New laptop recommendations


#21

KC,

As usual, you are spot on. Those issues and others arise.

The original post appeared to indicate an ‘instead of ship’s equipment usage’, but that is only as I understood it and perhaps not as it was intended.

Regardless, many operations spend a lot of effort, time and money to keep appropriate portfolios onboard, the charts and pubs updated, both paper and electronic. Use of uncontrolled personal navigational software / equipment has no place for us, but that is our particular situation and is one that suits us.

Will computer based navigation software become so reliable and universal that it will be treated like parallel rules and dividers? That is all give the same results if you use them properly? Probably not - because the global market is too small to develop the complex solutions needed to keep charting software up to date.

I can see where it might be a good supplement to whatever is at hand. Just beware of liability concerns, because at the first incident, questions will arise …

=============

PS - My wife chose the Mac.


#22

[QUOTE=+A465B;130684]KC,

As usual, you are spot on. Those issues and others arise.

The original post appeared to indicate an ‘instead of ship’s equipment usage’, but that is only as I understood it and perhaps not as it was intended.

Regardless, many operations spend a lot of effort, time and money to keep appropriate portfolios onboard, the charts and pubs updated, both paper and electronic. Use of uncontrolled personal navigational software / equipment has no place for us, but that is our particular situation and is one that suits us.

Will computer based navigation software become so reliable and universal that it will be treated like parallel rules and dividers? That is all give the same results if you use them properly? Probably not - because the global market is too small to develop the complex solutions needed to keep charting software up to date.

I can see where it might be a good supplement to whatever is at hand. Just beware of liability concerns, because at the first incident, questions will arise …

=============[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the kind words. I can see that you are accustomed to dealing with arrogant pricks.

I do think the OP was considering replace not add. From the point of view of the company a blanket banning of outside equipment / software might make sense in many cases.

However from the individuals standpoint; most mariners are going to make it through their career without serious incident. So say you’re on a crap equipped boat and your own equipment can increase your situational awareness and cut down on workload significantly. I think a 30% reduction in risk is not out of line. However this is one more crack in the defense for the opposing lawyer to try and pry open in the event of an incident. Say you potential liability is increased. By how much? Hard to say. If you’re doing it right maybe not at all. The tradeoff is a very real reduction in the risk of having an incident with a possible increase in liability but only if there is an incident.

In your example it was a loss of SA and big gain in liability. Not worth it in that case.

EDIT By serious incident I mean the death of more then one mariner or the injury of a migratory bird.


#23

There is a big difference between what should be done on a ship run by a well funded and managed shipping company, and the reality of what is too often done on small vessels such as tugs, by poorly funded and mismanaged companies.

Some tug companies expect officers to supply their own laptops and chart programs citing liability concerns. I suspect the truth is that they are just to cheap to install the equipment.

Some companies equip their boats with cheap small recreational quality equipment. Some boats have gps plotter combos that I just don’t know how to operate. Sometimes they are full of tracks created by unknown persons of questionable ability.

I just need a laptop with chart programs that work and that I know how to run from from the first minute onboard. I also like having my own trusted tracks available for use.


#24

Tugsailor, I’ve had good luck with the older version of this Dual GPS/Bluetooth gizmo, ports through solid on Mac, PC and Os6/7… Haven’t tried the combo US/Russian Sat combo but I like the idea… I’ve stuck the older version on a few different stacks, bridge wings and visors… http://www.pilotmall.com/product/Dual-SkyPro-GPS-Receiver/dual-gps-receivers?r=googlefeed&gclid=CKKvy-7DzbwCFQNufgodvSYAfg For AIS I use this ACR receiver either w/a rubber duckie antenna ( 5 mile or so range) or plug into any extra PL 259’s hanging around… Power up w/cig lighter or ac wall wart… http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=63246 USB output so no RS 232 adaptor pain, but doesn’t port through as solid as the Dual… As you probably know, all us charts are downloadable for free, my old Dell crashed hard, went to McDonalds and downloaded SeaClear Chart plotter and every West coast chart for the price of a Big Mac and fries…


#25

As a backup, an android device with the app MX Mariner using the internal GPS has been easy. The app costs about $7 now and is pretty much the same as OpenCPN.
I also have a touch screen Acer laptop running Windows 8. With opencpn it’s very easy to use. But I prefer the smaller size and lighter weight of an android tablet (or phone).


#26

[QUOTE=tugsailor;130729]There is a big difference between what should be done on a ship run by a well funded and managed shipping company, and the reality of what is too often done on small vessels such as tugs, by poorly funded and mismanaged companies.

Some tug companies expect officers to supply their own laptops and chart programs citing liability concerns. I suspect the truth is that they are just to cheap to install the equipment.

Some companies equip their boats with cheap small recreational quality equipment. Some boats have gps plotter combos that I just don’t know how to operate. Sometimes they are full of tracks created by unknown persons of questionable ability.

I just need a laptop with chart programs that work and that I know how to run from from the first minute onboard. I also like having my own trusted tracks available for use.[/QUOTE]

So true. I wanted/needed a plotter while still working for a crewboat company that was too cheap to put one in the wheelhouse. Never understood that. For the cost of hauling a boat to repair bent wheels,they could have put a plotter on every boat in their fleet to avoid the problem. Haven’t used my own equipment since working for companies that have good chartplotters, but I have it on board as a back up.


#27

Took theDual XGPS150 A out in the woods today. Never lost the signal. Very accurate. It’s nice and small, kept it in an upper vest pocket.

I broke the “Apple / Android” switch. I was having a little bit of trouble getting it going and was making sure it was full over. It’s a tiny thing and not very sturdy.

As far as laptops; I’ve been using an Acer Aspire 5334 which I like, got it on sale. I have had a Acer Aspire One netbook with XP for a while, still works good. Paid $300 for it. Had it for a while, a little small for serious work but otherwise handy.


#28

I work for a multi billion dollar company that has the worst outdated equipment on the bridges of their boats than any boat I have ever been on. I use the Nobeltec Time Zero plotter/AIS program for 90% of my electronic navigational information. Which by the way is an excellent program to say the least. I just purchased a Samsung 15" Windows 8.1 laptop & I am thrilled with it; Totally thrilled. Light weight, unbelievable 1080P picture quality and a great looking unit. It ain’t cheap but you really get what you pay for with this laptop. It takes a little getting used to 8.1 but it has some great features.


#29

[QUOTE=SmoothSailer;130788]I work for a multi billion dollar company that has the worst outdated equipment on the bridges of their boats than any boat I have ever been on. I use the Nobeltec Time Zero plotter/AIS program for 90% of my electronic navigational information. Which by the way is an excellent program to say the least. I just purchased a Samsung 15" Windows 8.1 laptop & I am thrilled with it; Totally thrilled. Light weight, unbelievable 1080P picture quality and a great looking unit. It ain’t cheap but you really get what you pay for with this laptop. It takes a little getting used to 8.1 but it has some great features.[/QUOTE]

I tried windows 8 on a non touch screen desktop and hated it. However, I like the idea of a touch screen laptop with windows 8.1.

I thought about getting a Toughbook, but is around $3,500. I thought about a reconditioned somewhat obsolete Toughbook for $850.

I have a huge 17" HP laptop but it’s too big and now over five years old. I don’t like all the crap that HP preloaded onto it. much of it I could not get rid of. I have a very small Dell laptop but it’s too small and there is no CD drive in it.

A few years ago another guy had a Mac laptop that ran windows, but it was really slow at running windows.

Someone suggested that I get a flat screen monitor and a mini-desktop. We had that permanently installed on a boat that I was on awhile ago. It looks too complicated and awkward to lug around.

I am leaning toward a fairly cheap computer because it will be moved around a lot, and there is often no good secure way to mount it in the wheelhouse. The risk of breakage makes me reluctant to over invest in something so fragile.

I want a new Toughbook, but I’m not willing to spend $3,500.

I was hoping that someone might know of a semi-rugged laptop that is reasonably priced. Come on, why should a little no skid rubber coating quadruple the price?

Another issue is comparability. I want a laptop that works well with Nobletec and RosePoint, and that does not have endless problems with on board connections and adapter cables.


#30

I don’t have nobletech on my personal computer my self, but the research vessel I work on has nobletech. We run it on a Toshiba computer and it has worked great, no complaints.


#31

I prefer to go through 10 laptops (or tablets) at $350 each to one ruggedized at $3500

EDIT: The only reason I got a IPad was because I need world-wide chart coverage. Navionics charts were cheaper for IPad so the total cost of machine and charts was lower.

I will say the IPad is nice, but if you only are running one or two programs (I wouldn’t mix work and personal machines) ease of use of the operation system is not really a issue as you will be always navigating (so to speak) inside that one program.


#32

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;130822]I prefer to go through 10 laptops (or tablets) at $350 each to one ruggedized at $3500

EDIT: The only reason I got a IPad was because I need world-wide chart coverage. Navionics charts were cheaper for IPad so the total cost of machine and charts was lower.

I will say the IPad is nice, but if you only are running one or two programs (I wouldn’t mix work and personal machines) ease of use of the operation system is not really a issue as you will be always navigating (so to speak) inside that one program.[/QUOTE]

I am using an iPad which is enclosed in an “otter box” that makes it very rugged. However, I have no way to get AIS data into it, and it’s just to small a screen.

I agree about buying a cheaper expendable and easily replaceable laptop.


#33

[QUOTE=tugsailor;130850]I am using an iPad which is enclosed in an “otter box” that makes it very rugged. However, I have no way to get AIS data into it, and it’s just to small a screen.

I agree about buying a cheaper expendable and easily replaceable laptop.[/QUOTE]

I didn’t set up the system I’m using so I don’t really know the details. Our AIS and GPS are both on a MEMA network, that feed (same as a pilot plug) is broadcast via WIFI which INavX receives.

I find the Ipad screen to be too small also.

I think DredgeBoyTJ knows more about the nuts and bolts of this then I do.


#34

A comment on using a laptop with Nobeltec Time Zero program for navigation & traffic separation information. I use my Samsung laptop with a Nobeltec Time Zero program & have done so for several months now. I have a Furuno 150 AIS onboard & I use a 9 pin connector with an USB adapter, purchased at Radio Shack, to hook into the FA-1501 AIS transponder unit which sends GPS & AIS information to my laptop. This set up has worked perfectly 100% of the time with absolutely no problems what so ever. Prior to using this set up I contacted Nobletec, Which could not have been more professional & helpful, as well as Furuno to make sure that in no way would this use of the output on the FA-1501 transponder affect my the vessel’s AIS signal. I operate out of the busiest petroleum support port in the world & the AIS is essential to safe operation. I highly recommend the use of this for a source of navigation information. A WORD OF CAUTION! A good navigator will use a combination of all available navigation information at their disposal and NEVER DEPEND ON ANY ONE SOURCE. A laptop with a plotting program is a tool, only 1 tool; I suggest you use it as an additional source of information to complement your onboard navigation equipment such as radar, GPS, AIS and the most important of all dead reckoning & pilotage.


#35

MAC!! Windows 8 STINKS.

I’ve been using PC for years now, but damn, everytime I use a mac, its so much smoother and simpler to operate. Much more reliable from what i’ve seen as well. That will be my next computer.


#36

[QUOTE=ringap;130583]For me personally, never own another PC, or have them in my home. Have gone all Apple, My Macbook Pro. imac at home for a desk top, and the wife has her Macbook Pro as well. I would recommend to use Parallels instead of Bootcamp when installing/ running Windows. You can run them side by side, and even access the files from the mac or windows side. I purchased and downloaded Win 7 from internet, installed it, and it has been running like a champ… Never an issue. I mainly installed windows for study purposes since most of the study material is not Mac Friendly…

Good luck to all.[/QUOTE]

I also run parrellels with windows 7 on my macbook pro and imac at home. Never had a problem, and it works well side by side with mac os.


#37

All Windoze and Mac. Are there no Linux guys out there? I can do more on my LinuxMint than anyone on Win or Mac (note my profile pic of Tux the Linux penguin flushing a Windows logo). But most proprietary software is made for Win only, so for charts and plotters Windows pretty much trumps everything else I would think.


#38

Anyone tried as new tablet with an ECS/ plotter. The new surface tablets are marketed to replace a laptop, and seem like they would easy to grab when you run to the upper wheel house. Anyone have any experience?


#39

I am getting a Bluetooth GPS reviewer for my iPad to allow me to use navionics offshore, when in close here in New England with cell service it is a great back up


#40

I’ve got the blue tooth Bad Elf WAAS gps that I use with my iPad. Don’t use it much, but it’s always there.