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Author Topic: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.  (Read 692 times)

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Offline SocialistNerd

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Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« on: May 29, 2019, 03:17:12 PM »
Hi folks,

For those who have been out to Russia and brought his or her laptop, is the Surface Pro or MacBook Pro better for overseas travel?
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Online krimster2

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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2019, 04:40:10 PM »
totally depends on your preferences and not much else...
make sure you get a power adapter and NOT one of the cheap kind...

Online SteveInBoston

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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2019, 08:43:11 PM »
No need for another power adapter if your adapter supports 220V and 50 Hz, which most do nowadays.  You do need an EU plug for your adapter, or an outlet adapter.

I took one outlet adapter and a small power strip to save on having to carry multiple adapters. I also bought an EU plug for my laptop power supply for about $3.  When I got home I found the original cables that came with my laptop and found GB and EU cable plugs for my power supply.

P.S.  I took my electric toothbrush and had to take a power converter for the charger because it didn’t support 50 Hz.  Common problem with razors, hair dryers, etc.

Online Trenchcoat

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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2019, 01:07:40 AM »
I wouldn't take an expensive laptop to the FSU, especially any laptop with stuff on you wouldn't want to risk losing. Probably best to get a cheapish but reasonably capable laptop and keep it free of valuable data. Any expensive stuff out there is a risk so you would have to be real careful of it all the time or it could walk, especially watch taxi drivers, make sure you get your stuff out the boot of the taxi, etc.
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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2019, 02:42:47 AM »
I wouldn't take an expensive laptop to the FSU, especially any laptop with stuff on you wouldn't want to risk losing. Probably best to get a cheapish but reasonably capable laptop and keep it free of valuable data. Any expensive stuff out there is a risk so you would have to be real careful of it all the time or it could walk, especially watch taxi drivers, make sure you get your stuff out the boot of the taxi, etc.

No idea about Mac stuff, but I would certainly ignore Trench's advice ..

I have been to the FSU nigh on 100 plus times and never, EVER had an issue with taking Laptops, Cameras, Galaxy Note phones and irreplaceable prototypes ..   

It's always a 'risk' - but you'd be INCREDIBLY unlucky - based on my record ..Just make sure you've got good travel / medical insurance cover, be sensible and enjoy

As for taxi drivers... Use an app like Yandex , Uber - choose a driver with multiple reviews that are good and  ( again )  IGNORE  Trench's 'advice' ...   

Trench, when did you ever get robbed ?

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Online Trenchcoat

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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 03:30:41 PM »
No idea about Mac stuff, but I would certainly ignore Trench's advice ..

I have been to the FSU nigh on 100 plus times and never, EVER had an issue with taking Laptops, Cameras, Galaxy Note phones and irreplaceable prototypes ..   

It's always a 'risk' - but you'd be INCREDIBLY unlucky - based on my record ..Just make sure you've got good travel / medical insurance cover, be sensible and enjoy

As for taxi drivers... Use an app like Yandex , Uber - choose a driver with multiple reviews that are good and  ( again )  IGNORE  Trench's 'advice' ...   

Trench, when did you ever get robbed ?

There was that taxi driver in Lviv that went off with my mobile, it may have been an accident or a scam. I got it back but had to pay 500 UAH to cover his driving around trying to find me probable bs. He left his contact details at the hotel where he dropped me off, not where I was staying just near to where I thought I needed to be. That was part of the apartment mess up by the owners who lacked foresight to realise exact details of location and meet up are best forwarded many days before the client travels.

Point is although it's not an every journey problem, well hopefully not, consideration needs to be given to what the situation is if stuff goes missing/damage done. As I found an organised approach, limitation of risks, staying as independent as possible, etc can all help out mitigate a not good situation and improve recovery from such a situation.
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Offline SocialistNerd

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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2019, 05:51:17 PM »
Honestly, considering that I used to live in Philadelphia where I almost got stabbed once by a drug dealer and then another time got nearly killed at the downtown mall during a gun shootout, I would consider the loss of property to be relatively minor. In fact, looks like my Surface Pro 4 would be easier to deal with since Windows is probably more popular out in Russia I believe.

Thank goodness I live here in Salt Lake City, Utah now because it's a lot safer than Philadelphia or some parts of Baltimore, etc. Lviv sounds a lot better than my country where we pretty much have a public shooting and piles of bodies in random cities by insane folks who support gun rights.
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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 12:30:13 AM »
Honestly, considering that I used to live in Philadelphia where I almost got stabbed once by a drug dealer and then another time got nearly killed at the downtown mall during a gun shootout, I would consider the loss of property to be relatively minor. In fact, looks like my Surface Pro 4 would be easier to deal with since Windows is probably more popular out in Russia I believe.

Thank goodness I live here in Salt Lake City, Utah now because it's a lot safer than Philadelphia or some parts of Baltimore, etc. Lviv sounds a lot better than my country where we pretty much have a public shooting and piles of bodies in random cities by insane folks who support gun rights.

SN, I'm sure Lviv is a hell of a lot safer than Philadelphia. The thing is anywhere out in the FSU you can be a bit out on a limb. If you think about it for most everyday traveller, travelling alone who doesn't take precautions it doesn't take much for ability to fend for oneself can rapidly diminish.

Most people these days have a lot of that ability to fend for oneself abroad down to one wallet, phone, even together in one of those phone and credit card cover cases. Where ones passport is on oneself when abroad is also an issue.

If you think about it a lot of flight tickets are online these days through apps, etc. Finding somewhere to print out return tickets abroad can be very difficult, internet cafes aren't around much these days. So imagine if your passport, wallet and mobile phone went missing life could get very tough, if you took a tablet/laptop then it could be even worse. Booking into pre-booked accommodation could be difficult without a passport, money for food and to get around would likely be a problem and even flight home could be not possible. Hence it's then an embassy visit. Not so bad if you happen to be in a city with embassies, if not then it's local police station. Now I've been fortunate never to yet have to go the embassy/police to help get me the hell out again but I would be surprised if it's anything but an unpleasant and ordeal of a situation to be ensured to say the least. I mean if you are stripped of anything substantial they haven't got much to go on apart from I assume their passport records/pic of you.

It's why these days I have now started to always stay somewhere with a safe, fresh batteries for it probably best also. On arrival I keep my passport in there and a wallet with a credit card and a few notes. I now take two wallets with me when in the FSU, a card in each. Before reaching accomodation one in travel bag and one on myself. When I reach accomodation one goes in safe the other I use day to day. I also have two relatively low value mobile phones about £70 each which I use just for travelling abroad. If one goes down/lost/stolen then I have the other to continue with and possibly locate the first. Plus it's not the worst if it walks as my data on it is limited and so is the value of it.

Thing is a lot of people take the attitude that nothing will happen to them and all will be fine. Well it's all fine until it isn't and that's when safety precautions, organisation and backups really pay off. Travellers abroad are preyed upon  by local villains, there relatively easy prey and they couldn't care less about the miserable time they inflict on their victim, in fact they probably revel in it.

The taxi guy in Lviv I had to 'remind' him to get my luggage out of the boot of the taxi before paying him. It's lucky guys on here told me if the old 'forgetfullness' of taxi drivers not getting passengers luggage out of the boot or he would have gone off with that too. Unfortunately I was focused in that and forgot he had my mobile phone which he was using for directions (wasn't an Uber driver but unofficial taxi driver, ie minicab). Now it could well be that some genuinely forget but others are no doubt out to screw the poor tourist who has just landed in the country and are at the disadvantage of not knowing where the heck they are.

Technology of course helps out with travellers being more on top of things on landing in a foreign country and moving independently and will no doubt clear a lot of these issues up as time goes on. However, it only really takes a set of circumstances to conspire for options and practical ways off going about situations to be taken off the table. You arrive at night in a old terminal or rail station and getting a local sim card is not possible or a means of transport that seemed fine turns out to be anything but, etc. In Lviv I was lucky that I had my tablet in my luggage or I would have had little to work with. It's a Samsung Galaxy 6 so was newish and relatively expensive. It has a Russian/English keyboard so rather nice. It's not something I would take again on every trip though it was handy in that case as it did not walk but on balance it's too attractive to others to be worth my while taking until it gets a bit old if course, the girl who showed me into my apartment noticed it in a desirable way.

Just saying I find it best these days to travel light and have cheap and easy back ups. If I was going for a long time say a few weeks or more I would take more but a lot of the time more stuff means more that can go walking.
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Online SteveInBoston

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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 08:30:34 PM »
The taxi guy in Lviv I had to 'remind' him to get my luggage out of the boot of the taxi before paying him. It's lucky guys on here told me if the old 'forgetfullness' of taxi drivers not getting passengers luggage out of the boot or he would have gone off with that too. Unfortunately I was focused in that and forgot he had my mobile phone which he was using for directions (wasn't an Uber driver but unofficial taxi driver, ie minicab). Now it could well be that some genuinely forget but others are no doubt out to screw the poor tourist who has just landed in the country and are at the disadvantage of not knowing where the heck they are.

This is idiotic.

Just about only you can complain about a taxi driver who spent 1/2 the night trying to find you to return a phone you left behind in his cab.  If it is as dodgy as you say or think, he would have been long gone - phone?  what phone? 

About the 500 grivnas you said he asked for his time and fuel - most would gladly have offered a reward or compensation without being asked.  But you seem to have the rare gift of not having common courtesy.

It's not that you have to watch out for yourself in Ukraine.  Ukraine has to watch out for you.

Online msmob

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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2019, 01:51:15 AM »
Trench,

Is the penny dropping re you realising your 'advice' on things FSU sucks ?

I think you were trying to say you cannot trust yourself with your kit, so leave it at home?

May be you should stay at home with your kit, for fear of being parted?)





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Offline lyndontom

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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2019, 09:23:38 AM »
I CANNOT believe that I am going to somewhat agree with Trench on this. Not entirely, but in part. It only takes one incident travelling abroad to realise that not having safeguarded yourself leads to problems. I will never forget when I was robbed in Odessa of my mobile phone, credit card and apartment key at 3am; admittedly an afternoon/evening of heavy drinking had left me devoid of my usual awareness/common sense/street smarts, but being locked out of an apartment in -20 degrees weather without a phone or credit card was a disaster. Someone did return the apartment key (it had the address of, which in itself could have been an additional problem) and credit card the following morning (which by that time I had cancelled) and also asked for some Grivna for the 'inconvenience'. Good samaritan or accomplice, I will never know.


This was almost 5 years ago but now if going somewhere on holiday I take a cheap back-up mobile phone for local contacts and leave my company mobile in an apartment safe, checking it only intermittently when in in the apartment. The last time I travelled, I only took my Ipad and left my Macbook in my office so that colleagues could access any files they needed to in an emergency. I always try to have at least some contingency should the worst happen; travel insurance is all well and good but it doesn't help you on the streets of Ukraine at 3am in winter.


As Mob correctly points out though, this is as much due to me not trusting MYSELF as not trusting others, especially on holiday when drinking is involved. Having access to a spare credit card and mobile phone in my case gives me peace of mind. Granted, this was an isolated incident in all of my years of travelling and is not a slight on FSU or Ukraine; the same could have happened anywhere -  the UK, South America South East Asia, wherever. BUT, it only takes one incident to make you realise what you could/might have done should the worst happen.

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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2019, 10:48:52 AM »
Pickpockets and phone/purse snatched are one thing.  They can be anywhere, though usually in tourist areas.  In Ukraine and in just about any large European city.  Had a backpacking buddy from University who had his wallet stolen on a beach in Barcelona.  We partied a bit and he headed off to sleep on the beach, resting against his backpack.  Some came up in the night, cut open the top panel with a knife, and took the wallet and other small belongings out.

But to complain about a taxi driver who went out of his way to return a phone Trench left in his taxi?  That is beyond idiotic.

Offline lyndontom

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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2019, 11:25:40 AM »
Pickpockets and phone/purse snatched are one thing.  They can be anywhere, though usually in tourist areas.  In Ukraine and in just about any large European city.  Had a backpacking buddy from University who had his wallet stolen on a beach in Barcelona.  We partied a bit and he headed off to sleep on the beach, resting against his backpack.  Some came up in the night, cut open the top panel with a knife, and took the wallet and other small belongings out.

But to complain about a taxi driver who went out of his way to return a phone Trench left in his taxi?  That is beyond idiotic.


I don't recall the exact circumstances regarding Trench's phone. In my case, the credit card and apartment key were of no use to anyone so returning them for a reward was their only option to profit from it; unless they had come to the apartment with the key and I had not been in - then I do not know what would have happened.


I would have preferred to have had the phone returned, but perhaps they could unlock and/or sell it. If they were unable to, perhaps they would have offered it back somehow for a 'reward'. Though unlikely in Trench's case, and depending on the circumstances, it is an easy enough scam for little risk; the person receiving their goods back is happy to compensate the 'good samaritan'.


You think it's idiotic to think the driver wasn't in on the act, but I think it naive to think it's not possible. I HAVE seen it happen in other countries in various incarnations; it is a common trick with prostitutes in SEA to take phones from a previous night's client and then 'sell' them back their phone.

Online msmob

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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2019, 11:32:36 AM »
Indeed, if you use a driver in an taxi app...with a not a few good reviews then YUP..I think it IS unlikely...
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Re: Surface Pro or MacBook Pro for travel to Russia, etc.
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2019, 12:06:04 PM »
in 3 yr of living in Ukraine, I encountered one pick pocket and one attempted mugging

the pickpockets were clever...
they choose a busy spot
they operated in a pair
one blocked the view while the other "lifted"
if you feel them, I did!
then when you turn, they split in different directions
it's whey I NEVER carried anything of value in my back pockets in Ukraine

one attempted mugging!!
isolated area, very pretty girl standing on a path by herself up ahead
as I approach, she talks to me, but behaves strangely which puts me on my guard
I clasp my automatic bucknife nestled deep in my right pocket
and keeping only my left side presented, so she can't see me withdrawing my buck from my right pocket for a secure feeling
then from behind her, 2 guys come out from hiding with switch blades drawn
I flip my knife open and told them in Russian that after I killed them I was going to cut their testicles off for souvenirs
however, they all 3 quickly left the party before it could even get started...
so I was unable to add to the jar of rubbing alcohol any more of those strange blobs floating in it...
had to throw it out eventually, a cat ate some of the blobs and got sick!



   
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 12:08:12 PM by krimster2 »

 

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