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Old 11-02-2011, 18:51   #16
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Vacuum bagging it is okay because the vacuum created isn't that deep I think and certainly not enough to break the seal of the drive.

I'm not even sure if the drive itself is vacuum... it might be pressurized with nitrogen for example. I think original packaging is also pressurized with nitrogen.

I vacuum a lot of spare parts and even some tools that I hope will never have to use

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 11-02-2011, 19:28   #17
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I'm going to have to second the vote on the Panasonic Toughbook. I'm a diehard Toughbook fan and have used them for fifteen years. My older CF-29 boat-dedicated laptop has taken a real beating aboard, twice falling from the chart table to the floor without a hiccup, not to mention salt spray and just general knocking about.

You don't have to buy a new one for $6k though. Decent off-lease three or four year old ones go for around $500 - $700. The CF29, CF 30, CF 18 and CF 19 are the true ruggerdized ones with the other models just being heavy duty.
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Old 11-02-2011, 19:36   #18
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MacBook Pro. I run MacOS and Windows at the same time. Say Sailmail in a Windows window next to nav software and all the great Mac stuff in Mac windows. Less than 60 watts. Very portable, durable. Not to mention hip.

Why would one need a super rugged laptop on a cruising yacht any more than one would need super rugged in a cafe ashore, for example?
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Old 11-02-2011, 19:49   #19
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Okay, toughbook ain't bad but... y'all have been brainwashed by Bill lol .. he messed up your brains good


Nick

Bill who?

Ever heard of Linus?
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Old 11-02-2011, 20:51   #20
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I vote mac, cause way less viruses, and can run both os. only problem with mac is now that they have taken over the market, they'll charge you $35/hour to talk to tech support.
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Old 11-02-2011, 22:05   #21
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MacBook Pro. I have had every laptop out there and they always had problems and I would get about 2 years out of them..I finally switched to Mac and it was the best decision I ever made. So much user friendly , no crashes, no viruses, and no problems ever. The lighter keyboard is nice too. I dropped my four year old Mac the other day and cracked the frame around the screen, took it to the apple store and they replaced it for free.
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Old 11-02-2011, 22:16   #22
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This is by far the easiest question to answer: an Apple Macbook Pro with it's aluminium body. It isn't the cheapest option of course. If it's outside the price-range you're looking for you will have to settle for plastic so look at the non-pro MacBooks in that case, but the durability will move towards the average laptops of course.
I hate Apple; it is just so weird after having spent so much time with windows. Maybe this is why I subconsciously let the boss’s aluminum laptop fall out a car door onto the pavement? To my surprise – and possibly even luck – despite a decent dent in one corner it still worked perfect.
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Old 11-02-2011, 23:08   #23
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I've used all types, but not on a boat. Currently using a MacBookPro on the boat, trying to get it sorted out for coastal cruising.

I've been looking into 12v computers. Like "carputers", from mini-box.com and mp3car.com. Interesting features geared toward mobile 12v environment.

Also the Asus EeeBox 1501p because it has a slot loading dvd.

Has anyone any experience with these types?

I'd like my Mac to be a backup to a permanent low power on board setup.
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Old 11-02-2011, 23:20   #24
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I just ordered the Asus eb1501p

ASUS Eee Box EB1501P-B016E Intel Atom Dual Core D525 (1.80GHz) Processor, 2GB DDR3 1333MHz Memory, 320GB Hard Drive, Slot-in Super Multi DVD-RW, Next-Generation NVIDIA ION (GT218-ION) Graphics Card, HDMI out, High-speed 802.11n, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit Preloaded. Also comes with wireless mouse and keyboard and 6 USB ports.

It can be tucked away in a corner somewhere and uses minimun power.

Cheers, Jim

PS and did I say it is 7.6" x 7.6" x 1.53"?
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Old 11-02-2011, 23:35   #25
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jimthom, do me favor when you get a chance, please. Look on the power brick and note the specs for me.

I'm interested in the DC power output voltage and amps rating of the brick.

I'm mounting a 12v LED tv/monitor on a hinge in the companionway. I'd like to tuck a puter in behind my nav station seat back. Or, I think this one comes with a bracket to mount directly on the back of a monitor.
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Old 12-02-2011, 00:33   #26
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I highly recommended the HP nr3610 (also known as the IX260)
HP nr3610 Rugged Notebook PC - Worldwide QuickSpecs

I got mine for $150 after shipping from ebay, could have got it for $70 without a decent battery, this battery holds 3.5 ours of charge. It has built in WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and broadcom (connects via cell towers), water resistant, vibration/shock proof, touchscreen, daylight visible LCD screen

downside, it only has 1 USB port and weighs 10lbs

I came with some sort of crappy windows but I scrapped that and use Linux Debian
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Old 12-02-2011, 00:39   #27
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I've been looking into 12v computers. Like "carputers", from mini-box.com
There is no such thing as a 12V computer. All computers convert whatever voltage they get to the several that they need. The brains tend to run at only 1.4V or whatever the chip technology needs. So you might as well start at 120V or whatever the charger produces.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:02   #28
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I'm aware of system voltages inside a computer. I built my first one in 1979 by manually wire wrapping a breadboard circuit to create my own motherboard.

Away from the dock power, 12v is the most readily available power source is it not?

Also, a desktop computer can be converted to 12v operation by replacing the AC power supply (ATX form factor) with a 12v ATX power supply that then supplies the various DC voltages required by the logic circuits, hard drive motors, DVD motors, and fans, etc. These voltages can include, 12v, 5v, 3v, and yes down to 1.5 or less for logic circuits.

Actually modern laptops may input 18-19 volts into the machine itself, provided by the AC brick.

As the Q factor of the squarewave pulses have improved over the years they are more defined as "square" at lower and lower voltage potentials, and therefore more easily detected and counted at lower voltage potentials. Early production logic circuits were limited to 5 volts because they lost their shape at lower voltages and became hard to detect and count.

Thing is it needs a regulated 12v, so it can't be straight to boat power because that varies between 11-15 volts or so. This requires a 12v to 12v dc regulator that accepts this varying input and outputs a steady 12v. Some have that function built in the 12v ATX supply.

The small form factor (L1?) type usually require an external 12v to 12v regulator to perform properly. For example when a car engine is started the varying loads and voltage changes would freak out a motherboard in a computer, if turned on at the time without a regulated input.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:01   #29
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I have been building, repairing, & using computers in the marine world for a number of years.
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON A NEW LAPTOP.
Seriously.
Buy two used laptops from a reputable dealer on eBay.
One to use, one for backup. If you can get the same model, even better.

Unless you are going to buy a military grade housed laptop, your computer is going to fail.
It WILL fail. So will your external hard drive, so will your flatscreen monitor/HDTV. If you can get more than 4 years out of any of these items while living on the hook, write about it.

Doing a solid, configured install, and making a comprehensive full fledged backup/disk image, incrimental backups, then burning it to multiple DVD-Rs & storing them away is your only true defence against the salt air and pounding.

Macs are solid, but for compatibility reasons (ie the rest of the world) get a PC with M$ Windows XP. I'm no fan of Windows, trust me, but if you want it to work, and be fixable when it doesn't, get a PC laptop w/XP.
There is also more software relating to cruising available for Windows than Mac more than 2-1.
Then consider the price points. I can get 4 - 8 used dual core PC laptops for the price of 1 Mac Pro, even if it is sexy.

PM me if anyone has questions or needs any advice.
I'll teach you for free, but if you want me to do it for you, contact me for a free quote.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:12   #30
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I typically replace my computer every 4 or 5 years anyway. Last one was an Acer that made it a little over 5 years, on land. My MacBook will be protected as much as possible from the elements when not in use. Always in the cabin of course. I'm not a live aboard cruiser yet.

My LED tv cost $200. If it lasts four years that's 50 bucks a year to watch dvd and tv and and have a 19 widescreen chart display.

Those are acceptable parameters for me.
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