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Old 04-03-2011, 13:37   #1
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Setting-Up a Laptop from Scratch

I have a 3 year old laptop that work gave me.

Whilst looking for a boat I thought I would at least do something useful and set up whizz bang to navigate me off the edge.

Read a whole lot & am now totally confused.

So how would you / have you set it up?

What software, hardware end use did you use and achieve

Or should I stick it in a cupboard and use an iPad?
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Old 04-03-2011, 13:41   #2
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Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch

Get a 25 dollar GPS mouse and use "seaclear" free download. You will have to get charts from NOAA and then convert.
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Old 04-03-2011, 13:59   #3
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Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch

I did the same with an Acer Netbook when I finished teaching and didn't need it in school any more. (To be fair, it was originally purchased as the ship's nav computer, but I borrowed it there for a while.... cos it fitted nicely in my handbag!)

I completely reformatted with a copy of Windows7, put Office 2007 on it, Google browser, Google Earth, Mapsource, our MUSIC, Freemind and all the other stuff you need. It's great being able to start with a clean slate, and tailor it for the boat; without having to worry about losing work if you soak it...
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Old 04-03-2011, 14:02   #4
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Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch

I myself would install Ubuntu Linux (free, easy, and almost no malware) and if it likes your computer continue and install OpenCPN and/or SeaClear as nav program(s). Free charts for US waters as S/V_Surya says (tho I don't know why you would need to convert anything). If said puter already has a legal copy of windblows install Ubuntu beside it and use it exclusively as it is SO much more secure and malware free. Then if you just haftagotta use some windblows program you still can do so.

My 2 cents.
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Old 04-03-2011, 14:07   #5
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Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch

James, turn it upside down and find out what voltage it requires, then buy a suitable charger to go from 12v to 19v if that's the voltage. You will use half the amps compared to converting 12v to 240v then back to 19v. I have both options on board and the difference is 2Ah compared to 4Ah.

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Old 04-03-2011, 14:09   #6
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Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch

> Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch
> Get a 25 dollar GPS mouse and use "seaclear" free download. You will
> have to get charts from NOAA and then convert.
> __________________
> Remember, it's only incriminating if it's recorded!

You can also download from CapCode-software suite for sailors | Download CapCode-software suite for sailors software for free at SourceForge.net

Written in Java (so suitable for 32/64bit and any operating system), source code available from same adres.
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Old 04-03-2011, 14:17   #7
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Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch

Great advice, I plan to wipe it and reformat etc,

As I am in OZ. What maps would you suggest are the best alternative?

With this laptop the input to the power cord is 240v and output 18.5v I assume that means I need to run through an inverter.

Please go easy, I am a complete novice here.
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Old 04-03-2011, 14:25   #8
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Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch

Johnathon123

Down load OpenCPN for free for Navigation.
Google CM93 World Charts to find them.

This will give you all you need for navigating with your laptop.

Mark
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Old 04-03-2011, 16:50   #9
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Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch

Navigatrix can be loaded on a 4mb thumb drive. Upgrade to an 8mb you can also load all the CM93 charts and have a fully functioning chartplotter (with a hockey puck GPS) that has charts of the entire world and doesn't need a harddrive to run.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:30   #10
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Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch (I am clueless too)

Sorry to be asking redundant dumb questions on a first post but I am in a similar circumstance and I noticed that sometime in 08 you guys posted the most comprehensive how to guide on Seaclear installation that I have seen to date. I tried it and probably spent a total of 80+ hours and still can't get it to work. Something definitely wrong here and it seems to be in the FILE MANAGENT area. Strangely I can even repair my own computers most of the time and somehow File Management 101 was the class that evaded me. I guess I am so used to "let her rip" plug and play windows operation that this simple fundamental has passed me by. I have seen the tutorials stating Create a file yadda yadda. What I need is the exact layout whatever it may be that will function.
So with that in mind and a slant towards the more file challenged does anyone know where I can get the Exact Blow By Blow File Setup to install Seaclear? I have it and all the maps on 2 different laptop , Win 7 and cursed Vista and neither will find, load charts or allow me to move them over. Also, what KAP file converter is there out there that's really FREE? Everything I see comes back to pay sites, drat.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:34   #11
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Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, driz
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Old 08-05-2011, 21:20   #12
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Re: Setting up a laptop from scratch (I am clueless too)

Quote:
Originally Posted by driz View Post
Sorry to be asking redundant dumb questions on a first post but I am in a similar circumstance and I noticed that sometime in 08 you guys posted the most comprehensive how to guide on Seaclear installation that I have seen to date. I tried it and probably spent a total of 80+ hours and still can't get it to work. Something definitely wrong here and it seems to be in the FILE MANAGENT area. Strangely I can even repair my own computers most of the time and somehow File Management 101 was the class that evaded me. I guess I am so used to "let her rip" plug and play windows operation that this simple fundamental has passed me by. I have seen the tutorials stating Create a file yadda yadda. What I need is the exact layout whatever it may be that will function.
So with that in mind and a slant towards the more file challenged does anyone know where I can get the Exact Blow By Blow File Setup to install Seaclear? I have it and all the maps on 2 different laptop , Win 7 and cursed Vista and neither will find, load charts or allow me to move them over. Also, what KAP file converter is there out there that's really FREE? Everything I see comes back to pay sites, drat.
SeaClear can actually run as a portable,self contained,so if you have the folder with seaclear and MapCal in it you are good to go.The thing is,you have to use MapCal(in the seaclear folder to "find" your charts first.
You can also edit the Seaclear's ini file in a simple editor to point at the directory and much else....I found the grouping thing a bit annoying but it has a purpose...avoid it if you can.Hope this helps.


If you want to make charts or convert em,check out the OpenCPN thread

OpenCPN - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

and search for MapCal_2,Map2Kap,imgkap ...
and more,much,much more.You will need a bit of CMD lining,but if you follow my trail,I think I can prove that the blind leading the blind has it's merits...

GE2Kap is just outside in the
Google Earth to BSB / KAP

Obviously,OpenCPN is definitely worth a look.(Plug!)I'm a big fan.I'd go for the 2.4.423 beta version from the install page as my fave...but I digress.
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Old 08-05-2011, 22:09   #13
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Re: Setting-Up a Laptop from Scratch

Basically you are stuck if you want to "rebuild" an excess older computer (regardless of whether it is a Lapbook, notebook, netbook, or desktop) unless you are computer literate.
- - I find it similar to somebody giving you a 1968 Ford Pinto and lots of parts and telling you to "go to it" and we will meet on the other end of the interstate highway at rush hour. You need to be able to know what you have, what you need and how to do it. Otherwise, you just have a pile of scrap surplus metal which you might be able to sell or exchange it for something "put together" already.
- - That is why there are "geeks" and then everybody else. You can buy off the internet very economically ready to go small computers that do not need to be re-assembled from a pile of parts. Sorry about that - but that is real life.
- - Just like the Cruising Lifestyle which is and has been discussed on the CF forum as a place where an "individual" can take back his life from the bureaucrats and do-gooders who want to protect the newbie Cruiser from himself. Building a navigation computer from a pile of parts is not a Xmas morning exercise in attaching part A to part B by interlocking part joint C. It is much more. And time after time newbie's seem to want the "magic secret" to a successful life cruising the oceans. There isn't any magic secret, just plain old hard work and tons of self and organized education.
- - Without the willingness to "put in the time" necessary to learn and school yourself in the cruising lifestyle you had best just buy a Carnival Cruise Ship Lines passage to paradise. To do otherwise is to willingly invite in doom and disaster up to including death. Bluntly put - you can't fool Mother Nature - if you don't know what you are doing she will take you down.
- - Electronic marine navigation is also in that very arena. If you don't know and appreciate its limitations and abilities along with the responsibilities of being able to recognize and operate the "whiz-bang" equipment, you are best to do without and learn the basic pencil, map and dividers nautical navigation. It is a lot safer for both you and your family or whoever is going with you.
- - Too many newbie's throw money at the latest fanciest fiberglass and ceramic/metal parts thinking that they are "safe" or guaranteed happiness and paradise in direct relationship to the amount of money they spend. Ain't so - - no way, no how.
- - As I said at the beginning the Cruising boats, the people and their lifestyle is for those folks who are itching to reclaim their birthright as responsible people who are in charge of their own destinies. You cannot buy your way into that arena for very long - you have to do the work and sweat and blood and accept the risks and ultimate dangers of living on the edge. - - some edges being a bit sharper than other edges. Which can make them just that much more rewarding.
- - So my considered advice is to learn the computer system, install and operate it with the knowledge that comes with learning it. And then you don't have to put your own and your families lives at risk on a foggy drizzle morning while threading your way back into a safe harbor through crashing surf.
- - Just a personal gripe/peeve I have about folks wanting the "easy way" around a dangerous activity/situation.
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