a few questions about the pole

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    I had a few questions about the pole before I head down. Should I bring my laptop? If I do bring my laptop can I download mp3’s, in a legal manner of course. Is it ok to hang a few pictures in my room, if so what should I use to attach them? How long do I stay in McMurdo on the way down? Should I bring hiking boats, or are the ECW boots good enough for that? Are there often long lines for internet/phone?



    Haven’t been there, so my advice is limited. Having a laptop is nice if you will use it without being on the web. If you have a digital camera, digital music, an mp3 player etc. then you don’t have to worry about anything if you have your own laptop. Station computers are available, but aren’t always compatible with your camera’s etc. The new computers are set up so that it is impossible for you to download your own programs, which means no camera software.
    Most cameras are recognized by windows, but not all.
    The best that I can tell, all mp3 downloads are blocked. I can’t verify that, I only know that the sites I’ve gone to won’t work. Band width is limited at McM and even more so at the pole. It’s best to get your digital music before you leave.


    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.


    [font=Times New Roman:j16rekss]Hi,[/font:j16rekss]

    [font=Times New Roman:j16rekss]You’ll frequently find mp3s shared on the station’s common drive (keep an eye out or do searches for *.mp3), as well as many people willing to share their music.  As for downloading, there just isn’t enough bandwidth to make it practical.  There’s barely enough to let everyone comfortably check & respond to emails including pictures – the system would grind to a painful halt if people expected to make large downloads.[/font:j16rekss]

    [font=Times New Roman:j16rekss]So, I guess what I’m saying is: even if you’re tech-savvy enough to figure out how, it’s a bit inconsiderate to the other internet users for one person to suck up that much bandwidth.  Trust me, if you want the song, it’s probably on station somewhere.  Hook up with one of the people who brings down hundreds of cds & just burn away![/font:j16rekss]

    [font=Times New Roman:j16rekss]I brought home lots of great tunes…  [/font:j16rekss][font=Wingdings:j16rekss]J[/font:j16rekss]

    [font=Times New Roman:j16rekss]E[/font:j16rekss]


    Just to clairfy (or correct) what Erica said – RPSC does not allow the sharing of music on the common drives.  It is considered a copywrite infringement, and Raytheon has been tagged because of some sharing that has taken place.  The common drive is now routinely scanned by the NOC, and any posted music is immediately deleted.
    Bring your own laptop, loaded with the songs you want, and keep the music off of the NSF-owned computers.  Believe me, you’ll be much happier.


    Thanks all. I guess I have thought of a few more followup questions.

    Wireless in summer camp? I read on other post that wireless was not allowed.

    Hiking boots, are there places to check out/is itallowed to head out?

    Casual clothes? is t-shirt and jeans good or should I go alittle nicer?


    To further clarify the mp3 issue. the station does not tolerate file sharing of any copywrited material which includes music on it’s computer system. Currnetly any material that gets put on will be deleted by the IT group. So far this year the issue has been addressed at least 3 times to the general community. I would expect that it’s only a matter of time before the consequences get elevated. Best bet. Bring down your own music.
    I’m not sure about wireless in the pole in the summer. In MCM during the winter they have been doing a test of wireless. It only worked in certain places. Big metal buildings aren’t real condusive to signals. As soon as winfly began the system was turned off for most people.


    There has been a wireless network set up for summer camp in the past few years. Your reception may vary depending on where you’re living and how well the gods smile upon you. I can’t speak for McMurdo….

    There are a few outlying destinations you can venture to–obviously our terrain is a bit limited compared to elsewhere…but the thing to remember is that you’ll probably walk 1/2 mile or more a day outside just getting back and forth to work etc., at -20 to -40 F, so bring whatever footwear you’d be comfortable doing that in, as well as sneakers and/or sandals. And that doesn’t count working outside (what is your job?) The main science area is 1/2 mile from the station.

    Jeans and T-shirt/sweat shirt is common attire, don’t go too heavy on the shirts since you may want to pick up a few Pole items in the store. And there is skua as well. But you’ll probably want to bring something different/nicer to wear on special occasions.


    I will be working in the kitchen – production cook. Summer only.

    By the way what is skua? I have heard it many times in other posts, but I just picture a large pile of “junk” left by those whose bags are overweight when its time to go home.


    Atlas & Mike,
    Thanks for setting me straight! 🙂


    No Hiking boots for check out but you can check out skis/boots.Wireless was
    set up for summer in summer camp and the dome.Parties rock but casual is
    fine. For Thanksgiving/ Christmas you will see everything from suits to
    carrharts. You can walk around the station. Its spread out over a mile or
    Once you get past the outlying buildings there is nothing but
    desolation…nowhere to walk to.
    Generally the people in the buildings are cool and you can drop in and warm
    up or even visit.

    >From: “Antarctic memories”
    >Reply-To: “Antarctic memories”
    >To: “Antarctic memories”
    >Subject: Re: a few questions about the pole
    >Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 09:16:55 -0700

    >New Message on Antarctic memories

    >From: guyupnort0
    >Message 6 in Discussion
    >Thanks all. I guess I have thought of a few more followup questions.
    >Wireless in summer camp? I read on other post that wireless was not
    >Hiking boots, are there places to check out/is itallowed to head out?
    >Casual clothes? is t-shirt and jeans good or should I go alittle nicer?

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    > By the way what is skua? I have heard it many times
    > in other posts, but I just picture a large pile of “junk” left
    > by those whose bags are overweight when its time
    > to go home.

    Yup, that’s it, and much more.

    A skua to a piratical bird, like a brown seagull with an attitude. They steal anything they can get their beaks on, thus the term… A skua pile is stuff left behind, available for the taking. “To skua” is the act of acquiring stuff (mostly legit, but sometimes using questionable methods and rationals) from discard piles. Skua central is the depot where reusable stuff is available, like a big garage sale — but everything is free.

    Really, it’s the about best recycling program imaginable. Stuff is gets reused until it’s it’s dust. 😀


    Operator Guy

    Hmm maybe someone left behind their girlfriend hehe

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