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Field computers

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I need a small field computer for total station data download and data checking in Autocad 2000 . Need almost a disposable with a maximum 10 inch screen that I can put in a waterproof bag and will not break my heart if its lost of damaged and can be used on an airplane tray table when the jerk ahead of me has his seat all the way back. I don't care if its fast or has a huge storage, I will take data off as soon as I leave the field anyway. I have been looking at the HP mini's but cannot find anyone who has experience loading Open Office, AutoCad, and Leica Geodata project software, etc on these webbooks. Any experience of advice anyone can offer?

Fran├žois Goulet

Fran├žois Goulet

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Have you check the minimum requirement for your version of Autocad and Leica Geodata?

A netbook is never ideal for that kind of work, but since you don't have any specific desire regarding what's on your machine, anything that has a least the minimum requirement for your software would do the trick... and a little more than the minimum will make your work easier for sure...

Hans van der Maarel

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Speaking from experience:

Try and find one that has a decent screen size. I bought a Compaq Mini 110 (which I'm using as a test server) and its screen is actually so small that some dialog boxes don't fit (such as the FME Server installation... not a problem if you just enter through it... but if you want to hit cancel somewhere you're in trouble). At least at the office I have the option of attaching a big screen to it, but out in the field you won't have that option.
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I am an archaeologist and so am keen on portable computers - my first experience was a Kaypro! In 2009 I bought an ASUS EePC netbook with a 13" screen as my Toshiba was very heavy and has Vista pre- installed.

I run Open Office, MS Office, Photoshop elements and other programs for image processing ...etc. I bought a micro-mouse at Heathrow Terminal 5 which greatly improved the functionality of the netbook and we have an external CD/DVD drive to load software on it.

I have taken it on trips to Japan and Germany as well as on field trips in Australia. It will work well for data entry using S Access or a similar program.

I forget how much RAM it has but I am guessing it might just run AutoCAD or Arc - it would have enough storage space.

Alternatively Trimble make a yellow tablet computer which will do the same thing as well as record GPS midpoints and take photos. It will cost you both arms and part of a leg but as it is toughened to military standards it might last longer than the EePC.


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