Monday, November 30, 2009

Wanted: A Computer for the Bath

I enjoy taking long baths, soaking in the hot water. For entertainment, aside from my thoughts, I can read a book—preferably a paperback, and one that I am willing to take some risk of getting wet.

Much of the rest of the time, my entertainment consists of doing things on my computer—arguing with people on Usenet, browsing the web for information, playing World of Warcraft. None of that is very practical while bathing. I could put a board across the (large) bathtub and put my laptop on it, but dropping my laptop into the bath would be a more serious risk than dropping a paperback in. With enough ingenuity I could probably cludge up a more practical setup, using a computer and large screen somewhere else in the room and a wireless keyboard and mouse, or mouse equivalent, preferably waterproof. But I suspect that setting such a thing up would be expensive in both time and money.

Surely I am not alone in my preferences. Surely there is a market niche here waiting to be filled.


At 1:32 PM, November 30, 2009, Blogger A Life Long Scholar said...

I once saw a notebook computer on display at a geology convention--they had it sitting in a plexiglass box (turned on and running some sort of display program) while the box rained on it. Really hard rain. Then the guy took it out of the box, still on (and dripping wet), dropped it (on purpose) on the floor, picked it up, and showed us that it was still on, and working. Apparently it is intended for use in the field (and had I the cash for it I'd have been interested in it for that use). However, if it can handle that much rain, perhaps dropping it in the bath wouldn't be a bad thing?

At 1:55 PM, November 30, 2009, Anonymous BobW said...

Waterproof wireless keyboard & mouse

You'd still need a large display, perhaps mounted on the wall.

George Ou did a series of build it yourself all-in-one PC articles for ZDNet.

The polycarbonate all-in-one 22" LCD PC
Updated sub-$400 all-in-one dual-core LCD PC images
The $363 19-inch dual-core all-in-one LCD PC

Large LCD monitors are getting cheaper.

At 2:42 PM, November 30, 2009, Blogger Eric Goldman said...

I found this retailer who might be helpful

At 10:11 PM, November 30, 2009, Blogger Patri Friedman said...

Glad to see you are smarter than me. I lost a MacBook to the hot tub last year.

At 6:09 AM, December 01, 2009, Anonymous Mike said...

I've never used one so I'm not sure of its waterproof capabilities, but it sounds like you may be looking for the Panasonic Toughbook.

At 1:56 PM, December 01, 2009, Blogger David Friedman said...

Patri writes:

"Glad to see you are smarter than me."

Or perhaps less profligate.

At 1:47 AM, December 03, 2009, Blogger Jonathan said...

I think Douglas Adams would have been with you on this, were he still around. He was keen on baths and computers.

At 6:49 AM, December 03, 2009, Blogger Eric Rasmusen said...

When I was at UCLA I liked to take my laptop to the desert and work there, so a laptop that is sand-proof would also have its uses.

At 2:42 PM, December 06, 2009, Blogger Andrew said...

In general, the smaller the electronics product, the easier/cheaper it is to waterproof it. An iPod touch with an appropriate case would be the easiest and cheapest waterproof web browsing solution.

If you really need a laptop, strap it down so it can't fall from the board. You should also use a laptop that properly drains water from the keyboard (thinkpads) and probably a cheap older one, as most do not handle condensation well.

At 6:47 PM, December 08, 2009, Blogger Sevesteen said...

Netbook in a giant ziplock bag?

At 2:30 AM, December 11, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are waterproof laptops. Search the net!

At 8:46 AM, December 13, 2009, Anonymous Eric H said...

Getac used to sell laptops with sealed keyboards, etc., but they were expensive and underpowered. I second the idea of putting something like a Kindle or Droid into a ziploc, or perhaps even double-bag it.

At 11:45 PM, January 09, 2010, Blogger Anton Sherwood said...

So it's still possible to enjoy Usenet?

What client do you use?

(hi Eric)

At 5:59 PM, July 11, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a towel to dry off your hands. And sit it on a surface. Where u can reach but not to close.


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