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>     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
>institutional problems.
>     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.

Robert,

I think you might want to go with a 14" 1GHz iBook. then add a 1GB
RAM chip yourself (apple charges a lot for those). You might skip MS
office altogether and get Appleworks 6.2 ($79). It can translate Word
and Excel documents. It should be able to handle both MS office and
the Adobe Design collection fine, if you want to spend the money.

I don't know how the networking situation is up there, but if you get
the Airport Extream card installed, you will be able to link to other
computers within about 300 ft without wiring, if they have a card
also.

Computer $1300
Software $180  (Elements and Appleworks)
1GB RAM chip ~$300 (but only if you feel comfortable installing it yourself)
Airport Extream card $99
carrying case $69-99


Britt

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