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Cold, Dark, and the HP Palmtop

Cold, Dark, and the HP Palmtop

It was a long, sub-zero, winter's night many miles above the arctic circle. A group of five people, bundled in cold-weather gear, jogged into sight, brave participants in the 14th Annual Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, Five-Mile Fun Run.

Joining in on the run (more accurately a fast walk), I pulled out my HP 95LX, opened Memo and attempted to capture the descriptive flow of the run, the people, their feelings and comments, and our extreme surroundings.

Every year we do something a little different in the run. This year the difference was the HP Palmtop. We were using the HP 95LX and 95Buddy to time runners and make notes. In weather this cold the display turns blank almost immediately, but that doesn't affect the other functions -- we can still work the stopwatch and take notes in Memo. To give myself a little edge, I used a hand warmer to keep my fingers and the Palmtop from completely freezing.

We trudged forward in a pack to complete the run, watching arctic foxes in their white winter coats making tracks in the snow and hoping we didn't run into their big white brothers, the polar bears. We all made it back to the warm base operations center and thawed out, satisfied that we'd completed the run in -14 F temperatures with the southwest wind at 8 knots (with a wind chill factor of -32 degrees). This was relatively mild compared with some years. The Palmtop's screen thawed out also, displaying characters as clearly as ever.

Kip Absher

BP Exploration

North Slope, Alaska

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