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  • Internet on the go

    I work with my father in law and we farm. I'm going to ( like every crop season) spend a lot of hours on the tractor. So, I am wondering about maybe getting either a phone that will do internet fairly well, or maybe a small cheap 300 dollar laptop like I have been seeing, about half size of regular laptops.

    The last year or so, I have set up me a scottrade account and I would like the prospects of maybe watching, buying and selling stock from either the laptop or phone that will do internet. The scottrade page I like to watch is java based streaming. I didnt know if a cellphone would let a guy do this or not.

    Do any of you guys do anything like this away from home? My tractor has GPS auto-steer so I would have a certain amount of time to browse internet.

    So guys, any ideas of merit for this?

  • #2
    Something about that seems so wrong ;) The netbooks are cool but you'd need some sort of cellular card for them or an internet-capable phone to tether them to.

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    • #3
      One consideration is whether or not you've ever tried to view these websites over dialup - that's about the average speed you'd see when using a cell phone, or if you have a cell phone that supports a data link over the cellular network while connecting to your laptop via bluetooth (not all can do this).

      The next question would be if you have reliable connectivity to the cellular network from your phone when inside the cab of your tractor while out in the fields.

      There are higher bandwidth options available (like Verizon's for example) that use a plugin card, but most of the mini laptops you're talking about like for example the Asus EeePC don't have the necessary slot to support use of that card.

      Is it technically possible? Yes. I do it sometimes with my blackberry & laptop. Will it work well for you? Tough to say right now without knowing more.

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      • #4
        My iphone does this site fine. obviously no comcast...but its not unbearable. I love the eeePc i bought my mom for xmas. about 300 bones. A wireless card and an eePC would do you just fine.

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        • #5
          Well sounds like it may work. I have Alltel only for service, but I live only 6 miles from a tower and our terrain is flat and not much trees. So a signal will have the maximum chance of finding my equipment. My cellphone always has a great signal anyway, however I have not used any data stuff over the cellphone to see what kind of results I might get.

          I have not been in town to talk to my alltel agent ( I live out on a farm) but if I would buy an iphone or such will altell activate it with my current number or how does all that work? I do know our local place doesnt have a big selection to choose from. Our population here is pretty sparse, 800 in town and approx 1500 in the whole county. We are the least populated county in the state of Kansas. But it can be nice this way also, not many problems.

          Yes, I live in an area where there are no mountains to block the view or trees to get in the way either.:fryingpan:

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          • #6
            If one wants to use an iPhone on any GSM carrier other than AT&T they have to buy an unlocked phone, which is a bootleg proposition. However, I believe Alltel (now part of Verizon Wireless BTW) in the US uses a technology known as CDMA which is incompatible with GSM. They should still be able to put together a package that could do what you wanted and in fact it would be a lot faster than using GSM/EDGE - do some research on EDVO - but not with an iPhone. If your local guy can't figure out what to do go to Alltels website and call their national customer service people for help.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rondar
              I work with my father in law and we farm. I'm going to ( like every crop season) spend a lot of hours on the tractor. So, I am wondering about maybe getting either a phone that will do internet fairly well, or maybe a small cheap 300 dollar laptop like I have been seeing, about half size of regular laptops.
              I use Scottrade for my online broker. I use laptops and desktops. I've even driven tractors and combines (just for a short time...I'm no farmer...long story). So I have to ask, how would you keep a tractor going straight if you used a small device to access the internet? Or maybe you'd just use it deep in the fields when you took a break? That, I can see. I think that'd be a fun way to relax.

              BTW, is it planting season where you are? It's wet where I have land--well, it was last week when I last spoke with our farmer--so he hasn't started the corn and beans yet.

              Chris :)

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              • #8
                He said he had GPS auto-steer on the tractor. Must be a nice rig to have the land version of "auto-pilot".

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by EddieHorton
                  He said he had GPS auto-steer on the tractor. Must be a nice rig to have the land version of "auto-pilot".
                  With the price of fuel, autosteer can pay for itself in a short while, ( a couple years). this is the first year we have had autosteer, and the one we got was 6500 dollars. My sweeps are 54 feet wide, and our chemical sprayer is 90 ft. If you overlap a few feet per swath, or just wander back and forth and maybe leave a skip even here and there, on a day to day basis the costs add up. On a 160 acre field, auto steer will generally let you do 1-2 swaths less because of satelite guidance keeping you within a few inches of the last pass, which for the most part no human can do. Some of the chemicals we use are hundreds of dollars for an 8 oz bottle of it. When you spray, generally speeds are 8-14 mph, so if you get off of your "row" at those speeds in a rough field, you can literally be off 5-10 feet or even overlap that much, putting on literally twice the chemical needed on the overlapped part.

                  There are days in the tractor, that the dirt is just right and it follows you and you flat cant see where you are going for most of the swath until you turn around. Some days you get a headache from straining to see the swath you are on, either sun in your eyes, dirt you cant see through, or sometime nighttime driving and the glare of all the lights reflecting through dirt and the windows. Generally we work 12-15 hour days 6 days a week during may-november.

                  So, yeah, I thought it would be kinda nice if I could access internet a little bit like you city boys :neener: do.

                  As a side note, father in law and brother in law and me went to our CaseIH dealer to get some parts. While there, my father in law was kind of whining to the parts guys ( we know them well and joke a lot with them) because we spent 60,000 dollars on repairing 2 combines last winter. The dealer said he would be glad to sell us a new one, approx 310,000 dollars, so we wouldnt have to spend the 60,000 lol. A new tractor like mine is approx. 180,000 dollars. A new set of drills is well over 100,000 dollars.

                  We generally use between 6-10,000 gallons of diesel to farm with for the year. We cut our own crops and haul them all in ourselves too. From starting to work the fields to planting time, and then harvest, generally the same piece of ground gets worked 6 times a year, 7 counting running combine on it. So, between the fuel, chemical, fertilizer, and seed costs, you should easily see how satelite guidance can pay for itself in a short while, and be a necessity, not a luxury :greedy:

                  Oh yeah, the tractor I drive is 1999 CaseIH 9370. 360 horsepower 4wd.

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