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Packing up…

I’m organizing my electronics, clothing, and sundries for our trip to Nova Scotia. The plane leaves at around 7:30 PM tomorrow, and we arrive in Halifax at about 6:30 am or some similar ungodly hour- I’m only vaguely aware of the actual itinerary.

The actual details of the travel are not that interesting to me at the moment. The important stuff, of course, is what to take and what to do when we get there.

What have I got on my inventory list? It starts with my cameras. Yes, two cameras: the 35 mm Canon Rebel for when I feel like lugging it out, and my pocket-size Sony Cybershot DSC-T300 digital for the rest of the time. These are accompanied, of course, by various chargers and cables, plus the extra lens for the Canon. Thankfully, I haven’t gotten into video, so the camera collection ends there.

My Macbook Pro is coming along, so I can download photos from the cameras and, should internet access be available, upload them to share as well as keep up with my email. Also in the gear category is my Sony PRS 700 eBook reader, pre-loaded with two books I haven’t read yet. And I have the eLibrary software installed on my Mac so I can download another book or two if I run out of stuff to read. The final gadget in the collection is a new Garmin Nuvi 855 GPS.

I also bought a camera/computer backpack to load all this stuff in, and my BlackBerry Bold to keep me connected. There is no question in my mind that I am taking more stuff these days than I ever would have imagined a decade or two ago.

Where is all that “digital convergence” crap people keep telling me about? Yes, I could cover all of the basic functionality here in one device: my BlackBerry or a similar smartphone. But a smartphone is “barely adequate” at a lot of things- an iPhone or BlackBerry takes crappy pictures, does a hardly passable job as a GPS, and makes a crummy eBook. These convergence devices are okay in a pinch, but they are full of unacceptable compromises for anyone who is even moderately picky. The displays are too small, the keyboards cramped or non-existant, the lenses and image sensors pathetically blurry and poorly engineered, the GPS maps and antennas iffy.

And I hate compromise when it comes to technology. So, here I am packing a backpack that would probably cause a hardened soldier to grunt with effort when heaving it to their shoulder. As for what we are doing when we get there… we have an itinerary, it involves lots of driving around, a sailing tour on the Bluenose II, and I am hoping plenty of “down time”. Who wants to bet I will only get a handful of pictures and won’t log in more than a couple of times with my MacBook… oh well, at least I’ll be prepared.

3 comments to Packing up…

  • That pretty much sums up why I decided to start downsizing my electronic stable, though I wasn’t quite as bad as you. When you consider that I try not to do a lot of driving on vacation, and do like to “hop” from place to place via plane or train, that means lugging all that stuff on my back, and repeatedly through various security checkpoints … ugh!

    So, I have my little Acer one, a small little camera that provides not great but acceptable video and stills, and my phone charges from my netbook. Much better.

    Internet in the Maritimes … available in brand name hotels and in odd ( i.e. weird, ) places, but a distinct lack of hotspots or cafe’s.

    Avoid the seafood dinners in Halifax, do find a small restaurant in a fishing town for the real thing. Hopefully you’ll get to do the cabot trail and Louisborg. ( They might like you in Cape Breton … you look like one of them 😉 They took one look at poor Billie and acted like they just saw ET. ) Thanks to the CBC and “regional broadcasting” much of it will seem oddly familiar.

    They will tell you you just missed the good weather. They lie. They never have good weather 😀

    Enjoy!

  • We have internet at the first hotel, at least, and a pretty good wireless connection. I made it through airport security with a fairly friendly check of my collection of gear: they made me pull out some bits, but were nice about it. My main problem is that I wanted to bring my “big” camera along to take a few higher quality photos. That and the fact that, despite USB power for most of my devices, I still end up with a lot of cables led to my bulky backpack. Fortunately now that we are here I’m able to leave most of the weight behind in the car or hotel room when we are touring.

    We aren’t in Halifax (other than passing through yesterday) until the last day or so of our trip. So far, only one person we talked to had a noticeable regional accent, but I imagine that will change as we get further away from Halifax.

    I’ve been impressed by the functionality of our Garmin GPS. It seems to have accurate maps of the roads we’ve been on so far and, other than a desire to have us turn where the highway signs say “no turning”, it has been doing pretty well.

  • I found with the GPS in the maritimes the devil was in the details. It did alright on main roads and towns ( Except for Saint John NB – the GPS was hopeless there. ) except for cases where clearly the database was outdated. The problems tended to come when wanted to go to a particular beach, or park, or small cul de sac road, where for some reason she would try and send us out to the next point of land over or some such … I think the map was made at low resolution, so country lanes didn’t show up and locations were only accurate to withing a kilometre or two.

    Pity about Halifax, it does have some nice museums and of course the citadel, I’d say its a 3 day town. (Oh, and Alexander Keith’s Brewery tour 😉 )

    You did manage to see the Bluenose … when I was there it was down in Boston 🙁

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