The following are my favorite three travel accessories that make life allot simpler when traveling and also keep my bags lightweight! I tend to carry a Moleskin notepad, LAMY Pen and my favorite gadgets plus these accessories.
Sony CP-ELS Battery Stick
Smart phones are great pocket computers but the one area they fail hard in is battery life. Portable USB Battery packs like this Sony CP-ELS address this issue by making it simple to charge a smart phone when traveling. Its ironic that my first mobile phone had a battery life of over twelve days but my much more useful iPhone 4S lasts just over a day at best.
It is no longer a case of choosing between using the phone during flights for music, games or movies or having charge when you arrive at your destination!
Skross World USB Charger
USB has become the standard for charging cables over the last decade this means it is now possible to charge most devices using a USB cable. This Skross USB charger lets you simultaneously charge two USB devices in almost any country in the world!
Its a great space saver as instead of carrying multiple power chargers and adapters you can carry this unit and a few charging cables.
Although my Canon S100 cannot charge from USB meaning I need to carry its separate battery charger with me too.
SanDisk EyeFi 8Gb Card
EyeFi cards have changed how I share pictures, now I no longer need to wait till I get back to my computer I can now wirelessly transfer images from my camera to my iPhone. I then edit the images on the phone and upload them to the site or social networks of my choice!
When I am using a EyeFi card I will typically set the camera to save images in RAW and JPEG format so I can edit the images later on my laptop.
What are your favorite travel accessories that you can’t travel without?
I’m in the category of people who will naturally fill any given bag with stuff when travelling, I used to drag piles of stuff around ‘just in case’ I might need it. These days I try to keep the combination of items down to the essentials notepad, pen, lightweight jacket and a few gadgets. I seldom travel with a laptop unless I need it for photo editing I just don’t find I use them enough to justify the bulk and weight.
Apple iPhone 4S
I learned to get by with just a smart phone when I was with Barbara in her last few weeks in the hospice. To my surprise I found that with the rich variety of applications available on the App Store I was able to do 95% of what I needed to do with just a phone. Smart phones really are more pocket sized computers than phones these days, I think I use mine as a phone about 1% of the time at best.
At times I am tempted by tablet computers like the Apple iPad but most of the time I find I can get by with just an iPhon. I did own an iPad 2 WiFi for a while but didn’t find I used it as much as I expected.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
As I am a fast reader I used to be guilty of weighing myself down with many many books when travelling so that I wouldn’t run out of reading material but since the Kindle came along this is no longer a back breaking burden! As a Kindle has sufficient storage capacity of literally hundreds of books I am unlikely to run out of books to read on a trip, in fact usually the opposite happens I run out of time to read all the books I take!
The battery life of a Kindle is also so long compared to most modern devices that I seldom take a power charger for my kindle on trips shorter than a week as it can easily that long if not a few weeks.
Canon S100 Camera
While my iphone does have a okay camera, I prefer to have a discrete camera with me most of the time and the S100 is the smallest camera I own. I find having a discrete camera also has the advantages of saving my phones battery life and giving me much greater control over my exposures than the phone interface offers.
The addition of RAW format support means that I can edit the images in applications like Photoshop or Lightroom when I get back from the trip too.
I recently moved my photo blog to a new domain and this is how I got all the wordpress data and files transfered and setup. This guide is based off the official Moving WordPress guide on the WordPress Codex with the extra steps I need as I was moving an existing site to a new site that was created using my ISP one click installer.
Backup the original site:
Use an FTP client to download copies of all the file from your old wordpress installation and also any files in your file upload location if you are using a custom location (you can check this in Settings > Media).
Use phpMyAdmin to download a copy of the database.
Store these copies in a folder clearly named something like ‘original files’.
Log into your blog’s administrator account.
Go to the administration > Settings > General panel.
Change the WordPress address (URI) and Site Address (URL) box to the new URL which should match.
Click save changes but do not try to view your blog now!
Using an FTP client download copies of all the file from your old wordpress installation and also any files in your file upload location if you are using a custom location (you can check this in Settings > Media).
Use phpMyAdmin to download a copy of the database.
Store these new files in another folder named something like ‘modified files’.
Restore your old site back to its original state by uploading the original files using an FTP client and restoring the original database using phpMyAdmin. It should be safe to goto the site again and it should work.
Download the wp-config.php file created by your ISP’s one click installer this has the configuration details we need to run the old site on the new installation.
Copy the key database settings from the new configuration file into the configuration file in the modified files directory, this will allow the old site to run in the new installation. I copied the following settings from the new file into the modified file:
Drop the wordpress tables in the new database created by your ISP’s installer, they will be prefixed by whatever table_prefix is set to in the new config file.
Rename the tables in the database backup, search for table_prefix from the old configuration file and replace it with the prefix specified in the new configuration file. This isn’t essential but I like things to be tidy.
Upload the modified files using an FTP client to the new server and the tables in the modified database using phpMyAdmin to the empty new database.
Replace the links to the old site in the posts table in phpMyAdmin using the replace function in a MySQL query, you only need to search the post_content field: replace the old URL with the new URL.
Your old site should now be running on the new domain with working links and correctly named database tables. This guide is meant as a rough guide for those wishing to move a domain without relying on automated scripts and is a record of how I moved my WordPress 3.5 site between domains.
Amazon have just released the Kindle I have been waiting for: one with a backlight integrated into the unit, touchscreen and smart cover! The new model is called the Paperwhite and its features include:
Evenly backlight display.
Touch screen with multi-touch.
62% more pixels for sharper text.
25% more contrast.
More hand tuned fonts.
Excellant battery life.
Smart cover with auto wake/sleep.
I was particularly excited by this new model as I have a trip to Antarctica at the end of the month that will involve an epic amount of flights! So I had a friend bring me one back from the states as the Paperwhite is not yet available in Sweden.
The screen is amazing the combination of even backlighting, more resolution and increased contrast really improves the reading experience and make the device easy to read in all lighting conditions I have encountered so far.
Going from the older third generation Kindle with Keyboard to the Paperwhite has been a bit of a revolution as the touch screen interface feels significantly more responsive than the old physical keyboard. The device itself is smaller and more streamlined with the removal of the headphone jack and volume bottoms which I never used.
The smart cover is a case that complete enclosed the device when closed leaving only the power botton and charging socket exposed. The cover has a magnet in it just like the iPad smart cover so opening the cover will wake up the device and closing puts the device to sleep which is a nice touch.
The only gripe I have is there is no way to see the books cover art without losing the bottom third of the screen to Amazon’s shop highlights which is annoying as I paid extra for the advertising free model.
This Kindle is a real upgrade compared to the previous generations: highly recommended!
I finally bought an iPad in April after wanting one for quite some time for showing my photographs on but six months later I find myself thinking about selling my iPad2. So what happened?
Its another device to manage, I only have a single computer at home as I can’t be bothered to keep multiple computers configured, synced and updated. Same thing turns out to be true with mobile devices, I simply can’t be bothered to manage an iPad and an iPhone!
The size of the iPad even in a slim case is about the same size as my Laptop without a case, while this is small for a computers its big for a mobile device. Especially when I have an iPhone that almost always carry that can run 99% of the same apps but is a fraction of the size..
One of my original main reasons for wanting an iPad was for showing my photographs on it and it is fantastic for this but I find that as I’m not carrying it with me its not really getting used much for sharing as I am making do with the iPhone.
While I will miss the big screen browsing experience on the iPad and the iPad optimised versions of the apps I frequently use. I have found that as I am not taking the iPad with me much any more and its been relegated to weekend couch browsing duties which my laptop can do better.
Maybe a Kindle sized iPad would be the sweet spot for me size wise..