Trip Planning, Netbooks, and Camera Questions

First – I have some more updates and then I had some questions.

I went to get the Netbook from Walmart for $298 and it was out of stock. I then went to BestBuy who had the solid-state version for the same price (no HD just an 8GB RAM drive) – which was nice – but I need the storage. I next went to Microcenter which had the unit in stock but… sitting right next to it was an MSI Wind u100 netbook.  This computer has the same processor and RAM but a larger HD – 160GB, a non glare screen, a slightly larger keyboard and it just felt nice – all for only $319.

The funny this is that to upgrade the RAM you have to violate the warranty – but I will wait to see how performance is first.  It turns out to be an interesting beast.  It comes with XP Home so I had to do my normal clean it up routine to make windows run smooth and fast.  I found that the track-pad had tapping enabled and the only way to remove it was to install drivers from another company but now that it is off I am very happy.

It does introduce a host of new questions, beyond just backing up my memory cards I should install some software.  Office (which version), Photoshop (which version), should I get navigation software and a gps for it and carry one less device?  All problems to ponder.

In response to my post of yesterday about still photography I was asked a few questions.

1) Are you sure the old lenses will work on the Pentax dSLR?

Yes that is what makes Pentax such an amazing camera – they even have special modes to fine tune and remember up to 20 custom lenses.  It also let’s you map out hot pixels and has a find dust on the sensor utility.

2) Why shoot in RAW+JPG why not just in RAW and save space?

I doubt I will get to play with the images in Photoshop on the road so it will be nice to see them on the netbook as JPG – plus it is just one more copy.

3) Why not just get some cheap and small SD cards?

It isn’t the size it’s the speed.  Most memory cards are Class 2 but for faster access to the camera you really want Class 6.

4) Why don’t I borrow Tom’s 20D?

Because while it is a GRACIOUS offer (thank you Tom) I won’t be happy with 8MP plus I hate borrowing optics from anyone.  And at the end of the day I like to be able to customize and tweak my own stuff.

Next  – more updates on my netbook installation and we ponder video!

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]