Thursday, June 25, 2009

Technology and the Road

This trip is all about nature for me ... And spending time away from it all ... But technology is something I just can't get away from ... Both out of personal preference and neccessity, I have opted to use a variety of gadgets, gizmos and apps on this road trip ...

1. GPS - A good GPS system is a must in any road trip ... Unfamiliar locales are no problem to handle if you have a decent GPS with updated maps ... No need to bother yourself with maps and printouts of directions ... Plus, GPS sometimes have a good database of restaurants, parks, lodges and gas stations ...

2. Emergency car starter - It's a Duracell gadget which looks like an emergency lamp ... It has an outlet which lets you plug it into the jack and start your car if the batteries run down ... Without the need to leave the car, open the hood and mess with those wires ...

3. Electronic Tire Pressure guage - Simple device to ensure that your tires are filled at the optimum pressure at all times ... Before taking the readings, make sure that the car tires are cool and the car hasn't been running for a while ... Else it might give faulty readings, especially in hot weather ... Some people fill their tires with nitrogen, and then they do not need to bother about filling it out again and again ... I haven't tried it out, but heard that it's supposed to last for a while ...

4. Portable charger for the car - Connects to the jack and charges all your everyday appliances like cell phone, laptop, bluetooth headset, etc ... Very, very essential, since you'll not always have access to a plug point on a road trip ...

5. iPod FM Transmitter - I had downloaded loads of music on my iPod before the trip ... About 10 GB each of English and Hindi ... I got a basic FM transmittor from iTrip, and that serves the purpose really well to stream music onto my car stereo, since most of the areas I'm passing through is rural, and there is not much FM interference here ...

6. Bluetooth headset - I get bored while driving ... So on those long stretches of highway, when I have a few hours of road to cover, what I like to do is call up a list of people on my phone and chat with them for a few hours ... Having a good handsfree Bluetooth headset enables me to do that without a problem ... It's almost like having someone else in the car with you! ... Time flies ...

7. Camera - I have a lovely Olympus 8000 Tough ... The perfect vacation camera ... Waterproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof ... 12 megapixels ... Lens is not as good as Canon, but I get by with decent shots ...

8. The iPhone - Aaaah, the iPhone ... So much more than a phone ... I've had it for 2 years now, and I still get fascinated by the potential ... Here's a list of apps that are absolutely crucial to me in my road trip ...



i) Google Maps - An extra GPS ... The portability allows me to avoid maps when I'm travelling around on foot ... Street view is useful at times ...

ii) iPhone Camera - Not as good, but enough as a backup camera ...

iii) Weather App - Weather.com is better, but this is decent for a quick update ... Helps me plan for contingencies along the trip ...

iv) Flickster - When I'm in the mood for movies, it gives me a nice listing of whats released and where it's playing near me ... I'm a huge movie buff, so this app helps me stay in touch with the latest ...

v) Facebook App - Use it to update my status and check on other folks ... Good user interface for the iPhone ...

vi) IM+ Lite - The iPhone doubles up as a chatting device ... Have my gtalk and yahoo accounts configured here and log in once in a way to see who's online ...

vii) NYTimes - Excellent news source ... Helps me keep in touch with stuff happening

viii) Free Wi-Fi - Takes your location and gives you a bunch of places offering you free wi-fi near you ... Libraries, Cafes, Hotels, Parks ... Priceless app, which is what makes all these updates possible ...

ix) Urbanspoon - A very popular app ... Gives you the best places to eat, by category, proximity and price point ... Has a good set of reviews too ...

x) Cheap Gas - Gives you all the gas stations nearby, and how much they are selling gas for ... Helps save 10-15 cents on a gallon, which can make a huge difference to my budget in the long run ...


This list should help you out if you're planning a road trip yourself ... Let me know if you have any questions or other suggestions ...

22 Comments:

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Curious...which GPS did you end up buying?

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Your list is a long one but it is almost complete. If someone is going out for on a car camping for a longer period, this will be very helpful.

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