[cdt-l] Portable email question...

jonathan at phlumf.com jonathan at phlumf.com
Thu Jan 25 18:32:09 CST 2007


You could just get one of these:
http://www.speedpigeon.com/pigeons_for_sale.htm

- No batteries
- Built-in GPS/navigation
- Lightweight
- Waterproof
- Soothing "coo" sound

-Jonathan


> Ken: You bring up excellent points. I wasn't suggesting the IPAQ was
> suitable for everyone and certainly not you! ;-)
>
> I was simply offering another option for CJBerry who asked for
> "suggestions
> on the most economical, versatile, etc. means of portable email for the
> trail."
>
> Pocketmail is certainly economical and much cheaper than the IPAQ; I used
> Pocketmail on the PCT and was satisfied with it.
>
> However, it's not incredibly versatile. No HTML/Rich Text, no web
> browsing,
> and poor compatibility with cell phones.  Every cell phone I borrowed to
> sync up my Pocketmail failed to work for the reasons that Terry pointed
> out
> below. This was frustrating on the PCT because I thought, "Gee, if I had a
> cell phone that did email (like the Treo, IPAQ, etc...), then I could be
> sending and receiving right now since there's reception here. But since
> there's no landline, I'm screwed."
>
> Because of Pocketmail's low versatility, I suggested that CJBerry also
> consider the IPAQ.
>
> Of course, anyone can poke holes in any product because it doesn't meet
> their needs.
>
> Since I have no idea if CJBerry likes carrying MP3 players, cell phones,
> GPS, or is happy with 1.3 MP of resolution, etc.... I figure he's smart
> enough to figure that out. I just laid out the features so he can figure
> out
> if it's worth the trade offs.
>
> Perhaps CJBerry (or someone else on cdt-l) is one of those backpackers who
> loves carrying an MP3 player, a GPS, a cell phone, Pocketmail, a camera
> and
> would love to shed a few pounds of gadgets, batteries, and/or chargers.
> The
> IPAQ can help consolidate a few of those.
>
> One Sobo on the PCT hiked without a camera. For her, a "free" 1.3 MP
> camera
> thrown in might be fun. Others might like having a backup. HYOH.
>
> Yes, the GPS is fully functional, capable of running
> www.backcountrynavigator.com or the dozens of GPS programs available for
> Windows Mobile 5. That's the IPAQ's biggest bonus over the Treo, which
> Cupcake mentioned.
>
> I'm not sure what the Treo does that the IPAQ can't do. Having GPS is
> nice,
> but it's also a HUGE battery drain. So like any thru-hiker carrying GPS,
> you'd probably want to use it sparingly and not have it on all the time,
> even if you are lugging around a 6.4 ounce solar roll.
>
> Lastly, I don't own the IPAQ. I used it for a week and enjoyed it, but I'm
> not sure if I want it on the CDT. I might try it and see if it sucks.
>
> Happy trails,
>
> Francis Tapon
> Check out my 2 minute video: http://tinyurl.com/yyzdbo
> Learn about my book, Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking
> Across America, at: http://www.FrancisTapon.com/book
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Ken Powers [mailto:kdpo at pacbell.net]
>> Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 6:00 PM
>> To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
>> Subject: Re: [cdt-l] Portable email question...
>>
>> Here are my thoughs on Francis' use of an IPAQ:
>>
>>
>> The IPAQ weighs less than 6 oz, but can't run on AAs. You'll either need
>> a
>> solar panel (6.4 ounces) or just bring the charger and recharge in town.
>> That's the downside.
>>
>> .....the charger will weigh more than the 2 ounce difference. Of course
>> you
>> can put the charger in your bounce box, but then you need to hit the PO
>> when
>> it is open, then plug it in for 2 (?) hours. I really prefer the
>> availability of AA batteries to the extent that I look for cameras that
>> use
>> them.
>>
>>
>> The upside of the IPAQ is that it has a MP3 player,
>>
>> .... I don't carry an MP3 player or radio
>>
>>  true GPS,
>>
>> .......how functional is the GPS - can you load maps / waypoints
>>
>> an 1.3 MP Camera with flash (that can be used as an emergency light)
>>
>> .......a 1.3 megapixel camera doesn't even rate in my book,
>>
>>  can take short videos,
>>
>> ...... I don't use that capability on my 6 megapixel camera
>>
>>  takes 4GB storage cards,
>>
>> ....... to store what since I don't use mp3, the camera, ...
>>
>> has a cell phone (with crappy coverage, I'm sure),
>>
>> ........ I haven't carried a cell phone, but I am beginning to consider
>> one
>>
>> wifi,
>>
>> ..... not sure you will find many wifi places where you coudn't find a
>> landline phone
>>
>> web browsing,
>>
>> ....... see wifi and cell phone coverage
>>
>> and it might even cook some Ramen if you ask it nicely.
>>
>> ....... hmmm, no there's a thought
>>
>>
>> In short, you can ditch many gadgets and just take this thing.
>>
>>
>> ...... My reply sounds really negative, but I have been looking at the
>> function of these new cell phones. I am having trouble seeing the
>> advantage
>> of carrying one vs my well worn PocketMail Composer.  Another
>> consideration
>> that I haven't pursued is the relative costs of each service. PocketMail
>> cost $150 a year and connects thru an 800 phone number. What would cell
>> phone coverage cost for a year? My current cell phone is the second on
>> our
>> contract and costs about $17/month without internet access.
>>
>> Ken
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Francis Tapon" <ft at francistapon.com>
>> To: <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
>> Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 4:52 PM
>> Subject: Re: [cdt-l] Portable email question...
>>
>>
>> I used Pocketmail during my PCT thru-hike in 2006
>> (www.francistapon.com/pct), but for the CDT I'm considering the HP IPAQ
>> device (www.cingular.com/ipaq).
>>
>> The Pocketmail service works fairly well, but I disliked how much the
>> device
>> weighs (8 oz) and its limited functionality.
>>
>> The IPAQ weighs less than 6 oz, but can't run on AAs. You'll either need
>> a
>> solar panel (6.4 ounces) or just bring the charger and recharge in town.
>> That's the downside.
>>
>> The upside of the IPAQ is that it has a MP3 player, true GPS, an 1.3 MP
>> Camera with flash (that can be used as an emergency light), can take
>> short
>> videos, takes 4GB storage cards, has a cell phone (with crappy coverage,
>> I'm
>> sure), wifi, web browsing, and it might even cook some Ramen if you ask
>> it
>> nicely.
>>
>> In short, you can ditch many gadgets and just take this thing.
>>
>> Happy trails,
>>
>> Francis Tapon
>> Check out my 2 minute video: http://tinyurl.com/yyzdbo
>> Learn about my book, Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking
>> Across America, at: http://www.FrancisTapon.com/book
>>
>> > -----Original Message-----
>> > From: Terry Norton [mailto:terry.norton at msubulldogs.org]
>> > Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 10:44 PM
>> > To: cdt-l at backcountry.net; CJBarry420 at aol.com
>> > Subject: Re: [cdt-l] Portable email question...
>> >
>> > Barry,
>> >
>> > Honest questions are always welcome.
>> >
>> > Many people have been carrying a Pocketmail system.
>> > (http://www.pocketmail.com)  I carried one on the PCT last year, and
>> > hope to use it on the CDT this year.  It is a text only email system
>> > that uses an acoustic couple modem (cira 1985) to send and receive
>> > email.  The user dials a toll-free number (in the US) and holds the
>> > unit to a phone to send and receive email.
>> >
>> > The keyboard is small, and messages are generally limited to 4,000
>> > characters.  You probably won't want to type more than that on the
>> > small keyboard anyway.  Unless you have very small hands, you will
>> > likely type with your thumbs while supporting the unit on your
>> > fingers.
>> >
>> > I had no problems with my unit, but I have heard of people having to
>> > exchange several units to get a good one.  Also, dropping the unit is
>> > known to shatter the LCD screen.  As with most electronic gadgets, it
>> > is not designed to handle water, so I kept mine in a double layer of
>> > ziplock bags.
>> >
>> > I replaced the AA Alkaline batteries monthly, and had no issues with
>> > running low.  I did not use the backlight on the unit which is known
>> > to be the major power draw.  Using my headlamp was probably a better
>> > use of battery power.
>> >
>> > Operation with a cellphone is hit & miss.  It will not work on CDMA
>> > digital networks (Verizon), but you may be able to use it if your
>> > phone supports analog mode.  (I have done this.)  I have heard it
>> > works with Cingular/AT&T GSM digital networks.  I don't hike with my
>> > cellphone, so I have no idea how it works in remote locations.
>> >
>> > I got my composer and a one year of service for $99 through an offer I
>> > found in an RV magazine. I plan to renew for 6 months for the CDT. Be
>> > cautious about purchasing a used composer.  I have heard that
>> > Pocketmail is not very good about supporting customers with second
>> > hand units.  (You will likely talk to Pocketmail Customer Service at
>> > least once to solve an issue.)
>> >
>> > Pocketmail as a company has not been doing well financially. I imagine
>> > the Blackberry type devices are killing them.  Also, Pocketmail is an
>> > Australian company, and the falling dollar has hurt them financially.
>> >
>> > It's slow...It's quirky...It usually works...Pocketmail...
>> >
>> > cheers,
>> > terry
>> >
>> > On 1/23/07, CJBarry420 at aol.com <CJBarry420 at aol.com> wrote:
>> > >
>> > > Whether hiking the CDT, or any other trail/area...Can anyone offer
>> some
>> > of
>> > > us non-technophiles suggestions on the most economical, versatile,
> etc.
>> > > means of portable email for the trail? Ex. Im out hiking for days
>> alone,
>> > > want to write home, (or write period,) any recs for such a scenario?
>> > Gracias
>> > > amigos!
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> cdt-l mailing list
>> cdt-l at backcountry.net
>> http://mailman.hack.net/mailman/listinfo/cdt-l
>>
>>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> cdt-l mailing list
> cdt-l at backcountry.net
> http://mailman.hack.net/mailman/listinfo/cdt-l
>




More information about the Cdt-l mailing list