Christopher Goes Electric
14/01/12Resisted for a long time, but a chance encounter with Andrew Knightly Brown in Jaisalmer last year finally persuaded me to shell out for a netbook to carry with me in the field.
The Dell Mini 9 is no longer in production, thus I picked one up off e-Bay for a song, and it was quickly upgraded with a 16GB RunCore hard drive and 2GB RAM. The beauty of this machine is its size, with an 8.9" screen I can pretty much slip it in a (big) pocket yet retain all the functionality of a proper laptop.
I abhor the idea of carrying any extra baggage, but calculate that by leaving my camera manual and rarely-used guide book at home and instead loading pdf versions I can pretty much cancel out the extra size and weight of the Dell.
The plus side is easier photo back-up management (the netbook will copy an 8GB CF card to SDHC in about 12 minutes), occasional e-mail access (in Delhi since 2011 you have to produce a passport and fill in a police registration form if you want to use the 20 year old computers in an internet cafe) but most importantly the chance to review pics at a reasonable size after each day's shoot.
I can't be the only photographer who hates going back over the day's bag...it was so much more civilised in the days of film, when you staggered back to your hotel, chucked your exposed reels in the bottom of your rucksack, had a wash from a tin bucket & headed off for dinner; however doing so helps me pick up those beginner's mistakes (we all do it) and correct them while there's still a sporting chance of redemption. It still puts a little smile on my face though when I spend the night in a place which simply doesn't have electricity.