Monday, December 15, 2008
Since I'm the forum administrator for RV Travel and Free Campgrounds/Free Stays websites, and a member of the web committee for RVing Women, I've received several emails asking how I stay online as a full-time RVer and what equipment I use. The products I will be showing you are what I use successfully. They are not an endorsement for any of the manufacturers--I don't receive any royalties nor commissions for mentioning them (although I wouldn't turn down the money if offered).
First, I use an HP DV6000 Pavilion Entertainment laptop. It has a wide screen, built-in microphone, 802.11 b/g wi-fi, three USB ports, a PS 2 port, a printer port, two phone jacks (one DSL), a firewire port, an aircard port, a TV tuner port, a CD/DVD player/burner, Altec Lansing speakers, a mike port, stereo headset ports, and infrared. There is a 160 GB hard drive, 1.6 gigahertz Intel processor, a GB of RAM, and the loathsome, disgusting Vista operating system which I have learned to tolerate. I use a Logitech cordless laser mouse.
To protect the laptop itself, I use Registry Manager, PC Tools Spyware Doctor and Norton Antivirus. To protect my email, I use MailWasher Pro which filters the messages after they are sent from the various email addresses I have and after they have been filtered by their email server. Since I started working with computers in 1972 when they were mainframes to the present day, I have had one virus which was immediately identified and the link offered to remove the virus. Total possession time of virus infection to removal: less than two minutes. I also have LoJack to protect my laptop if it's stolen.
Other cool software I use: Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 (some government agencies and others are still using the older version), MS Streets & Trips and Delorme Street Atlas.
After watching the hackers in "Live Free or Die Hard," I thought the flexible vinyl keyboard they used was pretty cool so I purchased one. Now I'm not limited to the laptop keyboard. This one is full-size and washable.
If I'm in a fringe area for wi-fi connectivity, I use a Linksys booster antenna. It plugs directly into a USB port or I can plug in the stand and move the antenna to a window for better reception.
For backing up the data on my computer, I use three Maxtor drives: two 100-gigabyte drives and a Maxtor III with 500 gigabytes. I have over 100 gigs of music and spoken word files alone. There is also a complete system backup including all documents. That means if anything happens to my laptop, I can take the data from the three drives and load it into the new/different computer. For me, it's much easier than carrying multiple backup CDs.
To create and imprint the CDs of my books, I use an HP LightScribe drive that not only copies the data, it will inscribe the title, pictures or whatever I choose on the disk itself.
Printing, scanning and copying are done on an all-in-one HP 1200 printer. It also prints pictures on photo paper for instant image capture.
For pictures or short videos to upload, I have a Nikon Coolpix digital camera. Mine, however, is silver.
All the above doesn't take as much room as you might think. The three Maxtor and one LightScribe drives fit in a small box. The printer is attached to the top of the CD/DVD storage drawers. The camera is usually in the top zippered compartment of my backback. Everything else fits in a laptop case.
So that's what I have. How about you?