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post #21 of 32 Old 10-26-2006
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I've got an old, and I do mean old, Toshiba laptop, on my boat, and it has lived quite happily in the nav console in a regular laptop case, but the heat of the electrical panel keeps the compartment very dry. It's been on board this boat for seven months, with no problems, and the machine itself is almost seven years old.

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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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post #22 of 32 Old 10-26-2006
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Start checking ebay, you'll find a lot of companys selling excellent new laptops to pick among. Re bandwidth, some servers like Juno.com send collected emails in a 'burst', all at once, write what you want, store and hit send when you're ready to send, that helps on cell phone charges, WiFi is now available in a lot of marinas and other places, worth having. I have been told that some sat systems are coming up using a small 'direct tv' size dish, that will help, the different companys know they are losing a lot of money not having service for boats, i dont think its going t be long now.

Flat screens for laptops are plentiful on ebay. Tigerdirect.com sells a lot of stuff there plus direct sales, google them and get on their specials list, its well worth it. once a month they have a clearance with some excellent buys. No, I'm not an employee, just a happy customer.
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post #23 of 32 Old 01-22-2007
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I really need some serious advice before making my purchase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfesq
Here is how I used my laptop offshore:
I route my GPS/Chartplotter to the laptop so that I can update the chart from the laptop. I use Maxsea so I download the weather repot from the SSB and upload it into Maxsea. I then use the weather routing program within Maxsea to plot the optimum course. The waypoints are fed into the Chartplotter by the laptop which in turns speaks to the autopilot.
MaxSea also will plot your chart and can give you ETA information based on the weather report.
By the way, I purchased a 12 volt plug for IBM laptop. I assume you can pick one up for any laptop. This worked perfectly for my needs.
That is awesome. I plan on getting an auto pilot installed immediately after I purchase the boat. I will also need to purchase a GPS/chartplotter, SSB and a Maxsea. About how much is that going to run me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Surf...Ditto on the cockpit use!

Jug...Actually I think a well bagged and standard laptop makes a lot more sense...

I would encourage you to think more about power usage and bettery life...focusing on units which can be charged from a 12V system and use relatively few amps unless you are gonna have a generator on board. If you are gonna have a generator...get the biggest screen and hard drive you can and make sure the unit has a mobile processor and make sure the unit can be upgraded to Windows Vista once that OS becomes operable and stable...

I just got a great BIG honkin HP for about $700 bucks that would have cost me $2k a couple of years ago. I recommend Toshiba for standard size and HP for large size displays. I would avoid other brands today no matter what their reputation in the past. I am speaking here of major brands...you may find the need to get a specialized model from a small company and my remarks are not intended to cover those.
Hope this helps!
What is OS?

I am looking at HP's and am looking to make a purchase real soon, but I don't have a clue as to what I am looking for as far as upgrades go to run all the different components on a boat.

dv2000z series

This notebook has

On-the-go power
The Pavilion dv2000z features state-of-the art AMD dual core processors. AMD's Turion 64 x2 technology delivers first-rate system performance while running multiple demanding applications. And AMD's PowerNow! supplies longer battery life to keep you mobile.

This is what I am looking @ as far as upgrades go...

I am not sure which Operating System to use? XP home, media center or prefessional. Any suggestions?

12 Cell Lithium Ion Battery or should I get the 6 cell?

AMD Turion(TM) 64 X2 Dual-Core TL-56(1.8GHz/1MB)

2048MB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
HP recommended for an enhanced Windows Vista experience.

Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network w/Bluetooth

120GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Store up to 44,000 photos, 25,000 songs, or 66 hours of video.
I am guessing this will be easier on the batteries than a CD player and flat screen tv.

HP Imprint Finish + Microphone + Webcam

LightScribe Super Multi 8X DVD+/-RW w/Double Layer

HP's exclusive LightScribe laser technology - a better way to burn custom, precise, silkscreen-quality labels on CDs and DVDs

Sonic MyDVD Deluxe - Create & Share Digital Media
Create movie or slideshow DVDs with your favorite videos, photos and music! Requires an optical drive with CD or DVD burning capability

2-year HP Accidental Damage Protection with Express Repair extended service plan~!!

What other upgrades in the link would anyone recommend? Would it be unwise to upgrade to a 17 inch screen instead of a 14?

Last edited by JagsBch; 01-22-2007 at 06:05 PM.
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post #24 of 32 Old 01-22-2007
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Jags...I have the HP 17" with the AMD Turion and all the other stuff you list and love it. I would emphacize that you need to be able to afford some amps at anchor to use this puppy as it draws 3.5 Amps at 18.5V/DC ...or the equivilent of about 5-6amps at 12V...same as a typical boat fridge!
I would definitely get the XP Media Center Operating system if you're gonna use it for movies/photos etc. as it makes that stuff easier to work with and I would avoid the new Vista operating system until it has the bugs worked out of it for a while.
The extended warranties are an expensive crap shoot but boat life is hard on a PC and laptops are notoriously un-repairable so it might be worthwhile.
I've had a lot of laptops and this one is by far my favorite and the 17" screen is great for watching DVD's and even the speakers are a lot better than normal.
The one thing I did NOT like out of the box is that HP does NOT supply backup disk/restore disks any more. Instead they take 20GB of your hard drive and do the restore function there on a virtual drive E:. You need to create DVD backup discs to be safe and then go through a process to "merge" the D and E drives back into the 120gb you pay for. The important thing to note is NOT to load your own software in until after you've done this process which takes hours!
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post #25 of 32 Old 01-22-2007
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Get a USB TV Tuner and the Media Center edition...then you can use it as a TV when needed.

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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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post #26 of 32 Old 01-22-2007
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Consider getting a micro desktop computer. Then you have a seperate mouse, keyboard, and monitor that can be ditched and replaced as needed. Get a few dirt-cheap mice and a few $10 keyboards at staples or some other discount store. Also, get a cheapo 15" lcd monitor. Even the cheap ones are very good. Put your money into the computer itself. Place those silica packs directly into the computer and make sure it has a nice big fan. You can get two of these set-ups for the price of a Panasonic Toughbook.

If you need a laptop for internet cafes, get a full-size one and only use it for the cafes. I have a Toshiba that is 9 years old and still going strong.

Side note: Use a Vacuum Packer, or place the laptop in a plastic vaccum bag, you know, where you pump the air out. Or a Pelican case. (Tupperwear boxes and ziplock bags are better than nothing. But not much.)
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post #27 of 32 Old 01-22-2007
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Micro desk computer? Nice big fan? 15" monitor? This does sound interesting, but big fans absorbing salt air into the components? How does it fair at anchor as far as energy consumption goes?
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post #28 of 32 Old 01-23-2007
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The one nice thing about some of the expensive Toughbooks is a "Sunlight Readable" display much like your GPS/chartplotter units. The regular notebook displays are backlit and when any amount of sunlight hits them they get washed out and cannot be seen, the strongest light source always wins out. I tried running my GPS through the notebook to get a much larger chart display but could not see anything while I had it in the cockpit so I tried putting it on a monitor arm attached to the companionway ladder to keep it under the hatch and out of the direct light but still there was too much external light to make it readable. My next plan is to try one of those 3M privacy screens that cover the notebook display for about $100.00 and perhaps that will make the notebook display readable from the helm seat. I find the GPS display a bit small & would like to see my chart on the notebook with live tracking without having to go below every time I want to look at it to see a bigger perspective of my position.
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post #29 of 32 Old 01-23-2007
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Kermie...keep us posted on your results witht the 3m screen. That would be of interest if it works in the sunlight!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Kermie...keep us posted on your results witht the 3m screen. That would be of interest if it works in the sunlight!
Actually, I already have it, (Christmas gift) but the ugly weather we've had has prevented me testing it. The wiz kid in the computer store said it would work and upon closer inspection there seems to be something built into this screen to stop light from comming in sideways since there is no way you can view the screen from the side. Even indoors you can only view straight on at the screen so my gut feel says the kid is right, I'll know for sure soon though. Funny thing is this screen is like paper thin and fits over the notebook screen like a custom glove, very surprising. I don't understand what technology can be imbedded into something so thin and make it work but it does. If I can view it on the monitor arm under the hatch while sitting at the helm I am in business. Looking forward!
On edit, indoors it really darkens the notebook screen substantially if that is an indication of the effectivenes.

Last edited by CaptKermie; 01-23-2007 at 03:48 PM.
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