Best Computer Setup for Navigation / Instruments - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-14-2010
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Best Computer Setup for Navigation / Instruments

Hi Everyone,

We have been having endless headaches with our "NavRoc" computers here on board. They seem prone to crashing, cables internally sometimes come loose and they always seem to be working hard despite fresh installs of everything and the minimum of software etc. I have been using OSX / Macintosh for my personal computer for 5 years now and I find it so much more robust and stable overall. I know they make some software but does anyone have first hand experience with this? Here is a list of things we need to run - the boat is 85' sailing sloop.

- Sirius / WX Receiver -> WX Mate (our weather software)
- GPS 1
- GPS 2
- B&G instrument data
- AIS
- Radar

What would you recommend? I don't want to say price is no object, but it's not much of an object? I just asked my captain how attached he is to Nobeltec on a scale of 1-10 and he said "100"... but he's a smart guy and could probably switch if we had something that was worth switching to. Thoughts?

Best, C
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Old 08-14-2010
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It looks like those NavRoc computers are just "ruggedized" miniPCs running WindowsXP. And if that's the case, and the computers are just crap, the simplest solution for you would be to buy a couple of better-built laptops that already run WindowsXP and reinstall the software to the new computers--instead of moving to a different platform and having to buy all new software all over again.

I'd suggest looking at some Panasonic Toughbook computers, probably the best bet in a "rugged" PC without getting into the odd niche-market machines like the NavRoc.

If your computers are unstable because they are not well made, you can't blame that on PC/vs/Mac. And if the applications are unstable and crashing the computer, again, you can't blame that on the OS, they could be equally unstable on a Mac.

If you've just got bad hardware, replace it with good hardware. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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