I finally broke down and bought a digital camera which I am getting used to. I use internet cafe's a lot during my travels to communicate with home but hear most places have "dumb" computer units without usb ports so sending photos out is impossible, what advice can folks give me?
I don't know but you might look some up on google or something and email them to see if they have a usb port?
You don't say where in Europe you're traveling this summer and that might make some difference.
Anyway, for the sport of it, I found this Wiki-style page at World 66 Travel site that lists Internet Cafes in Paris, with some detailed information about the services they offer and contact info.
Also, I recommend buying an extra 2G memory card so that even if you can't send photos home during your trip, you won't run out of storage space and can happily and freely snap away!
After all our trips are costing us, an extra little bit for a memory card is worth it in order to be able to really capture your trip in pictures.
When I was in Germany a few years ago, I had no trouble sending pictures home. An IC in Karlsruhe had a card reader for about 20 different card types. He copied the files from my MemoryStick to the network drive where I could access it and attach the pictures to email. Later, in Koblenz, they had usb ports on most of the computers, so I loaded my MemoryStick into a JumpDrive Trio and read my pictures directly from there. A lot of the computers were running 98SE, which couldn't read the jump drive without installing drivers, but at least one was running XP so I had no problem using it.
This is a case where having a lightweight computer with me was priceless. I used a 2.4# NEC MobilePro 800. With it I could download the previous day' pictures and sort them into folders by location.
I have since acquired a 2.9# Toshiba Portege, which I will use on future trips. It has plenty of hard drive space for pictures and a wireless card so I can use my own computer at internet cafes.
thanks, this is a little more technical than I would care to operate but I admire you for doing it, I travel super light so a lap top is out of the question for me. emailing pics home is not a high priority if I can't figure it out. but I did get some good advice about taking an extra memory card so I can go crazy taking pictures.
I actually saw a 4G card at Costco today for somewhere around $55(ish).
Costco it is, thanks for the tip!
Just because I carry a laptop, doesn't mean I am not traveling light. My one and only objective in traveling light is not to have to check luggage. I travel on Lufthansa, which has a 17.6# carryon weight limit. I can put my laptop in the carryon and still be under the weight limit. I am capable of carrying more, but I refuse to take the risk of checking.
I deliberately chose my laptop to minimize weight. I have made four trips to Germany with an NEC Mobilepro 800 handheld, which weighs 2.4#. I could have used a 1.8# Mobilepro, but I wanted the full 800x600 screen of the 800 for looking at picturs. (The lighter ones have partial screens). You can currently pick up a half screen Mobilepro 900 on ebay for about $100.
In addition to being able to view and organize picturs, I store train schedules and use Excel to keep my expenses.
A big advantage I find to having a computer with me is for projecting expenses. Before I go, I make up a dummy, filled-in, expense report. I know what the train fares will cost. I know the cost of accommodations because I already have reservations. I know from experience about how much I will spend per day on food. So, the filled-in report is a good estimate of what the trip will cost me. As I actually pay for things, I delete them from the schedule. That way I always have an estimate of how much cash I will need to finish my trip, and as the trip goes on, that estimate becomes more accurate for the remaining amount. When I go to the ATM the last time, I have a good idea of how much cash to get.
Personal preference but I take a 2G card and a backup one in case I really go crazy and snap everything in sight. I suppose it depends on how much you want to send photos home before you get back. Was in Rome and Venice recently and used internet cafes and they all had at least a couple of computers with USB ports. I suppose it depends where you go.