[lug] Commuting by bike with a laptop

Paul E Condon pecondon at mesanetworks.net
Mon Jan 11 19:15:12 MST 2010

On 20100111_185402, Rob Nagler wrote:
> Wow!  I'm so happy to hear about so many bike commuters.
> I have an older MacBook Pro.  Several of us bike commute.  I used to
> have a 1mi ride, and others about the same or less.  We had a variety
> of problems with our Powerbooks and one Ti-book.  My current MacBook
> had the "logic board", CD, and disk replaced.  It was relatively new
> so I don't think it was the commute.  I have since moved and commute
> 7mi each way, and I haven't had any problems with my laptop in over 6
> months of relatively frequent riding.
> I have panniers and a commuter bag:
> http://www.rei.com/product/604989
> http://www.rei.com/product/761113
> I was wrapping my MacBook in a neoprene sleeve:
> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0017Q8DTQ
> but I stopped doing this recently.  We have had Macbooks stay
> on and really heat up so I get nervous about all the wrapping.
> When I bring home backup disks, I carry them in this:
> http://www.rei.com/product/781700
> which I modified with sleeping pad foam and aluminum foil.
> I can hold two 3.5" drives in their sleds.
> I rode all last week, and I was worried about the cold so
> I let the laptop sit for a bit before turning it on.  I also fell
> quite a few times, not going real fast.  The laptop seems ok. :)
> If you ride at night, I recommend a Cateye Double Shot Pro:
> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000R5NR76
> With all this ice, it really helps to have a bright light.  This one
> says it is 25,000 candlepower at 10m.
> Rob
> Rob
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Of course if laptop stays on during the ride, it is unlikely to chill
down to the point that there is moisture condensing inside. Wrapping
in neoprene may not be an appropriate action. Water proof is not what
is needed. Air tight is what is needed. Moist interior air infiltrates
and then cools to below its dew point. But keeping the interior of the
laptop above the dew point of the interior air at the destination is
likely to be very effective.

Also, there is safety thermal protection on laptops. If the temperature
gets too high during the trip because of too much wrapping and padding,
the laptop will go into sleep mode, I think. 

Paul E Condon           
pecondon at mesanetworks.net

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