I wanted to blog about this before but it started coming to me after a few trips to Singapore and India. A few of the things you need to plan when traveling include clothing, any medications, electrical doodads (plugs, adaptors, etc) and a variety of those little pesky USB cables which never inter-changeable. Why? I don’t know. Its the way it is. But when it comes to charging a device like a IPOD, phone, or IPAQ PocketPC; the best thing is a little USB charger which plugs into a wall plug that can take a USB cable. There are lots of these out there; but its very handy. There is one that will do two at a time you can find; I just have one that does a single device.
But the main thing I have found is that you need a stable, secure, and decent computer OS to travel with. The needs are one that will provide a quality computing experience, allow you to connect to a variety of networks, be secure, and also take any peripherals you need to plug in with little or no “futzing”. This last trip for me it was Ubuntu Jaunty on my beloved and nicely appointed Lenovo T60. Everything I brought with me worked. My Android phone, my Ipod, my 260g external drive; my cheapo digital camera; even my PocketPC IPAQ device. You need something which you can trust to just work day after day; that does not require rebooting or suffers from strange slowdowns or lethargic letdowns. Exit Vista :).
Ubuntu left me with a very positive user experience and I’d like to thank the guys there. Jaunty just plain did what i asked; never crashed or caused problems; performed its appointed tasks admirably. Just in case though, I had a Virtualbox guest running Windows 7 RC. I may have fired it up twice.
Linux makes a great traveling companion on a laptop. Its easy to update and manage the network settings. I think its more forgiving than the delicate windows stuff. As I’ve said, Windows is only really suited for virtual iron these days. That way I can manage its state, ensure that its backed up by using snapshots. Only use it when completely necessary. That being said, I’ve moved completely away from Vista on virtual iron. Vista is like syrupy slowness glue. Windows 7 is decent in VMWare or Virtualbox.
Next time you travel; consider all the things you need to take. Then consider how important your laptop is to getting your appointed rounds done. For me, ubuntu just works.