NEHA Laptop

Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby KevinGale » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:22 pm

Also as Kelly just reminded me that we should have a backup laptop. She wasn't crazy about using my work laptop in the rain. If it had died and work found out how I was using it they might have made me pay for a replacement. I have to admit a backup is a good idea. This is the second time we have had a laptop die during an event. Last time I think was about 10 years ago.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby drummingpariah » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:07 pm

KevinGale wrote:
drummingpariah wrote:I have a stack of x61s thinkpads (dual core, most of these have 4GB of ram, but will take 16GB if you need them to). I'm more than happy to donate one (or two, I like redundancy) to NEHA. The screens on these are relatively small, but I've used them on sunny days outdoors plenty of times. I'll bring a couple to the banquet if you think they'll be of assistance.


The memory is no problem but those just have a TrackPoint instead of a touch pad right? That might be a problem since we often have new people running the finish computer and I know plenty of people who are allergic to the TrackPoint. :lol:


That's accurate, but that's an easy-to-overcome issue. WiFI/USB/Bluetooth mice are cheap enough to be a non-issue. I agree though, some people hate those little things. I always disable the TrackPad and use the TrackPoint (or a real grown-up mouse) exclusively, but to each their own. I also have a few DC power supplies for them, assuming we would want to bypass using an inverter.

If we wanted to get really fancy, an external screen and external mouse/keyboard with any-old-laptop is always a viable option.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby KevinGale » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:31 am

drummingpariah wrote:
KevinGale wrote:
drummingpariah wrote:I have a stack of x61s thinkpads (dual core, most of these have 4GB of ram, but will take 16GB if you need them to). I'm more than happy to donate one (or two, I like redundancy) to NEHA. The screens on these are relatively small, but I've used them on sunny days outdoors plenty of times. I'll bring a couple to the banquet if you think they'll be of assistance.


The memory is no problem but those just have a TrackPoint instead of a touch pad right? That might be a problem since we often have new people running the finish computer and I know plenty of people who are allergic to the TrackPoint. :lol:


That's accurate, but that's an easy-to-overcome issue. WiFI/USB/Bluetooth mice are cheap enough to be a non-issue. I agree though, some people hate those little things. I always disable the TrackPad and use the TrackPoint (or a real grown-up mouse) exclusively, but to each their own. I also have a few DC power supplies for them, assuming we would want to bypass using an inverter.

If we wanted to get really fancy, an external screen and external mouse/keyboard with any-old-laptop is always a viable option.


True but we would then have to bring a mouse and a mouse pad since the table we normally use won't make a good mouse surface (slats). I'll ask Michele who normally is dealing with this stuff if she minds. A DC power support for a standard car 12 volt power outlet would be a really nice addition. That is what we used with the old laptop.

So you said you have a few. Can you spare two of them?
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby drummingpariah » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:07 pm

KevinGale wrote:True but we would then have to bring a mouse and a mouse pad since the table we normally use won't make a good mouse surface (slats). I'll ask Michele who normally is dealing with this stuff if she minds. A DC power support for a standard car 12 volt power outlet would be a really nice addition. That is what we used with the old laptop.

So you said you have a few. Can you spare two of them?


I can, but let me run a few hardware tests to make sure they're ready-to-go. As long as everything checks out, I'll bring them to the banquet and we can look them over and make sure they'll actually work for this (check screen brightness, etc). There's no optical drive (they're very compact), so they'll have to be imaged via a USB stick or similar.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby KevinGale » Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:27 pm

drummingpariah wrote:I can, but let me run a few hardware tests to make sure they're ready-to-go. As long as everything checks out, I'll bring them to the banquet and we can look them over and make sure they'll actually work for this (check screen brightness, etc). There's no optical drive (they're very compact), so they'll have to be imaged via a USB stick or similar.


Sounds great and Michele said a mouse isn't a problem. Got plenty of USB sticks I'm sure I'll figure out the imaging. There must be someway to load Windows on them.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby walterclark » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:17 pm

I have an Apricorn brand USB based adapter for laptop ATA hard drives, and somewhere the EZ Gig software to clone a hard drive so if one PC can be built and the second is the same, this will create a clone HD for an identical laptop.
The older I get the better I was.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby drummingpariah » Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:08 pm

One of the two hard drives fails SMART tests, and a few of the Linux applications for testing gave it a solid fail. One of the screens developed a crack at some point, which is a little disappointing. I just hopped online to see what I could find for parts, and I may just order a lot of 4 t43's outright, as they all have IPS screens. IPS screens are ideal for outdoor reading, and should serve us perfectly.

The three with IPS screens have the Pentium M 760 2 GHz processor (single-core). It sounds like that would work fine, but could you confirm that your timing app is lightweight enough for that, Kevin?
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby KevinGale » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:59 pm

drummingpariah wrote:One of the two hard drives fails SMART tests, and a few of the Linux applications for testing gave it a solid fail. One of the screens developed a crack at some point, which is a little disappointing. I just hopped online to see what I could find for parts, and I may just order a lot of 4 t43's outright, as they all have IPS screens. IPS screens are ideal for outdoor reading, and should serve us perfectly.

The three with IPS screens have the Pentium M 760 2 GHz processor (single-core). It sounds like that would work fine, but could you confirm that your timing app is lightweight enough for that, Kevin?


Hmmm... I'm not completely sure. The app itself is fairly low overhead but it depends of reading the USB port at a high rate (100x a second would be ideal) USB speed is CPU dependent. It might be OK but without testing I'm not sure. It is a 10 year old CPU. And we are trying to do near real time stuff with Windows and any delays are a problem for timing.

Bottom line is I'll probably have to do some testing. It may be just fine.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby drummingpariah » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:16 pm

Let's stick with the x61s machines I have, then. They're dual core at least, so your app won't be trying to share CPU with the USB bus. IPS screens are available for the x61 chassis, but they need to be pulled from the touch-screen version (here's one on eBay for $150 ready to work, as one example. I'm comfortable with just using this for the time being, and an external screen could still be an option.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby KevinGale » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:56 pm

Have you tried the screens you have? It doesn't need to be visible in direct sunlight but as long as it is visible in the shade when outside on a sunny day it will be fine.

If you need to order something we can get one of the clubs to reimburse you for it I'm sure. They will just need a receipt.
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