Hey Dan, are you wintering or just coming for the summer…that makes a difference particularly on bandwidth 🙂 The internet is rationed out to everybody, so if lots of people are on, things tend to get slow. They try and save some of the bandwidth for phone calls (personal phone calls are normally allowed only on Sunday and Monday
–weekends in the States).
By all means bring your laptop! Just make sure you have current virus software. There are satellites available for internet access about 12 hours a day, by November the times won’t be the best–about 3 am to 3 pm. Assuming you’re living in summer camp you’ll want a wireless card (“Wi-fi”) to access the local network, email, and the internet from your room.
The common use computers in the computer lab have USB card readers that handle most kinds of camera memory, so you shouldn’t have a problem with those in any case.
There isn’t much in the way of mp3’s to be downloaded these days, the best thing to do is load up your computer (or your Ipod) with your own stuff before you leave home. Ipods or similar devices are quite popular…
As for pictures, in summer camp you’ll have some plywood walls that you can use tape or thumbtacks on (plenty of both around) and in the station rooms there are small bulletin boards etc. that you can do the same thing with.
They try and minimize your stay in McMurdo because that place is just as crowded as Pole is. Assuming good weather you’d probably just stay overnight or so. And much of your time will be spent checking in, getting briefed, dragging bags, and waiting to leave early the next morning.
You’ll probably find the issue bunny boots or FDX boots much too warm, particularly while walking outside in the summer, and you’ll definitely want a lightweight pair of hiking boots or similar to wear then. If you’re driving, it depends on how good the heater is in that particular vehicle and your own preference….
Any more questions? Ask away…two more days until sunrise and then another month or so until we’ll see you.