Unfortunately, this page is not updated often! We’ll see if I can get that sorted 😉
The Trek 1200 is a great bike to get into cycling with, but can easily be used as a racing and long distance bike. For example, I completed my first Half-Ironman on a 2006 Trek 1200 with no aerobars. Riding this bike is enjoyable and it is reliable even after 1000’s of miles. The 1200 is light, comes with a carbon seatpost and carbon fork, and can be purchased with double or triple chainrings. Even when comparing the Trek 1200 to the Cervelo Dual, the 1200 holds it own. The aluminum frame will last and components can be upgraded if desired.
Fat free is supposed to be a no bs telecommunications company. From my experience, there is no bs in signing up and getting started with their service. However, after my first week of usage my modem would get disconnected every 3 hours and I would have to call Fat free to get it re-instated. Speeds have been very good. I consistently get 1 mbps download and over .5 mbps upload. This is pretty respectable for mobile broadband, even compared to 3G and 3.5G alternatives whose networks have been saturated with iPhone traffic.
The iBurst USB Modem has been a pleasure to use. It is easy to install, configure, and use. Picking up a signal is easy in Sydney. I have been able to use mobile broadband everywhere I have tried in Sydney, except in a food court that was under a 20+ story building. The modem has been dropped a couple of times and sufferred my less than ideal usage conditions and is still working.
The Canon Ixus 80 IS is the predecessor to my previous camera. It now has image stabilization which results in less picture blurring. For an entry-level camera the quality is surprisingly good. It boots up fast and focusing is fast as well. The camera is small, compact, and the menus are intuitive. I am going to keep this one in a case while not shooting. Perhaps this will keep it from facing a fate similar to the last two cameras.
The Nokia 1208 is a candy bar mobile that has all the basic functionality a mobile user might need. I chose this phone over the others because I have had good experience with Nokia’s in the past. Additionally, this phone has a built in flashlight. Even though I have only had the phone a week I have already needed the flashlight twice. The first time it came in handy was when I came home to the hostel and my roommates were already asleep. The second time the flashlight was even more needed when the automatic lights went off in the bathroom while I was taking a shower. I was able to locate the cell in my pants pocket in the pitch black and carry on with my shower. Overall, the 1208 is a sturdy cell phone with all the basic features and a handy built-in flashlight. A detailed review of the 1208 can be found here.
I got this webcam as an upgrade to my almost 10 year old old-school Logitech QuickCam Express. The QuickCam Express is a virtually indestructible camera and always worked. However, the QuickCam Express lacks the quality the newer QuickCam Pro can deliver. The QuickCam Pro has incredible image quality, is very compact, easily attaches to a Notebook screen, and has a 2 Mega-Pixel Autofocus lense. It comes with webcam software that allows you to apply funny objects to your face, video filters, and become animal characters. The QuickCam Pro comes with a stand that allows you to easily use the webcam on a desktop computer too, while the QuickCam Deluxe for Notebooks does not. So far, the webcam has performed well, however, on the highest settings it seems to have some issues recording fluid video. I am not sure if this is a limitation of my laptop’s processing power, the webcam’s autofocusing feature, or something else. The mic also seems to distort in very loud conditions. It has a background noise cancellation feature which I have not tried out in loud conditions. This camera is going to be the starting point for a lifecasting setup. It does not appear to be as sturdy as the QuickCam Express. Hopefully it holds up under the abuse I typically give to electronics.
The GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr is great at locating satellites, storing the logs, and retrieving the logs. The included software also makes it easy to upload your logs and associated pictures to a variety of online photo storage services. The main struggle with the GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr is the included software. It is a challenge to install and bugs can be found during standard usage of the software.
REI Mars 85
The Mars 85 is easy to pack. It contains 3 main compartments. A top compartment behind your head, the main compartment, and a back compartment. The main compartment can be segmented into two comparts via a zippable barrier. This barrier is to separate the bottom compartment from the mid compartment and is generally where I store my sleeping bag. The main compartment can be reached either via the top of the pack(typical of most packs) or via a large zipper that wraps around the back of the back which allows you to access the main compartment. This is very convenient because it allows you to access items throughout your pack without having to remove everything.
Timex Ironman 30-Lap
I know what you’re most likely thinking. You probably have a cell phone, a laptop, a camera or two, and you are buying a watch? There is a reason for that. I am not sure if I will be able to keep all of those devices charged while travelling through Africa. Because of that I bought a digital watch from Target. I have just now set it. The process was painless and the watch has date too. The watch also has a feature that allows you to turn the indigo backlight on by flicking our wrist. No longer do you need two hands to see what time it is at night.
While traveling I wanted to be able to listen to local radio stations to get a feel for the music different cultures enjoy. The Sansa clip appeared to be the right choice.
It is small, comes in 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB flavors and has an fm tuner that contains a scanning feature that automatically finds the strongest fm radio frequencies and makes them your station presets. I got the 1GB player because it was cheaper and I recently purchased a new version of the ipod shuffle. In comparison, the Clip is not as sturdy as the shuffle, but has a screen which assists in navigation. The Clip also has a shorter usb cable for song loading and charging. This is nice for laptop users, but might not be as good for desktop users with PC’s on the floor. I have tested it here in Austin and the Clip found around 20 local stations, however, sometimes the clip stores the wrong frequency. For example, it will store 101.6 for 101x instead of 101.5. The sound quality and reception is surprisingly good.
Dell Inspiron 640m
This is the laptop I use to update the site, store pics and vids, charge various devices, and anything else needed in the technology realm. I chose the 9 cell battery which allows me to moderately use the laptop for an entire day. The laptop does does not have the sturdy feel of a thinkpad, but has still held up incredibly well for the amount of abuse I give it. I have Vista Business on it and another partition for Ubuntu.
Kensington Travel Plug Adapter (33117 and 33346)
These adapters have worked everywhere I have been, are compact, and do not require you to carry around multiple pieces. The device also uses fuses to make sure you do not overpower your equipment, however, they only come with two fuses. I have already blown the two that came with the first adapter. I think I am going to try and replace the fuses with ones bought from radio shack because the Kensington site does not have any replacements available. The 33346 has an attachment that allows you to charge USB devices. I have not tried it out, but have brought many USB devices. I will update the site with which ones work with the 33346 and which do not.
This is my main camera. This is my second Canon because the first one I misplaced. I also have two Nikon coolpix and I the canon takes it to both of them, but it does cost slightly more. It takes good pictures and good videos.
Nikon Coolpix L16
I got this camera two weeks ago because I accidentally left the SD1000 at home. The camera is 7.1 Megapixels and has a 2.8 inch LCD. It takes quality pictures, is easy to use, and the video is alright, however, the mic is not as good as the SD1000. After only one week of use the label on the menu button is wearing off and the screen already has some markings, while the SD1000’s screen has some scratches but has held up better. The Coolpix is cheaper and takes standard AA’s which is nice for people that might have access to battery chargers. It’s cheaper price, but same level of picture quality relieves some stress if the camera is lost or stolen. The picture below links to the L18(higher MP), since I believe the L16 is only sold by Wal-Mart. The product info link correctly links to the L16.
Nikon Coolpix L4
I got this camera before travelling to Europe. It handled well for the most part, but has some trouble in dark areas and when things are moving. It also takes a while to auto-focus. The biggest downfall is that it has no mic which means that any videos will not have sound. This turned out to be a huge bummer when I came back from Europe and all the funny vids I took were perfectly silent. The L4 is discontinued, but can still be purchased online(why would you want to?).