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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, Palm devices, cell phones - how to connect, use, which one, and Bike to Bike and passenger intercoms.
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  #1  
Old 5 Dec 2011
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Where to put your laptop on the bike?

I just bought a new acer aspire netbook and found out that it will not fit into my tankbag, or at least it doesn't fit very easy. I have bought a case logic hard sleeve for it, and now I'm wondering if it would be safe to keep the netbook in my side cases, wraped in my clothes? I am aware that it will get a lot more pounding on the pistes of Africa inside the panniers, but cramming it in the tankbag is just not practical and more prone to theft.
Have you guys had your laptop in the panniers for long and did it survive the ride ?
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Old 5 Dec 2011
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Ever since the early days of laptops, I think the early 90s, I've carried them in a topbox, never any problem (in UK, short-ish journeys on average roads, and more recently on a couple of trips to south of Spain).

On my trip to Cape Town I bought an Acer netbook in Nairobi and carried it all the way to Cape Town, using it often. That was over 10,000 miles on some dirt and gravel and pot-holed stuff, including a couple of offs at walking pace. I kept it in my topbox just in the neoprene-type sleeve it came in. I always made sure it was packed firmly with other stuff so it didn't have space to rattle about in.

I kept all my work on separate memory chips just in case, but it still works fine here back home.

Modern drives and circuitry seem pretty rugged to me, but I suppose there's always the remote possibility of buying one that has some tiny manufacturing flaw that will only ever show up after being vibrated in a motorbike top box.
I think you have to be unlucky to have a problem though.
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Old 5 Dec 2011
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I've carried two netbooks on long trips, both in simple neoprine sleeves in my topbox, otherwise unpadded. The first lasted a year or so---an EEEPC, solid state (no hard drive). The motherboard broke, so I sent it home, got it fixed for free once I was there but there was no chance of doing that on the road. The second lasted seven or eight month--an Acer Aspire with a hard drive. It was the screen which broke, and since I'd bought it in Panama it had a weird size screen which would have been too expensive to fix.

The things are so cheap to purchase that it's silly to fret much about them....but be sure to turn them off completely before riding, pack them firmly without crushing, and be religious about backing your files a lot. Of these recommendations, I routinely ignored the one about "not crushing," which might account for my broken screen and trashed motherboard.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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Old 7 Dec 2011
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my advice ...

always carry a laptop in the back bag behind the rider. Its the safest, most impact unlikely place on the bike.

Dont allow a lot of pressure on the screen
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Old 8 Dec 2011
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I placed our asus netbook in a pelican case which I used as a topbox. It was in it's neoprene sleeve and I saved the thin piece of velt to keep between the screen and keyboard. The pelican case was padded and held all my electronics, was dust and waterproof and I didn't have any vibration issues causing the netbook to malfunction.
Daryll
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  #6  
Old 8 Dec 2011
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Hi , this year i completed a RTW trip, i carried an acer netbook in my panniers and in an otlieb bag strapped to the back... no problems .
The netbook book was packed in a softcase and i also placed a clean soft cloth between the keyboard and screen.

Mark
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Old 8 Dec 2011
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Dell Mini 9 netbook with solid state drive, in a neoprene sleeve. Then packed tight in a small rectangular 'packing cube' type bag with about an inch of clothing on either side. Put this in my pannier, and never had bit of trouble. It's proven itself over 20-30,000 miles of riding including thousands of miles of rough dirt roads and a number of low speed drops.


................shu
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Old 1 May 2012
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Pelican case top box

water tight and dust proof and lockable. 20,000 miles with no problems ever! I keep all my electronic gear in there.
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Old 2 May 2012
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Have an EeePC of Asus, and I have it in two neoprene sleeves (so double the protection) and in my Touratech-pannier. It is on top of my tent, and pressed down by a folded up tarp which is carried in my lid, so the laptop is squeezed between the tent and the tarp.

We did a lot of shitty roads with this, and this pannier came off the bike twice in crashes....

Never had any problems with it so far!
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