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Old 06-10-2009, 15:41   #61
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You can get touch computers for navigation for realistic prices right now: the Asus EeeTop line. For example with Atom 270 and XP: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

or even better, Atom 330 dual core and Vista/Windows 7: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 06-10-2009, 15:49   #62
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Bob, I'm speechless that they are still placing hardware support for COM ports on any motherboard, let alone one targeted for the "real small and cheap" market.
There is still a lot of industrial equipment that communicates via RS232. MSI has an N270 Atom board that supports 6 COM ports. It's only recently that the prices for mini-itx boards have dropped. I think it's the increased retail sales to the home theater market.
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Old 06-10-2009, 17:36   #63
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I used the Intel board for the Atom 330 and agree completely the N270 is a better fit. Not only because it draws half the power (4 watts instead of 8) but also the 270 can work with the less costly 12v power supplies that don't have the P4 connector and the 24 pin main connector. My atom system works great as is and the 4 watts is only a fraction of an amp but if I had it to do over I'd definitely use the 270. While we're on the power supply topic everyone needs to be aware you need a wide input 12v supply to work with most boats. About half of the 12v power supplies available and most of the cases that come with 12v power supplies are not wide input and won't work reliably on a boat. I found this out the hard way.

Thanks for all the info you provided. Logic Supply and short-circuit.com are additional good suppliers that I've had very good first hand experience with.

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Old 06-10-2009, 18:00   #64
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I used the Intel board for the Atom 330 and agree completely the N270 is a better fit. Not only because it draws half the power (4 watts instead of 8)
The N230 and the N330 aren't bad with a TDP of 4 and 8 watts compared to the N270 at 2.5 watts. It's the 945GC chipset that is used with N230 and N330 that sucks down the power. It also keeps the price down. It has a TDP of about 22 watts versus the 945GSE at 6 watts. While both chipsets have the same capabilities if you run a graphics intensive function power consumption for the 945GC based board can be 12 to 24 watts greater than the 945GSE based board.
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Old 06-10-2009, 18:02   #65
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Sounds like a great system and very similar in a lot of ways to my Atom based system. How is the sunlight viewability of the the TV in the cockpit?

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Old 06-10-2009, 18:56   #66
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Hey Chris --

The TV is totally viewable from the cockpit, unless a shaft of sunlight happens to hit it just right towards the end of the day. I can easily view the chart plotter from the cockpit, and often watch movies or football from a relaxed position on the starboard cockpit bench. The swiveling swing arm lets me rotate it 180 into the salon for movie time, or to the nav station for computer work. My radar and AIS will be overlayed on the comp-based chart plotter next season. I'm adding a new broadband radar and moving the radar and HDTV antenna up above the spreader when I pull the stick in the Spring for a refit.

Using an HDTV as the monitor has another nice plus in the multiple HDMI inputs. My WDHD box connects to the TV via HDMI, so movies played from the box are in full 1080p. I rent BluRay DVDs and rip them directly to my 1Tb USB drive. It's nice to have a couple hundred movie choices while sitting on the hook on a rainy day in the PNW.

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Old 07-10-2009, 06:16   #67
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The N230 and the N330 aren't bad with a TDP of 4 and 8 watts compared to the N270 at 2.5 watts. It's the 945GC chipset that is used with N230 and N330 that sucks down the power. It also keeps the price down. It has a TDP of about 22 watts versus the 945GSE at 6 watts. While both chipsets have the same capabilities if you run a graphics intensive function power consumption for the 945GC based board can be 12 to 24 watts greater than the 945GSE based board.
Are you guys still speaking english ?
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:00   #68
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There's always going to some guy around here who complains that you never bothered to look for previous threads when you start a topic. In this particular case he would say "there's no need to reinvent the wheel, us knowledgeable oldtimers have been talking about this since 12 Volt Computers on board !
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:10   #69
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That thread was from 2003...I think as technology marches on a new thread is relevant.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:32   #70
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After the first service pack, Vista became a pretty decent OS. It still suffers from its pre SP1 reputation.

Before purchasing a computer for navigation , check the graphics requirements of the navigation software. Some laptops have very slow graphics. The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and the graphics memory quite often matters more than the CPU when it comes to graphics intensive software.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:45   #71
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After the first service pack, Vista became a pretty decent OS. It still suffers from its pre SP1 reputation.

Before purchasing a computer for navigation , check the graphics requirements of the navigation software. Some laptops have very slow graphics. The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and the graphics memory quite often matters more than the CPU when it comes to graphics intensive software.
Another argument against Vista. You need not bother worrying about 'graphics requirements' of nav software when using even a lowly netbook w/atom processor and WinXP.

MS Vista is a bloated hog. Which is why they can't hardly give it away. Best to stay away from it if you're looking for robustness and simplicity......two things that are imperative to charting software.

Simply because some folks have made the mistake of moving to Vista, please don't try to drag others down into your misery
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:20   #72
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Oh-oh! the old fart woke up again and he's back with another rant:

Most of the above discussion repeats previous posts!
Here is an exhausting if not exhaustive list of the boat computer discussions just here on C&F; There are just as many similar threads on Seven Seas' web site. You will find pros and cons of laptops vs desktops vs 12VDC project boxes vs Weird & Wonderful, PCs vs Macs, OS wars, cheap vs feature-packed, all-in-one vs pick&choose, navstation vs helm vs dinette vs head vs home, durable vs disposable, visible vs useless, and more! What you won't find are a lot of Celestial Gargoyles and computer-phobics, casters-of-lightning-bolts or dry-rotting dead tree huggers, thank goodness!
12 Volt Computers on board
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...stem-2105.html
Using a desktop computer aboard an offshore boat
WiFi availability
Laoptop or Marinised Computer?
Computer Designed for boats - interest?
Whats the best offshore internet connection?
Lap top vs desk top
Scanned Charts on the computer...
laptop gps
XO, OLPC as a boat computer.
Laptops at sea?
Broadband internet?
Antenna for WiFi
PC based marine electronics?
Which Navigation Program Do You Use?
Starting From Scratch - What Would You Do?
Computer advice
Does anybody actually use their nav station?
Computer/Internet access
New Fangled Navigation Systems
Anyone using a low power draw laptop?
Chartplotter Vs. PC based set-up, questions???
12 volt flat panel tv?
Desktop Users?
Toughbook
Mac Mini Desktop Computers
Laptop Power - Direct 12vdc?
The XO Computer for Navigation
Interfacing NMEA Data to Computer
OpenCPN
Long-Distance WiFi Device
PC with Nav Software vs Chartplotter
Marine Computers
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:23   #73
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Another argument against Vista. You need not bother worrying about 'graphics requirements' of nav software when using even a lowly netbook w/atom processor and WinXP.

MS Vista is a bloated hog. Which is why they can't hardly give it away. Best to stay away from it if you're looking for robustness and simplicity......two things that are imperative to charting software.

Simply because some folks have made the mistake of moving to Vista, please don't try to drag others down into your misery

Not Sure,
That has been my personal experience of running 4 different computers professionally on a research vessel, running both XP and Vista. The computers on board are stable enough to run software written for computer controlled oceanographic instruments and sampling gear. We have never had a mission failure because of the Windows OS. We have also never lost what amounts to some really expensive raw data by the time we get back to the dock.

You are always welcome to voice your personal opinion that Windows is garbage. In my experience, it does the job quite well.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:56   #74
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Not Sure,
That has been my personal experience of running 4 different computers professionally on a research vessel, running both XP and Vista. The computers on board are stable enough to run software written for computer controlled oceanographic instruments and sampling gear. We have never had a mission failure because of the Windows OS. We have also never lost what amounts to some really expensive raw data by the time we get back to the dock.

You are always welcome to voice your personal opinion that Windows is garbage. In my experience, it does the job quite well.
No, I didn't say Windows was garbage, I said that Vista was a bloated pig, which it is. Vista's hardware requirements are enormous --just to run its own bloated self, let alone a graphics-intensive program such as charting software. There is no denying that simple fact. Why in the world somebody would want an OS with hardware requirements that immense is beyond me -- Oh yeah, unless they're forced into the upgrade merrygoround that computer manufacturers and operating system manufacturers love to foist on the unsuspecting and gullible public every few years as their revenue needs dictate. Unfortunately for Vista/Microsoft, the public wasn't buying it this time around....literally and figuratively.

For minimalistic systems go with XP, as its reliable* and proven. For giant desktop energy pigs, go with Vista, as the eye-candy alone is worth it, and you're already burning 500+ watts anyways, so what's the diff?

*reliable: as in about as 'reliable' as a Microsoft product is going to get. Which translates to (usually) very infrequent lockups and BSD's (blue screens of death).
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:21   #75
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No, I didn't say Windows was garbage, I said that Vista was a bloated pig, which it is. Vista's hardware requirements are enormous --just to run its own bloated self, let alone a graphics-intensive program such as charting software. There is no denying that simple fact. Why in the world somebody would want an OS with hardware requirements that immense is beyond me -- Oh yeah, unless they're forced into the upgrade merrygoround that computer manufacturers and operating system manufacturers love to foist on the unsuspecting and gullible public every few years as their revenue needs dictate. Unfortunately for Vista/Microsoft, the public wasn't buying it this time around....literally and figuratively.

For minimalistic systems go with XP, as its reliable* and proven. For giant desktop energy pigs, go with Vista, as the eye-candy alone is worth it, and you're already burning 500+ watts anyways, so what's the diff?

*reliable: as in about as 'reliable' as a Microsoft product is going to get. Which translates to (usually) very infrequent lockups and BSD's (blue screens of death).
Nice to think I could try out new software with out being accused of being "gullible"
Seems a bit harsh!
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