The two laptops I use onboard my boat are a 12" Mac PowerBook, and an ancient Toshiba Tecra 8000, which is at least eight years old. Most of the applications you use on a boat aren't really all that high powered... word processing, e-mail, web surfing, are all easily handled by even fairly old hardware. Some of the newer navigation software requires a bit more muscle.
I've seen a few attempts at corrosion proofing normal laptops, but the heat inside them generally seems to cause some problems for any type of spray-on corrosion inhibitor. These machines run pretty hot inside.
Ideally, I'd like to get a ruggedized one, but can't justify spending that kind of money, when I can get away with this older hardware for now.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.