Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Electronics (You'll want) at sea

I was thinking about this today because I have become a real fan of small portable electronics- and for obvious reasons. When you have been shipping for a long time you figure out what you really need and what you will actually use. When you are traveling all over the world and have to pack everything into a certain amount of luggage (in my case the smaller the better) it gets difficult to haul around a lot of electronics with you all over the place. So I have some favorite things that I thought I would share with everyone.

If you have a lot of shore time and you don't have much to do, get yourself a portable GPS and try Geocaching. I had never heard of it before until I got a handheld GPS and started surfing the web. If you join a Geocaching group you can sign up for treasure hunts- not that you will get a pot of gold at the end, but they are fun little diversion. So the next time you plan on being somewhere tropical, pick up your GPS and go hunting for buried treasure.

When I first got out of the academy I was still a video game junkie. Old school sailors (40-over) can probably skip this part. But for those of you that can't live without games- you should try some of the new portable gaming devices. I have a Nintendo DS. Love it. I don't play a lot of the traditional games anymore- but some stuff like Big Brain Academy is great for killing time. It is full of brain teasers and stuff. When you have a lot of time and nowhere to go this is awesome. You could try the PSP (PlayStation Portable) too if you don't mind spending more money.

My absolute favorite thing for the ship is my Palm Pilot Tx. It is small, sleek, powerful enough to do what I want and even comes with WiFi and expansion slots. I was taking graduate school classes while on the ship because I could get all my email messages and do my class work with the wireless keyboard and documents-to-go the program that acts like microsoft office. The Palm Tx also gives you the ability to watch movies, listen to music MP3s, and store anything you want on SD cards. Excellent. I have never tried other brands of pocket computers, but this is really an awesome way to bring all of your work and important documents with you. There are many different types- so do your homework to find out what will suit your needs. If you need a small computing device and don't want an expensive laptop- try this out and you might find your suitcase a little lighter on your next trip to Guam, the Gulf, or wherever you have to drag your stuff to... Happy Sailing

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