So I head off tomorrow and I'm frantically getting all my kit together. I will be doing some of my blogs on my iPhone but in the evenings when I have time to relax, I really don't want to be using my thumbs to type.
I am lucky enough to have access to an HP 2133 Mini-note which I will be taking with me, with a 3G wireless card that will allow me to do more in-depth blogs and post photos from my camera. The HP 2133 is a small laptop with a 7 inch screen. It was one of the first true netbooks that are now dominating the market. Not only will I be able to blog but I've also ripped quite a few DVDs to watch in the evenings when I am relaxing after my ride. It's not the fastest notebook in the world and it's not anywhere near the speed of my MSI Core 2 desktop replacement notebook but for this type of trip it's perfect. It fits right into my pannier (the bag that custom fits onto the rack on the back of my bike).
I've been using this notebook around the house to check email every now and then. It's had some major battery charging problems. You literally have to shut down the notebook to get it to charge. But after a complete update of all the drivers and also upgrading to Service Pack 1 for Vista, the performance has more than doubled and it's also now able to take a full charge, whilst running, in less than an hour. The biggest problem with Windows Vista, which this notebook is running, is that it takes quite some time to organize the hard drive. This notebook has never had the opportunity to stay on for any serious amount of time because my wife who had been using it is pedantic about power saving and shutting things down. By leaving it run for a few days, Vista was able to organize the hard drive and get all the essential stuff it needs to do after a fresh install done. It was trying to do this whilst being used in the past, therefore hindering its performance and battery charging abilities. The hard drive was going nuts the entire time. I've seen this happen quite often with Windows Vista. You really need to give a new Vista PC about a week to run and get its crap together. Once that's out of the way, the system should run fairly smoothly. And with the HP 2133, it's running a lot better than it was a few days ago.