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  #1  
Old 09-11-2003
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Laptop for Cruising Software

Iím thinking about buying an old laptop to run some navigation software on. I figure on looking in the likes of E-Bay and want to stay in the $200-$300 range with like 450 mhz Pentium II and up to an 8 gig hard drive. I donít want much in the way of bells and whistles. Iíd like to run a word program and some games to while away those foggy lay days, but mostly I would like to run the navigation stuff

Iíve tried this with a real old IBM ThinkPad 740 EL that was given to me to save the previous owner from tossing it in the trash. It worked well and was a good cruising companion but it had a few issues, like power consumption and the inability to tie into the ships battery system without the use of a power gobbling inverter.

I have picked up a Laptop power supply from Radio Shack but found that the ThinkPad has had the radish and is nothing more then a paperweight. There are so many different models from so many companies that itís confusing to try to select one that will fit my needs and limited battery power. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-12-2003
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svGandalf is on a distinguished road
Laptop for Cruising Software

I think you`ll be surprised with todays more efficient and faster laptops. I`d say your on the very right track for your needs.

Most nautical related software doesnt use that much system resources and if you got something in the 450 Mhz and up you`ll be fine. I would try and at LEAST have 128 Megs of RAM though. ( Thats really the biggie. Not so much processor speed, but RAM. The more the better. )

Keep in mind, if you decide to use raster charts ( Maptech, Softchart etc ), vs. Vector ( Nobeltec ) they can take up a HUGE amount of hard drive space, so you will only want to load the charts you need at the time. Nevertheless, 8 gigs would be fine.

I use the same computer myself onboard Gandalf - Compaq 400 MHZ/8 Gig HD/128 Megs RAM (Upgraded from 32 )

I`d imagine, you will probably spend closer to the $300 range. Anything with at least Windows 95 or Windows 98...leaning towards Win 98 if possible.

CAPN Voyager recommends a Pentium 400
128mb of RAM or more/ CD-ROM Drive/ and a
Video card capable of supporting High Color (16 bit)( most all are capable of this )
If you have an even more specific software you`d like to run, check the manufacturers site and see what they recommend.

If you`d be interested in trading for some navigation software, contact me offline.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-01-2003
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nnelson1 is on a distinguished road
Laptop for Cruising Software

I''d also recommend getting a cd burner with your laptop.
It''ll be a little more money, but if your laptop craps out (specifically the harddrive) you''ll want to have had your important data backed up.

Fair Winds,
Nick
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Old 10-01-2003
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Laptop for Cruising Software

I guess if you read long enough, someone will ask the same question where you needed oppinions.

Thanks.
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Old 10-02-2003
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magnusmurphy is on a distinguished road
Laptop for Cruising Software

I just tested an "old" 1999 Ocean PC with a hard drive of only 2G, only 32 Meg of RAM and a P II of 200MHZ only

Operating system Win 98

I loaded Nobeltec visual navigation suite version 7 and NDI Canadian P1 and P3 charts (Straight of Georgia and Vancouver Island West). I still have over 300Megs of Hard drive left and with my Garmin Map76 plugged in, the system seems to work flawlessly. I got the computer almost for free since it is "old and outdated".

The NDI P1 and P2 are Raster charts, and I don''t have any Bathy charts (not available for area)

What I''m trying to say is this: You need less than what the recommendations are. In many cases that "old" system will do just fine.

I plan to put my fancy laptop away in a dry berth (as a backup), while using the "old" ocean PC for active duty, especially in inclement wheather.

M Murphy
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Old 11-02-2003
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sailnaway is on a distinguished road
Laptop for Cruising Software

An old Dell or Toshiba may be what you want and a small inverter because the battery will not keep you going.
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Old 11-11-2003
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Laptop for Cruising Software

I am running Nav Trek 97 on a old Toshiba Satellite. Its a PI but takes Win 98 the Nav software and a bit of other stuff I''m using to type a few letters and so. Charts run usualy of CD-Rom to save a bit of the restricted HD-space. Good on the Laptop is that it''s running on a 12 V Batteriepack so you can as I did, run it right of the boats service batteries. And this old thing shouldn''t cost much, guess less than 200$ if you look around a bit.
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