COMPUTERS, WEBSITES, INTERNET AND PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT
“No one is listening until you fart” unknown
LEARNING TO USE THE EQUIPMENT
- Computers; Make sure you can back up your computer while on the road. Have all the necessary software loaded and accessories before you hit the road. Store your computer in a heavy sided case to protect it from dust, moisture and vibrations. We each have a computer it helps avoid many arguments as to who turn it is and Tom keeps the desktop too messy for my liking. We each have a Panasonic Toughbook, and they have proved to be great computers. The only problem we had was in extremely heat in the Sahara the batteries struggled to keep their charge. Keeping the computer charged while driving was done by plugging them into the inverter.
- Website; maintaining a website with current updates can be challenging while on the road. We had great plans to update regularly but found it was just too difficult to do when and had to scale back as to how often we could realistically update. We eventually gave up trying to do it ourselves and found it easier to email our updates. photos etc to a person back home who would update our site. We are hoping to have more success in the Americas and do our own updating.
- Internet access; is usually found in internet cafes or upscale hotels in cities. Internet is slow and unreliable in many locations in Africa. It takes patience and time but can be done. We would write our updates, emails to be sent etc in word documents put them on a memory stick and then at the internet café we would copy and paste our emails etc straight into an email rather than typing it up at the internet café. This saves time and if the internet does crash while you are on it at least you still have a copy of the emails you want to send.
- Photography and Video; Purchase everything you will need before you go. Take spare len cap covers, batteries, memory cards, carrying bag for when out and about and a storage secure box for when traveling. Back up your photos and videos every day.
- Phones; We used an unlocked cell phone and purchased a SIM card for each country. In some countries only the locals can purchase a SIM card e.g. Ethiopia. We also have a satellite phone in case of an emergency.
- Electrical supply; if you are like us and travel with phones, cameras, videocameras, computers, rechargeable flashlights, keeping everything charged can be frustrating when you do not have access to electricity. It is a good idea to plan how you will keep everything charged
- Plugs and adaptors you can never have too many varieties. Every country seems to have a preference for shape and size of plugs. Collect them!