Friday, May 30, 2008

con sal o sin sal, señor?

This is an SOS to my fellow bloggers who live near the ocean -- any ocean.

Anyone who has ever visited a coastal town (whether Seaside, Oregon or Recife, Brazil) knows the effect of salt and humidity on metal. What was once there, no longer is.

I started thinking about that today because I need to buy a lap top computer to take to Mexico. And I would be very disappointed to have the innards of the computer destroyed by the warming breezes of Pacific Mexico. It isn't the money. (Every time I write that I think of the old joke from MASH where Margaret Hoolihan says: "Money is far down on my list, Major. It comes second or third...... Second.") I would simply hate to be incommunicado due to the corrosive nature of -- corrosion.

So help me out, pioneers. What steps do you take to protect your computers? Or do the computer companies make some sort of salt air depressant computers? I suppose there is another possibility: buy the cheapest computer possible and be ready to recycle it in a year or so. But that has the green quotient of burying batteries in the garden.

I will not be buying anything before the beginning of next year. But I would like to be prepared.


wayne said...

Oh Steve, I think I should just send you an email on this topic! Depending upon the exposure to the salt air, you can expect a maximum life expectancy of a laptop to be around 2 years. No matter how carefully you protect it. In the last 4.5 years, I am now on my third (or fourth?) laptop. Yeah, 4. 2 Dells, 2 Gateways. The brand name doesn't seem to matter.

Nancy said...

Paople here have said to leave it on all the time since the fan and heat will evaporate the humidity before it has a chance to hurt the innards.

Steve Cotton said...

Nancy -- Thank you for the tip.

Wayne -- I was afraid that might be the answer. The house I will be renting is as close to the ocean as your house.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

We came to Merida with 3 laptops (one for each of us), the first one died in a year, but since it was my son's he was able to hook an external drive to it and it was usable. Mine died after about 3 years, I gave it to Son for spare parts. Husbands died about 3 months ago, so for us the lap tops lasted from one to three and half years, but we are not near the beach. No salt just humidity and heat. BTW after the new drive his lasted until he moved back NOB, he ran his continuously and so does Husband.

Anonymous said...

They do say leaving the units on help - and yet everyone continues to report one or two year life expectancy ;-) You could consider a dehumidifier in the room where you keep your electronics - that might help.

Word also is laptops do better than desktops - already seems to be your choice - so good there.;

In our area (Xico, Veracruz) I have sold a few laptops and they are all still running - but we are inland 45 miles from the beach. Come here - he said selfishly ;-)

Juan Calypso

Steve Cotton said...

theresa and Juan -- It appears that I will simply need to learn to live with the realities of electronic gear on (or near) the beach. My romantic idea of spending the evening on the beach whil typing on my laptop with WiFi is simply not going to come to fruition. (What a pathetic sentence -- and thought.)