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My Geeked Out Road Warrior Survival Pack

I've built up a respectible arsenal of gadgets and devices while logging almost 200,000 miles in frequent flier miles this year.

Some are necessities, and some are just for fun. Some are just to keep my sanity on longer trips like the one I'm taking this week to Cologne, Germany.

My geeked out road warrior survival pack includes everything from a lithium-ion battery pack that gives my iphone 2 extra charges, to a sleek pair of noise canceling Bose headphones that block out the majority of jet airplane engine noises.

It also makes a great Christmas shopping list for the business traveler or technology addict in your life ;-)

Here's my Letterman's countdown of top ten must-have gadgets when traveling for business or pleasure:

10. Starbuck's Via 3-pack. Technology aside... Let's face it - hotel room coffee tastes horrible no matter what brand they use.

I really need a good cup of coffee to start the day off right (especially for east coast trips where it feels like I'm getting up at 4 a.m.) and these instant coffee packs from Starbucks are just as good as the real thing. You can get hot water from just about anywhere, including an in-room coffee maker without the coffee grounds.

9. iPod nano with armband. Yes, I have an iPhone too (see #1 below) but a small ipod is more convenient for working out, and also provides more hours of music for helping long flights go by faster.

8. Camera. I bring my Nikon D50 DSLR camera along with a 300mm zoom lens when I want to be sure and capture the city views in high quality (and I usually have some time after business hours for touring the city).

Transfer pictures from a Motorola W376g (KRAZR) to a PC

Question: I recently purchased a Motorola W376g camera phone from Tracfone, and I'd like to get pictures I took on it over to my computer. Is this possible?

Answer: The Motorola W376g from Tracfone is basically the Motorola KRAZR phone with the same built-in 1.3 megapixel camera. The KRAZR is a Bluetooth-enabled phone that has a USB port for file transfers between the phone and a PC using software like Motorola's PhoneTools or DataPilot.

However, these features are disabled on the Tracfone W376g for data transfer. The USB port is only used for charging the phone and Bluetooth is only enabled for connecting with hands-free devices.

Tracfone offers this phone at only $29.95 with no activation fees, and you purchase minutes for airtime (ie. you prepay for only the minutes you want/need). They've disabled the data transfer features and force you to use airtime instead.

You can still transfer pictures from your Motorola W376g phone to your computer by sending them as an email.

Sending photos from a Motorola W376g to a PC using email:

To do this, open the picture by clicking the main center/menu button on the phone and then selecting Multimedia -- Pictures -- Additional Storage Device. Scroll to find the picture and select Menu -- Send in Message.

You can enter an email address to send it to your computer, and it'll show up as a file attachment in your email inbox. You can also enter a phone number and send it to any other mobile device that supports picture messaging, including other Tracfone W376g phones.

Copy data files from an old hard drive to a new system

Question: My dell 8400 tower went down, replaced power supply and ..nothing. How can I get everything off the hard drive, install into another tower, or take it somewhere to download to external drive?

Answer: From what you've described, it sounds like your motherboard is probably fried. Since the Dell 8400 series run an old Pentium 4 processor, it's probably not worth bothering with trying to replace the motherboard and you're better off trying to get the data off the hard drive and replace the system altogether.

You have a couple options for doing this. You can hook up the hard drive as a slave drive in your new system, or you can use an IDE adapter that plugs into a USB port and treats your hard drive like an external USB drive.

Either way you'll need to remove the hard drive from your old system, which is easy to do. Remove the screws from the outer casing (some cases let you slide the side off without removing screws) and locate the hard drive. There will be a flat thin cable about 2 inches wide connecting it to the motherboard. Remove the screws holding the hard drive to your case (usually 2 on each side) and then remove all cables and power cords going into the hard drive.

IDE Adapter

The easiest way to get data from your old hard drive onto another desktop system or laptop is to connect it using an IDE adapter. The adapter will connect your hard drive with your other system's USB port, and will let you copy files over just like it was a USB flash drive.

How to transfer photos and ring tones to your cell phone

By far the most frequently asked question I receive at RickySays.com is "How do I transfer a photo from my computer to my cell phone? (or vice versa)"

Cell phone manufacturers often don't ship software with their phones that would do this for free, because they'd rather make money on transfer fees. Windows doesn't provide much help either.

For example, I bought a Motorola Razr v3 phone and it only came with a user's manual and a charger; there was no software for transferring any files to my computer, and nothing built into Windows XP or Vista that would recognize my phone.

Fortunately there are a few ways to transfer photos or ring tones from your PC to your cell phone (or from your cell phone to your PC):

  1. Email
  2. USB Data Cable
  3. Bluetooth

I'll discuss each of these approaches in this article.

Transfer using email

You can send your phone an email with the photo or ring tone as a file attachment. For AT&T/Cingular customers the email address is your_number@cingularme.com. For example, if your cell phone number is 691-548-1294 then you'd send an email to 6915481294@cingularme.com and it would arrive as a text message on your cell phone.

Once you receive the text message on your cell phone, you can view the photo or ring tone and save it as your wallpaper or in your phone's audio library. On the Motorola Razr, when you view the picture you can select the "Set as Wallpaper" menu option.

The downside to this approach is that it costs money to read text messages - as much as a penny a kilobyte. This might not sound like much, but when you consider that most pictures are about 75kb that adds up to about 75 cents for each photo that you send.

Of course cell phone companies want you to transfer photos from your cell phone using email, because that way they can charge your for the data transfer.

How to transfer pictures from a RAZR phone to a PC

Question: "It seems like the only way I can get pictures from my phone to my computer is to email them, which costs about 75 cents a picture depending on the picture size (at least with my Cingular wireless service plan). Is there another way to transfer them?"

Answer: Yes, there are two other ways to transfer photos from your Razr phone to your PC (or vice versa) without paying any wireless provider fees:

  1. USB Data Cable
  2. Bluetooth

I'll discuss each of these approaches in this article.

Transfer Pictures To Your PC with a USB Data Cable

Cell phone manufacturers want you to transfer photos from your cell phone using email, because that way they can charge your for the data transfer. However, if you have a USB data cable or a bluetooth connector (discussed below), then you can transfer pictures, video, and ringtones directly without recurring carrier service fees.

You'll need software to recognize your cell phone and handle the transfer with a USB data cable. There are several affordable programs that will let you transfer photos, videos, and ring tones from your cell phone to your PC. They also let you copy them from your PC to your cell phone.

Motorola PhoneTools

Motorola's PhoneTools software is built specifically for Motorola phones like the RAZR or the new KRAZR.

PhoneTools allows you to transfer photos and videos directly from your Razr phone to your PC (or from a PC to your Razr phone). The PhoneTools' Multimedia Studio and File Transfer Studio let you see all your photos, audio and video clips in the same window. You'll see your computer on the left and your phone on the right.

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