There has always been some hardware associated with my road trips. In order to update a website, I needed some sort of computer and, if I intended to include photos in those updates, I needed a digital camera. GPS has also been part of the mix from the beginning. A computer, a camera, and a GPS receiver have been my travel companions on every trip but they have changed at least as much as I have though in different directions. While I’ve gotten weaker and slower and balder, they’ve become more powerful, faster, and more loaded with features.
Noticing changes in electronic gear occurs fairly frequently. It’s unavoidable when something new enters my toolkit but I also think of it at random times like when I upload a decent sized picture in less time than it used to take to upload the tiniest of thumbnails. I thought about it in some detail in August of 2009. It had been exactly ten years since my first road trip post and I was on another one. I commemorated the first trip by posting a picture and some musings on each day’s tenth anniversary. I think the idea for something like this series of articles was born then though I didn’t quite realize it and I had no idea of the form it would take. The “series of articles” I’m talking about will be a set of blog posts talking about the various bits of gear I’ve used in maintaining DennyGibson.com. This is the first. Others will appear, in sequence but not consecutively, as space and time permit.
In July of 1999, I bought an Agfa ePhoto 780c from on online outfit called uBid for $185.99. What I got for that nearly two hundred dollars was a zone focus 350 kilopixel (Does that sound better than 0.35 megapixel?) camera that stored JPGs on an included 2 MB Smart Media card. The standard resolution was 320×240 but it also offered 640×480 and 1024×768. That last resolution was produced by extrapolating those 350 kilo-pixels into 0.786 mega-pixels and I’ve always assumed that is where the model number came from but don’t really know. Click on the picture above for one of those full resolution photos from 1999.
I also carried a Nikon 35mm pocket camera for “real” pictures but the Agfa did the job it was hired for giving me a way to post pictures on the same day they were taken. Back in the twentieth century that seemed pretty cool .
The camera came with Agfa’s Photowise software which allowed me to copy photos from the camera and edit them on my Toshiba Libretto (the subject of a future post). The interface was RS-232 serial and none too fast. I soon developed the habit of immediately firing up the copying when I checked into a motel then heading out to dinner while the photos flowed through the wire. On my return, I’d select and edit the photos, prepare the web page, and start the upload — assuming I could actually connect with my 10¢ a minute dial-up.