Monday, February 11, 2008


This short note is purely for testing the viability of my new miniature laptop which I shall use for writing my log when aboard my sailing boat.

Last year I used my expensive Fujitsu Siemens laptop which was a bit risky in view of the proximity of much water. It was considerably larger than my latest acquisition which is an Asus 'EEE' Surf laptop with a tiny 7.5" screen. This ingenious machine has a miniature keyboard just large enough for touch-typing. The disadvantage at the moment is that I can only access the Internet while at home or in the vicinity of a 'Hotspot', which means I shall not be able to upload my Cruising Log until I'm ashore. Hotspots can be found at most marinas, MacDonalds, Internet cafes and large hotels; BT and 'T' Mobile have their own Hotspots strategically placed in many towns.

A small solid-state computer such as the Asus uses minimal electricity and it can be charged from a 12 volt source quite rapidly, whereas my larger laptop takes forever to charge from the boat's battery. I have already fallen in love with the tiny machine which has 3 USB connectors and a port for an SDIO card. I have yet to test the WIFI at a Hotspot.

Providing I can keep the Asus away from water, I believe it will be an ideal tool for use aboard the boat. I think I could even use it as a digital chart plotter, but as I have a Lowrance Expedition 'C' GPS with NauticPath charts, there would be little point in doing so, except to display the charts on a larger screen.

1 comment:

Chris Partridge said...

Bill - I am reviewing the Asus EEE PC for a magazine and would love to know if it is coming up to expectations. When do you expect to be reaching Chichester Harbour? If you let me know I'll row along and meet up (weather permitting).
Chris Partridge