Once again, this blog is going to go on political hiatus, as I’ll be flying off for another break. (I’m using up my alloted leave time for my current work contract.)
To that end, I’ve upgraded some of the equipment I’ll be using for mobile blogging. For example, while it would have been a good idea to pack the iPad 2, I also plan on doing some heavy duty writing (personal project), which means a laptop. And, sadly, I have to conclude that my old laptop was running into problems running the latest software (a matter of the processor being too slow). There was also the fact that, while a 12-inch screen makes for a compact size, it also makes for too small a screen — too small, at least, for video editing.
Thus, I’ll be using this vacation to test out an HP Pavilion G6, which I got at Best Buy for $450 including tax. It’s a funny thing, how computers have progressed in 15 years; I remember spending $2500 to get a desktop with half the speed and less than 10 percent of the disk space of the G6. Already, I can tell it’s loading software a lot faster than my last laptop, and the bigger screen is definitely easier on the eyes; whether this will stand the rigors of travel is what I need to find out. (One thing that has to be admitted: I’ve been spoiled by the iPad. I’ve caught myself, twice, stroking the display in order to move the cursor.)
And before you ask: yes, this has to be a Windows laptop and not a PowerBook. Fully 90 percent of the computers used by the federal government rely on Windows-based software, and I’m not the type to fool around with emulators.
Other equipment? Well, for this trip I’ll be breaking in a Nikon Coolpix L810. My old digital camera, like my laptop, has passed into the obsolescent phase, and while I could simply rely on my iPhone for pictures, I believe better picture quality counts for something. The pluses are a 26X zoom, a better handgrip (which reduces the odds of picture blur), power with 4 AA batteries (which reduces anxiety over whether the camera’s charged), and a more sophisticated auto function for better point-and-shoot situations. (Did I mention that the G6 laptop has a slot for photo memory cards, which means one less cord to tangle with?) Big minus: the camera is an awkward shape, so packing for transit can be awkward.
So. The equipment is prepared, and so (mentally) am I. In 30 hours, I hope to be blogging from Dublin. I trust the Conservative Party will not get itself into any more hot water while I’m gone. Right?