Recommended Laptop, Accesories and Programs? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-31-2008, 05:14 PM   #15
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Those that, like me, have a anchored house with an internet connection, (my case I'm already paying 2 isps), might find it hard to justify another $69.00/month on top of the $50.00 to $70.00 that's currently paid for internet service. Also for some of us our fulltiming or even part timing style would keep us out of cell phone range much of the time. Well over half of the place I camp there' no cell phone coverage and if is it's not good enough for data.
Or you can accept EVDO speeds, dump your existing internet service and get a router that will accept the cellular data card. Then you can take the card on the road as well as use it at home. There's a Yahoo group about that (Internet by Data Card).

Actually, I was using a cell connection in later years on the road, but my point about using the libraries is that there are no decisions or investments in laptops or viruses if one uses the existing facilities, and the libraries are easy to find. Just a different perspective.
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:23 PM   #16
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Or you can accept EVDO speeds, dump your existing internet service and get a router that will accept the cellular data card. Then you can take the card on the road as well as use it at home. There's a Yahoo group about that (Internet by Data Card).

Actually, I was using a cell connection in later years on the road, but my point about using the libraries is that there are no decisions or investments in laptops or viruses if one uses the existing facilities, and the libraries are easy to find. Just a different perspective.

I almost did that, but cell connections in my area we close to dial up speeds. (EDVO and Edge are cellphone data connections). From what I've seen the libraries are starting to go away from buying computers. I imagine they'll always have a couple, but they might be hard to access to.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:11 PM   #17
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Local library using some kind of small box connected to flat monitors for access. They don't appear to be any kind of stand-alone gizmo, just some sort of dumb terminal as a client.

BTW, I still don't have internet access at home; I drag my laptop to the coffee shop or library or city hall where the free wifi systems are (none within wifi line-of-sight to my home, sadly). All are turned on 24/7 if I need after-hours access.

Sadly, I can no longer access using cell phone at night or weekend.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:23 PM   #18
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We use my Treo. It can be used on the Internet itself or connected to our laptops to power them on the Internet. We use Macs, but both are Intel Macs and the program that runs the Internet is PC. Just power up Parallels and we have the Internet.

Should come in handy when we go to South Dakota in March.

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Old 01-31-2008, 09:34 PM   #19
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Back to laptops, I totally agree that getting a laptop with built-in wi-fi is a must, but suggest that, if this is to be your "road machine" and that most of the time you'll be using it as an email/web machine, I'd buy something at the bottom of the laptop food chain. That way you won't be too put out just leaving it in your trailer at all times, not be too upset if it gets dropped and broken or stolen.

My new laptop isn't for everyone, but it very much fits the bill as a compact, go-anywhere, affordable laptop. I got an Asus Eee PC when they first came out. They're small (smaller than a "For Dummies" book), light (2lbs/0.9kg), power-efficient (20w charger that I can run on my solar panel) and run for 3+ hours on a single charge, come with applications that cover most of your basics (word processor/office suite, web & email programs, etc) and have built-in wi-fi. Downsides are the screen is smaller than most people are used to, it has no hard or CD-ROM drive (it has a solid-state "flash" memory hard drive and you can also use "SD" memory cards, like many people have in their digital cameras, and "thumb" drives, for storage), and it runs the Linux operating system.

I still have my bigger, heavier Windows laptop, but my big laptop is bulky and inconvenient when I'm out and about doing things. The Eee is easy to take with me when I travel or need a computer I can just toss in my backpack. It has everything I need when I'm on the road. It also earns bonus points for being able to fit on one of those little round Starbucks tables without crowding my mocha or bakery goodie.

--Peter
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:32 AM   #20
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Peter, the Asus Eee PC is on my list of things to buy to bring the country out of a recession when I get our "rebate". Although I'm hoping the rumors of a 9" model are true, and I have the will power to wait for it, but one way or another, I'm going to git one of these beauties!

Cam, back to your question. I would either order or buy at WalMart or Costco/Sams (for pricing and return policy) a Dell laptop with WiFi and 2gig of RAM. Battery life is a consideration on the road so you don't want one like I'm typing on with a 17" wide-screen (hence the desire for the Asus Eee).

I see our Safeway now has WiFi and its spreading, so I have no interest in paying for cellular Internet access so EVDO is not on my radar.

Go here for some more Dell ideas: http://www.notebookforums.com/forum71.html
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:49 AM   #21
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On our last big trip, I felt like I had blinders on because I did not have the on-line access that I did at home. It was easier to find local information 2000 miles away than it was parked in the actual town. Time to bite the bullet and get a current laptop. So what say you? What do I need to have happy internet access and electronic entertainment sitting in my trailer? My apologies for the scope of the question, but for most of us in the north, it's too cold to camp anyways...

Um -- er -- ? "time to move into the '90's"? Great, useful info. that I need, but must I learn all this tech stuff and code words before updating to the '00's that we entered, I believe, some 8 years back?

Des
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:31 AM   #22
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There seems to be several categories of "users."

Occasional users for access for email, etc. No Internet addiction

Part-timers with a need to have it available at the campsite. Mid to high Internet addiction.

Full-Timers who need services like they had in their landlocked home.

Road Warriors who work on the road.

The level of cost will rise with your need and/or dependency. Fortunately in this world we live in there are options available for all types of users.
The libraries that Pete mentions are an excellent option for casual users and laptop gurus looking for access or wifi hotspot. One problem with the libraries for the "Road Warriors" is that many of them block the ports necessary to VPN or access corporate networks.(sorry Des, more codes)
If you're always boondocking or in very rural settings you will need to look at more expensive options.
Bottom line is you need to determine the type of use you want and then match it to the type of access available.

Myself, I'm a "Road Warrior", and I went with a solid Toshiba laptop with the following setup from Radiolabs thanks to help from our Webmaster.
WaveRV
This setup solved 90% of my access issues in getting wifi services at the campsite. For those odd situations I go into town and find a coffee shop.
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:59 PM   #23
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There seems to be several categories of "users."

Occasional users for access for email, etc. No Internet addiction

Part-timers with a need to have it available at the campsite. Mid to high Internet addiction.

Full-Timers who need services like they had in their landlocked home.

Road Warriors who work on the road.
Yep, different strokes for different folks. When I worked for The Borg Collective (AKA Microsoft) getting to work was an Internet session away. Like when I was on vacation. In Hawaii. Why let a little thing like going on vacation get in the way of your seven-day work week?

I had to have a fully capable laptop when I worked for Microsoft; these days my needs are a little more modest, but it's not like I'm giving up a whole lot by using my Eee. Granted, the Eee is not a good software development platform, video game, or multimedia editing platform; its processor is too slow and the screen too small. It's also not for people who have a clear preference for specific Mac or Windows-only software (some financial management tools, like Turbo Tax and Microsoft Money come to mind), but these tools are not on my list of travel must-haves. What I do want and need are the common Internet tools (browser & email programs), a word processor and other "Office" tools, and a graphics editor so I can download, sort, organize, delete and edit digital photos. I get all those things with the Eee.

Oh, yea, and it doesn't have a lick of Microsoft software on it.

--Peter
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:52 PM   #24
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There seems to be several categories of "users."
Occasional users for access for email, etc. No Internet addiction
Part-timers with a need to have it available at the campsite. Mid to high Internet addiction.
Full-Timers who need services like they had in their landlocked home.
Road Warriors who work on the road.
The level of Internet connection goes up from there to Satellite dishes.
[b] Portable Tripod Satellite Internet System Designed for RV

It is NOT as expenxive as it use to be; starting at $59.99 per month and $1,550 one time fee for equiptment.
[b]PortaSat with HughesNet HN7000S Modem
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:26 PM   #25
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Um -- er -- ? "time to move into the '90's"? Great, useful info. that I need, but must I learn all this tech stuff and code words before updating to the '00's that we entered, I believe, some 8 years back?

Des
That's exactly the point.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:38 PM   #26
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My new laptop isn't for everyone, but it very much fits the bill as a compact, go-anywhere, affordable laptop. I got an Asus Eee PC when they first came out. They're small (smaller than a "For Dummies" book), light (2lbs/0.9kg), power-efficient (20w charger that I can run on my solar panel) and run for 3+ hours on a single charge, come with applications that cover most of your basics (word processor/office suite, web & email programs, etc) and have built-in wi-fi. Downsides are the screen is smaller than most people are used to, it has no hard or CD-ROM drive (it has a solid-state "flash" memory hard drive and you can also use "SD" memory cards, like many people have in their digital cameras, and "thumb" drives, for storage), and it runs the Linux operating system.
--Peter
I find this very interesting. I have been looking at getting Lori a Mac Book Air. Also, runs the Linux system but also a Mac OS gui, and Windows gui. The weight is 3 lbs. and comes with lots of software, full size keyboard & full size screen. You can also add programs like QuickBooks Pro and PhotoShop. The price is much higher though.

So the 9"X12" 3 lb. notebook seems like your Asus Eee PC only on Steroids.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:03 PM   #27
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I find this very interesting. I have been looking at getting Lori a Mac Book Air. Also, runs the Linux system but also a Mac OS gui, and Windows gui. The weight is 3 lbs. and comes with lots of software, full size keyboard & full size screen. You can also add programs like QuickBooks Pro and PhotoShop. The price is much higher though.

So the 9"X12" 3 lb. notebook seems like your Asus Eee PC only on Steroids.
Yes, at least superficially. It may be Linux-based, but small differences between Linux distributions, and some innovative souls have actually installed MacOS on the Eee PC, but small differences in Linux variants make it difficult to install software tweaked to install on one "distro" onto another. In other words, you can't take a (Linux) MacOS program and install it on a RedHat (Linux) machine or vice versa. The same applies to exchanging programs designed for RedHat and the much-less-popular Ubuntu (Linux) distribution that runs on the Eee PC. There's a lot of software available for Ubuntu, but sorting out where to find it is not as easy as it should be. If Asus is wise it will expand its online support site library to include a wide range of easy-to-install-on-the-Eee Ubuntu Linux apps. Until that happens, the wide range of easy-to-install apps for Macs is one of the best reasons to go Mac.

One of the big pluses to going Linux, on the other hand, is there is a wide range of free apps that look and feel much like some very expensive commercial alternatives. OpenOffice.org, for example, is a very capable "Office" suite which any Microsoft Office user would have no problems with using. You can even swap files back and forth without blinking. Linux Gimp is, likewise, fairly similar to Photoshop. So, for those on a budget and some Linux tech skills (or access to someone who has tech skills), Linux is very attractive.

--Peter
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:21 PM   #28
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I will use the linux system on the Eee PC for awhile, but will probably install XP as many other people have done. But who knows, I may get to like this linux thing.
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