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Old 07-06-2007
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any thoughts on laptops over desk top computers

We have 2 desk top computers one that will be for use on thedock only and one that will be used with my gps with the lcd flat screen mounted up in the cockpit.

Any one know how laptops and computers withstand the salt air???

thanks

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Old 07-06-2007
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If you want Mil STD against salt fog check this one out
Rugged notebook computer by AMREL: rugged computer features
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Old 07-06-2007
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Make sure your cockpit screen is one of the expensive daylight viewable ones or you won't be able to see anything. Our experience with laptops aboard says count on about 3 years of service...and back up everything to a USB hard drive.
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Old 07-06-2007
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P.S. The only way to withstand salt air is to get a laptop that does not suck and blow. That eliminates 99% of them out there. So either spend money on a Mil std 810f laptop/computer, or replace yours every 9-12 months.
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Old 07-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Make sure your cockpit screen is one of the expensive daylight viewable ones or you won't be able to see anything. Our experience with laptops aboard says count on about 3 years of service...and back up everything to a USB hard drive.
Sorry Cam I did not mean to contradict you. Most of the salt environments I have been in were a little more extreme. I have no experience on sailing vessels….yet
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Old 07-06-2007
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Checkout the Panisonic Toughbook: Panasonic Toughbook -- Fully-Rugged

I just have a regular dell laptop and I've never had any problems. I suppose after a few years it might start to get salty, but I always upgrade before then.

Last edited by knotaloud; 07-06-2007 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 07-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GySgt
P.S. The only way to withstand salt air is to get a laptop that does not suck and blow. That eliminates 99% of them out there. So either spend money on a Mil std 810f laptop/computer, or replace yours every 9-12 months.
Given that 1) most nav and chartplotter/GPS and comm software is NOT particularly processor-intensive, and 2) a visibly crappy (but working) notebook is less likely to be stolen and is easy to keep with you when away from the boat, it might just be cheaper and better in the sense of redundancy to get three or four identical two or three-year old laptops built on a modular basis. You'll have no problem backing up stuff or swapping parts and you'll have power supplies and batteries for each.

Some 2004 laptops "off-lease" from banks and insurance companies are going for $300 each here in Toronto. Make an offer if you buy three!
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Old 07-06-2007
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The transreflective daylight readable screens are still a bit difficult to find and a good deal more expensive than standard LCD screens.

As for which is better... a properly designed marinized micro-ATX desktop computer is going to do better in a salt-water humid air environment than a non-ruggedized notebook computer. A fully-ruggedized notebook computer will survive longer still. By properly marinized, I mean one that has had the circuit boards sprayed with a conformal coating, the help protect the electronics from humidity and corrosion. Another route to go is the multiple, identical, cheap laptops route—this is not a bad way to go, especially given the relatively low processor requirements of most navigation software.

Having two notebooks or two complete systems (screen, CPU, mouse, and KB) will give you some redundancy, provided you have the same software installed on both machines. I would highly recommend that you use two identically equipped machines, and make a Ghost or DriveImage snapshot image of them, so that you could restore them back to working order as quickly as possible.

I would also second Cam's suggestion of backing up your files on a regular basis to an external drive.

BTW, one of the things that will prolong the life of the computers more than anything else is keeping them running and on all the time. While this can be a problem for your boat's electrical system, by doing so, you cook off the humidity and moisture that leads to corrosion and keep the system's internal components in better shape by doing so.
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Old 07-06-2007
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this is the computer that works best for me.
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No prob GySgt. ...my wife contradicts me all the time! (G)...anyway in 6 years of cruising (East Coast and Caribe) full time...we went through two laptops..one was motherboard...the other was screen. I kept them in a standard laptop bag with silica gel packets.

...and thanks for your service!
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