Re: Field gear

Adrian Tanner (atanner@MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA)
Mon, 10 Apr 1995 13:15:24 -0230

On Sun, 9 Apr 1995, Faybienne Geenhuizen wrote:

> If floppy disks and batteries go bad quickly in the tropics, how well
> does your laptop computer survive?
> Faybienne Geenhuizen

Regarding the uncertainly of floppy disks, rely only on the hard disk and
the plug in memory cards, both of which in my experience are reliable in
the tropics, given a resonable amount of TLC. Like cameras, tape
recorders, etc, when not in use keep them in ziplock bags.

On the matter of batteries, if you are in a location without electricity
invest in a solar charger, some of which are now made specifically for
laptops. My own solution is also to use a very small 'palmtop' computer,
which uses very little juice (several models available), although the
small screen and miniature keyboard are not to eveyone's taste. If you
have a vehicle, you can use the lighter plug to recharge a laptop.
However, not all models support 12 volt recharging.

Depending on the topic of your study and how much you use these machines
when not in the field, computers can be the most useful, if not essential,
tool in your field kitbag (IMHO).

Adrian Tanner, Memorial University, St John's, Newfoundland. Tel (709) 737 8868 Fax (709) 737 8686