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Old 02-11-2003, 16:00   #1
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SSB e-mail Down-load rate??

I am working on a "home-business" project that could be done from a boat.

To run this business I need to receive e-mails on a daily basis via SSB.

I have a SEA 235R SSB on the boat and use it for phone patches and such, but have zero experience with e-mail and on-board computer.

Undrstand I need to get a Pactor III Pro modem and a lap-top.

Question # 1: What is the down-load rate under good/average conditions? I need to download e-mail spread sheet kind of grafics message with a file size of 47 to 50 KB. How long would this take using the above SSB set-up...?

Question # 2: I need to get a lap-top, but trying to stay budget, is an old used lap-top PC OK for that kind of e-mail stuff?
Or is the processor, memory and speed etc important for downloading e-mails.....And weather faxes?

Thanks for any and all answers, I am buying the beer...
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Old 02-11-2003, 16:57   #2
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CSY Man

For your purposes & with your skill level in mind (with computers) I'd suggest that you stay away from used hardware. Any low performance laptop should be able to handle your data transmission requirements but you'll need to consider what you're running software wise.

1) Will Office XP be necessary or can you get by with O2k or even O97 or will you go another route entirely (say, Star Office) ... your software & compatibility requirements will dictate your hardware requirements.

2) I'd suggest that you look into business leases, Gateway, Compaq, IBM & others offer attractive options here & that expense (or at least some portion of it) should be deductable. Further advantages would be reliability to begin with & strong service options (including replacement) should the unit fail you.

I will personally recommend IBM ThinkPads, they do carry a higher initial purchase price if you buy one with cash but leasing, tax deductions, overall reliability, great service & trade in/resale value can drive your total costs right down into or below the range of many lessor machines.

IBM isn't just a label, ThinkPads set the standards by which all others are judged. My first laptop was a 1mb 286, I've upgraded to higher performance examples regularly & I've never regretted using ThinkPads.

The following URL should be of some interest to you ...

http://www.cruiseemail.com/index.htm

"Under good conditions you can transmit 4000 characters in less than 2 minutes with PACTOR II".

That's a tolerable rate & you're talking Pactor III ... bandwidth shouldn't be a problem until you start getting 'cartoon of the day' faxes.

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Old 02-11-2003, 17:24   #3
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Okay Mr. Troubledour.

Thanks for the quick reply.

Well, ya said "my skill level", does that indicate a low and slow level...

Yes, I had two IBM Thinkpads earlier, back in the early to mid-nineties in the black and white days..one was a 2MB 386, the next one a 4MB 486...., I do like those machines...Never thought of leasing, hmm, perhaps it makes sense, but hate having to pay bills every month.
IBM would also be my first choice, I like that little red dot in the middle

Don't know anything about star-office or such, I just need to receive one e-mail every day and the size of the e-mail is 47 to 50 kb.
No idea how many characters that is......You mentioned 4000 characters in less than 2 minuttes, but that was transmitting, hows about receiving?

So back to the core of the problem: 47 or 50 kb receiving...
Sailmail is limited to 10 minuttes a day....?
How many characters per kb, or mb and so on..?

(I just read an article in Crusing World about that stuff, but still have questions as my purposes may be different from the authors)

Thanks again for advice and answers.

CSY Man..
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Old 02-11-2003, 17:34   #4
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Found these used IBM lap-tops on the internet, for pretty much the same price....Which models are good and which are not good?





http://www.usanotebook.com/search.php
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Old 02-11-2003, 18:05   #5
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I haven't found a firm speed statement in bits per second. Be aware, SSB is very slow by comparison to even a dialup connection, it will essentially take you back to the baud old days speedwise (gaud I kill myself) ...



http://www.4marine-electronics.com/emailafloat.html

There's another URL to check out while I eat dinner, then have a look at the lappies mentioned above. I don't have any idea what your business is, that means that I have no idea of how time sensitive it is or just how mission critical reliability might be.

You'll need to make that assessment or tell me more about what happens to your business if the laptop gets weird on some given Tuesday afternoon while you're nowhere close to port.

Even if I know more & make a recommendation, the decision is obviously yours. I can say that I almost always lean toward reliability ... life's short, who needs hassles.

Troubledour

Let me add that you've still told me nothing that gives me any idea of your performance requirements. Will you simply be viewing spread sheets or performing complex functions with them, do you need to be compatible with anybody elses software ? Generally speaking, if you're pulling in data files from numerous sources you want latest/greatest software options (software is typically backward compatible, but not forward)

Star Office is a suite of office apps like M$ Office & is highly compatible with M$. It was developed by Sun Microsystems & was initially a freebie d/l that I used to install on recycled (give-away) hardware. You might want to check it out.

http://wwws.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/
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Old 02-11-2003, 19:13   #6
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IBM ThinkPad A21p

That's the one that catches my eye, I'd be happier with it if it were running W2k Pro & O2k, but that's with my usage in mind & not yours. At $800.00 it's a pretty strong value & it should easily meet typical needs.

My current lappy is an A31p & it's nothing less than a workstation class laptop. Most people don't need such a machine but my usage isn't typical. Further, this is one that won't be passed on to the kids or my dad, it's a year old now & I'll upgrade again in a few months. When I do, the A31 gets charting software, a dvd player & good speakers. It'll then become a dedicated marine unit.

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Old 02-11-2003, 19:53   #7
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Okay Mr. Troubleadour, thanks for links and advice.

Well, my business thing is not too coplex and don't need much interaction with other stuff, except if I was to be out of touch for a few days, I could loose my shirt...

So, need fairly relaible stuff, but not doing hearth surgery here, could miss a day or so, but not too many days in a row.

My back-up would be phone patches on the same SSB, or if in range around some populated island or land-mass, cell phone.

Will e-mail ya info on this "business" so ya can see what I am talking about.

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Old 18-11-2003, 19:37   #8
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From Latts & Atts Classifieds ...

http://206.131.241.61/ubb/ultimatebb...c&f=2&t=000436

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Old 18-11-2003, 22:31   #9
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Thanks, looking into it, but the cost of Sat-Com may be high..?

Hmm, came to think of it, somebody gave me a sat-phone the other day...Should take a second look at it.
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