Which Laptops Has Survived Life Onboard? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 89 Old 02-27-2007
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yotphix...no problem with outgoing links. Go right ahead.
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post #12 of 89 Old 02-27-2007
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Yes, there are quite a few MicroITX based machines that would be small enough and energy efficient enough for use on a boat. The problem is that they require a screen...and the LCD screens that are suitable for use on a boat are fairly expensive...and the ones that are not suitable for use on a boat have issues with their design that make them more difficult to accommodate.. A laptop is convenient because it has all of the components in a nice tidy package.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #13 of 89 Old 02-27-2007
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I hope this doesn't constitute a hijack but what about inexpensive LCDs is less suitable for a boat then a standard laptop? I'm not challenging that statement, I just don't know.

Oh, and thanks Cam, didn't want break any rules
http://www.sailinganarchy.com/forums...opic=39812&hl=

Last edited by yotphix; 02-27-2007 at 11:53 PM.
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post #14 of 89 Old 02-28-2007
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I have used a regular toshiba with no problem because a pelician ate it.
It has survived about 4 drops, 2 totaly soaked beach landings, and lots of rain storms.

Get a Pelician case for your laptop and you will have no worries.

Dave
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post #15 of 89 Old 02-28-2007
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Most of the less expensive, non-marine use LCDs are not daylight readable, require 120 VAC power as they have a transformer built-in, and are not dust and water resistant to any degree.

If they are going to be used exclusively in the cabin and can be mounted in such a way that they are unlikely to get wet and well shield from sunlight, then they may be usable.... but you would still need an inverter to run most of them, and that introduces a lot of electrical losses a DC-based one would not have.

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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
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #16 of 89 Old 02-28-2007
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Here's a different route you could take. These are made by a sailor, who uses them himself.
http://www.midbaymarine.com/index.html

John
Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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post #17 of 89 Old 02-28-2007
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One advantage that most laptops have over the "mini-PC" variants is their built-in battery backup. When the DC power on a boat starts to get low, the chance of you losing data and damaging files on the hard drive go way up. With a laptop or notebook computer, the battery allows you a buffer between when the boat's DC supply is too low to support the computer and when you will start to lose files, and gives you a chance to gracefully shut down the OS.

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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 #18 of 89 Old 03-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor

If your laptop is not mission critical, and you won't mind taking three days off to reload software and set it up again...by all means, cheap and and replace it every 18 months instead.

And meanwhile, treating it like glass instead of luggage, helps them all.
Perhaps the best compromise are cheap, basic laptops kept in big baggies with dessicants. Buy three or four of the same model (this gives three or four backup power cubes, as well, which in my experience go bad faster than the laptops themselves). Use "ghosting" or "imaging" software to duplicate the set-up on all three or four before you go.

Then use a USB stick or other portable backup device to record and store data points like GPS entries, routing, waypoints, pictures, repair logs, and e-mails. The amount of raw data generated by nav programs, e-mail without attachments, PDFs of pilots and simple word processor documents is relatively tiny compared to high-res pictures or video or audio files, which can get huge. (I can store a 200-page graphics-heavy InDesign publication on a 1 GB MP3 player, for instance, and still have room for 50 songs).

This way, you simply keep a "running fix" of your data alone: the programs and all your custom tweaking of the OS, partitions, etc. is identical from laptop to laptop. If one goes south, you simply copy over from the USB stick. What if the laptop goes over the side WITH the USB stick? Simple: Copy the entire USB stick to a *second* USB stick. If you are in port with shore power, update all the laptops at once: 15 minutes (You can check for other problems, like dying CMOS batteries or buggered displays at this point, as well). That second USB stick is what? $20 these days? Not a huge consideration.

Four compact laptops take up the space of a 6 inch binder. I have two 6 inch binders just holding my shop manuals and gear instructions and wiring diagrams! So it seems to me that instead of a black box and a $3000 Raymarine 10 inch display, I can get four $500 laptops *that I can remove easily from the boat* and get redundancy and a better screen. Speaking of which, while I have a pilothouse and abundant shelter, I suppose you could have a waterproof LCD display on deck or on an armature rotating into the companionway, and then just have an IR mouse to switch displays, keeping the laptop "brain" stowed out of the wet.

Lastly, you could make one of the laptops a Powerbook, and have the others "ghosted" cheapies for the nav station.

Just my thoughts. I know enough about computing to resent the proprietary displays of the marine chartplotter manufacturers. I have no doubt that on a wet, driving race boat, they are the best choice, but I prefer the redundancy, large display and flexibility of multiple laptops of modest power.
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post #19 of 89 Old 03-04-2007
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Valiente-

I think you mean ToughBook, not PowerBook. PowerBooks can't be Ghosted as they don't run Windows in general.

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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
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #20 of 89 Old 03-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Valiente-

I think you mean ToughBook, not PowerBook. PowerBooks can't be Ghosted as they don't run Windows in general.
You're right. I have a five year old crew who doesn't respect the Captain's privilege of sleeping beyond seven bells in the Sunday morning watch. This affects my verbal navigation.

I do admit to reading the manual to my new Xantrex RS 2000 inverter just prior to posting. I've got power on the brain.
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