Rugged Laptops [Archive] - Glock Talk

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DrSticky
05-07-2012, 10:04
The wife and I have been watching Jericho on Netflix (not sure how we missed this) and one of the characters(Hawkins) uses a ToughBook. He says it is ruggedized against EMP. My initial thought is that it isn't likely, but it is in a magnesium case so I don't know for sure.

I am more curious about who has spent the money on a rugged laptop and what do you recommend. I have a pile of old laptops laying around, but nothing I could take into the field.

How you plan on charging it when SHTF would be an interesting helpful as well.

So I guess what I am asking:
1. Is the Toughbook really EMP proof?
2. What rugged laptop do you use and recommend?
3. How do you charge it?

kirgi08
05-07-2012, 10:08
Tuffbook,faraday caged........... .'08.

I'm using a 90s model Tbook ta reply.

racerford
05-07-2012, 12:33
Try to find a "Tempest" rated laptop. That should have a good chance of surviving.

Bilbo Bagins
05-07-2012, 13:43
So as a civilian what is the use of a EMP resistant laptop? :dunno:

A Major SHTF even where an EMP is involved would mean the internet and other civilian computers will be gone, and the nationwide electrical grid will be gone.

But with your toughbook you can;

Look at videos and pictures of your family? OK that is nice.

Maybe using it as a DVD player for the kids to cartons to settle them down.

And what else...?

Chindo18Z
05-07-2012, 15:36
And what else...?

You can:

1. Run inventory/consumption spreadsheets for supplies, fuel, food, etc.

2. Display/print digital imagery taken for a variety of projects to include defensive arrangements, site surveys of proposed usage locations, inventory of property, route reconnaissance photos & videos, etc.

3. Generate SOPs, Rules, Instructions, Operations Orders, Patrol Orders, WTB/For Sale ads (barter), wanted posters, journals, letters (for courier delivery), etc.

4. Generate duty rosters and work schedules (guard, kitchen, radio watch, planting season, etc.).

5. Generate maps and tactical graphics for local defense.

6. Print applicable extracts from .pdf files (user instructions for radios, GPS, weapons, engine repair, food prep, recipes, medical care, drug dosages, how-to documents, etc.).

7. Run local hard wired security camera feed to laptop.

8. Organize and maintain personnel files (missing persons lists, skill sets of people in your group, personnel rosters for new additions).

9. Use for weather prediction (using downloaded NOAA yearly weather data to estimate typical weather for each month, season, week, etc.). Readily available data that shows how much rain, sun, hi/low temp, cloud cover you can expect. Almanac stuff.

10. Use for encrypting communications between locations (to be passed via flash/thumb drives). Might be worth someones life to not be found with an incriminating document in their possession. Rather than having the same info buried electronically deep in an almost unbreakable (and easily hidden) Iron Key encrypted thumb drive.

11. Organize all gleaned news, rumors, and collected intelligence into something to brief all present on a daily, weekly, monthly basis...keep your people informed.

12. Keep minutes of group discussions or meetings.

13. Use to train folks on specific skills via videos, manuals, or instructional pages pre-saved to the hard drive.

14. Repository for all identity, insurance, property, and personal documents if/when emergency is effectively over (and a recovery, rebuilding, and claims process begins).

Yeah... If it's just you, the wife, and kids, perhaps the computer is just an entertainment/morale device. But if it becomes several families, lots more folks, or an entire community...that same computer becomes a time saver and functional organizer. Perhaps a teaching tool. Perhaps a security device.

I can't speak to EMP hardening, but I personally lugged a Panasonic Toughbook all over Afghanistan in 2002. I kept it packed inside of a metal 25mm ammo can fitted with extra internal padding (mess hall procured cardboard egg-cartons & spare foam pieces). That computer survived a year of dust, heat, and impact during thousands of miles of back country travel in various pickup trucks, MC-130s, helicopters, and rucksacks.

That improvised computer hard case typically rode in the back of Toyota pickups (along with rucksacks and gear) where there were no roads. Bone jarring off-road impact and vibration. Later in the war, we got Pelican hard cases, but the improvised ammo can worked just fine. We thought highly of the little Panasonics and used Toughbooks at all remote field locations. Still do.

Honestly, I almost always used portable generator power to run/recharge my computer; also carried 2 x spare batteries. On occasion, I ran that computer off of vehicle accessory plug power.

Solar power would be the way to go, but I have no specific recommendations as to model. It would really depend upon whether you anticipate being in a fixed location, having a vehicle to both carry and power the computer, or need to carry it in a backpack.

Mister Clean
05-07-2012, 16:22
You can:

1. Run inventory/consumption spreadsheets for supplies, fuel, food, etc.
^
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and everything in between
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v

Solar power would be the way to go, but I have no specific recommendations as to model. It would really depend upon whether you anticipate being in a fixed location, having a vehicle to both carry and power the computer, or need to carry it in a backpack.

Good Answer! :wow:

Kadetklapp
05-07-2012, 21:06
I'm typing this reply on my "free" (I traded an old obsolete ham HT for it) CF-28 TB. It's not a fast machine, and it only has one USB slot, but it's a good "starter" machine for me. It is what I use to program my scanners and ham rigs, and to run Unitrunker and EchoLink. It's also got a lot of SHTF info and manuals on it.

They can be had on Ebay for next to nothing. But be prepared to do some work on it.

Mine needs a new CCFL and a new battery, plus it could use some wireless hardware upgrades.

ric0123
05-07-2012, 23:51
I had an asus netbook for my shtf rig, which had a 6 cell battery (8 hours). had a 12v input, had all of my HAM software and survival PDFs on it. Yeah the screen was really small and the processor was stupid slow, but the size and battery life mostly made up for it (sucks it got stolen). Though I'm still seriously consideirng an E reader for my survival PDFs

Travclem
05-08-2012, 03:42
I think everyone will have bigger problems than not having a laptop when there is dookie on the blades.

pugman
05-08-2012, 06:21
I think everyone will have bigger problems than not having a laptop when there is dookie on the blades.

This.

The average home doesn't have two weeks worth of food or a gun - being able to play a DVD for Junior to get to sleep IS a viable problem but a laptop is way down the list of needs during the OP's EMP attack

Chindo's list is spot on though especially #13. Per Wired Magazine since 2010 over 50% of internet usage is video downloading - of course what percentage of that is porn?

Ronaldo
05-08-2012, 09:10
I have had a Toughbook CF-30 for about four years now and it has performed flawlessly.

It is not the fastest, nor prettiest, nor lightest and you are limited to a 1024-768 screen but if you can live with this it will last a long, long time.

At some point I'm going to replace the 80GB HD with a 160GB SSD but otherwise will leave it box stock.

Take a look at fleaBay. You see them posted frequently, in all conditions and prices.

It's a good choice! That and my Nook reader will be the information central at the hideaway.

Ronaldo

Kadetklapp
05-08-2012, 12:08
This.

The average home doesn't have two weeks worth of food or a gun - being able to play a DVD for Junior to get to sleep IS a viable problem but a laptop is way down the list of needs during the OP's EMP attack

Chindo's list is spot on though especially #13. Per Wired Magazine since 2010 over 50% of internet usage is video downloading - of course what percentage of that is porn?

Like I said, if you are a ham radio operator (and it's my belief every serious prepper should be) a rugged lap top is a massive help bordering on required for use with your radios. Obviously, in a real SHTF, the first thing to go is the internet, but I can still program several of my rigs and listening devices using stored info on the computer and a cable built for that purpose. The last thing I care about is entertaining children with it (I don't have any), what I want it to do is get my radios set up as my needs change and fast.

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh192/kadetklapp/IMAG0948.jpg

Akita
05-08-2012, 20:12
How do the Toughbooks compare pricewise vs comparable laptops? ie, how much am I paying, %agewise for that toughness?

kirgi08
05-08-2012, 21:30
I got mine for $50.'08.

ArmoryDoc
05-08-2012, 22:11
I think everyone will have bigger problems than not having a laptop when there is dookie on the blades.

Yes. A laptop will be the last of my needs / wants. WWII was planned and fought with pencil and paper.

AK_Stick
05-08-2012, 22:58
A laptop can be serious force multiplier.

If you've got technical data on it, you could have thousands of books on stuff you're not 100% on, to access as you require.


Yes, I can get by without my laptop. But it makes my life significantly easier.

Bushflyr
05-08-2012, 23:10
A laptop can be a great tool, but I wouldn't want to pay the penalty in weight, cost, and lack of performance for a ruggedized model. Really, how often are you going to NEED to look up whatever info or do your spreadsheets in the rain.

I would much rather get a decent Ultrabook, Air, or tablet that I can use day to day if the S doesn't HTF and stick it in a drybag wrapped in my sweater if I need to.

Kingarthurhk
05-08-2012, 23:32
Wait the world is comming to an end let me check facebook.:tongueout:

Kadetklapp
05-09-2012, 06:46
How do the Toughbooks compare pricewise vs comparable laptops? ie, how much am I paying, %agewise for that toughness?

I probably have $60 in mine. It runs XP and is able to program my radio equipment. That's all I ask. Everything else is a bonus.

And some are still missing the point. It's really not about internet.

kirgi08
05-09-2012, 07:38
I probably have $60 in mine. It runs XP and is able to program my radio equipment. That's all I ask. Everything else is a bonus.

And some are still missing the point. It's really not about internet.

I use mine ta program scanners and store a lot of info.'08.

MadMonkey
05-09-2012, 07:43
I'm shocked at the amount of abuse our Toughbooks take here. I haven't seen an issue with one yet.

A laptop can be a great tool, but I wouldn't want to pay the penalty in weight, cost, and lack of performance for a ruggedized model. Really, how often are you going to NEED to look up whatever info or do your spreadsheets in the rain.

I would much rather get a decent Ultrabook, Air, or tablet that I can use day to day if the S doesn't HTF and stick it in a drybag wrapped in my sweater if I need to.

.....a turtleneck sweater, I presume?

kirgi08
05-09-2012, 07:54
That's the point.'08.

As ta your avatar. :animlol:

Akita
05-09-2012, 17:25
I really am happy that you all got great deals on yours, really I am, but does anyone know the relative percentage that being a Toughbook adds to a laptop of some given performance?

I know I can do the research myself, but whats the Interweb good for if not to show off my laziness?

DrSticky
05-10-2012, 12:48
I had planned on using the laptop for many of the things stated here, and some I am going to add, but I had also planned on using it for the following things as well. The ability to create, store, and search secure information is a big benefit.

-Keys to the Castle - everything my wife needs to know about where things are and what is there in case I don't make it.
-Topo/Imagery for the region
-Load/Unload Docs onto Kindles
-Load/Unload videos onto ipods
-Packet Radio
-Access files/libraries on DVD and HD
-One time pads
-Golden Girls Marathon

I understand that a laptop is not necessary, but it is an advantage and as stated before it is a force multiplier.