy as Terdiman tries to write multiple stories every day.
It gets noisy on the road, and Terdiman will be using Sony's MDR-NC22 noise-canceling headphones to try to make the occasional movie more bearable.