1. Travel

The Digital Traveler

Some Advice Regarding Power Supply, Storage Media and Mobile Phones

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Travel has certainly changed during the last years - gone are the days of the bulky steamer trunk. But the modern age brought a new phenomenon. The "digital traveler", as I like to call him or her, equipped with a digital still or video camera, mobile phone, PDA or laptop, GPS and lots more. What do all these (very useful) gadgets have in common? They need batteries and/or recharging. Here's some essential information you will need:

  • Power
    A word of warning - sockets all over Ireland will supply roughly 230 Volts, double that of the US supply! If you do not change the settings on your chargers or power supplies this will fry any US machine into oblivion.
  • Sockets and Plugs
    Both the Republic and Northern Ireland use so-called "Commonwealth" connections with three very solid connectors. These are totally incompatible with US systems. You will need an adaptor to connect your electric gear. Get an un-fused adaptor if possible.
  • Multiple Connections
    If you are bringing several items likely to need energy at the same time, bring a multiple connector from home - plug this into the adaptor and you're ready to go.
  • Car Adaptors
    It might be a good idea to bring a power supply or charger that feeds off the 12 Volts car system. Some hotels and B&Bs in Ireland have developed the nasty habit of hiding or disabling sockets to discourage guests from using too much energy.
  • Batteries
    Should you inadvertently need to buy batteries you will find AA size in every store, at a very high price. Depending on your needs a quick visit to an electrical goods store or an Argos outlet might pay off by purchasing a multi-pack or even rechargeable cells with a local charger.
  • Storage Media
    The best advice is "Think ahead and bring more!" Digital storage media are expensive at best, ridiculously overpriced in most Irish shops. Most common types are available though.
  • Burning CDs or DVDs
    A number of Internet cafes and some photo outlets let you burn CDs or DVDs from your own storage media. This will more than likely only be available in the larger cities. Not all memory cards are necessarily accepted! And remember to test your CD/DVD before re-formatting the storage card!
  • Mobile Phones
    Check your phone for compatibility – not all phones will log onto Irish networks!

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