I will spend two months this summer at the Toolik Field Station on the
North Slope of Alaska, just outside the western boundary of the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge. In previous years, I have done in-stream field
work on the tundra, in support of Arctic fisheries studies, for two-week
intervals. This two-month stint will be a long, challenging experience, but
is also one of those life experiences that you just can't pass up.
The trip provides a good excuse to buy my first laptop, and also get
into Mac OSX. I am seeking advice on what to buy that will give the maximum
result at minimal cost and smallest size of laptop (portability/weight is
important). I also seek advice on optimal software choices.
Being far from home, I of course want e-mail and Internet access.
Toolik Field Station workers use both Macs and PCs, so there should be no
I want to be able to document the summer work using plenty of digital
photos that I can modify and send via e-mail to others. I will be writing
newspaper articles about the field work, and want to be able to send text
and images. I also want to be able to store the text and images on CDs. A
laptop that can accomodate Microsoft Office and the Adobe Design Collection
would be wonderful, although for actual field work I suppose that having
Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop Elements would fill the bill. I have not
used Photoshop Elements before, but I am assuming that it would do the job
of optimizing my images sufficiently for newspaper publication. After the
summer, back home again, I could use Photoshop on my home Mac to work up the
images further, and use as reference for traditional drawings and paintings.
Toolik Field Station workers use both Macs and PCs, so there should be
no institutional problems. You can see what the field station experience is
like, at http://www.uaf.edu/toolik/
All advice, comments, and cautions will be gratefully received.
Robert Jon Golder
164 Maxfield Street [log in to unmask]
New Bedford, MA 02740 (508) 999-2486 voice