Two Years Was Worth The Wait


Still Fresh
Apr 11, 2011
Kaneohe, HI, USA
I started watching these forums back in '08, checked back from time to time to see how things progressed, and just this month finally registered with the board.

Why the sudden re-interest, you ask? Because I finally took the plunge and ordered a premium Pandora. I got my shipping confirmation on Monday, so it's only a matter of days before it arrives. I made the purchase for many reasons, but greatest of all is that the Pandora fits with my lifestyle.

You see, I am a traveling writer/street performer. I hitchhike around the world (14 countries, 1 sovereign state and 1 principality so far!) reading my short stories and poetry on street corners to anyone who'll listen. I started doing this over 2 years ago and the biggest problem I've found is finding a decent portable computer that I can carry with me.

I last used an MSI wind U100, a good option, but a little on the heavy side. After a year of near constant traveling with it, however, the case started cracking. Long story short: I need a lightweight yet robust device that no matter where I might find myself will keep me in touch with friends and family and also give me something to write on (I don't mind tiny keyboards!). The Pandora is perfect for this.

And now I need your help:

As soon as my Pandora arrives, I will have at most a couple weeks to become familiarized with it before I begin traveling again this summer. When it arrives, I want to be as prepared as possible. I've been reading and educating myself on the Pandora Wiki, but I feel like a lot of that information won't become useful until after I have the device in hand. Anything I can start doing now?

I could probably use a crash course in Linux, I haven't used the OS since Red Hat back in 2000. Any links to guides or maybe some good Youtube vids you know of?

I have a cheap Transcend 4gb SD card formatted and ready to go, and plan to purchase a 16gb SDHC card this week. (Will this one work?: ) I'm going to use the 4gb card for apps and the 16gb for storage, is this a good plan?

Also, what kind of problems could I encounter while on the road? If I need to troubleshoot anything, I may have to do it directly on the machine as I may not have access to a windows/mac machine if I'm in standing on the side of the interstate in Middle of Nowhere, USA.

Sorry for the long post, but I have such a small window of time for all this that I want to be as prepared as possible once I depart. Thanks for any help and thank you OPT for creating possibly the greatest handheld in existence at the moment.
Check out Complete list of software, among other things.

Oh, and this thread.
The first thing that comes to mind is that you might want to think about getting a protective case fo when you aren't using it, simply because one drop could spell the end for such a small product. Forum member Link sells Pelican 1040 hard cases at his (US Based) shop, and I've heard good things about them too. You can check them out in person at most camera stores.

As for a primer on Linux, it doesn't sound like you'll really need it. You say you've used Red hat before, most things on the Pandora are done through the Graphical User Interface anyway and the forums will always be here. That said, we all have more to learn.

Naturally, you'll need a power adapter converter of some kind to charge the unit from, though I suspect you might already have one of these.

Depending on how often you want to use internet access on your unit, I would suggest thinking about a 3G dongle of some sort, because the WiFi on the Pandora isn't good with some types of networks. See the wiki page here.

In relation to being prepared, you can always load up your SD cards ahead of time with the apps you plan on using (and for those that have desktop versions, see if they are right for you), because this will probably be the most time-consuming part.

That's all I can think of from the top of my head, but I'll post anything else I come across.

EDIT: Also, so that we can help you more, what are you planning on using the Pandora for (primarily)?
Last edited by a moderator:
I can get you a good price on a solar charger and a weatherproof case, two things I would suggest for the traveler. I will be getting some of the Underwater Kinetics cases soon, my rep is in the EU right now and I'll place my initial order when he returns.

Currently the solar charger (Voltaic Amp $99) only gives the Pandora 1/3 of a charge with a full day of sun. But this might meet your needs unless you find yourself in Seattle all summer. Regardless, good luck, nothing like being free!
Thanks for the link, Blue Protoman. I think most of this info will be easier to understand once I have my Pandora and can work through it while playing around with the device.

Yes, a case and a descent sized SD card are at the top of my list right now. Charging it shouldn't be a problem, There's always a free outlet at highway gas stations. And I'm staying mostly inside the country this summer, hitchhiking up the west coast from L. A. to Vancouver, BC, so I won't need an outlet converter adapter just yet. That solar charger is a bit too pricey for me, and I will be spending a good deal of time in Washington this summer too... :p

I had thought about a 3g modem. I'd have to check with my current cell provider (Cricket) to see if any of the compatible modems can be used with their service.

Primarily, I will be using the device for communication. Email, msg boards and Facebook (I assume social networking sites are accessible with current available browsers.)

I will also be doing some writing on it. Blogging and composing fiction stories/poetry. I know the keyboard wasn't designed for novel writing, but the size doesn't bother me and I will learn to work with what I have.

And, of course, I'll be retro gaming with it. Mostly NES, GEN, and SNES emulation.

I like the SD cards from here, Microcenter brand is nice price and I have used several of them with no issues, just talked with them and they have people ordering them by the thousands sometimes. Also, they fit the Pandora's slot while some SD cards are out of standard in size or with the sticker applied are too thick.

Shoot for 32GB, save the extra coin, you'll fill that 16 and 4 GB quickly.
WOOT.COM was selling Centon a few weeks back IIRC. Didn't find anything negative in my limited research. They sold out quick, some board members should report, maybe start a new topic for more response.
Last edited by a moderator:
i bought 2 32gb centons from woot when they were available for $30 each, no complaints here so far, speed lives up to its class 10, and it really is 32gb...we'll see how they perform over time, past 2-3 have been good though
I went ahead and purchased the Centon 32gb at MicroCenter. Thanks for the advice! I know I'll be able to use the extra storage space up no problem.
Oh WOW!!!

My Pandora came today and in less than an hour I`m already typing this message to you on it.

So much to do! Do you think if I called in to work today they`d understand? :D