We plan to record our daily events with photographs and text then transmit that information once a day to a satellite hovering overhead. The satellite will transmit the information back to a site in the United States. Our friends in the United States who are helping us with this project will post the information to this website.

The weather will be hot and humid. We will only have access to electricity in the evenings or early mornings because the boat generator will only operate at those times. There are no phones to call for technical help if our equipment doesn't work, and there are no stores nearby to pick up extra batteries if we need them.

We need to plan very carefully and consider every possible situation if we are to be prepared for anything that happens. Of course, if we are clumsy and knock the satellite phone off the boat into the water, well, there just might not be anything we can do about that.

We also will need special software to get the information ready for transmitting to the satellite.

Below is a list and description of what we think we are going to need to do the job. What do you think? Have we left anything out? Logon to our Guest Book and let us know if you think of something we haven't. We need all the help we can get.

image of G3

We will be taking three computers with us to the Amazon; two Macintosh G3 laptops and one Dell laptop. We will use the computers to edit any pictures we take and write about the day's events. Once a day, we will connect one of the computers to the satellite phone and transmit our information to the United States.

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image of sat phone

The biggest piece of equipment we are taking is an Thrane & Thrane Inmarsat-M satellite phone from LandSea Systems. Once we have prepared all of our photos that we have taken during the day,written our descriptions of the day's events, and complied our research findings we will use the satellite phone to send all of this to our friends here in the United States. They will post it to our website (even if they have to stay up all night to do so).

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image of AlphaSmart

We are going to take four AlphaSmart Keyboards with us. They are small, lightweight word processors that run a very long time on AAA batteries. During the day we will use them to write about what we are doing and seeing. At the end of each day, we will use an infrared connection to "beam" what we have written to our computers. By using the AlphaSmarts we will save our computer batteries for the bigger task of getting all of our information ready for transmitting to the satellite at the end of each day.

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image of Jazz drive

In order to backup the text, image and sound files that we have on our computers, we will be using Iomega Jazz and Zip drives. They hold a lot more data than floppy disks and are more durable. If we back up our data daily, we won't lose anything if one of our computers crash.

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image of hub

To make it easier to transfer computer files between our computers, we will use a 5-port mini hub from Farallon Communications. We will plug our computers into the hub via their ethernet ports and the computers can "talk" to each other.That way we don't have to bother with floppy disks which don't hold very much information anyway. The hub takes electricity so we will only use this when the boat's generator is running.

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image of digital camera

We will be using digital cameras to take photos. That way we will be able to connect the cameras to our computers and see the pictures immediately. Before we send the images to the satellite we will need to work with them to get them the right size so that we can quickly transmit them.

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