Wendy and I have been blogging quite actively during our time in Sardinia. We’ve been blogging on the beaches, we’ve been blogging in the streets, we’ve been blogging just about anywhere.
There are few internet cafés in Sardinia, home internet diffusion isn’t very high and in any case, we haven’t been invited in anywhere. I guess this is too much tourist country to expect the locals to invite any travelling stranger into their homes.
We blog and do email using a small technological wonder, the Nokia Nseries N800 Internet Tablet.
The N800 Internet Tablet is a small portable device intended to do “internet anywhere” just like the mobile phone has given us “telephony anywhere”. The tablet is the size of a large chocolate bar, weighs about 150g and fits easily into a pocket, or in our case into a small dry bag in the day hatch.
We write on it using a stylus on a small on-screen keyboard, or as I’m doing right now, using a full screen thumb-board. We also have a separate foldable keyboard we sometimes use for writing or editing longer texts.
We can get on the internet in two different ways. The tablet has wi-fi built in, but we haven’t found any wi-fi hotspots here in Sardinia, so we use our mobile phone as a modem, connecting to the internet using a technology called EDGE. We found an offer of 100Mb traffic for €20 which has lasted until now at least.
When we do a blog post we first write it off-line in the little Notes program on the tablet. Then we select photos on our cameras, and crop, resize and downscale them directly in the camera. The SD memory card from our Pentax Optio cameras fits directly into a memory card slot on the tablet so getting the photo over is just a question of taking the card out of the camera, plugging it into the tablet and moving the photos over using the File Manager on the tablet.
Once the post is ready, we go online, login to Blogger, copy-paste the blog text over and upload the photos. This is often the most time consuming and tedious part, as Blogger can be quite flaky sometimes. Uploads and publishing often fail and have to be retried several times before everything goes through.
The little maps showing our location are also made on the tablet. We have a little wireless gps receiver for the tablet, and it is a matter of seconds to get the coordinates and have them plotted on a map. I use a free program called Maemo Mapper, which will basically do it all for me. I just have to zoom in to the desired level of detail and grab a screenshot of the display.
The software in the tablet does way more. We read our email on it, using the mail program or one of the free webmail services. It also has a million features we don’t use much on this journey. It is an IM client for chatting, it is a multi-media player for both music and video, it can work as a soft-phone and much more.
I have been using the Nokia Nseries N800 for over a year now, and it is one of my favourite gadgets. I use it daily, even at home, for reading news, listening to music, chatting with friends, looking up stuff on the internet while
watching tv, etc.
Nokia Nseries has generously sponsored us a complete communication set for our journey. Wendy got a tablet so we both have one, and we got a foldable bluetooth keyboard, a bluetooth gps receiver and a car charger for use with our solar panels for charging on beaches.
Wendy is so happy with her tablet and the possibilities it gives to blog and mail friends, that she cares more about charging the phone and the tablet that about her camera batteries, and that says quite a bit, knowing how avid a photographer she is.