Tuesday, June 7, 2011

SCGS Burbank Jamboree - Here I come!

This post is for the technology challenged - no, you're not alone!!!

Time is getting close for the Southern California Genealogical Society’s Jamboree in Burbank, California. I’ll be heading that way soon and spend some time doing genealogical research in Los Angeles and visiting relatives in Southern California.

In the meantime, I’ve been undergoing some technological challenges just getting prepared for the trip. First I had to pull out my automobile GPS from it’s hiding place in the house, so I could take it in my rental car from LAX to find my way around Southern California. I hadn’t used it in over a year, so I had to figure out how to turn it on. I don’t have a AC adapter for it so I had to plug it into the cigarette lighter to charge, finally I got the idea that it had a battery inside, so I could charge it up in the car and bring it back into the house to enter the addresses of the places I’d be traveling to in California! Oh yeah, now I remember. That was pretty easy. But I need to pack the GPS, the cable, and the attacher-thing that sticks onto the windshield.

Then there was my cell phone, not a smart phone, just a regular cell phone. No big challenges there, but must remember the charging cable.

My Acer Netbook (purchased Nov 2008) will get it’s first researching trip baptism. It’s a little laptop computer without the CD/DVD drive. I’d taken it to Lanai Island last year and used a Verizon Broadband prepaid “aircard” which worked well.  So I called Verizon to double check just how to do that and how to get the credit to connect to the internet. The answer: telephone Verizon wireless and pay for a month’s 5 GB usage (expires in 30 days) for $50 – or something like that - with a credit card... OK!

Not wanting to run out of batter power at the Conference, I ordered an additional battery for the Netbook (6 cell) for about $40 Friday before Memorial Day. I added the 2 day service so it would be sure to get here before I left for the Conference June 7th. By chance, on May 31st, I looked at my g-mail account (which I don’t usually look at or use) and there was a note from the battery company (“Go-go-Power”) saying that UPS or FedEx or whoever, didn’t have a 2 day shipment to Hawaii, so they refunded $12.50 and sent it USPS. I was got nervous that since it was saying it hadn’t shipped yet, it wouldn’t get to Hawaii before June 6th. That day, at my mailbox…. There was the battery!!!! Good work USPS!!!

Then, since I wanted to do some Geocaching with my grandson in Arizona, I had to pack my Geocaching Garmin GPS. Hadn’t used it in 6 months, but just threw in some newly checked or recharged batteries for it. Also hunted down the USB cord that connects it to the computer…of course.

I needed to pack my fancy “pedometer” for my week at Canyon Ranch for doing all my workouts and exercises and hikes. I threw in the instruction booklet, as I’ve never figured out how to use it!

Must take my buddy, my iPod!!!! Can’t be without it to hear all the genealogy podcasts (The Genealogy Guys, Genealogy Gems, Family Tree Magazine, and especially the new BlogTalkRadio shows of Thomas MacEntee) .. So I got my adapter plug, and after downloading the latest shows, added the iPod cable to the ziplock that goes in my Carry-on. In fact ALL my electronics and chargers go in my Carry-On.

Of course I might want to do family interviews, so I threw in my sweet little microphone (Belkin Tune Talk iPod Recorder) that goes on the end of my iPod. Also I have a one-battery iPod speaker that also can fit onto the iPod. So cute!!

Did I mention that on May 31st, Oceanic Times Warner Cable Company called asking me to bring in my old cable modem to my computer, and get a brand new, faster, better modem. I said “no, it will be too complicated.” She said, “Oh no, it’s like plugging in a lamp.” -- famous last words. So I made the exchange and found I couldn’t attach my PC computer to the one USB port (as I'd done) and still connect my Netbook to the one Ethernet Port -  because they hadn’t give me the disc to download the USB port driver… “too complicated”… they said I should get a Router, then I could have wireless if I wanted, in addition to the cable. That sounded good (no extra service charge for "wireless"), so I went to Costco and bought their Router (the top of the line $119 new router by Cisco)….they only had the one model. Then I found out my Netbook could not connect to the cable or the wireless. I spent 90 minutes on the phone to “Sarah” at Costco’s Concierge Service to try to figure it out. Unfortunately she didn’t have a router at her home, or even internet, but she used the “trouble shooting manuel”. Well that didn’t work, but she tried. So my two IT savey neighbors came over, and after TWO days of work they got the Netbook to work with the cable (needed “automatic” checked for the IP address) and found out that the Netbook had a WEP encryption and the router was on the much more complex WPA2 encryption system… so it will never work, unless I downgrade the router to WEP, then that isn’t so good for the PC security… So I left it alone and am happy to just use cable on my Netbook with the Ethernet cable, and my PC can also use Ethernet cable because there are four Ethernet ports on the router.   Does that make sense??

Not wanting to feel unchallenged, I went to the Navy Exchange and, after looking at cheaper modems and wringing my hands, I bought—of course—a new Sony DSC H70 Cybershot Camera. Oh the joy of figuring out a new camera. But I did need it, my old one doesn’t have a 10x optical zoom, or Panorama option (very cool). So I have to pack that battery charger, cable, extra battery, extra memory.

I don’t know, did I forget anything?? I’ll see when I get to Burbank. The last thing I added to my checked bag was my Hula Skirt…. We’ll have fun at the ice cream social for Geneabloggers at the Marriott on Friday night at the Jamboree. I’m ready for some fun!!!


Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Looking forward to meeting you there, Donna!

Sheri said...

Hula Skirt! Right on! You won't be alone Donna, I am bringing mine and have 2 extra for those that forget theirs! I have leis also for everyone!