Sunday, March 4, 2012

Boat Computer

This morning when I woke up, Bruce was already hard at work in the office on the computer making a list of the things he needs to do to make Ariel ready for the voyage home.  Yes, we close on Wednesday, but that's just a formality.  The wire transfer is set up and the paperwork is in the mail for signatures.  It's (all but) a done deal. 

I wake up and he comes in and slaps me with "We need a boat computer".  OK, so I clutch my coffee cup and start looking for the articles I've read in recent months about buying a computer for your boat.

I've read that laptops have an issue with an internal shock sensor which will basically lock your computer if excessive movement is encountered, to protect the hard drive.  I would think that just being on a boat would constitute "excessive movement", being offshore could send it into orbit!  Coincidentally, the day I read the article, the IT guy at my office was called to fix one of my Dr.'s laptops which had "frozen up".  It turned out to be the shock sensor.  It was set at the factory recommended level and over the year of use, had become "more sensitive"... long story short, the guy reduced the sensitivity level and she's back in business. 

I spoke to the Apple guy at Best Buy and he touted the lack of a hard drive on the Mac Book as a "boat friendly" alternative to a PC.  I'm no techie so don't quote me on any of this, these are just rambling things I've picked up.  I want a MacBook Pro, or maybe the Air, for my boat computer when we go, but several articles seem to agree that it is a good idea to have a "boat computer" and a second computer for processing pictures, blogging, and watching videos, both DVD and streaming, etc.  That's what we've decided to do and I'll buy the Mac closer to our departure date.  Maybe the prices will come down by then. 

Anyway, so I find this article on the Creative Cruising website.  Bruce reads it and compares it to the information he's been able to find and mine.  The IBM Thinkpad T23 Laptop Notebook keeps coming up.  We also like the idea of buying a refurbished one on EBAY for very little money and voila!  We ordered a "boat computer".  It will be waiting for Bruce on the boat when he arrives next week. 

For anyone out there like myself, who is in the information gathering phase of a cruising plan, I'll keep ya posted on how this works out for us, but please do the homework and make your own choices/decisions about spending your money.  I am NO EXPERT!   I'm also still "researching" for the main (my) computer so any advice on the subject from cruisers already "out there" would be noted and appreciated.