Laptops?

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 16:35
ThreadID: 7815 Views:2265 Replies:10 FollowUps:26
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Hey there

Pardon my ignorance but I notice so many members specs stating that amounst their equipment they have laptop pockets or slots etc within the vehicle. What do you use the laptops for? I guess it is umpin to do with you GPS but how?

Just a query, thanks
Andrew T
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Reply By: Andrew - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 17:37

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 17:37
In order of priority we use a laptop for:
1. Playing DVD's for the kids
2. With Oziexplorer and GPS to pinpoint location.
3. Email over my CDMA mobile phone.
4. Digital photo storage on long trips.
5. Prevent computer withdrawal (LOL). My wife would say this should be No.1
Andrew
AnswerID: 33763

Reply By: Willie - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 19:07

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 19:07
Andi,

Just toys for boys(and girls) but very handy to have. Main reason for me is that I have the Natmap Raster 250K Topographical Maps of Australia, all 518 of them, loaded into the Laptop. Then I have Oziexplorer Software also loaded as well which works in conjunction with my GPS and Maps. I carry the laptop in a metal camera case and get it out if needed. I only have it for very basic navigation but other travellers use it in a moving map mode and it is on all the time. Others use them for DVD's and music and photos and whatever.
If you are going that way then the Natmap Raster 250K Maps will cost you $99 and the Oziexplorer Software $130. You can buy these item from this site. You can also buy a GPS from this site.
Cheers
Willie
Never a dull moment
AnswerID: 33772

Follow Up By: Member - Ken - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 21:07

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 21:07
Willie and Andie

Yep! they are toys for the boys, however they make life much easier.

I use mine for all of the above plus I have a TV doo-da box thingy that plugs into a an external collapsable antennae.

Guess what. TV when in the vicinity of a tower.

No! for all you sniggering cootas, I don't watch days of our lives, just a bit of news and the weather. Especially the weather.

It helps in forward planning the next few days activities.

Yeah! I know you turn on the radio, well I am the one who has those bastard fluro's which flood radios with RF noise, and which I still haven't had time to get around to fixing.

And just for Truckster - I carry the paper navigators as well. (just in case)

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FollowupID: 24278

Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 12:47

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 12:47
Hi Ken,

What brand of antenna have you got?

thanksNice southerly coastal fishing trip someday.
Chris
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FollowupID: 24345

Follow Up By: Member - Ken - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 13:53

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 13:53
Chris

A Saturn Omni 3000. You get them in Queensland.

They are suitabl;e for Domestic, narine and 4WD applications.

Regards

Ken Robinson
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FollowupID: 24352

Follow Up By: Member - Ken - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 21:50

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 21:50
Chris

I belted that reply off in a hurry at work today. As if you couldn't tell.

Anyway I tried to locate the URL for you tonight without much luck.

I think they are a victim of the current Telstra Big Pond Fiasco/crisis.

If you go to GOOGLE and enter saturnomni3000 in the search box, it will bring it up.

However thats as far as you get for the moment.

When I said collapsable, I meant the antennae pole. Its a fibre glass painters pole from Bunnings with the screw fitting on the top removed. I just velcro it to the High Lift Jack bag on the Rear spare wheel holder when stationary.

The actual antennae is a powered all weather job that fits behind my seat.

It is a bit on the pricey side, buts does everything I want it to.

Regards

Ken Robinson
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FollowupID: 24443

Reply By: Member - Timothy - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 19:25

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 19:25
Photo storage for me.
Download a days worth of digitals onto the hard drive
burn them onto a CD as a second backup
and you're ready to start a new day.

essential for loong trips. Defender Extreme
AnswerID: 33778

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 19:28

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 19:28
Mate took his nice $4000+ lappy out and when it fell off the seat after hitting a larger than it looked hump,and the screen smashed to pieces, he handed it back to his boss, with some story... they didnt believe him..

Expensive toy, but nothing beats paper maps. Proved that on a trip where mates lappy died in middle of Walhalla area, I had my papers with me, and we continued. If we relied on the lappy, we would still be there.
AnswerID: 33779

Follow Up By: Luke - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 22:03

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 22:03
You're just trying to justify not having one :-D

U know you want it! :-)

:P
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FollowupID: 24287

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 22:21

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 22:21
you know my thoughts on them.

Only thing i would want for is downloading pics from. cheaper to buy a few 512meg CF Cards.
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FollowupID: 24300

Follow Up By: Willie - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 15:12

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 15:12
They are very handy to print maps off before you go. You can of course do this from an ordinary computer at home. The days of stuffing about with large 250K topo maps inside the vehicle are over. Also handy to write your daily journal to the laptop as you go along. Take care of it on your travels and it won't get damaged.
Cheers
Willie
Never a dull moment
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FollowupID: 24368

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 13:44

Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 13:44
Na I like my fullsize maps, laminated, then you can draw on them, and put them on wet bonnets without hassles....

Then clean them off.
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FollowupID: 24490

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 13:44

Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 13:44
Na I like my fullsize maps, laminated, then you can draw on them, and put them on wet bonnets without hassles....

Then clean them off.
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FollowupID: 24491

Reply By: Lyds - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 21:12

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2003 at 21:12
dvd player
map converter for OziCE
digital photos

Cheers,
Stuart
- To err is human, to moo bovine -
AnswerID: 33801

Reply By: Member - Bob - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 08:01

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 08:01
1. Moving map software (Ozi)
2. Other maps (Hema GDT)
3. Digital photos editing and storage
4. Store and edit movies from Camcorder
5. Email and internet banking when in mobile phone range.
6. Rarely watch DVDs
7. Play music (all my CDs have been ripped and stored)Bob
AnswerID: 33842

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 11:34

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 11:34
Mostly use ours for downloading and uploading waypoints and tracks to/from the GPS. Also set-up for moving maps but have decided it's more trouble than its worth in most cases. Have yet to be sold on the benefits of a digital camera so don't need it for downloading pics.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
AnswerID: 33862

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce (San Diego) - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 12:04

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 12:04
I'm not convinced it's worth it to use with the GPS, on a recent trip to the Cape we only used it a couple of times for navigation, it was easier to follow the HEMA Map and not have the laptop on.
We did use it to download about 4000 digital photos.

Bruce
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FollowupID: 24339

Follow Up By: Lyds - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 16:03

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 16:03
Melissa,

In addition to my SLR, I have a little digital Canon ixus.

The great thing about the digital camera (apart from being small) is that it works very well in low light. So when you're in situation where the SLR may need a flash or a tripod, the digital will work just fine without either. Note that the flash on the digital is almost useless over any sort of distance.

And as you can see the photo as soon as you take it, you can decide whether its good enough or needs to be retaken with or without the flash. And because you can delete them, you just keep expirementing until you get what you are after.

However, as Bruce noted with his 4000 photos, you don't restrain yourself like you do with film and can get carried away. [Bruce, have you now spent more on disk than you did on the camera? :-) ]

Cheers,
Stuart
- To err is human, to moo bovine -
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FollowupID: 24374

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 16:41

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 16:41
Lyds,

I understand what you're saying but having gone through this exercise recently I'm at a loss to see any significant benefits. My reasoning, as an an avid photographer, is this. Personally, I find the "point and click" type camera's (such as the majority of under $500 digital camera's) frustrating because of their single focal length ability, except in a few situations and as a result I rarely ever use mine.

I like to be a able to zoom in and out, changes lenses to suit the shot, vary exposure time etc. My SLR has a built in flash, auto focus with manual overide and zoom lens with macro capability which covers me for 99% of all shots, particularly when coupled with 200 or 400 ISO film. I can't get this flexibility from a digital camera unless I'm prepared to spend at least $1500+. Then, in order to get hardcopy prints (which is my preferred viewing format) I have to pay around $5-8 each to a photo shop. The alternative is to print them myself but to produce prints of a standard that I already get from my existing set-up I'd have to upgrade my colour printer (significantly), purchase photo quality paper and ink (all of which works out pretty expensive) and spend the time actually doing it. My gain for all of this expense and extra effort...I'd save a few $ here and there on the "dud" pics that you inevitably get from every roll of film. On the few occasions that I want to have my pics in digital format I either scan them myself or when high resolution scans are required, I can get 40 pics transferred from the film onto CD for $19.95 from my local Kodak shop.

If my current needs/wants to have hardcopy prints over digital ever changes and the price of the digital "SLR equivalents" comes down significantly, then I'd look at it again but in the meantime I can't see what benefits changing over to digital at a minimum cost of $2000+ gets me. I'd rather spend the $ travelling!

:o) Melissa
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FollowupID: 24379

Follow Up By: Lyds - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 17:54

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 17:54
Melissa, you are absolutely right. To get the most out of those megapixels you gotta spend megabucks.

Cheers,
Stuart
- To err is human, to moo bovine -
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FollowupID: 24394

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:01

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:01
Lyds,

There's always a catch isn't there!

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
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FollowupID: 24397

Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:02

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:02
Mellisa my better half would to meet you if we are down your way i will contact you. Regards Bob
Where to next
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FollowupID: 24398

Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:02

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:02
sorry melissa i can't spellRegards Bob
Where to next
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FollowupID: 24399

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:04

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:04
Bob,

Your forgiven! Where are you at?

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
0
FollowupID: 24401

Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:39

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:39
Sydney ( or bleep ney as truckster say's) . Will be at the show at Jeff's shed Sunday 26th to meet up with Mrs Al & others if it's still on?Regards Bob
Where to next
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FollowupID: 24406

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:46

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:46
Well could be a little hard to meet up since I'm in WA. Buy hey, if you want to come all this way just to see lil 'ol me feel free, LOL!

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
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FollowupID: 24410

Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:53

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:53
We come to WA every year or so as my brother lives in Perth so next time we come over i'll let you knowRegards Bob
Where to next
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FollowupID: 24412

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:54

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 18:54
OK!Petrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
0
FollowupID: 24413

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce (San Diego) - Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 00:50

Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 00:50
Melissa,

Yes I agree with you regarding the SLR v's Digital, but I'm using the photos for mainly scientific reseach and it is easier for me use the digital rather than go the route of having the photo place put them on a CD, I did that on a trip to South Africa last year and wasn't pleased with the quality. I currently use a 4 meg pixel Kodak camera which give me good quality but am just about to buy the Nikon SLR 6.3 digital.

I use a lot of photos in Power Point presentations and it sure is easy just to burn another CD.

And yes, the cards are more expensive than the camera now but a lot cheaper than developing a couple of hundred rolls of film.

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FollowupID: 24457

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 10:28

Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 10:28
Hi Bruce,

Don't get me wrong...I think digital technology is wonderful and sounds perfect for your application. All I was saying is that as it stands at the moment I can't meet the majority of my photographic needs with digital tech unless I spend a small fortune and when I look at it from a cost/benefit point of view I just can't justify it.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
0
FollowupID: 24477

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce (San Diego) - Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 11:38

Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 11:38
Melissa,

I know exactly what you mean, it's really a hard choice to make, especially when you have a prefectly good SLR, on our recent trip to the cape we took the digital and digital camcorder (which I didn't really enjoy using) and yes there were many times I wish I had the fexibilty of the SLR which has prompted me to get the Nikon, The model I am looking at is about $US1500 here and add to that a couple of good lenses and filters and you have about 3 grand invested.

Luckily I can write it off on my Taxes.

Bruce
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FollowupID: 24482

Reply By: Chris (W.A.) - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 12:51

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 12:51
Just did a trip from the south of W.A. up the centre (mainly offroad), Gibb river, Mitchell & Kalumburu and still didn't use up all the memory in my Garmin Emap so unfortunately I've yet to see justification in buying one. When I was a kid I had to listen to "read along books" and "sesame street" tapes, a tad more educational than some stupid movie about a goldfish or green ogre.Nice southerly coastal fishing trip someday.
Chris
AnswerID: 33881

Follow Up By: Hilly - Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 04:57

Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 04:57
Hey , steady on..... Love the Shrek.
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FollowupID: 24459

Reply By: Member - Robyn - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 20:48

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 20:48
Like others we use it for trek preps (mapping software etc), and especially for downloading previous trek to ensure max storage on GPS for way-points for the next day. I found it incredibly useful for keeping the vehicle log up to date because of the absolute accuracy of the GPS. We also found it very handy for writing about our experiences before thoughts and memories were lost. We have a digital camera and some pretty nifty software that allows us to add text files to individual pictures which is great when you're writing up a day's work!
We took it everywhere and ensured it was securely stowed. We never had the laptop on while driving because we have the GPS with planned tracks on the dash and I had Hema maps (and other local ones where available) as backup. Took DVDs with a view to watching them at night but we were so stuffed by the time we'd had dinner we couldn't be bothered!
As the money manager, I was able to keep up with accounts etc and pay scheduled bills using internet banking (made a note of what was due when in a diary before we left and where necessary called up to find out how much was due). They are worth the effort.
AnswerID: 33950

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce (San Diego) - Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 09:50

Thursday, Oct 16, 2003 at 09:50
Robyn,

What's your nifty software?

Bruce
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FollowupID: 24475

Reply By: Slammin - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 22:53

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 22:53
Study.

I would use it for DVD's on transport for the young tacka when he's older.
AnswerID: 33973

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