Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gone Awry

Before we embarked on The Trip Of Our Lifetime, I was sorely tempted to give up my current refurbished MacBook for the newer, lighter model with a spiffy aluminum body. But then, common sense (or what I mistook for common sense) prevailed - tight trip budget, deep unease about traveling with a shiny new laptop, and plus the current comp was still functioning well - so I clicked the Apple website shut and that was that.

For the same reasons, we decided against purchasing new replacements for Dan's aging-fast-but-still-faithful Olympus pro-sumer camera and its matching waterproof casing for taking photos under water. The latter had, on one occasion to Pulau Aur, already proved to be unrealiable.

Well our key gadgets have been serving up the epitome of bad behaviour in the past couple of weeks.

(1) Pulling The Plug

This happened pretty early on the trip while we were in Denver, USA. The power adapter for my MacBook conked out. Probably my fault for dragging it around the floor at home and dropping it a couple of times. We paid US$70 for a new replacement from the Apple store. Yaaay, Dan no longer has to share his cable with me and life goes on.

(2) Black Magic

Two days ago, while sailing from St Kitts to Puerto Rico, my lappy decided that it was a really great time to suffer a blackout. The display flickered and literally went black, making it impossible to read anything on the screen. Online FAQs informed us that this was due to a problem with the backlight and the description of the work needed to resussitate the display screen sounded really complicated. And expensive.

Fortunately, I've been religiously backing up all my photos on an external storage driver, so... phew. But now I'm stuck with a practically brand-new and now useless power adapter.

(3) Being Phoney

My iPhone galantly decided to mourn the demise of the MacBook and corresponding iTunes library - by making all the music stored on the phone go into repeat mode indefinitely. The 'repeat' icon has strangely disappeared and is nowhere to be found on the phone display - so I can't 'unrepeat' my songs! It's been driving me batty.

(4) o-LIMP-us

Dan's Olympus digicam has been having a high time turning itself on without him knowing - no thanks to the scarily-loose power dial that toggles ever so easily. A great drain on the camera battery. And it's owner.

(5) Diving Dry (Not!)

Dan's waterproof housing gave us a good scare last August when it sprung a leak during a dive trip to Malaysia. We forgot to get new O-rings for it before this trip but after a few trial runs in a couple of swimming pools and beaches on this trip, the sturdy case regained our trust by keeping his camera nice and dry.

Today, in the pitch blackness of Mosquito Bay, his camera had a good soak in the leaky housing. It was a pretty bath - water filled with bright green luminscent phytoplankton, but water nevertheless. Very warm, 3-times-saltier-than-the-ocean seawater.

(6) Just Shoot Me

My Sony Cybershot digicam was a birthday gift (at least I think so...) from Dan, complete with a waterproof casing. I love it for its super-macro mode - perfect for capturing those lovely colours and details on tiny sea creatures. It's handy size also meant that I could sneak the camera into my pockets on all the Six Flags rollercoaster rides - saving me the trouble of renting a locker or leaving it unattended in the cubby holes provided. Unfortunately, after a few rides, the camera started feeling the teeth-rattling effects of the coasters and started vibrating at will. It has since recovered from the bumpy rides and we're hoping it won't go nuts again.

As a result of this techical shake-up, we have alot of expensive replacements to make. Unfortunately, we've since left the US and are on a small island called Vieques off Puerto Rico, all set to fly into Colombia tomorrow afternoon. From there, we move south - making it extremely expensive to have anything shipped from the US or Singapore to wherever we are or will be heading. Some dealers don't even ship to Latin America at all. And unless we can find reasonably-priced gadgets from reliable electronics dealers in Latin America (my flimsy grasp of the Spanish language is going to be taken to task), things are looking expensive.

So folks, the lesson to learn here is - it may pay to invest in newer gadgets when going on a long, important trip to faraway places. Especially key ones that you rely heavily on to do online research, keep in touch and capture those precious trip memories i.e. laptops and cameras. It may eat into your trip budget at the onset, but the cost would probably be a fraction of what you would pay for replacements when you're halfway around the world, on a budget which is even smaller than what you started with.

Sponsors.... anyone? (hopeful look)

Post script: after putting in this entry, Dan reminded me about our poor tripod who broke a leg on this trip and got dumped on the cruise. So that's another piece of equipment gone kaput!


WeLoveRoy said...

The Gadget Gods are angry and require a sacrifice to be appeased!! An Ipod touch usually does the trick. Please do bag your Ipod and send to my address and I will help perform the ritual for you guys.. :p

Dannie said...

But.... you'd just sell it!

Lint said...

Maybe that's cuz you're in the BAHAMAS....and you know, the BERMUDA triangle is having effects on the electronic shtuff!

I got the place right, right??? *hopeful* (it was a shot in the dark)

Dannie said...

Lint: OMG! You're right! Maybe the Triangle was fritzing all our stuff!

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