Computing Aboard Maringret

This article supercedes two legacy articles from about 20 years ago (which we have saved here) and from 5 years ago (which we have saved here). That amount of time is an eternity in computing and some of the capabilities available at present were not even on the horizon when those pages were written.

Hardware Profile

  • Mac mini desktop computer with a 17 inch flat screen, 2.26 GHz, 8 gigabytes memory, 160 gigabytes disk (running OSX 10.6.2)
  • MacBook Pro laptop computer with 11 inch screen, 2.53 GHz, 4 gigibytes memory, 250 gigabytes disk (running OSX 10.6.2)
  • 3 Samsung Android
  • Canon Powershot SX20 digital camera, 12 Megapixel resolution

Macintosh Software Profile

  • iWorks (which replaced AppleWorks) which includes Numbers, and Pages
  • Blue Griffon – HTML editing (website and operating manual)
  • calibre – eBook management and conversion
  • browsers: Chrome, FireFox, Opera, Safari
  • Google Earth – KML and waypoint management
  • PhotoShop – photography management
  • VLC – multi-media management
  • FreeCad – CAD design requirements
  • LiveCode – ad hoc data conversions and other programming issues

Most of the above are self-explanatory. Maringret runs both a presence on the internet (i.e. this website) and on her own intranet. The intranet presence is in the form of an operating manual which is written in HTML for using Blue Griffon, and converted to MOBI using calibre so it can be used on the Kindles.

(For another view of trip documenting as one travels see madnomad).

Internet Access

This has changed dramatically since early versions on this page. Now all internet access is through the Android hosted “hot spot”. At one time sorting out internet access for a boat which was coastal cruising entailed a lot of  specific actions. Not any more, we are now like the millions of people who buy anonymous “pay-as-you-go” SIM cards for our phones. They are quite cheaper and even seem to be getting cheaper.

When we are in locations (e.g. marinas) with free WiFi services, we use our BearExtender (which seems to have a product name change of some sort). We run the USB cable out through a dorade and clip it on the lifeline for the best reception.

We have more information telephony and internet in general located here.

Email Communication

This is another are that has become much easier. We use web-based email through the computers and MailDroid on the Android phones.

Website Maintenance and Enhancement

Both these tasks are handled by Blue Griffon. Most of what we write is HTML 4 so no great bells and whistles.

The markets for both hardware, software and digital services (internet access via GSM phones) have settled out significantly. This has substantially simplified the task of maintaining a seamless presence whether on or off the boat. Not always the best (or at least our preferred solution) was the champion. For example we still prefer the HotSynch backups that were part of the Palm Pilots where you controlled your own backups and also the location of the backup data.

Our computers and phones are now close to 10 years. Macintosh OSX 10.6 and Android 4 are both retired products. They meet our needs adequately and in some instances perform better than the newer products which pack a lot more complexity.

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