Sunday, May 03, 2009

The World Wide Wonder




Timing is everything. If I'd have lived my life the other way round - doing my adventuring in my twenties and then settling down to a conventional life in my mid-thirties - I wouldn't have had the tools to share my adventures with an online audience. In the early Nineties, mobile phones were the size of housebricks, laptops were luggables, and email was in its infancy. Mobile computing was almost non-existent, and when sailors disappeared over the horizon that was pretty much the last you heard of them until they arrived - or didn't - at their destination.

I graduated in 1989 - and I've been doing a bit of research to find out the timeline of what has happened since then:

1990 World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau
1990s Email comes into widespread use after its invention in the 1970s
1994 Blogging begins - Justin Hall was an early blogger
1996 Google founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin
1998 Iridium satellite phone network becomes available commercially
2004 Podcasts begin to emerge
2004 Facebook founded
2005 YouTube created
2006 Twitter invented by Jack Dorsey

So if I'd been adventuring back in 1989, my capacity to share the adventure would have been restricted to a few newspaper articles and maybe a book, and any communication from the ocean would have to be sent back to land via passing ships. Now, I have a plethora of tools at my disposal, and during my voyage I'll be making the most of them, through this blog, Twitter, podcast, video and Facebook. And of course my website at www.rozsavage.com, which will show a map of my sedate progress across the Pacific Ocean.

However, technology is both a blessing and a curse. I'm going through a bit of pain right now, trying to get everything up and running before I launch in 3 weeks time, despite a few issues both technological and human. And my spare satphone has gone missing somewhere in the multiple moves of boat cargo.

I hope that everything will come together so I'll be able to share the adventure with you in all its multimedia glory - without the seasickness!

Pictures: top - the high tech version. In 2007 I was doing all kinds of data gathering, requiring a profusion of paraphernalia. With all this weight up top, no wonder my boat capsized...

bottom - the stripped-down version. We actually took all the fixtures off to allow for repainting, but very little technology will be going back on beyond what you see in this picture. The new strategy is to have very few electronics fixed to the boat - saltwater and sensitive electrical equipment are not a happy combination, so I will be taking mostly handheld devices that will be put away in Aquapacs when not in use. The new strategy is: Less is more/KISS (keep it simple stupid!)



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9 comments:

  1. My my, she looks handsome! Well done Joel!
    Roz; may I suggest that you verify your page as an end-user? There seems to be some overlap between panes.

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  2. Roz. Well done. In case you forgot: from a nerdy technical perspective, you are refining greatly some aspects of technology usage focussed on by Steve Roberts. If you get time, see the links in my old post http://thelastgreatfrontier.blogspot.com/2008/05/steven-roberts-nomadic-research-labs.html for details. (Hmmm I quoted you in that post.) Today you certainly have considerably advanced technology to choose from, but its great to see how you have refined its usage so well. Your next leg will be very interesting in that you will be able to concentrate on the voyage and the comms side of things will hopefully be quite easy. I think I should be able to sit outside in the wind, tip a bucket of water over myself each 20 seconds while reading your blogs (and videos?) and make like I am there. :-)

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  3. John K - I don't quite understand your comment. If you can explain, and tell me how, I will be happy to oblige!

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  4. David - Don't know if you already know this, but Steve is a good friend of mine. In fact, we spoke just a couple of days ago. He was truly a pioneer of mobile computing, and I owe him a huge debt of gratitude as a trailblazer in this field. I'm hoping that some plans we hatched a few years ago may finally find the funding to come to fruition. Watch this space!

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  5. This page has a rendering problem (at least in Safari 4 Public Beta (5528.16)) wherein the second boat photo overlaps the "Related articles by Zemanta" pane.

    More annoying: the page traps the back button (so, in my case, I can't return to the RSS feed in Safari).

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  6. Anonymous2:55 pm GMT

    The overlap is happening in IE too.
    All of the text in the Related articles is in one long horizontal line to the left of the picture.

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  7. Hey Roz, when you get the electronic out of the aquabag, remember to give it some time to adjust to the "outside climate". i found that the waterproof package can actually create moisture inside if you pack the instrument away during a warm day, especially in the tropics where you'll be, it then sits in the cabin over night, cools down and condensation happens. i've had a digital camera die on me because that *one* time i didn't wait long enough to take my first morning picture and the condensation inside the camera hadn't evaporated yet. i realize that it's a less likely problem with water resistant handheld equipment but probably true for i-pod, i-phone, etc.

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  8. Thanks, Adventure Mate, for the tip. Will bear that in mind.

    Sorry to hear that people have had some problems with the formatting of the page. It looks just fine on my browser - Firefox running on an Mac.

    Unfortunately there really isn't anything I can do about it. This blog is on Google's Blogger platform and is NOT part of my website, so I have no governance over it. But feel free to write to Google on my behalf!

    Maybe in the future I should just post one photo. And once I'm on the ocean I won't be posting the Zemanta links. I was trying to add value to the blog, but maybe I should just keep it simple.

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  9. I'd keep posting photos regardless of rendering problems.

    IMO the Zemanta links don't add value. I'd rather see them go.

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