remote area computers

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 15, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1980 Views:1170 Replies:5 FollowUps:0
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We r heading off around oz just after christmas 4 about 3 yrs .
would like 2 beable 2 keep in contact with the familes we r thinking of buying lap top with satelite connections . is this possible as u r looking at travelling 2 a lot of remote areas If possible would like 2 know were 2 buy in brisbane thanks( thinking of e-mails / hotmail)
bob
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Reply By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Sep 15, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Sep 15, 2002 at 00:00
It certainly is possible to connect to the net through Telstra's Iridium service, but I think it's $20 extra per month plus the same rate for calls, so you would be better off using an offline email client than hotmail.

Any brand of laptop will work, but I'd choose a brand with an extensive service network and proven reliability (Toshiba comes to mind). Do a search on Laptops as this topic has been discussed before.
AnswerID: 6625

Reply By: Member - Sam - Sunday, Sep 15, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Sep 15, 2002 at 00:00
As an alternative (not always available), many of the remote towns have 'Telecentres' which have internet access. But this is not always the case and you may still need another option such as connecting via satphone. cheers, Sam.
AnswerID: 6626

Reply By: Joe - Sunday, Sep 15, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Sep 15, 2002 at 00:00
Bob,

You lucky devil! Wish it was me heading off for 3+years!

Anyway, A couple of points -

1) You can use an off line mail client when using Hotmail and you would still have the option of using the services of internet cafes around the country and accessing the same mailbox.
2) You will still need an ISP though, and there may be a bit of research to do to find the best one for you.
3) As others have said, a SatPhone will be expensive and if you choose to mail pictures you may be paying a heap for the facility.

My advice would be to use Hotmail (or similar)
Create a web site for yourself and keep it up to date by editing the off line version (ie the one on your laptop) and keeping it there until you get to an internet cafe (or somewhere with comparatively cheap rates) and do a single update at that time.
This will allow people to check your website for pictures and you will only have needed to upload them once instead of once for each person.
I work in Brissie (out in Virginia) and I would be more than happy to chat to you and help you get things set up. I have a few bits of Freeware software that you can use to manage your web site.

Call me on 0412 318 809

Joe
AnswerID: 6630

Reply By: P.G. (Tas) - Monday, Sep 16, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Sep 16, 2002 at 00:00
Bob, I have been down this road. There are a number of points to consider. 1, A lot of new laptops only come with USB ports now, make sure the laptop you choose has a least one com port (this makes connection to a variety of phones possible). 2, Whilst it is possible to use the Iridium system to transmit data, it is SLOW! 2,400bps maximum speed to be precise. 3, Best option is to use a CDMA mobile phone (at 14,400bps) to transmit and receive your emails when you have a service available. I wrote all my emails at night and sent them when I came back to civilisation (read got a signal again, you maybe surprised where you can actually get a Telstra CDMA service (and where you can't)). You will get far superior results using a car kit with a high gain antenna (5db or better) attached. 4, I also have a Telstra-Iridium Sat-Phone (Motorola 9500) and I cannot praise its performance enough, there is no better way of getting guaranteed help if you need it. Hope this helps, Cheers.
AnswerID: 6646

Reply By: Kiwoka - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2002 at 00:00
Computers are my bread and butter and have been for 18yrs. I would NOT recommend a sat-phone (Unless your name is Rockerfeller) or even mobiles as they are slow, unreliable and expensive to use.

The best, cheapest, fastest & most reliable is to use internet cafes. They are in nearly every town in Aus. And if there is no net cafe there might be a library (they provide FREE access to the net) or PC Shop (They will help for a fee - try a 6 pack of VB).

That being said the easiest way is to get a CD burner(If you have a lot of pictures etc.) copy the files to cd/disk and ask the cafes or whatever to download them for you.

As for the laptop, I have three words for you "DELL, DELL, DELL" They have the BEST warranty around. You can get a complete cover warranty that will even cover your laptop if it gets droped in the fire, overboard (from boat) or even a dog doing it's business on (This I know for sure as my little 4 legged friend decided that my laptop needed a sprinkle. It went POOOF and was replaced without question). The only thing they wont cover is intentional damage.
AnswerID: 6690

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