Subject: Digital storage while traveling
Hello fellow digital Ziners:

Here are my comments in regards to running out of memory on a trip and a solution to transferring the files to free up the memory cards.

Sometime ago my wife and I spent seven weeks traveling all over the UK: London, Bath, the Cotswolds, Cardiff and a bit of Wales, the Lake District, Glasgow, Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands and back to London. Then we spent a dream week in Paris and returned home.

I found it took time to find a place, be it an internet café or photo shop, to upload image files onto their compute & then burn CDs plus the time consumed doing the task & the cost. Most internet cafes exist to surf the web, word processing or playing games & do not have the equipment or will not permit it due to fear of copy write law. At least that was experience at that time. Internet café time has to be considered along with their charge for a fee to burn a CD and sometimes they charged me for a CD, even though I brought my own. Sometimes they used mine and sometimes would not use mine.

The one time I went to one of the well know Jessop's photo shop chain in Cardiff, I had to upload all six 128MB cards on a kiosk at their location which was not near my B&B. This took considerable time. My wife was extremely unhappy when I finally got back to the car. Worse yet, the job wasn't complete when I returned later in the afternoon. Something "malfunctioned" with their computer and one or two cards did not get burned to CDs. I had to do it all over again and come back later. This time my wife blew up, with good reason.

If you decide to go this route, to be safe, you need to burn second back up CD just in case the original is lost or damaged in shipment. This adds additional time for packaging and shipping the CD back home along with the cost. It steals time from the vacation.

Many of the areas we explored were very rural and of course had no internet cafes, so I found myself being forces to delete images to regain space on cards. I hate working that way. It took time away from the vacation of seeing things and spending quality time with my wife. I observed many other tourists doing the same thing when we stopped for a coffee break. Give me a break! A real one!

For such a long trip, memory demands sufficient cards, which can be an initial large investment.

A solution to burning CDs along the trip can be eliminated by purchasing a Memory Bank. There are many different brands and versions available. Here are a few: Delkin efilm PicturePad and a clone by Nivue. They have 40GB hard drives. The one I like is the FlashTrax offered by SmartDisk. It has a 3.5" color LCD screen and either a 40 or 80GB hard drive and can accommodate MP3 audio files, video and data files. With the advent of larger megapixel camera, this is the only ay to go if you are gone on a long tip and shoot many pictures.

Hope this info is helpful. Steve Wohl in chilly dreary Chicago