The Tiniest Computer!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I am writing this post on my new Asus Eee PC (2GB Surf), received for FREE (thank you Royal Bank!). It's the most base model, but is meant to give me a (FREE) preview of the general category of devices from Asus, and let me knock about with the Linux operating system, and generally see if this type of device is worthy of pack-space on my big trip. So far I like it, though I haven't been able to connect to the wireless network in the office (I'm connected to the LAN right now).

If I do take an Eee PC with me, it will most likely be this one. It has the same diminutive form factor (a mere 9" wide x 6-1/2" deep x 1-1/2" thick), but has a bigger screen, 20GB of memory, and (supposedly) better battery life. They seem to be worth about $600 on eBay right now, but I hope that as more newer models are introduced, that price may come down. I won't be buying anything until the new year.

The other big thing I need to decide is whether to go with the Linux, or with the Windows XP version. Part of the reason for getting the (FREE) 2GB model was to have a chance to test-drive the operating system. If all goes well, Linux may be the smarter choice.

Oh, and did I mention it was FREE?!

Blog 101

In case you're not familiar with blogs, here's an overview of how mine works: What you're reading right now is a single post called "Blog 101". The blog is made up of lots and lots of these posts which I'll write and publish on a semi-irregular schedule. There will be links which are highlighted like this. Click on them and you'll be directed away from the post to somewhere else. Click your browser's "Back" button and you'll come back here.

There will be photos like the one in the top left. If you click on the photos you'll be taken away from the blog to my Flickr page where you can see a better quality copy of the photo, download it if you want, and look at all my other public Flickr photos.

There might even be embedded videos, like this one I took waiting in the starting corral of the 112th Boston Marathon. Click on the play button and it should start playing (if your browser is compatible, and you had enough bandwidth to load it when the page loaded, and the various other gods of the internet are smiling on you). I'm not sure how often I'll post videos - they take a long time to upload to the blog, and there will be many instances when my internet connection won't be fast enough for this. Enjoy them when you get them. Videos are

At the bottom of each post there's a link you can click on to add a comment on that post. It's hard to miss - it says "Post a Comment". Click there and a new window will pop open where you can say things like, "Hey Pam, it sounds like you're having a great time in Morocco. Things here are great too, except it's been raining for 2 weeks and my canoe is leaking..." Please send lots of comments, it turns this blog into a two-way medium instead of just my lonely cry in the dark.

At the very top of the page is the black Blogger Bar (say that five times fast...). If you enter a search term in the box and click on "Search Blog", it'll show all the posts with your search term in them.

Next is the beautifully crafted Go See Run Eat Drink header image, which my friend Phonella and I spent many many hours on, so please take a moment to really look at it. It's quite lovely. Click anywhere on it and you'll be taken to the most recent post.

Just under the lovely header image is a menu bar with a bunch of buttons you can click on:
  • "Home" will take you to the most recent post.
  • "Welcome" will bring you to the first post - "Welcome to Go See Run Eat Drink".
  • "Blog 101" will bring you back to this post.
  • "Maps" will take you to the Google maps of my trip.
  • "Running Log" will take you to a spreadsheet detailing my running while I'm traveling.
  • "Links" will take you to a post with links to a lot of my favourite travel related websites.
Along the right hand side is the appropriately-named "sidebar". It's got:
  • My profile, with a little blurb.
  • My count-down clock, which is counting down to my estimated day and time of departure. Once I leave, it'll start counting up - keeping track of how long I've been on the road.
  • A tiny window into my Google map. You can pan and zoom inside this little window without even leaving the blog! Cool!
  • ADDED JUNE 5, 2009: "Last Known Location" - which will tell you the last place I was when I remembered to update you with the last place I was.
  • The Archives, where you can check out all my past posts. Click on the little triangle arrow to expand or collapse the archives for each month.
  • The Tag Cloud, which is an interactive view of all the different labels I've assigned to different posts. The more times a label has been used, the bigger it appears in the Tag Cloud. Click on any one of those words and you'll be taken to a page containing all the posts with that label.
  • My Flickr badge, with an ever-changing random selection of photos from my Flickr page. Click on any of those little pictures to go to the Flick page for that photo. Click on the text at the bottom of the badge to go to the main page for all my photos.
At the very bottom is the fine print, and an inspirational quote. There's also an image of my email address. It's not click-able. You'll have to actually remember it and type it into a message. This is so that nasty web-crawling spiders can't read my email address off the blog and inundate me with spam while I'm busy trying to upload photos, check my email, or watch Youtube videos of cute puppies or people attempting to jump over piles of derelict cars on skateboards.

And that's it. You're now fully educated in the architecture of my blog, so click around and check it out.

And thanks for coming.

Welcome to Go See Run Eat Drink!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thanks for stopping by. I've started this blog in an attempt to chronicle my year-long traveling adventure, including the preparations, the nerves, the packing, the good-byes, the sights, the running, the food and drink, the fun, the highs, the lows and, finally, the coming home. For those who are new to this plan, here it is in four easy steps:

1. Work in my current job for one more season (until the end of May, 2009).
2. Sell my house and put my stuff in storage.
3. Travel the world for a year.
4. Come back to Canada, find a new job in a new city, and start a new life.

Why did I decide to write a blog instead of just emailing my exploits to friends and family? Well, I thought that pushing my emails on people might get a bit tiresome for those left behind in the cold and dark of a Canadian winter ("Oh great, another email from Pam, with pictures of her sunning on a terrace on the Piazza San Marco. Charming. I'll read that as soon as I finish shoveling the driveway for the 9th time this week.") Also, I thought it would be nice to have everything arranged in a neat package for myself to look over during and after the whole event. A blog seems like a good way to do both those things. I can keep a sort of diary of my experience, and you can come and look when you want, if you want. The name of the blog is, of course, comprised of the 5 main activities of the trip, in the approximate order in which they will occur: going places, seeing things, having a bit of a run, and then having something to eat and drink.

I have to say a big big thank you to Phonella, my Blogger layout expert, HTML coach and overall booster. The reason this blogs looks as good and functions as well as it does is entirely due to her work. Thanks! Go ahead and click around to discover all the great features of this blog, or for an exhaustive guide to Go See Run Eat Drink, check out my post called Blog 101.

And because no blog of mine would be complete without a mention of the Boston Marathon, here is me at the top of Heartbreak Hill during the 112th running of the Boston Marathon on April 21st, 2008.