Bali preparation: technology edition 1

When you travel, you take photos. Everyone does. It's a given.

When you travel, you want to tell everyone back home all about it,

When you travel, to share the photos with everyone back home means you have to have the gear to be able to send the pictures, and when you travel, how much gear you take requires serious consideration. No one wants to be lugging around heavy backpacks or suitcases, myself included. How inconvenient! Thus currently I'm going through the motions of figuring out what tech gear I want to take with me, and how I can get away with taking as little as possible. When I went to Thailand last year I took the following:

  • Dell mini laptop
  • External hard drive
  • DSLR camera (two lenses only)
  • Thousands of charging cables and accessories (slight exaggeration here)

All up, at meant it was quite the effort to get the photos from the camera onto the laptop onto the hard drive, plus blogging them (I discovered on the trip that my dell mini hated uploading to Facebook so had to download freeware apps to get the pics up, it was a nightmare). The only benefit to taking all of this stuff is that I had my partner at the time with me to help share the load of the backpack; he was actually pretty good, I don't think I carried much at all!

Going to Bali, when thinking about how much stuff I'm taking I need to factor in that I'm alone. That means no sharing th load, so whatever I take needs to be light, and I need to take the least amount of stuff as possible.

This year I now have an ipad, which means the weight issue of taking the dell mini has been resolved…sort of.

I still face the issue of how to get the photos uploaded for the folks back home, thus a few weeks back I bought the camera connection kit (pic above). This means that to load the pictures I simply put my memory card in the connector, import the photos (either to my ipad photo stream, or my drop box etc) and upload. Done. It's so quick and easy.

Yet another issue then prevented itself. Having immediate access to wifi at home to upload the photos to drop box meant having only the 16gb version of the ipad wasn't an issue (the photos were never stored on the ipad itself, it just went straight to my online storage). In Bali, I can't be guaranteed that I'm going to have a wifi connection that will be able to cope with the size of the images, or that I will have access to the Internet at all (although I'm sure I will be able to hunt some down based on information I have been given). If Internet wasn't available and I had to store the photos on my ipad, in total storage the amount of space I have is very near to the limit of the memory card anyway. I could store 3/4 of the memory card and my ipad would be at capacity. No further apps or anything for me!

So that leaves me with the following options:

  • Buy more memory cards; or
  • Jailbreak my ipad so that I can use the camera connection kit to utilise the USB port on it to be able to connect my external HDD – it means I can store photos straight onto my external HDD rather than the ipad.

As I'm a bit of a brand snob and my DSLR requires a certain class (speed) for memory cards, it means that I can't just go and buy any cheap old memory card and it will do. Some that I have seen fit the class brief but are only $20 for an insane amont of space – it makes me sus and reluctant to buy them. I don't want to buy something only to find it fails and I lose all the pictures I have taken.

Luggage space wise, taking the HDD it does mean that in essence I'm taking the same amount of stuff to Bali that I took to Thailand, but the ipad is lighter at least.

This morning I decided I would trial the second option to ensure that it does actually work. What I have found is that after jailbreaking the ipad this morning, it doesn't seem to want to recognise the USB drive that I connected, I tried both the actual HDD and a simple flash drive I have. From googling it seems that the ipad port is underpowered so they recommend a powered USB hub, but that means a financial outlay more to carry. I could just spend that mine buying more memory cards and go the first option, and take less with me.

So now I'm at a bit of a cross roads on what to do. I dare say I will end up going the extra memory card route in the interest of space and lightness, although if any card I bought fails it does mean I have lost the photos (in fairness I guess it's the same if my HDD failed or I simply lost it).

What does everyone else do when they travel? Do you have any tips for me for posting your photos back home for everyone easily?