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  • Laptops and electronics at sea and college

    Hi guys, first post!!


    I'm starting my cadetship in September this year (don't know where yet) but wondering how things work with computers and such like. I've been looking at having a netbook to do my work on and then having a tablet for games and tv and all that, would it be a good idea to have that style of thing for going to sea too?

    Any suggestions would be great!!

  • #2
    Personally I carry an android tablet that has a keyboard (asus transformer) and dont bother with a lappy, also carry an iPod touch for tunes and the likes. That and the mobile phone covers all my needs BUT I have the big cabin at the top with all the toys and a PC in my office

    So your plan is what I would go with (you'll need a lappy for typing up assignments etc either win or mac)
    Trust me I'm a Chief.

    Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
    Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
    No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


    Twitter:- @DeeChief

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    • #3
      It's up to you really. As chiefy said you'll need a laptop for work anyway. Personally I just use a netbook, a hard drive, and if I'm likely to be around the UK for a bit, an internet dongle. But at the end of the day bring what you feel comfortable with and will keep you sane when you're onboard ship.

      Comment


      • #4
        I can only advise you on our thought processes....

        My son started last September. We looked at what he wanted in total out of any computer. He needed a big enough screen to watch blu ray movies on, play high spec games, do all his college work, decent battery life and all the connectivity for memory cards, tv's and monitors, network and external drives. We decided he wanted one device to do everything rather than multiple devices for different functions. We then decided on a laptop with the following spec:

        Intel i7 2.50 GHz / TB 3.60 GHz
        8Gb 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 memory
        3GB GT 555M Graphics Card
        Windows 7 Ultimate 64 BIT
        17.3" HD+ WLED True-Life (1600x900) monitor with 2 MP Integrated Camera
        2.1 Audio (2 X 5W + 12W sub-woofer)
        2 x 500GB SATA hard drive (7200RPM)
        Blu-ray Disc combo
        9-cell LI 90Whr battery
        Integrated Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000
        Wireless-N 1000 (1x2bgn)
        Bluetooth Internal (3.0) mini-card
        GPS via WWAN
        2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, Integrated Gigabit Network, HDMI 1.4, 9-in-1 media card reader (SD, SDIO, SDXC, SDHC, MS, MS Pro, MMC, MSXC, xD)
        Weight 3.5kg

        We bought a Dell XPS 17 from their factory outlet site for ?750 when it was priced at over ?1,400 on their normal site and it came with a 3 year next day warranty.

        Yes it is quite big and heavy, but he uses it for everything. He has 2 external 3GB drives with over 750 films on that we ripped down from our own collection of Blu Rays and DVD's using MakeMKV, which is lossless and retains all the audio and subtitle tracks so he can watch the film with anyone who does not speak English if he wants. He gets up to 7 hours out of his battery, and has a pair of JBL Jembe 2.0 Speakers. When at home he has a wireless Logitech Keyboard and mouse and a 23" HDMI monitor.

        There are many arguments for and against what to have, and I am not saying this is the best option, but having had many years working in IT and more than 20 years of buying large numbers of computers and laptops I can only say I have had nothing but an outstanding relationship with Dell. This was the best option for what my son wanted out of a computer and so far it has proved right. My latest Dell Latitude E6530 replaced a Dell Latitude D60 that was 7 years old and with a new battery is serving my daughter until we buy her a new one this summer for Uni.

        Whatever you buy you must be safe with it. Another cadet on the ship with my son had his laptop infected by a USB memory stick from a crew mate in the first week on the ship. Don't borrow or swap stuff around, you will come unstuck. Don't forget that Antivirus software needs to update to keep current and you may not be able to keep it up to date.

        Hope this helps someone.

        Ian
        "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
        "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

        "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Chiefy View Post
          Personally I carry an android tablet that has a keyboard (asus transformer) )
          Pfft, first I buy one and now look what happens....

          Originally posted by Hatchorder View Post
          Whatever you buy you must be safe with it. Another cadet on the ship with my son had his laptop infected by a USB memory stick from a crew mate in the first week on the ship. Don't borrow or swap stuff around, you will come unstuck. Don't forget that Antivirus software needs to update to keep current and you may not be able to keep it up to date.
          This is the most important piece going on this thread. Do NOT use your memory stick or hard-drives in the ship's or someone else's laptops or computers. Majority of the time they are so loaded with virus's it borders on the stupid. Also, make sure you set a decent password on it. One of my friends went on board with his laptop, one crewman wanted to buy it from him, he refused, so crewman sneaked into his cabin and loaded a **** load of virus's onto it as to convince him to get rid of it (yes, this is true).

          Also be careful with the ship type you're on and where you are. If you're serving on LNG tankers, unless you're signing off they tend not to like you carrying your laptop off the ship. The same also goes for Indian ports. I've wound up looking down the wrong end of an old SLR before because I'd taken my laptop ashore....
          I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

          All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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          • #6
            While you can get by without a laptop - you will find it much easier both at college and on ship if you have one. Saves you having to traipse to the library to do your course work and on ship you can't really guarantee that you will be able to use a computer (certainly here, one of the cadets who didn't bring his own laptop struggled as the only computer he could use was our general one on the bridge - and he could only use it during the day and when we weren't busy doing our stuff on it!)

            I invested in a Sony VAIO before I started college and was quite happy with it - although it was quite heavy. Alas after 2 years it was on its last legs (battery lasted about 20 minutes), constantly freezing (despite completely wiping and reinstalling windows repeatedly). I decided to invest in a macbook pro (while I got a student discount) - I've had it for over 5 years now and it is still running fine - battery most importantly still lasts a good 3 hours (originally over 6). The biggest difference I noticed immediately is the weight!

            Now, I don't particularly play games - so I'm not missing out on anything there - and will freely admit to being a big Apple fan... but they are definitely worth considering if you are in the same boat - despite their initial steep price tag.

            Regardless of what you eventually get - make sure you consider the weight! Aside from the airline limitations on hand baggage weight - you will need to haul the thing (and accessories) around on your back through various airports - including having to haul out all your electronics and put them through separately at some airports - interesting explaining to the guy at Schippol why I was carrying 4 hard drives and a load of assorted cabling in my hand baggage.

            Also bring a USB pen drive - you will need it to print stuff on ship / at college. As Ian said above be very careful about plugging stuff in from other people or giving them any of your hard drives.

            Most importantly: BACK UP YOUR OPS/NAV/MISC WORK IN MORE THAN 1 PLACE! If you want to be really prepared, make sure you have a copy of all your stuff on a portable drive / pen drive you can take with you if the worst happens!
            ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

            ? Mark Twain
            myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by alistairuk View Post
              and will freely admit to being a big Apple fan...
              Talk about understatement.....
              I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

              All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

              Comment


              • #8
                The laptop Hatchorder described is a good model to take to sea with you. A screen over 17'' is a must for the endless movies and tv shows you will watch...

                Can get some great deals on the dell outlet for good specd laptops.

                Dell have excellent customer service if your laptop is in warranty, so if it gets damaged hauling it from ship to ship then it's no much hassle to get it fixed when at home.

                Comment


                • #9
                  One of the biggest issues you will all have to face is the "Autorun" feature that makes life easier - easier for the viruses to infect you.

                  Most viruses will automatically copy themselves to USB drives onto the first sector and modify the autorun. You then plug it into your laptop and the autorun then infects your laptop.

                  So for Windows 7 or 8:

                  Go to Start > Run and type in gpedit.msc and hit return.

                  Now go to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Autoplay Policies and double click on "Turn off Autoplay" and select "Enabled" at the top left and then in the selection box below choose "Turn off Autoplay on:" All Drives. Then select Apply and close down policy editor.

                  Now when you plug in memory sticks or Disks then you will not automatically run everything on them. You are then able to scan or view the contents and choose the files you want to copy off.

                  If people want to copy stuff off you then I suggest you buy yourself a bundle of 4 , 8, 16gb usb memory sticks and you load stuff onto them and give them to the person, or sell them to them at cost. 4Gb are about ?4, 8's are about ?6 and 16's are ?9 and just remember not to plug them back into your laptop or plug one in from someone else.

                  Remember:

                  "Don't be silly, cover that USB port!"

                  Ian
                  "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
                  "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

                  "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

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                  • #10
                    What Alistair said ; Macbook Pro has been one of the best investments of my life , easy.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bobofinga View Post
                      What Alistair said ; Macbook Pro has been one of the best investments of my life , easy.
                      One of the main benefits of Macbooks are that they tend to hold their value better than other brands of laptop.

                      But they do tend to be overpriced, as you can get far better specd laptops for much cheaper than what you'd pay for a macbook.

                      Because of their inflated price tag, Apple products tend to more of a status symbol than anything else.

                      So if your looking for a good pound-to-performance ratio for a laptop, it's better to avoid Apple.

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