Technology Conundrum

What to do, what to take, that’s the question.  So here’s the deal, five weeks on the road will be a long time, and a lot of the days will be looong days.  So I’ll need some music- I’ve got a 2nd generation iPod which has travelled tens of thousands of kilometres with me already, it’s a bit clunky but fits in the vest pocket.  And no doubt I’ll want to take a picture or two along the way – I’ve got an older digital camera that I could have in a pouch off my belt (inconvenient) or in the saddlebags (a hassle to get quickly).  But what I really want to be able to do during this trip is provide updates to this website – even if there is no-one following me it will allow a daily diary of sorts and that would be cool.  Currently I don’t have anything I can do that with.

Does everything, at a cost...

Now what makes the most sense, at the moment, is an iPhone.  It hits every mark in that: it will provide my music, has a built in camera, has email functionality (WordPress allows post via email) and it has internet capability.  Hell, it even has some GPS tech which could come in handy at a pinch, and the 3GS version has a built in compass.  Oh and it’s a phone too… However, with the exception of the music the other features come at a trade-off.  The camera is limited in functionality, the internet plans for iPhones are pretty horrendous ($$), and typing anything for a length of time might be too fiddly for my liking on the very small touchscreen.  But ignoring that, the iPhone will do all the things I want it to do AND fit in my vest pocket taking up less room that my original iPod.

Laptop compared to a netbook
A laptop compared to a netbook

So what about a netbook?  A netbook is a small 10″ laptop, it won’t play music (while I’m riding), doesn’t have a camera and might not survive being rattled around in my saddlebags (unless I upgrade it to a Solid State Drive (SSD)), but I will be able to type much faster on it. Provided I’m not too exhausted at the end of a day’s riding, I would like to write decent commentary about the trip.  Mind you, how many different ways I can wax lyrical about chasing the white line down a black strip of tarmac for 14,000kms remains to be seen…

Well as I type this out the answer to my conundrum is obviously leaning more in favor of an iPhone.  At the end of the day the cost will be much of a muchness – the iPhone will cost about $800 (plus phone plan) and the netbook will cost around the same price with an SSD (and wireless internet plan).  Thankfully there are still seven months until journey start so I have a little while to make my mind up yet.  Decisions, decisions.