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Old 24-05-2011, 01:44   #1
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Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

I got a macbook pro and very good raster charts for PC only .....so I was thinking to use bootcamp to run windows on my Mac and run the charts on the other partition .
After a few headaches trying to get windows installed I started thinking I should buy a cheap PC Laptop on ebay and install the charts on that. Leave the cheap one on board and use it while cruising for email, internet and charts. The macbook can stay at home.
Now I don't know what I should be doing.
Any thoughts out there?

cheers
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Old 24-05-2011, 01:51   #2
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Re: Macbook or cheap laptop on board.....

Once I came over to the Dark Side there was no going back to that other OS.
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Old 24-05-2011, 04:58   #3
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

Whatever your OS religion, cheap laptop with windows (or linux if you can't stand windows) is probably smarter option then exposing your flashy macbook (pro in particular) to salt showers
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Old 24-05-2011, 07:03   #4
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

We have both my MacBook Pro and a cheap laptop aboard. I'm running bootcamp for navigation and sailmail/winlink. A few years back I bought a cheapo EEE PC to take on an extended adventure to Machu Picchu.

When we returned I left aboard for navigation & e-mail. It lasted one winter season and now the keyboard doesn't work - the most used keys just refuse to function. But I had a USB keyboard for a prior PC laptop that died. So far I've used the little EEE PC for two winter cruising seasons.

My MacBook has been along on 5 winter cruising seasons so far (knock on teak) and despite some issues covered under warranty is still chugging right along despite the wicked environment (Panama, Columbia, NW Carib and then back to FL over the 4 years).

Last winter the cheapo laptop didn't come out of it's case in the "office locker", I used the MacBook for everything. Of course, we're currently in Florida finishing up a minor refit and were only able to get away for a one month Keys cruise.

Cheers! Jan
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Old 24-05-2011, 07:14   #5
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

I read in an earlier post about folks using an iPad for navigation. Since that doesn't have a keyboard at all and not really many openings to let the salt air in (or spray) perhaps it's even better than a lap top for durability?

Just a thought
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Old 24-05-2011, 07:16   #6
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

I went with a used Tough book, came in at 825, with touch screen and internal GPS. Seems to be a good unit, will know more when I load the nav. software.
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Old 24-05-2011, 07:21   #7
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by reiner View Post
I got a macbook pro and very good raster charts for PC only .....so I was thinking to use bootcamp to run windows on my Mac and run the charts on the other partition .
After a few headaches trying to get windows installed I started thinking I should buy a cheap PC Laptop on ebay and install the charts on that. Leave the cheap one on board and use it while cruising for email, internet and charts. The macbook can stay at home.
Now I don't know what I should be doing.
Any thoughts out there?

cheers
Reiner
If it is only for charts and navigation you are switching back to Windows, take a look at some of the newer Mac compatible navigation software such as PolarView or MacENC.

Polar Navy - Marine Navigation Software
macenc.com

I'm in the process of making the same decision, but hoping to only have to switch to Fusion/Parallels for winlink.

Mark.
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Old 24-05-2011, 08:43   #8
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

I got a refurbished Dell for $150.00 on eBay and it works as my navigation/email onboard computer. Not fancy but does the job. After 6 months, mostly in tropics, works great.
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Old 24-05-2011, 11:06   #9
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

I'd get PolarView from PolarNavy and run it native on the Mac. The product is free for 30 days - then if you like it, it costs only $40 for a license to run on 5 different computers. So if you end up with a PC laptop, it'll run native there too.

There is a lot in the PolarView product. I can't imagine spending 6 times more for MacENC. MacENC doesn't have as much as PolarView and doesn't give you a PC option (or Linux) if you want additional stations in the future.
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Old 24-05-2011, 15:48   #10
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

I'm going for both as well.

I only need NOAA free ENC charts, and a few RNCs that aren't in vector format versions. Using PolarView is my choice, works well for my needs. I use the Active Captain data input, too. That's my "local knowledge" source.

The MacBook Pro is displayed on a Visio TV/monitor hinged at the companionway opening. I still want a compact PC for this display and the Mac as a backup. I use a cordless mouse from the helm seat with an off switch on the back, carried in my pants pocket.

I have no need to run Windows on my Mac, and I'm thankful for that.

So my MacBook, hopefully a netbook, the $200 monitor, free charts, $40 software, usb puck gps, handheld vhf w/gps built in, and booklet charts in pdf format and printed are my nav package contents. Oh and also, 6" Ritchie, the monochrome chartplotter at the helm with basemap only in the direction I'm going soon.

I'd like to have a Spot and a fixed mount VHF not necessarily in that order.

To the question, I want MacBook and netbook, unless I get a new color chartplotter at the helm. ... not likely before I want to head north off shore of the west coast of Florida soon.
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Old 24-05-2011, 16:48   #11
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ActiveCaptain View Post
I'd get PolarView from PolarNavy and run it native on the Mac. The product is free for 30 days - then if you like it, it costs only $40 for a license to run on 5 different computers. So if you end up with a PC laptop, it'll run native there too.

There is a lot in the PolarView product. I can't imagine spending 6 times more for MacENC. MacENC doesn't have as much as PolarView and doesn't give you a PC option (or Linux) if you want additional stations in the future.
Can you prove that MacENC is 6 times the cost of PolarView and has less features?

It has been suggested that this is a fabrication.
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Old 24-05-2011, 17:06   #12
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

I just don't understand this idea of using "cheap" computers to run your navigation software. Isn't your ability to navigate safely dependent on your equipment, and isn't all equipment subject to failure and at the most inopportune time? The marine environment is harsh, especially on electronics, so why get something cheap and more likely to fail when you need it most? It's not like these things cost thousands of dollars.
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Old 24-05-2011, 17:35   #13
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

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Can you prove that MacENC is 6 times the cost of PolarView and has less features?

It has been suggested that this is a fabrication.
MacENC costs $187. PolarView $50. and only PolarView includes off line access to ActiveCaptain. However we still use MacENC because we consider it a better program, but I suggest that you look at them both. Your requirements may be different than mine.
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Old 24-05-2011, 17:52   #14
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

I vote for take both.And both loaded and ready to navigate.Beaters do go a long time..the only one I've been able to kill was a victim of coffee spill.why wear out or saltspray the mac,out in the middle?Turn both on in the tightspots if you like.If you've only one gps,you could have two..two of everything is nice.
The only caveat is how old can run your favourite software(s!-two of those too!)
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Old 24-05-2011, 18:11   #15
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

Give VMWare Fusion a try. It's like bootcamp, but runs simultaneously with MacOS. You can run your mac apps and windows apps at the same time. I've used it to run MaxSea, Rose Point, and Raymarine's software. All work fine, except ActiveCaptain in MaxSea is a little spastic. When you mouse over an Active Captain icon the popup flashes on and off. If you click it, it stops, but it will trigger an epileptic fit if you aren't careful.

You can download and try Fusion for 30 days for free, and it's only $70 or $80 to pay up for a full license. It's great for those apps that are still only available on Windows, and mitigates the need to ever buy a PC again.
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