Sunday, January 09, 2011

Modern Gadgetry

Traveling sure has changed since the last time I hit the road for an extended period.  Mind you, back then I was a horny teenager jumping from youth hostel to pub across Europe in search of, well, let’s just say Cathedrals weren’t at the top of my list.  Today, I’d prefer to experience a better rounded sort of trip, and take the time to remember more of what I see and do along the way.  I also want to share my travels with friends and family, so modern travel gadgets for communication are a must.

Still, my selection of travel gadgets as I hitch hiked around back in 1983 was pretty cutting edge.  I had a cassette tape Walkman with 5 tapes to choose from (and I can assure you I will never listen to any of those albums ever again), a Canon Sureshot automatic camera with 25 (that’s right, 25!) rolls of slide film, and a six month supply of AA batteries.  I was as connected as it gets, which wasn’t much at all, really.

For an example of just how rudimentary communications were back in those “dark ages”, consider what it took for a traveller to call home from Europe.  It would start with a trip to the central post office, where the only international phones outside of the major hotels could be found.  (You had better have been in a larger center as many of the small towns only provided public access to local phones.)  Once inside, the would-be caller was undoubtedly confronted by a long, painfully slow moving line.  Getting to the front wasn’t guaranteed, but it also wasn’t the end of the ordeal.  The receptionist had to take down the number and transfer it to an operator who would place the call, but only when one of a limited number of phone booths came available.  It was often an all day affair!

In my case, being connected when I called home didn’t necessarily assure that I would have the opportunity to speak to my parents.  I always called collect, and apparently calls were expensive.

How the world of communications has transformed!  I don’t consider myself an overly tech savvy individual, but check out the list of gadgets accompanying me on the 2011 version of Dave’s adventures (along with why I need each item):
·         SLR digital camera with 32 GB memory card
o       because I can’t carry 5,000 rolls of film and “point and shoot” cameras are for amateurs)
·         “point and shoot” camera
o       because I’m an amateur
·         Flip HD video camera
o       because standard video doesn’t cut it any more
·         16 GB iPod Nano
o       because I need 7000 songs to choose from
·         capsule loudspeaker
o       because the people in the next room need to hear “good” music
·         quad band Blackberry mobile phone
o       because I haven’t been to Thailand yet to buy an iPhone
·         500 GB portable hard drive
o       because I need the capacity to store an additional 50,000 songs, 2000 movies, and 100,000 photos
·         Netbook computer
o       to pull it all together and take up all of my time

For a more detailed description check out this video (shot in HD, or course):

Remarkably, all that gear takes up less space than my humble load of gadgets from back in 1983.  However, I’ve noticed it does weigh a tad more.  Or is it perhaps that I’m a tad older?


MarkSleath said...

Nice one Dave, I shall be sure to tip off one of my many Aussie pick-pocket friends to relieve you of your toys ;-)