Minimum Specs Needed for a dedicated laptop for OpenCPN? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 21 Old 05-15-2017
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Re: Minimum Specs Needed for a dedicated laptop for OpenCPN?

OT.... Recently purchased a NUC 5i5ryh and a HP22er monitor and installed a Buck 12/19 transformer (both NUC and HP run on 19v as do laptops).. removed the 24" smartTV in the process. The advantages to this are that the NUC is small, no moving parts.. ie sold state hard drive. It's 4x4x2 so it's very portable.... ir I want to take it somewhere. I can run 2 monitors if I want. No inverter use for charging laptop... that's off the boat as well. The HP screen is 22" much larger than any laptop almost as large as the old smart tv. Keyboard is Logitech K380 wireless as is mouse (I may change to another Logitech BT K400 keyboard with a built in track pad... I don't care for track pads... but mouses don't stay put on the boat). Speaker is blue tooth, tiny can be brought into cockpit for music etc. Sound is WAY better than a laptop. Cost was less than most laptops... I use dedicated plotters or a smart phone for "nav"... not one to bother with libraries of way points or route planning. I have a cheapie external DVD and an external USD multiport. (NUC has only 4 USB ports) I installed Win7pro on it.

But if I wanted to do planning I have a huge monitor and can do it on that. The monitor uses an HDMI cable and that too can mean I can put the monitor wherever we want... like watch video/net flix, even in the cockpit. I have a short and a long HDMI cable. The NUC has a lift off mount and lives in a locker above and behind the port settee just forward of the nav station. The NUC and the Monitor draw about 2 amps! I love this flexible solution for having a PC and internet connectivity aboard. When not in use I can stow the monitor in its original foam packing out of the way. Our use is at anchor... not underway. There are flexible arm mounts for the monitor... but this makes no sense for us. The monitor is large enough that I can do CAD work on board. So this solution does not do what a lap does... but it does different things and is quite flexible.

Pic attached of initial set up using inverter... Will update later with complete install using Buck transformer
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post #12 of 21 Old 05-15-2017
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Re: Minimum Specs Needed for a dedicated laptop for OpenCPN?

I am not a big fan of touchscreen laptops. That said, they give you the option of using the keyboard/touchpad or the the screen. As noted, any new laptop will run the navigation software. An SSD would be a plus as it's faster and more rugged as there are no moving parts. You really don't need a lot of storage, so even 120 GB will be OK unless you are going to load a lot of other programs.

Any new machine will come with Windows 10. You can get Windows 7 on a refurbished machine. Your call. I use both and still prefer 7, but have gotten used to using 10.

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post #13 of 21 Old 05-15-2017
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Re: Minimum Specs Needed for a dedicated laptop for OpenCPN?

FWIW, installing Classic Shell eliminated 95% of my complaints with both Windows 8 and Windows 10, and opens up the selection to all the low-cost options since Windows 7 requires a higher-end business laptop or a paid "upgrade".

For dedicated use including in the cockpit, a tablet is really nice. I have a RAM mount with rubber mounting ball bolted to the top of my binnacle, and also a suction cup rubber ball for mounting it under the dodger in foul weather.

If your only plan is to use it at the nav station, then a lot of this stuff is unnecessary.

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post #14 of 21 Old 05-15-2017
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Re: Minimum Specs Needed for a dedicated laptop for OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
An SSD would be a plus as it's faster and more rugged as there are no moving parts. You really don't need a lot of storage, so even 120 GB will be OK unless you are going to load a lot of other programs.
I definitely agree that an SSD has great merit. I love the one on my work laptop. In addition to Jim's notes it is faster to boot and faster to administer. Things like virus scans run really fast.

His post reminds me that most people who set out to have a "boat-only" nav laptop find that they have lots of other things on their machine. Email, movies, music, lots of charts, pictures, Airmail, XGate, all kinds of things. I have never had anyone say they bought a hard drive that was too big. *grin* My work laptop has a 210 GB drive. With Win 7 Pro and a bunch of programs but no movies or music and no pictures and only selected charts I've about 70 GB used. I use a 2 TB external drive for media and charts.

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post #15 of 21 Old 05-15-2017
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Re: Minimum Specs Needed for a dedicated laptop for OpenCPN?

Does having a dated Windows operating system cause an unmitigated exposure to the likes of this ransomware virus going around right now? I understand Win10 is being patched to close the vulnerability.


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post #16 of 21 Old 05-15-2017
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Re: Minimum Specs Needed for a dedicated laptop for OpenCPN?

Minnewaska, that malware that you're referring to uses a vulnerability that was patched 3 months ago.

Regarding Windows 7 vs 10, with all due respect, if you plan on keeping your computer for a while, getting Windows 7 is a sucker's move. Windows 7 is going to stop getting patches in 2.5 years, whereas Windows 10 will be supported till 2025. If you're just using your machine for navigation and maybe web stuff, any difference between operating system versions is minor.
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Re: Minimum Specs Needed for a dedicated laptop for OpenCPN?

Huge problem with Windows 10 is the automatic updates feature. No way to turn it off, no way to schedule or postpone when it kicks in. And when it goes into the update mode, you better pray you have top notch and very fast internet connection, or it will be DAYS before you get to use your computer again.

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post #18 of 21 Old 05-15-2017
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Re: Minimum Specs Needed for a dedicated laptop for OpenCPN?

It's great to see people agree with me to buy the oldest possible computer with the oldest form of Windows on it - and Netscape as a browser.

I just bought a 1950s Cray computer as its far better than Windows 3.1 I always knew Bill Gates was an utter fool. But he never tricked me. I did have XP but any fool knows that's far too modern so I went 3.1 then the Cray.

It fits well on my wooden schooner with 18 masts and no engine.

See? Yanmar is a fool thing too. Those Japanese and Bill Gates... Watch 'em!



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Re: Minimum Specs Needed for a dedicated laptop for OpenCPN?

That is a super-legit problem, especially on some of the flakey WiFi you get in anchorages. However, you can with a little tweaking get Windows 10 to not do automatic updates. Apparently one of the downsides of creating lots of new accounts is that I can't post links, but on cnet dot com there's a page how-to/stop-windows-10-from-automatically-updating-your-pc/ that describes the hoops you can jump through to disable automatic updates.

Note that you should update whenever you can, because getting locked out of your nav system can be a major bummer!
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Re: Minimum Specs Needed for a dedicated laptop for OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Does having a dated Windows operating system cause an unmitigated exposure to the likes of this ransomware virus going around right now? I understand Win10 is being patched to close the vulnerability.
WannaCry has resulted in a lot of patches including one for XP, otherwise not supported by Microsoft. Update your OS and your antivirus of choice (mine is AVG). Check every day for the next week or so as things are still emerging. The global media told the perpetrators how their effort got slowed down so we may well see a more robust surge in the next couple of days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krisscross View Post
Huge problem with Windows 10 is the automatic updates feature. No way to turn it off, no way to schedule or postpone when it kicks in. And when it goes into the update mode, you better pray you have top notch and very fast internet connection, or it will be DAYS before you get to use your computer again.
You can fix that with a policy change but it is a PITA and prone to error by people who aren't used to the tech.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
I just bought a 1950s Cray computer as its far better than Windows 3.1 I always knew Bill Gates was an utter fool. But he never tricked me. I did have XP but any fool knows that's far too modern so I went 3.1 then the Cray.
It's the couch built around the computer core that makes the old Cray a winner.

sail fast and eat well, dave S/V Auspicious

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