Software for travel diary.

Submitted: Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 13:24
ThreadID: 30636 Views:4964 Replies:6 FollowUps:14
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Hi,

We intend keeping a diary on a 6 mth trip ie including text and digital pictures. Initially I thought of just using MS Word. However now I'm thinking I could improve it buy burning a DVD of our trip and send it to family to give an update of our travels. Would be good to have like a slide show with voice over in the background or maybe still have text but music in the background. Still not sure but would like a few options.

Any ideas on sofware that will let me do the above? Any other suggestions welcome.
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Reply By: Member No 1- Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 13:26

Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 13:26
microsoft power point?
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:02

Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:02
Thought about that too, but wasn't sure.
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Reply By: Browser - Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 13:48

Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 13:48
Hi Austravel,

Have you considered creating your own web page? Most of the internet providers allow you to host a personal web page for free that you could keep updated for family and friends to log on and take a look. That way you are not sending large files full of photos and multiple copies around the place. It really is quite easy and no more effort than keeping a diary.

regards,

Browser
AnswerID: 154297

Follow Up By: Austravel - Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:04

Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:04
Have thought about that but my family and many friends are either IT illiterate or not interested in the web.
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Follow Up By: Browser - Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:07

Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:07
Hi Austravel,

That's exactly what my 81 year old father said when I installed a computer for him at home. Today he would not go a day without doing some internet surfing!!!!
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Reply By: Davo - Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:00

Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:00
Hello Austravel,
Powerpoint will do the above, and fairly easily and cheaply.
I have thought of getting a dictaphone for documenting things "on the run" and will help with such things as photos in different locations when reviewing them.
It's interesting how many small places you forget/overlook when reviewing photos/video.
Uploading to the net is a good idea; people can get a day-to-day update on your progress, and when you eventually get home you can re-compile the whole trip into a summary document.
The net is the easiest option I think for what you're aniticpating, the only issue you will have is that while you're on the road, the uploading of good quality pictures, videos, etc will soak up a lot of bandwidth. Any multi-media, unless you geta small midi/wav file and loop it, will demand more space.
I don't know how much you've budgetted for this if you're pursuing this option, but it could be expensive. I guess you could use internet cafe's, but the few that I have used indicates a small laptop is a much more flexible option - you can put notes in whilst you're having morning tea, for example.
Some would say that you could also use a handheld (eg iPaq with keyboard); if you're conversant with these then they could be a good option. I have one, but I will admit that reviewing photos etc is better on my Fujitsu Lifebook P7010; a great all-rounder IMHO.
Back to the software query:
I think you could use MS word to do the trip report, and then "print" it into an Adobe Acrobat file (pdf) for web-posting. This way you could maintain high-quality pictures and Adobe Acrobat does a reasonable job of shrinking the document for emailing/web hosting.

Hope your trip goes well :)

Cheers,
Davo
AnswerID: 154298

Follow Up By: Austravel - Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:07

Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:07
Thanks Davo, will be using a laptop (when I pick which one to buy) and not interested in uploading it to the web. So may just go with the suggestion of Powerpoint and/or Word.

If burnt to a DVD can it be played through a DVD recorder onto a tv, eg same as playing a movie?
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Follow Up By: Davo - Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:52

Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:52
Yes, you should be able to do this without a problem.
You may need some editing software though.
I think Pinnacle Studio software is fairly intuitive. Do some research on video editing software prior to purchasing it.

I'd suggest that you make sure when you select a laptop that it has a built in DVD burner. Preferrably a dual layer burner; you may not "need" it now, but if you keep the laptop for a few year, it will no doubt be required eventually.

Also ensure that you buy an S-video out cable (if not supplied with the notebook), so that you can play from the laptop direct to the TV.

I bought a 12V handycam battery charger that charges the video camcorder batteries from the car's socket whilst driving, this way you can take a fair bit of footage; you can also run the handycam direct from the vehicle's power supply if need be, good for some in-car 4WD footage without draining batteries.

if you create mpeg/avi files, you can embed these into a powerpoint presentation fairly seemlessly and produce a very impressive little presentation.

Laptop choice?
depending on budget, Look at a Panasonic Toughbook, moving around witha laptop, you're likely to drop it, and these things are tough.
Second choice would be a Toshiba.
My Fujitsu Lifebook P7010 is great, but I travel a lot for work, and wanted a 10.1" laptop that weighes in at about 1kg, plays DVDs, takes all formats of photo cards (with some adaptors), has an excellent display and the battery life is also very good (about 4hours, without the extended battery). Oh yeah - this functionality is not cheap - $3800, but I need it for work, so it's an expense :))
I also like small laptops; the new Fujitsu P1510 looks like a great travelling laptp/tablet hydbrid. Don't let the small text put you off if you're looking at one in the shop - you can increase this easily.

For unburstabilitiy, go for the Toughbook
For a great all-rounder go for the Toshiba, or the Fujitsu, sorry if all the options I have mentioend are expensive, but I firmly believe you get what you pay for with laptops, and buy an extended warranty if you can, along with at least 1GB of RAM for video editing

Cheers,
Dave
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:17

Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:17
Thanks for all the info Dave. I intend getting a laptop and a digital camera within the next month so your info will help me to narrow it down. Only have limited $$ but certainly intend getting the extended warranty.
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Reply By: Member - AdrianLR (VIC) - Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:30

Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 14:30
Have a look at Microsoft OneNote. Although it works best on a tablet, even on a normal laptop it would give you a very good way to keep a journal. You can download a free trial. Export to a variety of formats also works well.

The Microsoft OneNote site has lots of free templates that will get you started.

Adrian
AnswerID: 154303

Follow Up By: Austravel - Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:17

Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:17
Thanks will check it out.
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Reply By: Coolman - Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 16:46

Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 16:46
Hi,

Windows XP comes with a program called Microsoft Movie Maker. You can import clips and video camera clips then add them all together. You can overlay with music, voice, sounds, and titles. When you are happy with it you just create a movie file which can then be put on a CD or DVD. You will need other software to create a DVD to play in a DVD player, I recommend this but not essential because most people have a PC.

I break up the movies into a few days or a week.

It is simple, comes free with XP but better for this sort of thing than Powerpoint. I worked out how to use with without reading the instructions (of course).

Good luck.
AnswerID: 154330

Follow Up By: Coolman - Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 16:47

Friday, Feb 10, 2006 at 16:47
"You can import clips and video camera clips" was supposed to be "You can import pictures and video camera clips"
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:20

Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:20
Thanks for the info and the software is free as I have XP. I had a quick play with it but found that it compressed the pictures I used and then when viewing at full screen it was very pixelie (spelling). So will have to spend some more time playing with it.
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Follow Up By: Coolman - Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:24

Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:24
There is a setting when you are actually 'save movie file' which selects the format for the movie and the quality. I always use a higher quality compression such as PAL which provides better quality but does result in bigger files and more capacity on the PC.
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:26

Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:26
Thanks, I'll have to set aside some time and use it, burn some examples and get used to it before I make a decision. Hopefully will get a chance to do it over the coming weeks. Do you mind if I get back to you with any questions??
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Follow Up By: Coolman - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 13:14

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 13:14
no problem. Mail me @ duane_bernie@hotmail.com
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 13:33

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 13:33
Thanks.
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Reply By: RustyHelen - Sunday, Feb 12, 2006 at 20:20

Sunday, Feb 12, 2006 at 20:20
Hi
Yep MS Movie Maker works OK.
I use Ulead V9, cost about $250 but great program. Easy to use and add/subtract. I always add pics to the end of a DVD, even if I pick them out from the video as this gives a bit of a summary.
Have done 2 of our trips now, family wedding and lots of slide shows of the grandchildren. All set to music, with/without titles and also commentary. I just use the Logitech web cam for voice over.
I use transition effects also to seperate sections of the clips.
We do our trip diary in Word, can add pics as well so looks OK.
Rusty
AnswerID: 154608

Follow Up By: Austravel - Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:22

Monday, Feb 13, 2006 at 16:22
Thanks Rusty, I was thinking of just using Word as I already have it but thought there might be something out there bigger, better and not to dear. May just go with one of the MS programs. If not will check out Ulead.
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FollowupID: 408701

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