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  #11  
Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Liveaboard computing.

If web/email/docs then really you don't need anything all that high end and usually lower end use less power.

I work mainly on docs and the like plus need to read graphics files though I don't create my own. I'm now on an Acer 5750G running Windows 7 and I must say its a damn fine wee machine. I also used to be a Dell buyer but have been disappointed with their uality and service of late so went Acer and don't regret it. Overall though I do also like HP.

On another level onetime SailNetter 'Omatako' who sadly has been absent for awhile put me onto the idea of used Windows XP machines. We have in our business a single program that amazingly enough is DOS based and so we need to keep a single XP machine for that application. As XP fades from the scene I've been buying up second hand machines for next to nothing and they will eventually end up on the boat as spares. For what we need they are more than adequate.

As for Windows 8 I have seen some concerns raised about its over reliance on this so called CLOUD thingy and that for sailors who may well be out of internet contact for long periods of time this may be a problem. I obviously do not know much about this stuff, only repeating what I read.

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  #12  
Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Liveaboard computing.

a PS to my previous post ..... on board, in the office and at home I use trackballs not mouse. Trackballs have never really taken off and for the life of me I do not understand why.

Longterm I'd like a screen mount on a bracket above the chart table with a wirless keyboard and wireless trackball. For me with a tablet for the cockpit, perfection.

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Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Liveaboard computing.

I bet an iMac would be good if it didn't suck up so much power. You could mount it on the chart table or even the wall and use a wireless keyboard. Hmm...
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Old 07-27-2012
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Re: Liveaboard computing.

I have an old Sony Vaio with a 17" screen....it runs Vista, which is incredibly clunky sometimes, but the computer has decent speed and memory, and since it has a built-in blu-ray player and the bigger screen it's what I use for watching movies or videos on the boat. I also use it for e-mail, surfing the net, and editing photos. Over the almost 5 years it's been on the boat I've never had a problem with it other than the fact that it runs Vista. Which sucks.

I have a GPS antenna that connects via the USB port but haven't found a chartplotting software that works on it very well yet....
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Old 07-27-2012
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Re: Liveaboard computing.

Another advantage of the Ipad, is I can more easily bring it to shore and grab a wifi signal to download apps or large files or just read the paper in a coffee shop. Laptops are clunky for that.
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Old 07-27-2012
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Re: Liveaboard computing.

Dan loves his ipad for its portability and battery life and ability to charge directly from 12V instead of going thru an inverter. But I don't think you could use that for your *only* computer; we have an inexpensive laptop in addition. (I won't recommend the particular Gateway I'm using because I'm not all that wow about it, power piggy that it is). I just buy cheap laptops, do lots of backups, and plan to replace every 3 or so years, as the technology changes and the harsh marine environment wears on them.
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Old 07-27-2012
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Re: Liveaboard computing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
If web/email/docs then really you don't need anything all that high end and usually lower end use less power.

I work mainly on docs and the like plus need to read graphics files though I don't create my own. I'm now on an Acer 5750G running Windows 7 and I must say its a damn fine wee machine. I also used to be a Dell buyer but have been disappointed with their uality and service of late so went Acer and don't regret it. Overall though I do also like HP.


Andrew B
Yea, they are basically all the same now. Often made in the same contract factories. How many LCD producers are there out there? Not that many I venture to guess. Certainly Dell does not make them. So you go by specs that you require for the tasks you intend to do, then if you need support look into that, then finally price. I normally get what ever there is a good deal on, as they are basically all the same low quality. There may be a few differences like track-pads, but nothing that would be a deal killer for me. I would love to go with a Mac Book Pro, but I just can't justify the cost and don't like Apple's way of closing the OS. I do mostly photo editing and am really wondering if I can find a laptop I will be happy with. I may just wind up making 12 volt pc and use a bulkhead mounted monitor for photo editing, and movies and stick to an android tablet for the rest of my tasks. The new Google nexus 7 looks to be the bomb, and if it will run Navionics should be the bees knee especially for $199 to $249.
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Old 07-27-2012
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Re: Liveaboard computing.

I have a netbook that for now is mostly used for checking my twitter feed and surfing while plopped on the couch in front of the tv. The battery life on it is crap, so I wouldn't mind moving on to a tablet for most of that stuff. Most of my files (except my tunes) are on dropbox so I'm not a huge memory hog, so maybe a low to mid range laptop and tablet?
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Old 07-29-2012
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Re: Liveaboard computing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by utchuckd View Post
What's worth getting/staying away from as far as computering on board? It's time to update my puter situation so may as well start planning for it. Go cheap laptop that's easy to replace? More expensive and durable that will last? Combo with laptop/tablet? Any usage/storage tips to extend its life?
One thing you should be aware of are moisture sensors and how computer manufacturers are adding more of these each year. Moisture sensors that have been tripped, of course, void any warranty. Apple, for example, has increased the moisture sensors on the MacBook Pro from eight to ten!

I'd go with a tablet that has minimal inputs if you can get by with that. In particular the iPad - that thing is sealed real well and has only two inputs:
  1. Power/sync cable
  2. Headphone
There are also two buttons - the middle bottom one for the Home screen and top power button. When you look at how many places moisture can enter a laptop it's like comparing a storm door to a screen door. Additionally, there are 'waterproof' covers for the iPad that surround the access ports, but still enabling access to the Power and Home buttons.

I don't own my sailboat yet, but I do sail on the club boats where I live. I have no problem tossing my iPad in my daypack. Incidental water exposure from an indirect splash isn't a concern with that, and of course it can be hooked up to a GPS or used to play some music :-)
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Re: Liveaboard computing.

Just to throw it out there: I am planning to build a oil cooled PC into an area of the boat yet to be decided, likely under wherever I decide I like to sleep the most.
Advantages are: hardware is totally protected from water/salt/corrosion, in a sealed oil bath except for power supply and hard drive.
Disadvantage is that warranty coverage is of course null and void.
A friend of mine and I had an oil PC in a rubbermaid tub for years, basically just filled the tub with oil, pulled the fans off the video card and motherboard and dropped it in.
It was amazing how warm it made the bed it was under at night, it was like an oil filled heater but getting double the usage since it was doing the computing as well, and the oil would slowly release heat over the evening.
I'll likely do it in an otter box or similar.

Otherwise I like a mid range laptop, enough power for photo edits, but low battery consumtion. Acer timelines aren't bad.

For power supply for anything not macintosh I'd go with the iGo charger.
AC or 12v DC in, laptop power and one USB power port out. Survived over 15, 000 km in a motorcycle tank bag charging a laptop on the bike last year so fine for a boat.


EDIT: LCD quality varies hugely, especially in the lower end. Often low end stuff is actually higher power consumption than the high end stuff tailored to long batt life.

Moisture sensors are the devil. Cell phones are getting even worse now, my neighbors phone quit from the moisture in the air, when it tripped it actually stops the phone working. NOT NICE.
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Last edited by Jgbrown; 07-29-2012 at 07:42 PM.
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