Monday, November 26, 2012

Tech Upgrades Galore!

I've been busy!
New Computer.  I upgraded my 2008 HP Pavilion to a new HP Pavilion G6.  The newer version weighs less than half what the old one does and has a much longer battery life – 2 important considerations when traveling.

Mine's the super-cute blue one!
New Kindle.  I’ve had the Kindle Fire on my Amazon Wish List for a while now.  But today, Cyber Monday, Amazon had a smoking deal (get it?) on the Fire for $129.  I got it along with the accelerated charger, and the leather cover. 

I absolutely love my current Kindle 3G but …..


I also added the Prime Account (cost = $59 for the year as opposed to the usual $79/year).  My order should arrive on Wednesday.  That’s another nice perk from Prime – free 2-day shipping.  I just set up our Roku so I can stream movies and TV for free at home too.  Well, not free exactly, but for less than $5/month.   That will be nice on the road as well.    

New Wi-Fi.  On my past trips in the GDB, I used free wi-fi.  It was only slightly inconvenient but sometimes I missed being connected in the evenings while camped.  During the day, I used locations from libraries to Starbucks to hospitals.  My favorite wi-fi spot was Lowe’s.  But, because I’ll be teaching online, I need the capability to access the internet immediately and often.  After a lot of research, I’ve decided on Millenicom.  Many of you are using this service and the feedback is overwhelmingly positive.  Here’s the opinion of fellow blogger Wheeling It:


Whew!  All of this gadget switch-over is time-consuming.  For example, I’m slowly transferring all my files to the new HP - that’s 4 years of photos alone.  Not to mention learning how to operate Windows 8.  And when the new Kindle arrives, I’ll be busy learning all its features.  After that, I’ll tackle the Millenicom hardware.    

Especially nice is the fact that our older HP can stay home with John so we can Skype!  We tested the system yesterday and it worked beautifully.  Doris joined in showing up on camera and adding some audio as well.  It’s gonna be nice to see her sweet little face every day.  John’s too! 

Another improvement to life on the road will be having my local library’s audio books on the Kindle.  Much more convenient than discs.  Plus, I can return and renew easily, unlike books-on-CD. 

Do you ever feel like we are all caught up in some technological rip-tide?  Yet aren’t we fortunate to have access to all these gadgets that make road tripping easier?  GPS, digital cameras, smart phones, wi-fi, e-readers ….

IMO,despite the price of gasoline, there’s been no better time to be a gypsy! 




  1. Hi there - how did you get the $59 fee for Amazon Prime? I have looked everywhere on their website and can't see it at that price.

    Thank you!

  2. Hi Barbara,

    When I put the Kindle in my shopping cart, the $59 offer popped up. So I guess maybe you have to buy something to get the offer?


  3. Wow, you've been busy! It's killing me that there are so many great deals out there, today is Cyber Monday for goodness sakes, and I don't NEED anything!

    I guess that's a good thing? :)

  4. I love my tech toys. I wouldn't be out here without them to keep me connected to my world.

  5. I want internet when I want it; a Gypsy vardo... and John

    Just sat on Santa's knee and he said I could ...

    1. John wants to know why he was #3 on the list.

    2. HAhaaa .... well? I was a little shy at first .... been a loooong time since I sat on Santa's knee but I needed to! I slipped John in at the last minute because I didn't want to go to hell for coveting and well... it just slipped out ... he didn't even ask if John was someone else's... nice Santa ;)

  6. It's time for a new laptop so I'm interested in your Windows 8 experience, friend of mine just about lost it while trying to master it!

    Sounds like you have enough toys to keep you entertained until Christmas.

    1. After a few days of working with it, I have to say that Windows 8 isn't better - it's just different. Takes a little getting used to. I really like some of the new features in the photos application.

  7. Cool! You have been busy and did your homework. Looks like good choices. I like all your new techno gadgets and now I too will need to update my connectivity. Thanks for sharing your new discoveries.

  8. Oh I want the red HP! I still need to get busy & transfer all my vids & pix to my external hard drive. Had a computer scare earlier this week & thought I'd better get busy with that.

    Enjoy your new toys! Toys just got cooler :-)

  9. YAY I love new technology but it is a bit of a pain setting it all up. Hey here's a tip -- subscribe to Carbonite or SOS or some similar online storage. Then you can transfer files VERY FAST. I've been doing that for years. I use SOS now because it's simpler to use and I can access my files from any computer anywhere. This is especially important as you begin writing stuff for classes (announcements, grading comments, etc.) that you want to use over and over again! You DO NOT want to lose that stuff.

    Have fun!

  10. Hi, Kim,

    I just finished up a week of trekking across southern Utah with my Millenicom USB760 (the Verizon 20GB plan.) I was able to get a signal every place I tried, even way out by Lake Powell. (I went with the USB "stick" version because I have to go through a router to be able to use my work PC, so I also bought a Cradlepoint router. I have had it a year, and been very happy so far...

  11. I say all the time how grateful I am to live in this modern dispensation so that we have the blessings of technology. I agree, it is what will allow me to roam freely, safely and stay in touch!

    I am so happy for you that you were able to do all of this. I know it is time-consuming, but what fun! I'm just now reading this but doing the happy dance for you nonetheless. :)

  12. We love our Millenicom; switched from the stick version to the mi-fi before we got on the road and it has been great; we barely made a dent in the 20GB limit this month because we've been in places with great wi-fi access ... but that won't always be the case.


Let's chat !