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Old 01-26-2019, 02:32 PM   #1
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Built in mini-PC

I'm tired of schlepping my big laptop wherever I go in the AI. I bought a fanless mini-PC for about $150 to build into the AI replace the laptop.

The PC is about 6" x 6" x 2" with about as many ports as my laptop except for no printer port. It snaps into a frame that I will mount on the roof of the over-cab compartment, close to the front TV, which I have on a swivel arm so that it drops down to good viewing height. Several hours of running on my desk and it is barely warm to the touch.

The PC has a quad-core Atom processor and both dual-band wifi and bluetooth. It came pre-loaded with Windows 10 home. I tested it with my home monitor and wireless keyboard and it is faster than my bulky old laptop. It has 4 GB of DDR3L and 32 GB of eMMC memory. Display is through an included HDMI cable that I can switch into the monitor. All I need is a small wireless keyboard to carry in the AI.

I have an extra mount that I will put on my desk at home. To update or load new programs, I can bring the PC home and use my home wifi, keyboard, and monitor.
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:25 PM   #2
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Send that thing back while you still have hair and still can! The first time it updates on its own your going to be screwed (ask me how I know)!
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:58 PM   #3
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Send that thing back while you still have hair and still can! The first time it updates on its own your going to be screwed (ask me how I know)!
It already updated on its own and installed my Windows early adopter level of the OS. It went smooth as silk. It was as trouble free so far as any PC I have owned. I also installed a number of apps with no problems.

I do have automatic updates disabled so that it will not try to update when in the AI. Between trips, I can simply bring it home to my fast wifi to update.
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Old 01-26-2019, 04:33 PM   #4
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It already updated on its own and installed my Windows early adopter level of the OS. It went smooth as silk. It was as trouble free so far as any PC I have owned. I also installed a number of apps with no problems.

I do have automatic updates disabled so that it will not try to update when in the AI. Between trips, I can simply bring it home to my fast wifi to update.
32gb is just not enough overhead for Windows 10. I get your a power user, but make sure you stay on top of keeping that system just as tight/clean as possible. I only wanted that box to play movies and run Kodi. At this point it only has VLC player on it and is permanently disconnected from the internet. I wish you the best of luck with it, but I personally would never use it as a main PC. I'll keep an eye out for updates on this thread!

GL Dave
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Old 01-26-2019, 05:10 PM   #5
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It will never run more than a browser and a few games. It will get some more gigs via the TF card slot when I get around to it. Granted that those gigs are slower access, but my usual Lightroom, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver will never be running on this one.
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:54 PM   #6
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It will never run more than a browser and a few games. It will get some more gigs via the TF card slot when I get around to it. Granted that those gigs are slower access, but my usual Lightroom, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver will never be running on this one.
Some hopefully helpful info. It might help in the future. I have a similar problem with my main PC in that it has a 120GB SSD main drive. I moved the user data folder to a 1TB std drive (look up Sysprep). This will move the appdata directory and user data to that alt drive and free up space on C: Drive. What I have found over the last 3 years with this system is that Windows 10 has drive size creep. After installing all my apps I was at about 65gb on the main drive. After 3 years now it is up to 85gb and I have cleaned as much as I can using system tools. I cant imagine what that drive would look like if all the apps data was on C: drive. One last thing, the power supply is a little weak in these things and can get overloaded easily. Try not to use external drives that take power from the USB port.

Have fun!

Dave.
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:55 PM   #7
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I have a Mac mini. I’ve had it from 2012. Still runs like new. 16gb, 1TB drive. If you can get a used one it would have way more applications for an AS. Put a parallels system in it and you can run PC programs. Apple products just keep on going going going going.

Also my IPAD has more power than that PC you hooked up. I use it to run movies, Netlflix, etc I take my MacBook along, but seldom pull it out unless I need to do work for my business.
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:51 PM   #8
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As a 35-year IBM design engineer and programmer, an Apple product will never exist any where near me. I had a PC on my desk before the public knew they existed. There are 30 expired US patents out there.
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Old 01-26-2019, 10:25 PM   #9
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As a 35-year IBM design engineer and programmer, an Apple product will never exist any where near me. I had a PC on my desk before the public knew they existed. There are 30 expired US patents out there.
I have a computer programmer friend for a major company. He went to Apple and has never looked back. I have used PCís for years in my business. Every 2 to 3 years I had to get a new PC because it became like a dinasour. It just got slower and slower and slower. Not so with my Apple products. I have a friend with a PC. It barely opens. Takes forever. My Apple runs PC programs better than his PC.

Another friend of mine used to buy Laptop PCís and give names to each because every year or two she would have to buy a new one and bury the old one. She went to Apple about 6 years ago. Still runs like new.

Same is true for my wife. I bought her 3 PC laptops in a span of 6 years. They all got slower and slower and slower. I bought her a MacBook 5 years ago. Still runs like new.

Have you ever actually owned an Apple product?
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Old 01-26-2019, 10:51 PM   #10
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I have a computer programmer friend for a major company. He went to Apple and has never looked back. I have used PC’s for years in my business. Every 2 to 3 years I had to get a new PC because it became like a dinasour. It just got slower and slower and slower. Not so with my Apple products. I have a friend with a PC. It barely opens. Takes forever. My Apple runs PC programs better than his PC.

Another friend of mine used to buy Laptop PC’s and give names to each because every year or two she would have to buy a new one and bury the old one. She went to Apple about 6 years ago. Still runs like new.

Same is true for my wife. I bought her 3 PC laptops in a span of 6 years. They all got slower and slower and slower. I bought her a MacBook 5 years ago. Still runs like new.

Have you ever actually owned an Apple product?
Keeping a PC running smoothly is an art form. I can understand why people have problems with it, but its not the OS its the user (PEBKAC). My systems run for 8 years and the only reason I upgrade is they can't run the latest games I want.

Yes, I have owned them. What is worse is supporting them. It's a lot easier to tune a PC than to support a mac.
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Old 01-26-2019, 11:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
As a 35-year IBM design engineer and programmer, an Apple product will never exist any where near me. I had a PC on my desk before the public knew they existed. There are 30 expired US patents out there.
JOHN - And as a 30-year Hewlett-Packard Hardware, Software, Field, R&D, Failure Analysis Hacker, & Debugger, engineer - I have to say I am with you 100%.
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Have you ever actually owned an Apple product?
DAQUENZER - Ummm - I have never owned any Apple computer. Why? Because I have dissected thousands of them in my R&D time in Silicon Valley. Part of my job was to look at the competition. I don't need to own or use one, I know how it's made. That's enough for me. No Apples for me. BTW - Apples are consumer grade products. The PC's you bought for your business, they are consumer grade PC's. The "real" PC's (the ones HP provides to their Hackers & Debuggers) will run circles over anything Apple sells. Those "real" PC's (surreal is better descriptor) are usually not sold in the Retail market.

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Keeping a PC running smoothly is an art form. I can understand why people have problems with it, but its not the OS its the user (PEBKAC). My systems run for 8 years and the only reason I upgrade is they can't run the latest games I want.

Yes, I have owned them. What is worse is supporting them. It's a lot easier to tune a PC than to support a mac.
TUCO - Agree with you on all points. Supporting a MAC = PITA. Tuning a PC = Piece of Cake if you are trained for it, so you are right, it takes finese'ing to get it done right.
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:52 AM   #12
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I know it is fun to tinker and build your own, but why not just buy one of the compact media PC's?

I use a Lenovo Q190 (which is basically a laptop without a screen) not only in Bella (our MH) but also installed to each TV at home (they mount on a typical flat screen bracket), all part of the same home network, all connected to the central network server that has all our media (video, music, photos) and set-up a synchronization schedule to pull copies of the latest media to the local PC. Means whenever we go out in the motorhome we already have hard copies (no reliance on cloud access) of all our current TV shows, movies and music that plays through the standard PC.

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Old 01-27-2019, 03:47 AM   #13
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This is almost as bad as the gas vs. diesel argument! Ok, maybe not.

I always say you pay for what you get. The $300 Windows laptop will seldom compete long term with a $1500 MacBook Pro. However, in that same ~6+ year lifespan you could have the latest hardware almost every year.

Please donít compare an iPad to anything but maybe a chromebook. Itís an expensive e-reader.

There is satisfaction with building your own system, and youíre able to leave all the vendor bloatware off which lends to a smoother running system.

PCís and Apple products alike are good solutions and nearly identical under the hood (these days). The days of the different architectures are gone... no more MC68000 microprocessors. The only difference now is the operating systems.

Both products, when matched with premium hardware, run very well and for a very long time. Change my mind.
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:49 AM   #14
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If you are looking for a Mini PC I would look into the Intel NUC line. I have had one of their high end models for a few years and it has performed well. Used to be you had to build it yourself, but now there is a store where they do the build for you. Models range from basic to high end. URL is below:

https://simplynuc.com/

Pat


Edit: Forgot to mention that they also offer fanless models with a wrap around, external heat sink.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:24 AM   #15
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Gas vs Diesel. What type hitch? What is the best generator? Tires and pressure...etc, etc. I guess this is a natural progression!

IBMers are moving to Macs in droves. I have not used windows in over 10 years and have not looked back. They work well and just keep going.

Itís like everything else guys, itís a choice we GET to make. No need to put down what one does not choose. Make your choice and enjoy!
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Old 01-27-2019, 01:37 PM   #16
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all connected to the central network server that has all our media (video, music, photos) and set-up a synchronization schedule to pull copies of the latest media to the local PC.
MARTIN300662 - Great idea! Being new to rv'ing, I never really thought of putting a PC in my rv since we are so used to taking our tablets and phones everywhere (until JOHN posted this thread) and connecting it to my server (until you posted it). I am no longer a power user after retiring - after 30 yrs. in industry, I have weened myself away from major computer time. Just email & Amazon & surfing AirForums now. But I still like your idea. Thanks.
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:15 PM   #17
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MARTIN300662 - Great idea! Being new to rv'ing, I never really thought of putting a PC in my rv since we are so used to taking our tablets and phones everywhere (until JOHN posted this thread) and connecting it to my server (until you posted it). I am no longer a power user after retiring - after 30 yrs. in industry, I have weened myself away from major computer time. Just email & Amazon & surfing AirForums now. But I still like your idea. Thanks.
No worries Alex AVI, it does also give connectability into the main auto stereo (optical out via a converter to RCA in to the Kenwood amp) but also via bluetooth to a Samsung surround sound system.

We have been running this since 2015 and it seems to work great.
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Old 01-27-2019, 04:19 PM   #18
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Built in mini-PC

Our household has both Mac and PC folk that get along just fine. Everyone lives on the same network, shares data, and does their thing unfettered by technology xenophobia.
The IT department (me) has more issues with firewalls and access points than anything else. I lug a Dell ruggedized laptop, the rest of the gang run on Mac laptops or desktops and we all (sadly) live on our ATT iPhones all day. There are several Windows servers and lots of backup systems in the mix as well.

Around here, the concern is not what kind of operating system, the really concern is, ďDonít make me use a pencil!!!Ē In my case, you wouldnít be able to decipher my scrawled handwriting. Heck, after a couple days, I canít either! Typical engineer, I guess.
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:42 PM   #19
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Just so we are all clear, if you are towing your computer using anything other than a 1 ton diesel truck and a Hensley Arrow, you are doing it wrong.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:34 PM   #20
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Just so we are all clear, if you are towing your computer using anything other than a 1 ton diesel truck and a Hensley Arrow, you are doing it wrong.
Donít forget a Win OS Flash distribution hitch..... could cause an unexpected
handling.
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