Floating in a digital world

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Brady Gilchrist used to live in a house in downtown Toronto before deciding to practise what he preaches. In April, Gilchrist, a freelance Internet consultant, gave up the comforts of his home for the cramped confines of his eight-metre sailboat, Myne Toye, to carry out what he calls “an experiment in digital living.” Gilchrist, a former bush pilot and public relations executive, says he wanted to better understand how technology, both wired and wireless, is changing media, entertainment and lifestyles. “I’m not trying to sequester myself in a digital dungeon,” says Gilchrist, who has sworn off buying conventional books, magazines and music until he gives up living on the boat at the end of September. “But anything that’s digital,” he says, “I’ll take.”

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To stay connected, Gilchrist has surrounded himself with loads of hardware and software: cell phone, laptop, PC (which he calls his “data furnace”) and hand-held computer, as well as digital cameras, audio recording software and video editing equipment to help build Web sites. He maintains a journal at www.adigitallife.net. When he’s not working with clients, Gilchrist, 33, surfs the Net for software for home and business. It’s all part of discovering the ultimate mobile lifestyle, he says, and following it wherever it takes him. “It would be nice,” says Gilchrist, “to be able to do this from a beach somewhere.”

A CD camera

Just when you thought the home technology format wars were nearing an end, Sony — pioneer of videotape, CDs, mini-discs and the Memory Stick — has come up with another. Its new Mavica MVC-CD1000 digital camera uses a three-inch mini-CD to store images. The advantage over other cameras, which typically hold about 30 images in memory, is that the writable CD can handle 160. The disc can be placed in a standard CD-ROM drive to display the images on a PC. Offering a high 2.1 megapixels of resolution, the camera costs $2,500.

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COOL SITES

Hit the trail

Looking for a nice place to go for a hike, or money to build your own trail? Try www.trailpaq.com, which lays claim to being “the most comprehensive, informative and entertaining” Web destination for Canadian trail information. The name is a giveaway for the computer- maker sponsor, but Compaq’s presence is relatively unobtrusive. The site lists more than 1,000 trails, while online grant applications, available after Canada Day, will offer financial aid to groups eager to develop abandoned railway lines and other such projects.

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