I am focussing my thinking on how I might live on the boat without missing some of the comforts of home.
See this post if this does not make sense....Click me
In this day and age the internet is a must, certainly if you are reading this you will also be part of this age. We have tried a few things, the MIFI with a three card in it was by far the best so far but unless you know better not cheap (target £15 or less) way of getting unlimited data. As I am a streamer (!) I get through a lot of data. At home our internet is unlimited and we found out that we can both eat a lot of data so we eventually opted for the one plan from 3. Only slight frustration is this is not available for a MiFi device only within a phone.
No problem as buying a cheap phone (from my good friend John) and then tethering it - or rather making it a personal hotspot in effect makes it a wifi router. So a nice little wifi hotspot all for me all you can eat data for £15 a month. For someone who uses the internet a lot this is perfect for the boat and no worries on running out or running up a large bill. The other benefit is it is 4g so when that is available I just have to upgrade the phone and get a new sim FOC for even faster downloads.
What to use for browsing .....
Bruce recently posted about his newish Ipad - see here
No doubt a top piece of kit and I am lucky to have a good one. Book reader, mail client, blogger, facebook, games machine, camera...plus much more - superb. If you are thinking of getting one do not hesitate, you will not regret it. Plus for us to keep connected Skype or Facetime will be used on the Ipad.
For more detailed and precise work.....a portable computer (Macbook is my choice again here) is great. The latest will run windows either from boot up (using bootcamp supplied FOC by Mac - just need a windows disc to install) or using VMware or Parallels it will run both Mac and Windows in the same desktop..... I prefer the Mac operating system as it is much quicker to load and generally cleaner and less risky.
Both of the above give another singular advantage, the battery times are between 5-10 hours, so if you 'Need' to charge them at work you get no demands on your precious battery bank in the evening. No so bad this time of year for those like us with a solar panel or two but in the depths of winter....
Perhaps the best development has been TV in the last year or so.... Ok those who do not like TV stop here, some of us do and the catch up services for all channels are getting better all the time. Now once again if your employer has a blisteringly fast internet the fact Iplayer now lets you download programs to your IPad for watching later is great. We will keep our Sky subscription as other will be using the house so they get the Sky product and myself and Rachel can stream and download with Sky go.... OK not such a need this time of year but in those dark winter evenings, I can and have streamed the football no problem. If you have a movie subscription then even better, you can download movies to watch later.
Of course you can get a internet only Sky subscription, no dish or decoder needed, just steaming and cheaper I understand. Look here....
Not a Rupert convert.... then you should look to Netflix click here.... Maybe the best of value for lots of decent tv, only downside at the moment it is a streaming only service but it is optimised for mobile streaming and I have watched stuff on the boat no problem using my all you can eat data tethered phone.
The latest bit of tech I have acquired is a Chromecast dongle.
This allows you to cast Netflix or Iplayer from your tablet, Iphone or android phone to your TV. So you could download a BBC program onto your phone or tablet then watch it on your tv. You can stream from Netflix or Iplayerr and watch it on your TV. £30 you need a HDMI socket on your TV and if you have a USB socket on the TV you can power the little dongle that way so only one thing plugged in. Good if you have a bigger TV than laptop screen or you want to share the viewing?
There is of course Apple TV.... its a pay service and I have not tried it on the 3g service yet but that is another source, either streaming to your laptop/Ipad or if you have an Apple TV box £99 direct to your TV via HDMI. We have found it better to buy films this way than via SKY.
I am sure there will be limitations, and I hope to do more reading/fishing walking while aboard so less TV or internetting, but the fact I can is good.
So if you have got to here you are a techie like me. Well done and I hope you have found something useful?
Now my next challenge is to decide to spend £200 on a washing machine for me on the boat.... Any thoughts or recommendations. I am rounding on this one.... Click me
It is an Indesit-eco-iwsc61251 It is quite slim and has a range of settings the best being a 20 minute wash using 70% less power and water. It'll live in the forecabin plumbed in and run off the genny. We have never used a tumble dryer and as I have a nice warm engine room, that should sort out drying my smalls !!
So any recommendation....for tech that suits living on a boat?