Another question… blogging on the go?

question

I’m totally ignorant of all the cunning wee devices now available to help people to blog on the go. Any suggestions for something inexpensive to run, efficient and light, but easy to type on? Something which incorporates, or for which it’s possible to get hold of, a fold-out keyboard of some sort would be particularly welcome.

Thanks for any help, peeps!

Edited to add: I’d also like it to come with GPS so I can take my Quo maps and do digital mapping… otherwise Piglet and I may never return!

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16 Responses to Another question… blogging on the go?

  1. Shirl, I could say iPhone or you could do the Nokia as Alan has.
    But you have opened a big can of worms here, it can be a very emotive subject.

  2. peewiglet says:

    Emoting welcome! Please advise 🙂

    I’ll need to get something with good battery life, as I’m not going to be doing many B&Bs. Is that feasible?

    Also, it would be v. useful if it incorporated a GPS so that I can do digital mapping, for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who’s ever read any of my writeups… *g*

  3. alan.sloman says:

    Shirl,
    I believe my Nokia E90 Communicator is no longer a current model. But I do think it is pretty good – massive battery life, a good ‘clicking’ keyboard and an 800 pixel width screen. At the end of my 18 month comtract I will be keeping hold of it as I don’t think there is anything better out there which is reliable. (Having said that I am sure that is only because I haven’t played with an i-phone.)
    The Nokia has a good camera and also a gps (but I never use that, so I couldn’t tell you how good the GPS is)
    As a blogging device it is first-class.

  4. Phil says:

    If it was me (if ONLY it was me….) I’d keep the GPS seperate. I know that’s a very un-lightweight view, but you’re effectively combining two electronic devices on one battery, so how do you feel about running the battery down in the evening writing a blog post and not having a GPS for the next day? Might be worth looking at some of the various solar charging options? I can do you a good deal on a wind turbine but they’re a bit weighty…..

    Something else to think about, you’re probably going to find that something that does one function well, won’t be so hot on the other… As with all kit choice, compromises are very individual and I’m looking forward to finding out what you choose!

  5. blogpackinglight says:

    One advantage of the iPhone is that a battery extender is available: http://blogpackinglight.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/iphone-battery-extender/ which uses AA batteries. However, having seen Alan’s Nokia, I think it looks easier to type on. Also O2 coverage on the iPhone leaves a bit to be desired.

  6. John Hesp says:

    The Nokia E90 uses the Symbian operating system, whereas I see Quo runs on Windows Mobile 5 (or higher).

  7. alan.sloman says:

    Just caught up with this.
    I wouldn’t use the phone for anything other than a communications device – text, email, voice and Internet. If you wanted to run mapping software then I would use a separate device. Same as Phil said earlier – I would use a separate GPS as well.

  8. John Hesp says:

    Fair point Alan. The screens a bit small for GPS mapping too I’d imagine. I would expect the Symbian OS to be better in many respects than Windows. That comment based on ten years of using Epoc, its predecessor, which apart from anything else never crashed.

  9. Piglet says:

    Many thanks, all of you, for the helpful information.

    I was initially v. keen on Alan’s Nokia, but when I looked into it y/day it turned out that I can’t use my Quo maps with it (because of the operating system issue John mentioned), and since I’ve just spent what feels like tons of dosh on Quo I’m pretty determined not to buy another set of map data, and it looks as though the Nokia is out, for GPS at least.

    The point about keeping GPS and other functions seperate is a very good one–thanks for that–and that’s what I’ll do.

    I’m in a bit of a quandary now. I’d like to have a mobile blogging capability, and also to have the GPS with mapping, but buying even one new gadget felt a bit spendthrift, and buying two feels like an absolute no no, so I’m going to have to think about it a bit further.

    Colin’s got an HTC Touch Pro that he’s very happy with, and that does work with the Quo maps, but when I looked on Amazon last night I found some rather mixed reviews, including the following which I’m pasting here in full because it struck me as the funniest thing I’d ever read by way of review of an electronic gadget *g*

    After owning this phone for 8 weeks I am amazed how awful it is, if ever there is a case for “not fit for purpose” this phone is it.

    HTC have tried so hard to create a slick graphic interface that they seem to have forgetten that this is in fact a phone, not just a screen with lots of pretty pictures, and it is as a phone that this device completely lacks any user friendliness.

    This phone cannot perform the task of making and receiving calls with any reliability. The phone dialler interface has been designed without any thought.

    The most annoying aspect of the phone is the inclusion of a large on-screen “END CALL” button, which is posibly the most stupid and pointless idea I have ever encountered on a phone. THIS IS A MAJOR FAULT WITH THE PHONE because you can’t put the phone to your ear without rejecting a call, also if the phone is in your pocket, or in a case the phone will ALWAYS REJECT A CALL.

    HTC must have found the same problem when they tested the phone, so instead of redesigning the inteface they have just disabled the screen as soon as a call is answered, making dealing with other incoming calls or checking messages very difficult. Words cannot discribe how useless this very expensive device is as a phone.

    Is there anything about this phone that I like..hmmm lets think…no.

    It crashes, the user interface is a step back from the previous one, the phone often needs restting, the reception is awful, the speaker is almost silent, the glossy case gets grubby almost instantly, GPS connection is slow causing Satnav software to lag, the Music player will not sync with Windows media player, the keyboard is buggy, battery life is poor, the on screen keyboard changes from alpha numeric to Qwerty and sync with Outlook can be problematic.

    In summation, I have owned and used PDA’s for around 7 years now, and this smartphone has to be the most awful device I have ever owned. I am so fed up with it I have begun using my old phone.

    Ooops…

  10. Laura says:

    I’ve just put Viewranger maps onto my Nokia phone – it works very well – but just for a location check now and again – I wouldn’t keep it switched on all day. I don’t know about the blogging bit – I only read them not write them!

    • peewiglet says:

      Hi Laura,

      That’s interesting, thanks. I’m trying to avoid having to buy maps again (it would be the third time), but it may make sense to go that way. What sort of Nokia have you got? Mine’s a truly tiny thing, so I’d need a new phone.

  11. Hi Shirley
    As you probably know, I’ve done a lot of ‘blog from the trail’ postings over the past 18 months. I have a Blackberry 8320 on an Orange (Dolphin 20) contract which has worked fine (subject to a few small tips that I’ll pass on if you get one). The charger is very light, and I take a spare battery. Gayle has one of these on a pay as you go basis, and it seems to work for her.
    I use printed maps and (sometimes) a Garmin GPS just for ‘position confirmation’ as I often seem to get misplaced – I’m sure a GPS phone would have battery issues, though as my 18 month contract has ended I am on the lookout…..
    Have fun
    Martin

    • peewiglet says:

      Thanks, Martin. THat’s v. helfpul!

      When you say you’re on the lookout because your contract has ended, do you mean you’re not going to continue with the Blackberry for blogging? If not, can you tell me why? And what are you looking at? I saw a £20pm contract for a Blackberry Curve (lovely in mauve!) today and it looked most alluring.

      Re: the GPS, I only want it as a backup. I’ll be taking printed maps, of course, and I’ve got a little Garmin. Being such a crap navigator, though, I really like the idea of being able to actually *see* my position on a map if I’m lost.

  12. I’m very happy with the Blackberry Curve 8320, so it would take a lot to make me change, though the casing is slightly cracked. What I’m not happy about is all the “We’ll send you a new phone, then” calls from Orange agents trying to tie me into a new contract.

    I can’t remember how I did it, but I just have one email address assigned to the phone, and that receives no spam. It’s very rarely used – if anyone really wants to make contact they can phone or text, and I can use webmail for other emails (unless someone at home has already downloaded them).

    I think we use our GPSs in the same way – I’m happy to hang on to the Garmin for now, though having an equivalent unit on the phone would perhaps be worth the weight of an extra battery. Having said that, Sophie Easterbrook’s Satmap gadget looked very enticing!

  13. peewiglet says:

    Thanks again, Martin–that’s really helpful. I’ll take a v. close look at the Blackberry.

    I like the idea of the Satmap gadgets too, but not the idea of having to buy digital mapping for the third time 😦

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