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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Prius Campervan Entertainment Upgrade

I have an iPad and a iPhone and they are great for most things, but I need a Windows product.  The problem is that I am an Adjunct Professor and teach online courses while living for months on the road as a vandweller.  The problem is the iPhone/iPad's browser is not compatible with all websites.  Last year I used an old heavy Windows XP laptop and it worked fine but it was so heavy and a power hog, even with the 12 volt adapter.

On Black Friday Walmart was selling the above RCA notepad for $129.99 and was still available that evening when I got there so I bought it, although a bit skeptical of Windows 10 and it being labeled a data hog.

Here is my new RCA notepad with removable keyboard to allow it to be a tablet.

This next photo is a side by side view of the old XP laptop on the left and new W10 notepad on the right.

Living in and out of a Prius means every cubic inch is important, so I saw the new computer as being a benefit for space. Not to mention reduced power consumption.

My old XP laptop served multiple purposes.  In addition to being my work computer it was also my TV, my long range WIFI, and DVD player.

I had been using the following USB TV/Radio stick during my 2015 travels.

I was planning on using this but I found out there are no drivers for Windows 10.  The drivers only go up to Windows 7.  This meant I needed to find a new USB TV tuner. I did find one on Amazon for $35.00. (Below)

This new USB TV stick does not contain a digital radio tuner but that is fine as I have the car radio and a small portable radio.

The old XP computer was my long range WIFI connection too.  I have been using this Bear Extender with it and a good surprise was that when plugged it in the W10 notebook it plugged and played correctly.

Since the notebook only has one USB port I need to use a USB multi connection cube.  Here is the notebook with both the TV and wireless extender installed, although I would not typically run both at the same time.

The XP laptop allowed me to go to RedBox and get a movie to watch so to keep the same functionality I need an external DVD.  I have this one I use at home but when I plugged it in the W10 notebook the hardware plugged and played but the applications didn't see it.  A check on the web shows that the drivers for this DVD are only good to Windows 7.  I will be going out to buy a compatible DVD.

Lastly I don't need another tablet and I don't need another device that auto syncs with the Internet and manages my environment for me.  Luckily the blog I subscribe to had a post to a YouTube link to address shutting down nearly all the Windows 10 environmental activities that use bandwidth.  When I turn on the notebook I don't want to be sharing anything and getting any content for me as this just uses up my cell phone data plan.  The blog post was to this YouTube  link

I am now ready for my 2016 Travels using less space and power.


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