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Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS How to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
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Old 21 Mar 2006
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset, United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Rugged Laptop - Ideal for GPS

A rugged a useful means of running GPS in your truck on road or greenlaining.

The CF- 27 is one of Panasonic’s now legendary “fully ruggedised” laptops designed for use in the construction and utility industries. With an almost indestructible Mag alloy case, processor floating in shock absorbing gel, a protected hard drive and a waterproof, dustproof case they’re designed for extreme operating conditions.

I use Fugawi 1:50,000 mapping software, linked to a Garmin handheld GPS unit mounted on the dash. The laptop sits on the centre seat and runs on a power lead from the lighter socket.

The CF- 27 has a 4 gig hard drive, which I hold the whole of the south of england 1:50000 with the whole of the country available on 1:250,000, 1:800,000, and 1:1.M at the same time with plenty to spare.

The CF- 27 is the most fast or sophisticated as modern laptops, but it it’s a great little machine and a swiah laptop hard drive and processor wouldn’t last two minutes in a landrover!

There are 3 PCMCIA slots, and an internal modem which gives Internet access, either via a phone line and dial-up, or a Local Area Network Broadband connection. Connection leads are included.

The Laptop has a DVD ROM Drive and USB connectivity

The machine comes with Windows 2000 Professional installed (Stable and reliable)

Screen size 12”
Processor Intel MMX
Hard Drive 4 GB
Chip type Intel Pentium 1
Memory 160 MB
Primary Drive DVD
Features PCMCIA Card slots x 3
PS2 Port
Serial Port
Parallel Port
Printer Port
Infrared data Transfer
Internet ready via Dial up or LAN
Very strong Magnesium alloy case. All covers present. Screen in perfect working order.
Battery Li Ion

Comes in its own Carbon Fibre style Samsonite case with a Olivetti printer and if you get stuck you can always watch DVDs!

£225 to include P&P in the UK
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Old 21 Mar 2006
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 457
Even this rugged beast doesn't like vibrations much, no harddrives do. Although some harddrives are more restitant than others in temrs of taking the occational beating, it is often the repetitous vibrations and shocks to a turning hard drive which kills a computer. One thing is rough transport of a pc which is turned off, another thing is rough transport of one which is running... like a pc with a gps running hours upon hours on the African corrugations...

Even with a tough pc like this, consider taking backups more frequently than you would at home. If you plan to stay on the road for a long time, and the computer is of great importance to you, consider also bringing copies of your software. If your hardrive goes bust, this will need replacement. These are usually fairly inexpensive and easy to come by, your software is not. You may even consider bringing a spare harddrive if downtime is really bad...

One final note, if the reliability of the GPS is absolutely critical, with severe ramifications if it should malfunction (like in the desert), I'd go with a GPS whose software (including the OS) ran on a memory card type storage... and laminated maps and compass ofcourse.
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Old 14 Jul 2006
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: UK/ZW
Posts: 674
Really wish I had the spare dosh...

I use an old CF-25 serial linked to an old Garmin III plus - both work fine for me although the 25 is a bit slow! Sits on the back or passenger seat so it's protected from the worst of the bumps - wouldn't mind one of those RAM laptop mounts though as my wife doesn't like it on her lap all the time.

Good bit of kit.
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