Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The ultimate portable logging tool?

I was at Costco the other week doing the mundane household shopping thing, buying a few bulk items that we like to keep on hand. I usually dread going to Costco as it is always so crowded that it seems like you can travel between aisles by simply picking up your feet to allow yourself to be moved by the human masses!

But this time I went early (not early enough!) and I was by myself. So I stopped for a few minutes in the electronics section to drool over the multi-thousand dollar HDTVs, digital cameras and other goodies. What caught my eye and seemed reasonably affordable were the Acer Aspire one netbooks.

These little computers were so compact; but yet seemed to be so big on features. The entire Microsoft Office Suite was pre-loaded on them; and they seemed at least as capable as my older Dell laptop that I have in the shack. But what impressed me was the size! I could easily imagine popping Win-EQF onto one of these babies and putting it into the backpack for logging portable QRP QSOs. Dealing with a full keyboard instead of a paper log or the stylus of my Palm Tungsten E would really be nice. Then just load the log files onto a memory stick to transfer over to the main computer. What could be easier than that?

I think I'm going to have to take a long and hard look at my bug collection. Maybe if I sell a couple on eBay, I just might be able to raise enough funds to buy one of these.

73 de Larry W2LJ


  1. Hi Larry,

    I struggled with the same dilemma also but a small EeePC was my choice.

    There's a lot of different models and I bought one with a 6 cell battery. In power saver mode...it will run almost 8 hours.

    Not as big a hard drive but lot's of storage space from the Company online service. (free)

    A little less money and VERY rugged!

    I bought the "Windows" model. Haven't used it much but seems to perform very well.

    Carry it in a "day pack" to write and surf the web when I'm walking in town or out on the bike.

    You might want to look at it before you make the final decision.

    John N8ZYA

  2. I got one of the original Eee PCs with a solid state hard drive and Linux. I struggled with Linux and found the small keyboard difficult to use.

    I eventually replaced it with a Samsung NC10. It's very similar to the Acer Aspire One, it has an excellent keyboard though it's still a bit of a problem for my fat fingers, it has good battery life too and most importantly it runs Windows XP so you can load all your favourite software.

    I'm very impressed with the Samsung NC10. My sister has one too and she also likes it.

  3. Anonymous6:43 PM

    I want a netbook to use as what I will call "Mill 4.0". And of course logging, and stuff. On another note, very generous of you to give a bug to K3WWP. His website has been inspirational to me for over a decade. In recent months, your blog has also become a favorite.

    Please consider blogging about your bug collection.

  4. Use a Acer Travelmate C112TCi for some years now. It has a 10,4" screen and Windows XP tablet edition. I mainly use it for SSB contests with the N1MM logging program. Also RTTY/PSK with for instance mixW works fine. It has all communication devices built in like Wifi, Bleutooth and infrared. The touchscreen is turnable and works fine with for instance Ham Radio DeLuxe. 1 disadvantage with all these built in gadgets is battery life. Only 1,5 hour. I think for real portable use the eeePC is a better choice.

  5. I have an Acer I use for business on the road and for logging. I used it at FD 09 and it worked FB with N2FJP's FD program. It is a small keyboard and I have fat fingers (sz 14 ring!) and find myself going back to the two-finger method when I am in a hurry but don't have time for errors.