Monday, August 9, 2010


I'm planning on taking a computer on this trip.  (This could change.)  There are three upsides: I can work when I get bored, I can do something useful on the trip in terms of developing skills, and there's the possibility of the "Ukrainian National Parks" opportunity, in which I make Android apps about something sorta useful to a sorta under-served market, and thereby do something that nobody else is doing.

There is one main downside: I will lose focus on traveling and retreat to my computer.  This seems less of an issue, as I'm not going to be camping in jungles or something anyway.  I'm not looking for an escape, but rather a way to continue my life, just in different places.  (as @garybernhardt, among others, is doing right now.)  My life, at least my ideal life, tends to involve computers.

Anyway, given that I'm going to have a computer, the question is, which one?  I came across a recommendation for a Lenovo Thinkpad X201, and in order to save it for later when I'm actually making decisions about these things, I will link to it here.  If you have recommendations about travelley computers, I'd like to hear them.


  1. I brought my 15" MacBook Pro with me. I've only been gone for 1.5 weeks, but it's working well so far. I've found that I'm even more sensitive to weight and battery life than usual. Weight is obvious – I have to carry everything on my back. Battery life is because, unlike the states, you're not going to find coffee shops full of people on laptops with power outlets everywhere. I'm in Ireland, so you'll probably have it even worse. Charging is also sketchy: I'm staying in hostels, so I can't charge at night because I'm surely not leaving my MBP out in the open. I usually work at a proper cafe in late morning, have lunch, then find somewhere to sit and charge in the afternoon.

    I strongly recommend a backpack instead of an over-the-shoulder bag of any kind. I have an over-the-shoulder bag that I bought brand new about two weeks ago for $60. It saved me a pound and some pack space over a backpack, which sounded great. This afternoon, I'm buying a small backpack from Deuter for $100 and ditching the shoulder bag. It's totally worth $100, a pound, and an extra liter of pack space to be able to keep my laptop on me at all times. I'm also upgrading from a $100 46 L pack to a $200 60 L, but that's another topic entirely. :)

  2. Yeah, weight and cost are big issues.

    Weight: I am pretty big on minimalism. I have an REI backpack that I think is like 40L-ish, and I'm going to make it work. A 15" computer would be pretty big.

    Cost: that's another thing. I figure it will probably get stolen. So I'll want to keep my data in the cloud as much as possible, and if it only cost a couple hundred bucks, that'd be ideal.

    I'm learning Vim. Hopefully I can do some programming in that, because Eclipse on a small screen is terrible.

    Thanks for the recommendations!