Well, I've taken a month-long trip to S Mexico recently, to do some field work.
The Newtons were very handy- reading books that I built using the ALEX site
(www.infomotions.com/alex), checking email from all over MX with local
calls using UUNet $10/month global dialup access (www.uunet.net.... hmmmm
owned by WorldCOM, eeks! Hope it stays up, all the other ISPs on the
planet use some of their backbone it seems). Logging lots of data with
Ethoscribe (www.timasci.com) and I want to buy Enviroscribe from Tima, too,
now. And killing time waiting for animals to start behaviours (which is
what Ethoscribe is for) was made much more pleasant with said ebooks and
The humidity often was over 100% too :P (we had all sorts of data loggers
out) but that's rel humidity and related to dewpoint so is usually at 2 or
3AM or so).
I did take a laptop to use to archive my digital camera pics, and to set
and read the host of environmental dataloggers that we were using (I might
have been able to hack something together with NSBASIC over the serial port
but Onset didn't want to talk much about how they interface with the
loggers, and I don't have the toys to sniff the serial port on the PC
laptop to see what they send.
Otherwise all the data gathering and emailing could have taken place with
just the Newton.
One thing I forgot, I took no photos of the Newton in neat global places,
and we did go visit a few neat spots (pyramids etc) as well as some pretty
The other scientists on the project (OK, my wife :) were most pleased with
the way the Newtons fit into the research project. Pretty handy little
computer. It would have been so nice to do without lugging the laptop
around, but even if the ATA driver were ready, I took 500 megs of photos so
storing them on the MP would still have been a pain anyway. Other than
that and the datalogger issue, everything could have been done with the
I didn't get as much done as I wanted, with NSBasic. I was hoping I'd
crank out a couple little apps that I've always wanted that noone ever
seems to have coded but it didn't happen.
The only thing I would do differently, is to NOT forget the NiMH AA's for
the MP and the digital camera. The MP battery life is so good that it
didn't matter too much, but fancy digital cameras really eat alkaline
AAs... and high mah NiMH proved impossible to find. In fact, alkaline
batterys with enough juice to run the camera took a little searching to
locate, even in big cities.
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