Ok, so as I wrote in my earlier blogs, I will be going to Paris for a vacation next month. The flight there is 9 hours long. The flight back is 11 hours. I guess the flight over there catches the jetstream so that's why it's faster. Anyway, that's 20 hours of sitting on my butt in coach on an airplane. The question is, what can I do to kill all that time? Here are some thoughts I had on the subject.
- Read books on the Palm Pilot. I have a 1GB memory card in my Palm Pilot and LOTS of books on that memory card. That could certainly pass the time. This would be good because I already have everything I need and it doesn't take up as much space and weight as a bunch of printed books. I also picked up a cheap little gizmo that allows you to charge the PDA using a 9 volt battery. This means that I should be easily able to read for those 20 hours without running out of battery. Somehow I think trying to sit there and read for 20 hours will get old really quick.
- Buy a cheap little portable DVD player. Bring a stack of DVDs and watch those. The problem is, that I don't think the battery would last very long on it. Those tend to use built-in rechargeable batteries and are not easily or cheaply replaced. Also, the cheapo ones tend to be rather bulky and heavy. On international plane flights, every ounce counts. You can only carry 50lbs of checked luggage and 20lbs of carry on luggage per person. The suitcase I plan on using for the checked luggage weighs 15 pounds empty, so that only leaves 35 pounds for clothes and whatever stuff I buy over there. Plus, that big bulky player would take up too much space in my carry on bag.
- Sleep. Yeah, its a boring and cheap solution but it passes the time. Somehow I don't think coach seats are very comfortable, so I suspect I won't get much sleep.
- Buy myself a nice iPod with video and load it up with a couple of seasons worth of TV shows from off of iTunes. I already have a battery backup for the iPod, plus a car charger for the iPod, so power is no problem there. The airplane I am going on uses cigarette lighter style power plugs and I made sure that I'm sitting in a seat that has power plugs. This has the advantage of not taking up much size or weight in the carry on bag. It also has a big 'geek factor appeal'! :) They also make a digital camera adapter for the newer iPods that would allow me to dump my photos onto the iPod from my digital camera. I plan on taking ALOT of photos and having a nice little backup of the photos like this means I can basically take endless pictures over there. Plus, I can view the pictures on the iPod itself, so I can make sure that the pictures downloaded to the iPod successfully before I delete them from the camera. I can't do this with the little photo adapter I have for my current 4G iPod. It downloads the pictures, but the 4G iPods don't have the ability to view photos.
- Buy a cheap little Apple iBook and load it up with a copy of XCode, and all the documentation for it. I've been meaning to learn how to program on the Mac, and with 20 hours to kill, that's the perfect opportunity. Plus, this also gives me the side effect of having a nice little DVD player built in to the iBook for passing the time as well. Disadvantages include cost (obviously) and the possibility of theft. I'd be very hesitent to leave an expensive piece of equipment like that unattended when I run to the airplane bathroom. (somehow I can't see myself going 11 hours without at least 1 bathroom break). I suppose I could leave it with a seat mate to watch while I go, but I'd still be hesitent. Also, there's been a lot of rumors of Apple releasing a cheap, Intel based iBook at Macworld on January 10th (10 days before I leave on my trip). Being able to play with a cool new toy like that also has a nice geek appeal as well. I'd have to find some kind of power adaptor for the airplane power port for it though.
Ok, I have been WAY overanalyzing this...