August 14, 2007 10:59 AM PDT

Thousands of miles, tons of tech

Thousands of miles, tons of tech
Related Stories

Road Trip 2007: Science and tech in the Southwest

August 14, 2007
Related Blogs

Satellite phone brings feeling of safety


August 7, 2007

Altec Lansing's iM600 is a great road trip iPod speaker system


August 6, 2007

HBO's 'The Wire' shines as road trip entertainment


August 2, 2007

Wireless mobile printing in the desert


July 26, 2007

Canon's lenses make a great Road Trip addition


July 25, 2007

EV-DO card saves the day (for now)


July 23, 2007
After 4,981 miles and more stops throughout the American Southwest than I can count, it's over.

Road Trip 2007, that is, which was my journey through Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah--not to mention 30 seconds in Colorado--in search of the best science-, technology-, nature- and architecture-related destinations I could find.

But while I was visiting and writing about, or posting photos of, places like the Grand Canyon Skywalk, the tunnels under Las Vegas, the Titan Missile Museum and many more, I was also carting around a box full of high-tech gadgets to road test.

And on top of that, I was driving a vehicle, an Infiniti QX56--which was provided by the trip's sponsor--that itself had a nearly unending collection of high-tech features.

In the end, I wasn't able to test all the gadgets I brought with me, as I simply ran out of time running from place to place. When you drive almost 200 miles every day on top of spending two or three hours researching a story, processing photos, writing a story, eating and sleeping, there really isn't that much left over.

Still, I did get around to testing a number of them, and here are my thoughts on the ones I reviewed.

road trip gadgets

Verizon Wireless' V740 EV-DO card: This card, which plugged directly into my MacBook Pro, allowed me to connect to the Internet via the company's cell network. When the signal was strong--usually in cities or densely populated areas, but sometimes even in the country--I had a high-speed connection without any limitations. That meant if I saw something I wanted to blog, I could pull the car over by the side of the road and simply do it. I can't recall exactly how many times I did that, but it was quite a few. Even when processing photos, the speed provided by this card was impressive and I often ended up using it instead of the Wi-Fi networks in, say, my hotel.

Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 460wbt: This compact wireless printer is a little Bluetooth-enabled wonder. It lets you print from a laptop with no wires at all because it has a rechargeable battery. That meant that when I needed to print, I was free from any kind of geographic restrictions, and I proved that point one day by printing from the desert. It produced high-quality printouts, even in glossy color, though that kind of printing was extremely slow.

Canon's 10-22mm and 70-300mm zoom lenses: While I occasionally still used the kit 18-55mm lens that came with my Canon Rebel XT digital SLR, I began turning more and more to the 10-22mm ultrawide zoom lens Canon lent me for the trip. Though it was likely not the best lens for the job many times, I kept on using it because I loved the way it allowed me to take a much wider shot than with the 18-55mm lens. The 70-300mm telephoto lens, on the other hand, allowed me to do things like take high-resolution pictures of Navy F-18 Hornets on takeoff. Of all the gadgets I brought with me on this trip, these are the ones that I most regret having to return to their owners.

Road Trip 2007 promo

HBO's The Wire: While I worked like crazy, producing a full story and photo gallery, plus many blogs nearly every day, I still needed some down time. That's where HBO's The Wire, a taut crime drama based in Baltimore, came into play. The company sent me the first three seasons of this show on DVD, and over the course of the trip, I went through all 37 episodes, often only stopping because I just had to get to sleep. This is one of the best shows I've seen in years, easily as good--OK, bring it on--as The Sopranos. It revolves around the standoff between a special crime investigation unit in the city's police department and gangs of street-level drug dealers, and its character development, writing and acting are top-notch.

See more CNET content tagged:
gadget, mile, trip, lens, road

4 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
15-16 MPG??
That's really terrible! For a news site that extols all the great advancements in green technology, I'm dissappointed and find it hypocritical that 5,000 miles would be driven in a glacier melting SUV. A big honkin' full-size SUV at that. Looking over your equipment list, I can't imagine you needed anymore room than an Outback would haul for about half the gasoline. I realize this vehicle was provided by the trip's sponsor but that's no excuse. If you couldn't find someone to sponsor a smaller vehicle, then either use your own or call off this little joy ride.
Posted by squished (67 comments )
Reply Link Flag
15-15 MPG
Dear squished

Sounds more like envy on your part.

First examine how "green" your lifestyle is.
Posted by sneezy--2008 (53 comments )
Link Flag
LOL @ The Wire
The Shield: only show that matters.
Posted by DavyBoyWonder (41 comments )
Reply Link Flag
internet card
Hi. I'm sure Verizon gave you the card to use, and I know through conversations w/ others that it works well, however, I'm wondering if you got to talk w/ anyone that uses a Sprint card, and how well they work? Oh, BTW, nice ride !!
Posted by riggarob (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.