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Old 12-15-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
biosci OP
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Central WI 54473
Oddometer: 193
What computer to carry???

I am looking for suggestions / advice regarding what computer to carry on my DR bike when tripping.

I use Garmin Map60CSx on the bike, however I feel that my HP laptop (with CN, Topo, & MapSource) at home is too big to take in a Wolftail tailbag, and expedition drybags.

I do not want to take the homebound HP laptop on the bike and break it in a dirtnap. Am thinking of up to $300 or so.

I think I would need:
-WIFI for internet stuff (download tracks / routes, email),
-ability to have CN and MapSource,
-connectability to the gp
-am I missing something....

What questions should I ask salepeople?

Do I look at android stuff or avoid it (compatability issues)?

Point me in the direction of something that would work at a restaurant, and also in a tent.

Getting older & slower, but the passion still exists.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:49 PM   #2
Miles are my mantra
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Joined: Aug 2004
Location: CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
Oddometer: 2,481
I have an Asus eeePC900 which is basically a netbook. They go for less than $300. It has no moving parts and so is fairly robust. I'm upgrading mine with a new solid state drive (from 4Gb to 32Gb) and changed the memory from 512Mb to 2 Gb (cost for the upgrades around $85). I plan on taking it on a trip from South America back home. I haven't finished all the upgrades yet (having a bit of trouble getting it to recognize the new SSD). It has wifi, a camera and microphone for skype, but has no cd, disk, or hard drives so you need to either download everytning from the internet or get it set up at home with an external drive before you leave (which is what I'm doing). Asus has newer versions as well but I don't really know about them.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:21 PM   #3
Bill Murray
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Wilmington, NC
Oddometer: 108
Like jonz, my recommendation would be to find an inexpensive netbook PC. I have an HP Mini 210-1040. It came with 1Gb of RAM, which I upgraded to 2 Gb. It also came equipped with a hard drive, which I replaced with a 90Gb SSD. My final upgrade was replacing the Windows 7 Starter Edition with Windows 7 Professional. The netbook has a web cam, microphone, ethernet port, a SD card slot (great for transferring your camera photos), and three USB ports. Battery life is very good (6 hours+).

I have the Microsoft Office installed, Garmin BaseCamp, and a number of additional GPS/mapping utilities. I pack the netbook in a padded slip case and keep a small zipper bag with a mini-mouse, the power brick and cables, my USB cable (for the camera and Garmin Montana GPSr), and a short ethernet cable.

This has been a great tool to have on extended trips, and it's not so expensive that I will cry if something happens to it.
Bill Murray
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:26 AM   #4
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Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Central Ohio
Oddometer: 13,520
I have an HP netbook as well. Works great for Mapsource, websurfing, etc.

With the new solid state drives out there, it would be easy enough to convert it from a hard drive to SSD and get rid of that potential source of failing.

As of now - there is not a mapsource android or apple app available, so you are stuck with a netbook as your smallest form factor for tripping.

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Old 12-16-2012, 08:29 AM   #5
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Abq NM
Oddometer: 2,341
I carry an ASUS notebook. I got if for about $250 a few years ago. Don't know what the new models are or what they are going for.

I think the unit has a hard disc drive. At least I have ~80G of storage available. I have never had any problems with it. I pack it in the middle of my spare clothes. I have about 10,000 miles of dirt road riding on it.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: central Illinois (Bloomington)
Oddometer: 632
I carry an HP netbook with MapSource and Google Earth loaded on it, tucked away in a Pelican 1075cc water/dust/crush proof hard case. The Pelican is inexpensive (around $40 @ Amazon) protection.

Old Bridges Thread
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:01 PM   #7
Wondering around...
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: North Carmel
Oddometer: 4,717
I'm happy with my Asus EeePc Model 1011CX paid a little over $300 on
340gb hard drive, 2gb ram, wifi, network adapter.
plenty of room for any programs I want.....used it to do daily loading of tracks to 60csx and 276 on 1000 mile dirt tour
was able to get wifi in restauants and campgrounds for weather checks, etc...
big key is the 6 cell battery which can get up to 11 hrs of operation so you can go days without recharging
pack it in middle of tailbox always turned off...
Sometimes I get off the bike before it has come to a complete stop....
Another Proud Small Scale Faker......
Praise You In This Storm
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:50 PM   #8
biosci OP
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Central WI 54473
Oddometer: 193

Thanks folks, exactly the info I was seeking.

Now to go shopping.

Have a Happy Holiday season...
Getting older & slower, but the passion still exists.
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