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July 26, 2007

Power for Traveling Nerds – A Puzzle

We can’t get power wirelessly – yet. The outlets available vary from country to county; perhaps not with quite as much variety as phone adapters but you still need a pretty good kit to make sure you can connect to wall sockets everywhere. Moreover, of course, the power that come out of the wall isn’t all the same either. Voltages as well as the frequency of AC power differ from place to place. Some electronics can handle these differences; some can’t.

You’re a nerd so you’ve got a pack full of stuff that needs to be recharged or even plugged in to work: computer, of course, mobile phone(s), camera, iPod, GPS, video recorder etc.

Here’s the challenge:

You’re not allowed to take your adapter collection on the next trip; you’re not allowed to buy, borrow, or otherwise acquire adapters as you travel nor will you be buying all new toys which work on local power. You can’t bring a solar charger or a crank driven one or a small windmill (if such are available). You can’t take wall plates off or stick probes into them. What ONE device is essential to preserve your ability to use your toys?

I’ll answer tomorrow but I’m sure some of you will beat me to it.

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