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The Travelling Geek

The Destination:

Aside from the Live USB sticks, this post is only Windows related.

The Journey:

The first few weeks I spend trying to travel and keep up some web development were laborious, and some lessons have been learned. I hope that this post can help someone else to avoid the time waste I have – though my experience has shown this to be a very touch and go way of working.

The Conclusion: Buy a Laptop

After a few months of working this way, I bought a second hand laptop in Mexico City. An HP Mini with an 8inch screen, 160GB hard drive and a few weeks later an extra battery (giving me about 8-10 hours life). I found that using the setup described here had too many shortcomings, including not being able to make use of the dozen-hour-long-bus journeys.

I loved my little Bubbles, but while sailing on The Wong I broke her screen. And then again, until my 8 inch screen was less than 6 inches. That’s when the VGA chip died.

Despite the extra cost, having a laptop meant I could work without having to ask my CouchSurfers for their computer, I could work in coffee shops and Cafes and on buses (charging when we stopped for lunch).

The Other Options:/h1>

Live USB Stick

I’ve concluded that a live OS on a pen drive is simply not stable, I’ve tried various versions of Linux (unfortunately I didn’t keep track of which they were, but Ubuntu 10.10 was included). From being troublesome to install to suddenly giving up after a few days, I have had no long term joy. I’m only an amature Linux user, so perhaps someone who can dig deeper into the config may have more luck.

Portable Apps

When using portable apps I highly recommend using a menu system for it, there’s a few around. The first I tried was SmithTech Portable Menu, about which I have no complaints: it’s fast, flexible and easy to use. However I switched to LiberKey because:

  • Their software catalog makes it silly easy to install applications.
  • The software in the catalog has been well modified to run portabley, in contract to some which work but are not quite portable.
  • You can still add your own applications, not from their catalog
  • You can split the menu between tabs (or categories)

I’ve disabled the animations and some of the other resource heavy pretty things, and made the menu single click instead of double click and am currently loving it.

I’ve tried about a dozen apps from and found them to be cheaply packaged and messy. I don’t even try them anymore unless I can’t find a well packaged or alternative piece of software.


Before I left to go travelling I spent some time wrestling with different WAMP setups. Wampserver is my preferred choice at home, however it doesn’t do portable very well.

I settled with Uniserver in the end, despite disliking some of it’s workings to begin with, the new version (8.0) makes things much easier (if slower).

I found running my DocumentRoot from my USB was too slow. So I now have a folder (which I call www) which I copy to c:\temp before getting going. It’s not as neat as running it all from the USB, but it’s fast enough to work from.

Document Root
With UniServer on my USB, and added an icon to LibreKey, and pointed the document root at c:/temp/www/public.

I edited my.ini to tell MySQL to use c:/temp/www/data/mysql instead of it’s default folder on my USB.



Teotihuacan, not only can I now pronounce it but I can spell it too!

I’m not really sure what to say about it, it’s just awesome. That and we don’t actually know an awful lot about it.


We know it’s old, it was probably started around 200BC though we have no idea by whom. It was all over by around 600AD, shortly before the Aztecs found it and thought it the place where the gods had lived.

At it’s height, around 450AD, it had around a population of around 200,000 and was probably the largest city in the world at the time.

It’s about 2 hours drive, and then several more hours walking around in awe, and clambering up the 234 steps of the Pyramid of the Sun. Which archeologists now think was actually dedicated to the rain god, not the sun god.


The view from the top of the Pyramid of the Sun was amazing, in every direction you look there’s mountains (being in the Mexican Basin and all). You can also look down upon green grassy mounds covering not yet restored pyramids and other structured from the old city. To the north is some ugly urban sprawl clambering up the mountain, which sucks – but nothings perfect.


Also cool is the Pyramid of the Moon, much smaller but due to it’s having larger steps actually harder to climb. It’s located next to a large plaza and was probably used more by the plebs, with the Pyramid of the Sun being for the priests and important people. So, predictably, I prefer the Moon 🙂


Also surrounding the main attractions are the ruins of the city: houses, offices, plazas and soap boxes (allbeing huge ones made from stone) – and many of the walls still reatin a faded remenant of their original paint work. So with a little imagination, you can take yourself back and imagine getting ready to go watch the latest human sacrifice tumble down the side of the Pyramid of the Sun.


IMG_9202.JPG IMG_9238.JPG




Lohr am Main – What do you get if you put and English Jew in a kitchen with a German Palestinian?

Phew! I am exhausted. Physically, mentally, emotionally and nearly spiritually. Not the bad kind of exhausted, burt the fullfilled and ready to rest kind. Also the awful handwriting kind, I’d better make an effort or I’ll never be able to read this in future.
I spent a good proportion of my train ride today trying to find words to describe Nicole. She’s an the perfect balance between mature enough to appreciate life and young enough to enjoy it. Awesomely open minded and both interesting and interested, and the most generous person I’ve ever met! She met me at Lohr am Main Station last night at about 8pm, with her friend Martina. The train from [[Frankfurt]] was €20, cheap enough compared to the ICE (German Fast Trains) from [[Bussels]] which I decided was too much. ICE is nice enough, very space-shipy but essentially a [[pendalino]]. The local train from my connection was nicer only because it was empty – from sitting on the floor to having half a carrige to fart as I please….
Nicole has a son but no babysitter. Which suited me because I love kids and was probably too tired for clubbing. So we cooked and cooked and cooked, and then made some side dishes.
I made [[roast potatoes]] which would have made Avi proud, vegetables, gravy and as close to [[Israeli salad]] as I could with a cabbage and a tomato. Nicole made pumpkin soup, burnt some paprika, turkish coffee, Palastinian rice (without the chicken) and Martina made [[Falafel]]s and fruit salad. We could have fed the town, but we managed without them. Shortly after eating, and Nicol’s son Jamil throwing some rice around (he was too excited to have visitors to sleep), we chatted and pumped up an air bed – Nicole who had only just moved in and hadn’t quite sorted out all the furniture – and soon it was to a sound sleep all. Except Jamil, and therefore Nicole… ok so I slept like a baby.