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Re: OT: suggestions for rugged portable computer

On Mon, Mar 12, 2007 at 10:32:54PM -0400, Douglas Allan Tutty wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 12, 2007 at 09:31:57PM -0400, Kevin Mark wrote:
> > On Mon, Mar 12, 2007 at 08:57:27PM +0000, Clive Menzies wrote:
> > > On (12/03/07 16:10), Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:
> > > > On Mon, Mar 12, 2007 at 03:44:46PM -0400, Douglas Allan Tutty wrote:
> > > > > I'm going to be travelling in semi-wilderness and would like to take a
> > > > > computer with me.  Primarily for note-taking with vim, and when a
> > > > 
> > > > Will you be travelling by vehicle (or by horse or otherwise mounted) or
> > > > will you be on foot and having to carry everything yourself?
> > > 
> Traveling by car through semi-wilderness but not staying there
> overnight.  That would be camping an a whole other kettle of fish.

using it in a car or storing it there is not a consideration.

>   By
> semi wilderness I mean Northern Ontario, logging roads, no cell
> coverage,

Not an issue as long as you dont need 'on-the-road' net.

>  no or poor pavement, a couple of hours away from the nearest
> town or village.  

Power is a consideration. You need power that will not jump around
--regulated. maybe a 12v battery with a way to convert to the needed ac
or dc. IIRC some micro-atx or similar use dc power bricks.

> I just came back from 3 weeks.  -40 C plus windchill.

This temerature is an issue if a computer (or more to the point an LCD)
where to be exposed for a reasonbly long time. I'd have to check the
toughbook specs to see where they work. I dont see using a CRT as they
are too heavy, big and use too much power. Unless you want a 9" green

> I suppose its only semi-wilderness as long as the car is running :-)
> Since its by car, weight isn't a real issue but size is to some extent.
> I want a case somewhat smaller than a typical desktop box, and with
> everyting integrated it doesn't need expansion cards.  Something along
> the lines of a 1U server (pizza box) only closer to a laptop in
> footprint so it fits in a briefcase-size Pelican.
> Need it in an airtight case to prevent condensation when I bring it
> indoors at the end of the day at the motel, hense the Pelican case.
> After it warms up I could check email. 
Condensation is the most pressing. A ruggedized laptop might address
> I've had two laptops.  Once clone died when my house got hit by
> lightening while I was using it.

I would guess that the laptop was connected to a phone line or power
line. You'd need some protection for the telephone line even in the
city. And you should almost use a UPS to guard aginst power spikes and
power loss.

>   I figure induction from the current in
> the metal roof fried the display.  The ThinkPad fried itself when the tent
> I was in got hit by lightning.  If they hadn't been laptops, I may have
> been able to replace individual components (e.g. screen or power
> supply) simply.
> Thanks,
> Doug.
toughbook ->phone surge protector->phone
          -> regulated power->power


shuttle pc ->phone surge protector->phone 
           ->converter->12v battery
lcd monitor->converter->12 v battery

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