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Old 01-28-2007, 04:25 PM   #1
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Take along tower computer?

Would be interested in hearing how others have taken along a desktop or tower computer in their travels. Mainly how to keep it secure and safe from being damaged along all the bumpy roads. Know most people have switched to laptops, but their was a time when a lot of people took along their desktop computers. Hope to eventually have a desk made for my computer, but for now just need a secure temporary mode.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:26 PM   #2
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A tower will not take the bouncing about.
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:44 PM   #3
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Lock down

Most tower hardrives have the ability to lock down the head to facilitate movement. While it might be OK a couple of time, I wouldn't want to risk damage moving one about fulltime.

Laptops are really coming down in price and MS VISTA is here! Although, the MACBOOK PRO is awesome.

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Old 01-28-2007, 05:47 PM   #4
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Mac Laptop or Mac Mini

we travel with our macs regularly. Most times we take our laptop but have travelled with our mini a couple times. I would think travelling with a tower would be challenging due to size.

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Old 01-28-2007, 05:50 PM   #5
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Originally my thoughts exactly

Originally Posted by LI Pets
A tower will not take the bouncing about.
I have installed several dozen computers in CONEX containers made into work spaces used aboard ships. There is no special installation of the equipment - just intalled full size computer racks and slide in the computers - they are desktops on edge with the rack mount rail on the top and bottom - right off the shelf. They work well and I have no recollection of any hardware problems from shaking. We don't see these vans for months as they are aboard commercial carriers for shipping but when installed on our ships they take a pounding - 24/7 - far worse then I expect you will encounter. I would think you would look for a shock mount - computer stores can order them - this would help isolate the CPU from most of the high frequency shaking.

Most of the stuff is hard mounted on the CPU board now anyway, very few individual cards in there. BTW - DELL makes a fine rough service desktop/rack mount CPU, I have no interest in the company - just seen them work well. Hard drives, never had one crash - we do daily backups as SOP - I would recommend that before each move.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:54 PM   #6
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The Mac Mini's hard drive is a notebook model so it would definitely travel. In fact I've seen them mounted in car dash boards and center consoles.
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:28 PM   #7
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:42 PM   #8
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desktop in a trailer? So you have to have 110 to use it.. all the time.. seems unpractical to me. and the amount of space and cables.. mmh ...
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:44 PM   #9
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Though I'm a bit biased....I'd have to agree, the MacMini or better yet a MacBook or MacBook Pro all have great performance, low overhead (problems with spyware, viruses, worms, etc) and transport very easily.

I'm sure there are PC laptops that also travel well too. I wouldn't lug a desktop, tower or mini-tower. It's just not worth it since prices are at historic lows for these more portable machines.

I've seen and played with Vista and it's not a bad OS if you have the hardware to run it properly. I wasn't overly impressed only from the standpoint that I've been running OSX in some flavor since 2001. Six years later, Microsoft finally has come close, but for some at a significant price-- to be able to run the OS properly.
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:24 PM   #10
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Throw it on top of the bed. My printer scanner rides in the drawer under the curb side of the bed sitting on a towel most of the time. It has gone 20k miles and is still working fine. I do use a laptop but need the printer while on the road.
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:53 PM   #11
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It will ride in a vehicle on fine or it would not have made it to the store so my suggeston would be to make a padded container for it that you can store somewhere between stops such as the tow vehicle.
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:58 PM   #12
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I have an old desktop which has a lot of miles on it. Ridden in a Jeep Wrangler on dirt roads, many miles in pickup trucks out to our desert cabin. No problems at all, original hard drive.
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Old 01-28-2007, 10:13 PM   #13
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i drag around an old IBM supercomputer in a simi truck that follows me. i know it's not green, but it's all i can afford.

i do have friends though that have bought some pretty nifty little laptops that will do anything in a really small package at a very reasonable price. email, internet surfing, photos, music, movies, TV, word processing, you name it...

i'd try costco, wally world something along those lines...


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Old 01-31-2007, 02:24 PM   #14
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If it were all I had, I would carry it on the bed as Tarheel said. I would also be sure I was thoroughly backed-up, and promise myself not to be too upset if the PC failed to answer one day.

But odds are - you'll be ok.

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Old 01-31-2007, 02:33 PM   #15
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The only time I bring our tower computers in the Overlander, it is because we are about to get blown away by a hurricane, and the danger of hardware failure is outweighed by imminent destruction by nature. Go with a good laptop, and keep things simple in your life.
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:28 PM   #16
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There are some great deals out on used Mac G4 towers and later model Imacs. Even the older G3s still run great and will run OSx. I have 75 of these at work and they outrun the Dell PC in reliability all the time. They are 5 and 6 yrs old and have run 5 days a week all day long.
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:50 PM   #17
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We had a pc tower in the trailer our first 4 months on the road, even though it was very secure when we moved, sometimes the ram would jiggle out of the slot.

Now we both use laptops.
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Old 02-05-2007, 10:00 PM   #18
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If you have a tower PC and are going to travel with it then you need to learn how to "park" the hard drive. That or swap the drive for a laptop type drive which is designed to take the travel.
I have a "wall top" in my rig, and a lap actually two lap tops now... don't ask. The WT is a mobile desktop solution built about 4 years ago by Industrial Flower Factory up in NH. It has all the bells and whistles of a lap top including the PCMCIA card slot, Flash memory slot, etc etc. It is very sturdy and is screwed to the wall. Even so the drive only lasted about 3 years with all my driving. It's hooked to a nice 20" flat panel and a laser printer... and networked to the laptop on the doghouse / nav station.
Anything is possible.... just keep adding computers.
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