Spending a month in isolated places in the South Pacific, having to carry a limited amount of luggage turned, out to be the perfect experiment as to what are the most useful gadgets to carry. And here they go:

Ipod: yes, i pods are pure genius, especially when attached to small speakers. They weigh nothing, you can listen to them on the plane or as you jog or cycle, and when you are in your hotel room, you attach small speakers to them and have all the music you ever loved, right there with you.

Laptop: I have had all sorts of laptops and my favorite is an Acer Travelmate 370 series. One gb of ram, 40 gb hard drive and weighs less than a kilo. Yes, the screen is small but when you travel low weight is crucial and it has Wifi, modem, ethernet, etc. I used to have a 3G card sold by Vodafone but I could never get it to work reliably. If I need to do quick e mail I use the blackberry.

80gb Portable Hard Drive: USB based portable hard drives are better in my view than trying to find a laptop with 120gb hard drive. External is cheaper, lighter, more functional. In it I have all my music, photos and back ups.

Garmin Etrex GPS: what a great little gadget that is. Much better than the PDA based GPS systems. Garmin understands what is it that an explorer type person needs. This GPS comes with a simple map of the world but as you travel around you make your own maps, with waypoints and tracks. I love it! I use it on planes, cars, bicycles, and fits in my pocket.

Canon Digital Rebel: ok, it is bulkly, inconvenient to carry, heavy and defeats many of the other rules I was laying out before but the quality of the pictures is amazing. The Digital Rebel will beat any pocket size camera. After years of carrying small cybershots and pentios I have decided that if you are going to come to the other side of the world you might as well take a good picture…and it talks to your laptop with the same cable as your Blackberry.

Blackberry: I still use the one with the lousy screen and the full keyboard. I use it because I love the full keyboard, as opposed to itap or t9 dictionaries, and because nothing works as well around the world to get your e mail. Interestingly, the only important country in which it won´t work is Japan.

A Moto or Razor Phone that is liberated to work with any operator: Yes, operators around the world love to rip you off with roaming charges, so wherever I go where I am going to stay over 4 days I buy a local sim card and use it on the Moto by Motorola.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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tono on December 17, 2006  · 

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