Archive for January, 2009

An Amazing Inaugaration Photo

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Check out http://tinyurl.com/c8jabs 

You can zoom in and pan around.  Some of the expressions on some people faces are priceless  - especially those behind the new president. 

GPS - Laptop

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

After doing a lot of sailing, I want to hitch up a GPS receiver to a laptop map program,  It is nice to have a 16″ screen instead of a 3″ one, like we did on some boats.  There seems to be two popular ones, Microsoft’s Streets and Trips 2009, and a similar one called the DeLorme Earthmate LT-40 GPS.  Either program enables you to plan your trip either on the go or way before you start.  They both include the program and a GPS receiver that you plug into the laptop.  The little GPS receiver sits on the dash  (or picnic table).

Finally got a new DeLorme for $50.   The GPS antenna is sensitive and even works in the house.  We have planned the general route of the trip with the software.

Skype

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Installed Skype today.  It is a free program from www.skype.com that gives you an alternative to the phone. If someone else has Skype, you can call them for free - no matter where they are in the world.  If they don’t, for the fee of $2.95/month you can talk to anyone in the US or Canada for as long as you want.   For the whole world, it is $9.95/month.

With a webcam on both ends, you can see them while you are talking.  My first call was to my daughter’s family in CA.   The grandkids thought it was great when they could see us on the computer.

I plan on using it a lot when we are camping  - ther are a lot of campgrounds and businesses that have WiFi - it is a great alternative when we don’t have cell phone service.  Can’t wait to hold up a salmon to show the grandkids..

PS  Skype just improved - version 4.0 is available.

Laptop

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Finally used the after Christmas sales to get a laptop, wanted to stay in the $500 range and came in just under.  It is a HP G60-230US  16″ with 320 gig hard drive and 3 gig of Ram,  It came with Vista Pro operating system. 

We plan on using if for WiFi to keep in touch and post on this website, download Skype for areas where there is WiFi and no Verizon cellphone service.  It will also store a bunch of the digital photos and our music.  We are also planning on a GPS program (including a plug in antenna), probably Microsofts Streets and Maps 2009,  The big screen will make that more pleasant, it will also enable us to wattch the occasional DVD,

Night School

Monday, January 5th, 2009

One of the things I have been doing every winter for several years is signing up for a course at the local Vocational - Technical High School.    It is really helpful and you can learn a lot about your camper.   You can even do projects there on your rig.  I have taken woodworking, welding, auto body repair, and refrigeration.  You can also take basic electrical courses and small engine repair (in case you have a baulky generator).  
This year I am taking auto body because it will be a good place to install a new vent fan, as well as fix a dent in a bumper and a piece of loose trim. I have some questions about interior trim that I may get some help with. You can also fix some rust spots if you need to.  The instructors are usually very good and happy to deal with motivated adults.   The school near here will easily fit a tall Sprinter in the shop. Nine Monday nights for 3 hours each in a good shop is worth it. Check with the school or the instructor about what is allowed.

Boston RV Show

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

It probably says more about the economy than anything, but the big Boston RV show in Jan has been “postphoned” until 2010.  We went up last year and it was pretty quiet.  There are still  2 other RV shows in MA and one in RI in the next 2 months, so will probably attend one for ideas.