Should I take my PowerBook around the world?

Discussion in 'Community' started by johnnyjibbs, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Well, I've finished my degree, got a good result, and am now doing a gap year. I'm going to get a graduate job for next September and am planning to travel the world for around 4-5 months next summer. In the meantime, I'm working temporarily for 6 months to earn the necessary cash to fund my trip. (Damnit, that iPod is the last purchase I'm making! :D)

    Ok then, do I take my PowerBook with me?

    There are pros and cons. Obviously, it will be nice to have my Mac to play with from time to time. I could write a blog and have an obvious place to store all my photos on (I'll be taking many digital photos!). It's also a great communication tool - I'm sure I'll stumble upon a few free wi-fi networks and I'll be able to check how things are doing in appleland, not to mention iChat. Plus, there are merits to not have it sitting in a cupboard, ageing and losing value for half a year. Bottom line, I'll miss my Mac if I don't take it.

    On the other hand, my mum reckons it would be a constant worry and, at times, my PB will be a hindrance. It's obviously worth a lot of money and it could easily be lost, stolen or damaged. I guess I could get some decent insurance for it, turn on FileVault and all security and back up everything I've got before I left. I could even burn photo CDs/DVDs periodically and post them home. But I could also take just my iPod and buy that Belkin photo adaptor for it (and hope the iPod doesn't get nicked either). It may also be nice to escape technology and the internet for a while :eek: :p

    So.... to take or not to take? (Machine in sig)

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #2
    I've taken my TiBook on probably over 100 trips and it's come through like a champ. However, if you're going for the life experience I'd say leave the Mac behind. Get the Belkin adapter and you'll be good to go with the iPod. Having the Mac around can be useful, but it's not like you won't survive for 5 months without it, and it'll only detract from other things you could be doing (meeting people, seeing sights, taking pics, booze, girls, etc.). Your instincts are correct, it will be a hindrance, of size, weight, how do I secure it, and most importantly time (don't forget those airport searches!). Plus, it'll just make you appreciate it that much more when you return!
     
  3. AmigoMac macrumors 68020

    AmigoMac

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
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    l'Allemagne
    #3
    Do a backup before leaving, take your PB, every new thing you do in the PB should be backed up in your iPod as well, blogs, photos .. whatever you do, you will miss it if you don't have it but you will reject of it if you take it, that's the way humans work.
     
  4. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #4
    Where are you thinking of going on your gap trip?

    If you're going mainly to the developed world (North America, Australia/NZ, Japan, Europe), then get some good insurance, a decent security cable, back it up and enjoy. There are lots of hotels with wifi access and if you're likely to end up in cities where you don't know anyone/anything, it can be really useful for last minute research/info rather than hunting out internet cafes.

    If you're planning on hiking to Macchu Picchu or rafting down the Amazon, then I'd leave it at home.

    If you're planning on doing both, then do the developed bit first with your PB and Fed Ex it home before you head for the rafts.
     
  5. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #5
    I only took my PowerBook to drop pictures on it. I had no interest in my PowerBook or computers at all during that time. Now I will admit I am a blogging type guy and it's real nice to type all that stuff. But it would also be cool to just write it in a notebook and type it when you finish.

    Taking the PowerBook was not a problem. Always locked in my suitcase. When the card got full I would dump them in iPhoto, do my daily blog and throw it back in it's bag. I have a 12" so it wasn't that bad. Plus it keeps me busy on the long plane rides. I will be taking mine to Mexico next month as well as Egypt this New Years, but specifically for those reasons. You will only lose your PowerBook if you are careless, just like how you can lose it here in the states.

    iJon
     
  6. manosira macrumors member

    manosira

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    SOMA - S.F. - Cali
    #6
    I've taken my iBook to Laos/Thailand for a month and back and it's fine. Laos is not a westernized country at all, so I was afraid that mother nature will be costantly attacking my iBook, however since I left it inside the whole time it was fine. I think as long as you don't do a lot of traveling with it your fine, but if it's going to constantly on your back 24 hours a day, then it might get to be a pain.
     
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #7
    Good advice.

    While on my last trip, I uploaded my daily pics and burned backup DVD's which I mailed home. Glad I did. My HD crashed a couple days after I returned before I had a chance to backup everything. Luckily, all my pics came in the mail.

    Sushi
     
  8. winwintoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #8
    It also attracts a lot of attention - good way to meet people.

    Margaret
     
  9. Archaeopteryx macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2003
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #10
    Since you're a younger guy, I'm thinking you may be staying at hostels? They're a great place to stay if you want to meet people your age who are travelling as well. None of that hotel b.s. for us younger folk. It's not the way to travel. Seriously.

    Anyway, I would highly highly recommend that you don't bring it with you if you're not rich and aren't staying at hotels all the time. It'll be a constant worry because there's nowhere else to keep it that's safe unless you just keep it in your daytime backpack all the time with the rest of your stuff.

    If you're travelling to proper hotels and bringing proper suitcases and such, then sure, I guess it wouldn't hurt to bring your PB, but I don't think such trips could ever be as fun for younger people.
     
  11. joepunk macrumors 68030

    joepunk

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    a profane existence
    #11
    IMHO, I would also say, "leave it".

    A pad of paper and pen/pencil would be more romantic and if you plan on meeting and befriending locals, you could get kids and adults to write or draw stuff on the paper next to your travel notes. I think that that would be very "international traveler" of you to do. You could show your friends back home more than just pictures/video of those whom you meet.
     
  12. Cybernanga macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Location:
    Essex, United Kingdom
    #12
    Take it with you

    Just make sure you have decent insurance, and take it with you.

    You don't have to use it, but it's good to have with you.

    Just don't leave it anywhere stupid. If you stay at a backpacker lodge or hostel, don't leave it in the room or dorm, leave it with reception, and make sure you get a receipt, that way you don't worry about it when you are out on the town.
     
  13. winwintoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #13
    I treated myself to a PalmOne Zire72 and loaded it up with a bunch of software. I'm thinking that if I were to go on a trip like that, I'd take it, a bluetooth satellite phone and a digital camera that also uses SD cards and leave the computer at home. With the BT phone and the Z72, you can surf the web, update your blog and do email - even send pictures back home.

    I like having my computer with me when I travel, but like others have said, you're always wondering where it is etc. The Z72 fits in your pocket, you can take notes, it has 25MB onboard memory, 512MB SD cards are about $50 now and you can get software that lets you write naturally or in your own shorthand so you can take notes. You can draw or write directly on pictures so you can scribble notes right on the picture of that scene in the Alps and you won't have to remember which one it was that you wanted to especially tell the folks back home about.

    Did I mention it has a camera built in - not much of a camera, but it'll do in a pinch.

    And if you're bored waiting for a train, you can always play a game of solitaire (free)

    No I don't work for PalmOne, and I'm always interested in technology, but few things hold my interest after the first rush - I'm liking the Z72 more every day - my only regret is that I didn't spring for a model with even more features but I couldn't see dropping $600 on something that might land in a drawer.

    Take care, Margaret
     
  14. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #14
    I think we need more information before advising you.

    Put it this way, if you dont take it consider selling it because 6 months is along time and you'll get more for it now in Applecare etc Lease the money with your folks and come back and buy a new one when your back home.

    Personally, a 12", I would take it - insured (not cheap) - if travelling for the reasons you mention unless going to less civilised climes...
     
  15. johnnyjibbs thread starter macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    Thanks for your advice everyone! :)

    Ok, so as I expected, a mix of "yes" and "no" answers!

    I'll try and give more details but nothing is really planned at the moment. One option I'm definitely not doing is selling it. I simply can't afford that, although it's a nice idea because there could be a PowerBook G5 out when I come back ;) :D

    Seriously though, I'd be travelling on a shoestring because I won't have that much money to fund the trip, although I realise it's expensive to go around the world for that period of time however way you look at it. At the moment, it looks like I'll be going on my own, so I'll be wanting to meet and talk to people. So far, I've only been around Europe and to the USA, so I definitely want to get more cultural experience.

    My rough plan as of the moment is to go from London to New York and then travel across the US. I'll spend a couple of weeks in the US before flying out of Los Angeles. Hawaii would be a nice stop-over en-route to Australia or New Zealand, since I'd love to see Volcanoes National Park, as well as visit Hawaii! That depends on cost though.

    After some time in Australia +/- New Zealand, I will travel up into Indonesia and experience the far east. I'd love to go to places like Malaysia and Japan (I know someone there who I'd love to visit) and then India, China and places like that. Depending on how things pan out, it would be nice to go to Moscow or something on the way back but I'm not that fussed about spending much time in Europe since I've seen plenty of that!

    While in America, I'd really like to spend some time hiking in Yosemite (2 day hike up to summit of Half Dome?) and maybe even walking down into and across the Grand Canyon. This would probably require a car though, so I'm trying to find people who may want to do this with me. I went to these places in April this year but did not have time to camp in the Grand Canyon, etc (it was a geology fieldtrip).

    So my trip will be a mixture of developed and developing world, cities and more rural adventure. I'm not much of a camper but we camped fine for most of our fieldtrip to the US this year so I'm not worried about doing that. Although it would obviously impact on PowerBook security. At least, if I had a car, I could keep it locked in there while walking the Grand Canyon, etc. In other places, I will be mainly in hostels, not hotels, so security may be an issue while sleeping.

    Overall, I want this trip to be a cultural, confidence-boosting experience - a trip of a lifetime. I realise I don't want to spend most of my time at a computer, but it could be useful at times. Then again, I suppose I could visit the Apple stores in Japan and some internet cafes to send emails... And a paper blog is no worse than an electronic one. I might actually write a book of all my experiences when I get back!

    There is merit to the iPod + Belkin photo adaptor scenario. This way, I can listen to all my music and have somewhere to keep all my photos. I have a 256MB card but that only holds about 100-200 photos. Obviously, I've got to make sure this doesn't get nicked, or I'll lose all my photos, and there's obviously no CD-burning archive luxury with the iPod route.

    Aggh! But then it would be nice to keep a weblog that my family and friends can continually access to check my progress!!!

    One thing I know I can't afford though - any more hardware! I'm not going to be able to afford a PDA or anything like that. I'm even holding off getting a contract phone with photo messaging and bluetooth until I get back one year from now!
     
  16. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Inglaterra, Europa
    #16
    You should not take it - i think a nice world trip would be a good time for you to take time away from your Mac. Travelling is far more interesting than computers.
     
  17. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #17
    Would buying an older G3 500 (ish) iBook to take with you be out of the question? They're apparently tougher than the PB's, and you wouldn't have to be quite so worried about it all the time (not as much ££££ at stake).

    Just a thought.

    edit: Sorry, just read your last post more carefully - NO MORE HARDWARE - so just ignore me :eek:
     
  18. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

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    #18
    Judging by your itinery, your trip is going to cost an absolute FORTUNE!.
     
  19. LifeIsCheap macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, Oz.
    #19
    Don't be silly...

    Take it.

    I've taken my 12" iBook all over the place and it's done me proud. You've got a sleeve for it right? I've got the same, I quite happily left it in my bag in the hostel whenever I went out and about and no-one knew it was there. Don't shout about it and you're as secure as the next guy.

    When you're in Oz, drop by Sydney and give us Sydneysiders a shout. There's a few of us Brits over here so you'll have plenty of drinking buddies. Give us a shout and we'lll show you where to go.
     
  20. johnnyjibbs thread starter macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #20
    The trip won't be cheap, but that's why I'm spending most/all of the money from the next 6 months' work on it. I have some contingency if necessary, although that is partly supposed to be going towards repaying student debts :eek: :p I've got rough estimates of the price, based on checking a few places on the internet and a couple of friends' experiences who have just taken similar trips this year.

    A cheap old iBook could be an idea - I hadn't thought of that. Maybe I'll take a quick look nearer the time. I wouldn't be number crunching in any way - just a bit of iPhoto, web surfing and email/chat. Might be too expensive an option though.

    Well, I could be persuaded... :cool:



    Whatever happens, I'll have to give people a shout when I'm in town - I'm sure I'll be able to access some computer at some point :p
     
  21. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

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    Jan 25, 2004
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    #21
    Unless you are going to backwater areas, you will be never away from an internet cafe, anyway. Even Bahgdad has em
     
  22. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #22
    I would leave the computer at home. You'll be able to post to a weblog and check email from internet cafes, public libraries and Apple stores along the way. Always having to make sure your computer is safe and secure would become a distraction very quickly.
     
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #23
    So you're saying his PB would be safe because YOU didn't get robbed. I've been to 30+ countries, and I've seen and known many people who have been robbed, especially in "developed countries" like France and Spain, the ones he seems to think are safer. They're not. I've had my watch stolen in London in a hostel when I moved there. Do you realize how easy it is for someone to go through your bag during the day/night? Ever see 7 boys and a little girl cause a distraction (eg: pretend rape) while another kid goes and steals digital cameras and wallets while on a train? Don't be silly and think that just because you had no incidents on your trip that it was a smart thing to do keeping a PB at the hostel during the day.

    If you want to keep your PB a secret in a hostel, the best way to do so is not to pull it out. But if you don't pull it out of the bag, when would you use it? Maybe you'll meet people along the way and not have too much alone time to use your PB at night, and days may be out of the question if you're busy. Do you leave it at the hostel during the day?

    iPod in your pocket.....digital camera in a cargo pocket....that's it.

    If you're actually this dependent on your computer/technology, maybe you should think about losing the computer for a few months as a purging experience, because trips like this are about more than travelling from place to place. :rolleyes:
     
  24. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #24
    Now that I think of it, most large cities I travled to in Europe had independent Apple Stores, like Amsterdam, Innsbruck and more. You might want to invest in some high capacity flash cards, stop at a computer store every now and then (even a PC store would be fine) and dump your pictures, burn to a CD and be on your way.

    It's a real tough decision. You will be gone much longer, I was only gone for 2 weeks. I think if I was in your position I would have a high capacity iPod, Belkin Media Reader, 2 or 3 512+ flash cards and a nice notebook for writing my travels and not think twice about computers.

    iJon
     
  25. makisushi macrumors 6502

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