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geek question - Laptop computers / motorbikes

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by david85dc, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Hi Guys

    Got a silly question here.

    I live and work in the city, and i need to take my laptop to work everyday.

    Problem is the bumpy ride on the bike is ruining my computers. I have been through 2 laptops now (hardware failures).

    i see heaps of other people ride to work with their laptops on their back.

    Do you have any surgestions as to how i can minimise the damage i am causing.

    straping it to the rack on the back is definately a no go!

    Silly i know, but thought some of you might have some good ideas.

  2. Not a silly question at all ...
    I assume its hard-drive failures?
    Have you tried speaking to some suppliers? Surely there is something out there that will stand up to the punishment.
  3. yeh, the hardware is failing.

    network cards, motherboards etc.

    You can buy those ultra-tuff Panasonic’s but i don’t think their price is justifiable (would be more expensive than my bike lol).

    i've been using dells (so bottom grade computers). They were fine till i started carrying them around on the bike. I can hear shit rattle inside my computer :roll:
  4. bike rack is no-go for sure!!!
    Back pack is the way to go, that's where you get less vibrations etc..
    Or if you have money to spare, get a notebook with a solid state drive (like macbook air $4300 :facepalm: )
    OR, you could leave it at work and get another one for home, like an acer for $800 from Harvey norman... :bolt:
  5. Great idea .. the you just sync both Machines as u need to.
  6. I assume you have some sort of tail bag to store the laptop in at the moment?

    I haven't had any troubles with my laptops (Thinkpads) or my work laptop (Hpaq) succombing to vibration on the bike, or car for that matter. I usually have the laptop inside a "Laptop backpack" or on top of a pile of clothes or other soft material when it's in the Ventura tail pack.

    To that end, if you are using a tailbag, you could visit Clark Rubber and get some 1-2" thick foam to line the bottom and maybe the sides of your tailbag?
  7. Just buy some soft foam and put it (laptop) in between two thick pieces whether its in you backpack or get a bag that straps to the rack and use that if you dont like the idea of a backpack.

    The guy who i bought my bike off was a computer programmer and took all his IT gadgetry with him in a rack mounted bag and he didnt seem to have any problems. Maybe thats because he had thats tuff computer you were talking about.

    Just my 2 cents
  8. Put in a laptop backpack that has padding. Your body will act as the first shock absorber, so by the time it gets to the padding its works cut out already.

    FYI, if you're using dell inspiron laptops theres your first problem - they're designed to be pretty and work for the first month or two, then crumble in your hands and drive you insane as they slowly degrade, becoming slower, uglier and eventually brake down into a pile of dust. Latitudes cost more and are not game performance orientated, but they are the business model and they seriously LAST.
  9. I dunno. I've never seen a Toughbook in the wild, m'self... They're outrageously expensive and unless you need something that can survive being used at sea or in the desert or other X-treme conditions, they're rather unnecessary. H-e-a-v-y, b-u-l-k-y, relatively low-performance.

    Laptop-friendly backpack or just some basic foam-lining, methinks. :)
  10. Experience is that a backpack is best, and this seem to cause much more vibration/movement than just walking with it would, and definitely no more than having a laptop in a car!

    This many failures on hardware due to physical movement of the machine seems unusual to me - I've driven with laptops bouncing around the boot of the car with no failures.

    What brand of laptop are you using? You can buy more "ruggedised" laptops, but shouldn't have to for this kind of travel: you're not exactly putting them into really punishing circumstances in a 4x4 or anything.

    Make sure you have a good quality laptop backpack with plenty of padding, but there isn't much more you could do. If most of the failures were hard-drive related, I'd recommend a little online research into which brands are most rugged, but since they've all been card-related, I'd really just have serious concerns about the laptop brand you have.

  11. haha. this is Dell Latitude x2 that is stuffed.

    I will get rid of the laptop bag and try a nice padded backpack..

    appreciate your thoughts guys

  12. Interesting, is it powered off?

    HDD's have a fairly high shock value
    Operating Shock (Read) 65G, 2 ms
    Non-operating Shock 350G, 2 ms

    Motherboards from what i've seen sit around 100G, interestingly a latitude can withstand about 20G and a inspiron .02G
    All for a duration of 2ms
  13. Definitely backpack, also in a sleeve or well padded case inside the backpack.

    Another option is to look into a solid state hard disk, up to 60Gb now. Fewer moving parts = fewer problems.

  14. precisely what I was going to ask!

    turn off your laptop before you ride, with it in a backpack it will be fine - otherwise I'm inclined to think that it's just coincidental that you're killing laptops now that you're riding, and it's probably something else you're doing
  15. Backpack is the way to go and switch the bloody thing off!!! :evil:
  16. my blackbook is in my backpack everytime i head to work on the bike

    i've have it strapped to the seat once or twice which is WAY more comfortable but i think it cops a bit to much abuse there

    i've got an STM padded backpack, and an STM neoprene sleeve and between those and my wet weather pants that live in the back its pretty padded...

    haven't had any problems so far, once or twice its not started properly but i back the whole thing up onto an external drive every time i get home anyway (which is good practise motorbike or no!)
  17. [​IMG]

    axio swift hardshell backpack from www.rushfaster.com.au

    i got one of these..holds a 17" dell latitude d820

    but thats the maximum size it will hold
  18. Milspec twinhead durabook - they're quite reasonably priced and might stand up to it.
  19. I carry my Dell Inspiron 1720 in a Targus backpack, no problems at all.
    I do have it shut off though, this could be the deciding factor.
  20. Yes, leaving the machine running (asleep/hibernating is fine) is definitely a bad idea if you're subjecting the machine to vibration and movement.

    Mostly 'cause of what will happen if the HDD decides that it wants to read/write something at the same time as you hit a bump or rotate/shift the laptop suddenly.

    (In fact, most brands of laptop these days have acceleration sensors to detect when they should perform an emergency-park of the HDD - eg, if you accidentally knock the laptop off your lap/desk/table, or if the vehicle you're a passenger in is bumping too much.)