Home computer

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:19
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Hi all, Would it be a good idea to have a full size computer in your van ? Would it stand up to the rocking and rolling? Thinking about having one built in by BTI any comments appreciated? Thanks in advance Macka
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Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:21

Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:21
Macka, might need to check out the power consumption too. As for the rocking and rolling, I would prefer a laptop as it is made to be moved around and the motherboards are often cushioned a little more. The amount of space a full computer would take might be another consideration, although I notice they are getting smaller. I have seen some that are laptop size with the power of a full computer but again, I would be looking at the power consumption. I have just bought a Panasonic Toughbook W2 which has a 12.1" screen to use in the van and Effie for mapwork. Might be a bit small for you but they do make larger models. The Toughbook range have been tested under military conditions and are made to take a bit of knocking about. Angie 13 sleeps to go
AnswerID: 562680

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:22

Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:22
Angie, Thanks for the reply I am aware of that but do believe I will need a larger one since I am so addicted and so is the wife but I would like access to a virtual office whilst on the road for financial stuff and have it conected to a laptop in vechicle which would be mainly for navigation purposes. Regards Macka
AnswerID: 562681

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:23

Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:23
I can't provide technical figures, but a laptop uses a fraction of the power of a desktop. That is one reason why laptops are more expensive, as the manufacturers have been continuously improving the method of heat dissipation because they don't have a cooling fan, and improving battery life which is also related to power consumption as much as to the battery technology). The other advantage of a laptop is that you can purchase an adaptor for about $100 and run it directly off a 12v outlet when you are away from mains power supply. Crudely, a laptop is about 50% more expensive than the equivalent-featured desktop model (though it is rare to see a disc size great than 60-80Gb in a laptop, whereas desktops now commonly offer about 120Gb. But 60Gb is a lot,and would adequately handle MP3 and photo storage and would only be limiting if you wanted to store video as well). Prices have fallen dramatically over the last 6 months and a quality laptop is now around the $2,200 mark. Having bought about 7 PC's over last 5 years (of both types), I can definitely recommend Dell for quality and value. Phil
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Reply By: Cracker - Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:24

Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:24
Macka, I have a laptop in my van which doubles as the TV, and stereo system. It's a 16" screen sager with a P4 3.0 mhz cpu with twin channel 1012 kb DDR 400 ram.

I have stored about 1,000 songs on it from CD's which are played via the 3.5 headphones output jack into the van's stereo speaker system.

It has a TV tuner built in so all I have to do is - wind up the ariel, hit the scan button, then flick through the "located " channels.

I'm biased but I think that a laptop is the way to go - SONGS / TV / INTERNET / GPS link, all in one package, and weighing less than 5 kgs.

AnswerID: 562683

Reply By: Bushtracker42 - Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:25

Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:25
I certainly vote for a laptop. I have a 14.1” which
can handle high resolution, but about to go to a 15” widescreen version soon.

Mine fits in the roller draws in the car, which was important
for me as most of my work life lives on it, and its reasonably secure there
(good excuse for these too). I have phone connection on CDMA + a modem on
the satellite which allows me connection anywhere (very slowly on satellite). I’m
not lugging the tower in the car for this.

The other big thing is if you have to work, a
notebook + good batteries gives you a few hours under the trees pretending you


Gary Harding

TriSys Engineering/III

AnswerID: 562684

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:26

Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:26
Macka, From a mechanical stand point .... I built a Desktop from bare case to functioning back in '95. I didnt do any of the software install or optimising of it ..I just screwed all the bits in place and connected the wires. The chassis of the case holds all the drives and boards etc and they are held in place with very small machine threaded fasteners. These would have to be loctite'd in place for a pc to travel very far .... I remember I used to travel with mine quite a bit in the car to get to a friends place to network with car race sims so we could race against 4 others in the same room. Although nothing ever failed from moving it all the time the drives etc used to go out of alignment in their respective slots and chassis elongated holes. Horses for courses ..they really are not meant for too much bumpy travel from a mechanical standpoint. Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 562685

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:27

Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:27
Hi all, Thanks for the input. Tony looks like I'll have to loctite the screws in. I was planning to mount it on foam bottom and top and have ventilation at the sides cut in by BTI in a specially made cabinet. Thanks Macka
AnswerID: 562686

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:28

Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 14:28
Why not use a VIA mini-ITX mother board. You can get a case that is either 240vAC or 12vDC and they are designed to be rugged. The cases are 65mm(H) x 210mm(D) x 258mm(W) and contain everything. Use a wireless keyboard and mouse, and you only need a cable for the monitor.
AnswerID: 562687

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