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Author Topic: What do use for your computer system while traveling?  (Read 2531 times)
Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2011, 07:17:02 AM »

  So really all I need is the laptop? and just take my chances where I can find wifi?  (snip)

       Every McDonalds that I've driven past in the last 2 years has free Wi-Fi (it's probably as safe as leaving a stack of $$$$ next to your bus door when you walk into duh Waw*Mott, but it works).  Also, many coffee shops, libraries, etc.  (yeah, no safer but ...).
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2011, 08:15:42 AM »

as far as a laptop.... while the screen size that is large is nice... its the Keyboard size... idiots like me can't type very easily on one that is 8 inches wide... so i use the regular computer and the next laptop we get is going to be the biggest keyboard size one, as this 15 inch thing has almost been tossed out the window 154 times... Smiley
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technomadia
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« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2011, 08:16:38 AM »

We travel full time in our bus, and work online as we roam.  So keeping connected is essential to us.  We did a blog post a while back that describes all of the options we've tried for keeping connected, which will be the foundation for our talk at the Arcadia Rally next week.

Here's the link:
http://www.technomadia.com/2011/09/10-tips-to-keep-connected-us-mobile-internet-options/


As far what type of computing device to get.  Really depends on what your needs are.  Do you just want e-mail, routing/maps, basic web browsing, reading books, playing games, watching movies?  Then an iPad is an awesome device.  We use them regularly in our travels, and feel for many folks - they really can be used for all your computing needs.

But there is something nice about a laptop too.  A bit larger screen, full keyboard (although, you can get keyboards for the iPad) and full featured software.  If you're needing to do things like accounting, programming, video editing, graphics editing, full featured gaming - then a laptop is probably more your speed.


 - Cherie
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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2011, 09:06:34 AM »

We have been full timing for almost three years and have tried/used just about everything. Phone tethering, Verizon air card, PC, laptops and most recently our Android X to use the Hotspot. The Hotspot worked pretty good most of the time. Just a little slower than we normally have found using an RV Parks WiFi. Verizon is the best for coverage but costly if you go over the limit. If you don't stream video's it will be just fine.

The laptop is the way to go. If you are unable to get WiFi, use a smart phone's hotspot. You can have it turned on then off. It will cost you a monthly fee, so best to use it only in an emergency or while parked in a non WiFi area.

As with any system, be careful in having a secure connection.

Go to the rally and visit Technomadia's discussion, as they are very well versed in the answers you are looking for.
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Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2011, 09:29:55 AM »


Bob, I have no idea what this is, can you tell me more?  What is mozy?

Mozy is an online backup service.  They're not the only option out there - they just happen to be what I use.  Others have mentioned some other options.  I pay an annual service fee and for that I have access to their servers "somewhere".  Their applet lives on my computer and watches for a chance to connect to their servers in the middle of the night.  When it gets connected it updates my backups without me having to be involved in any way.  I like that because I am not as disciplined with regard to backups as I am sure all the rest of you are.  I know it works because periodically I do something stupid and think "gee I wish I hadn't changed that file without saving it first"  With a good backup I can (usually) reset the clock to before my latest stupid move.

I think someone asked about the cost of my Verizon dongle.  I can't remember exactly what it cost initially but it was in the neighbourhood of $100.  I buy cards for it at Walmart - they cost about $70 for 5 gigs/1 month, less if I buy less bandwidth but not a whole bunch less - maybe $50 for 1 gig/1 month.  I haven't bought a card for a long time because generally we can mix and match our Blackberry tethering with our Hughesnet plan and we don't need the Verizon thing but occasionally I use it if a client computer doesn't have good access.
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« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2011, 10:56:40 AM »

Thanks all. Ted can build a bus, but we haven't a clue about this stuff, I have a headache from reading all this, Maybe once it digests......................
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Mex-Busnut
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« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2011, 03:05:29 PM »

You might ask yourself just how often you actually get on line. Most McDonalds, many truckstops, RV parks and many other restaurants have free wifi.

For simplicity, my dear wife is a little technophobic. She LOVES her Ipad II on the road!

Think about how you are going to backup a mobile computer because you'll end up with a lot of your life on the computer and it will be subject to a traveling life which may be hazardous to its health.  I use a USB hard drive that we carry on the bus for periodic backups and I have mine set up to do a Mozy backup every time it sees a connection in the middle of the night.
In case anybody is interested, today I picked up a one Terabyte (1,000 Gigabytes!) pocket-sized external USB hard drive at a Dallas-Fort Worth are CompUSA/Tiger Direct store for just $99 plus tax. Seems like a very good price to me! Limit one per customer.
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
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JackConrad
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« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2011, 04:25:31 AM »

laptop and verizon Mi-fi   supports up to 5 computers.  we use two on it all time.   Bob

Same here, except occasionally 3 computers at once (when our son is with us).  Jack
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« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2011, 04:38:17 AM »

I would make a desktop my last choice. They take up much more space, cannot be carried into a McDonald's/etc, and the hard drives were not designed to be spinning will bouncing down a rough road. The other options all work and depend on your needs.  My wife and I use laptops. Hers is a 14" dell and mine is a 15" Toshiba. She uses hers mostly for email, web surfing, and installed games. I us mine for email, web surfing, GPS, and photo/video editing. We connect via WiFi when it is available and use our Verizon MiFi when WiFi is not available. YMMV  Jack
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Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
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« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2011, 05:48:28 AM »

I'm on the wagon with Verizon's mifi and just updated to 4g. The results are that I haven't had it long enough to compare it to anything but it works similar to the mifi 3G. Time will tell!
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Ace Rossi
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« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2011, 05:55:14 AM »

Verizon is the best for coverage but costly if you go over the limit.


The secret work-around for this is to buy your Verizon coverage through Millenicom (http://www.millenicom.com), instead of directly with Verizon.  They bulk buy coverage from Verizon & Sprint.

Their Advanced Plan for $59.99/mo (no additional taxes or fees) gives you 20GB of Verizon service per month. And there are no contracts, so you can cancel/suspend at anytime.  And no overage charges if you go above 20GB.. they just reserve the right to throttle your speed for the rest of the month if you exceed the limit. 

If you have a phone capable of tethering, and it's only an occasional need - that's a great option.

We do both.. we have the Millenicom Plan through Verizon for our primary connection, and have an AT&T iPhone with a tethering plan as our back-up.  Despite how good Verizon's coverage is, there have been plenty of times where our AT&T pipeline was needed.

And if both fail us..  and no wifi is to be found (we've not found most park wifi to be sufficient enough for our needs, as we do more than just e-mail/web surfing) - we have a satellite tripod we can deploy.

 - Cherie
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« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2011, 06:03:08 AM »

I think you are right about the Verizon coverage most of the people that rant and rage about Verizon live east Sonja's I phone with AT&T had a lot better coverage in the west than my Verizon that Paul told me would be so good LOL cost me 175 bucks to rid myself of it

good luck
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« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2011, 06:20:26 AM »

I think you are right about the Verizon coverage most of the people that rant and rage about Verizon live east Sonja's I phone with AT&T had a lot better coverage in the west than my Verizon that Paul told me would be so good LOL cost me 175 bucks to rid myself of it

good luck

Clifford, There is not much help in your area, sorry! Roll Eyes
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Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
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« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2011, 06:25:00 AM »

AT&T works lol Van's new phones on Sprint wouldn't work here either he wanted to show me all the features and bless his heart the thing didn't work.
Paul I had problems with Verizon in Idaho,Oregon and even some parts of Scottsdale and CaveCreek it would not work her's worked every time

good luck
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 06:30:08 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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thomasinnv
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« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2011, 07:39:00 AM »

I have had hughesnet for years, but am considering putting it on vacation hold and trying out millenicom for a while. Hughesnet is convenient in that as long as you have a shot of the southern sky, you got internet. (most of the time, as long as hughesnet isn't having problems). Hughesnet is always a crap shoot as far as speeds. I am not as dependant on internet access for income as I was when we first hit the road. My online business has folded up, so I can go a few days without access.

Clifford, I have sprint and as you know I had to stand in a certain spot in your driveway in order to make a phone call. Unless I put it in force roam, then it would work fine anywhere, but I don't like doing that unless there is no alternative.
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There are three kinds of people in this world....those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that just wonder what the heck is happening. Which one are you?

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