Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Toughbook is the trademarked brand name owned by Panasonic and marketed by their international brand name Panasonic. Toughbook refers to its line of semi-rugged and rugged laptop computers. In 2005, Panasonic added the Toughbook Arbitrator mobile digital camera and mobile digital video recorder (DVR) system to their line. Toughbooks are commonly used by public safety (police, fire and emergency medical services), utilities, field service, construction, and
The Panasonic Toughbook is a laptop computer created for extreme environments. The system is designed to withstand vibration, drops, spills, extreme temperature, and other rough handling. While originally targeted at military, law enforcement, and heavy industrial users, Panasonic has expanded marketing towards a wider audience in recent years.
The Toughbooks have an average annual repair rate of around 3.2%. Panasonic's fully-rugged Toughbooks have an average annualized failure of about 1.5%.
Panasonic Computer Solutions Company markets the Toughbook product family into North, Central and South American and European markets exclusively through their network of dealers. These units are not usually sold through retail channels, and most sales are to organizations, rather than individuals.
Many law enforcement agencies use fully rugged Toughbooks in their patrol cars to run computer-assisted dispatch software. Utility companies similarly dispatch field workers, print work orders, and conduct inspections and repairs using these devices. They are often connected by Wifi Wireless LAN, embedded (internal) cellular wide area network (WAN), or via satellite to a dispatch center for real-time records checks and report taking. Virtually all Toughbook models can have CDMA 1X-EVDO, EDGE, or HSDPA country-wide Wireless WAN capabilities built into the laptop. Panasonic has been one of the earliest adopters of WWAN technology and was the first to incorporate it into laptops. They have extensive test facilities that allow them to finely tune integrated radio modems to deliver superior connectivity. GPS is also offered internally in the Toughbook 19, 28, 29 and 30.
Panasonic markets the Toughbook series in several configurations ranging from business and semi-rugged to fully rugged in both laptop and Tablet PC configurations, as well as several specialty designs (see product list and spec sheets below in "Wireless Capable Models"). Some models, such as the lightweight W5, are US versions of thin and light consumer laptops sold in Japan under the Let's Note name. The Toughbook 08 is a 10.4 inch fully sealed and ruggedized touchscreen designed to connect to another computer or server. These models communicate with a server via WLAN and a secured thin client. Used in campus area environments that require light, durable, touchscreen equipment such as hospitals (no resident data and fluid resistant), restaurants (card swipe option, rugged), and EMS (lightweight, rugged, vehicle area computing). The Toughbook PDRC or Permanent Display Removable Computer is an extraordinarily bright 1250 nits, 12.1" Touchscreen. This unit typically permanently mounts to a vehicle’s dashboard and connects to a removable computer mounted elsewhere in the vehicle.
Panasonic Toughbook CF-M34
All models have a full magnesium alloy case which is 20 times stronger than the ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic commonly used in laptop construction. Many models have LCD panels designed specifically for visibility during daylight use. Other design elements include a shock-mounted hard drive and, on many models, a moisture and dust-resistant LCD, keyboard and touchpad. Available options include touchscreens, digitizers and backlit keyboards.
Panasonic markets itself as one of the only remaining core manufacturers of laptop computers, meaning that Panasonic manufactures most of the major parts used in the laptop and assembles the laptop itself. This is opposed to the practice of outsourcing the parts and assembly to a third party manufacturer.
Use in EMS and fire services
Many Emergency Medical Services providers also use these books for patient-care reporting and computer aided dispatch. The use of third-party software by HealthWare Solutions, ImageTrend Field Bridge, ZOLL Data Systems, Skyscape, and other medical software providers increases efficiency of EMTs and paramedics in the field, as well as allows rapid entry of patient data which may be passed on quickly to definitive care providers. Some programs also allow EMTs and paramedics to look up information on patients by name or Social Security number if their service has treated them before, eliminating the need to re-enter much information such as medication lists, a patient's medical history, and other personal information such as date of birth, address, phone number, and insurance information. These notebooks are preferred to other companies' for their survivability in rugged conditions, and the ease with which their metallic shells can be decontaminated in the event of contact with blood or other body fluids.
Many field forces deploy the Toughbook line with their fleet of vehicles. This requires the unit to be anchored to the vehicle for driver safety, device security, and user ergonomics. The Toughbook lines are rated for severe vibration associated with large service vehicles and off-road driving, and harsh environmental conditions of constant professional use such as in EMS, fire and public safety.
Other elements that enables the unit to function in vehicle:
• Operating Temperature: The Toughbooks ability to operate in temperature extremes from -20°F to +140°F (-29°C to +60°C) fully rugged models 18 and 29—based on independent study by SRI Group and by Panasonic R&D).
• Daylight, or sunlight readability: The Toughbook have screen glare shield integrated into their screens and run at unusually high brightness that sets the brightness based on the ambient light. The Toughbook 30, for example, runs at 1000 nits LCD brightness, and the Toughbook 19 tablet convertible at 500 nits (see specification sheets listed below).
• Touchscreens: These enable users to easily interact with the units in the field without removing gloves, or being concerned about wet conditions.
The Pyramids and the Sphinx, Egypt
You have to visit this amazing place, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramid of Giza.
- The Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops)
- The Pyramid of Kafhre
- The smaller Pyramid of Menkaura.
There are three main pyramids in Giza: Each Pyramid is a tomb to a different King of Egypt. In front of the pyramids lies the Sphinx (or Abu al-Hol in Arabic, "Father of Terror"). Carved out of a single block of stone, this enormous cat-like sculpture has mesmerized millions of visitors.
Bimini: The Road to AtlantisFamed American psychic Edgar Cayce predicted that evidence of the lost continent of Atlantis would appear in the Bahamas in 1968 or 1969. In 1968 pilots photographed structures that looked like buildings, walls and roads under the waters off of Bimini Island. Others have claimed to have seen pyramids and stone circles on the sea bed, but the only thing that has been confirmed for sure is what has become to be known as the Bimini Road. Skeptics claim that the Bimini road is merely a unique natural formation. There is no denying, the "roads" are straight and look man m
The Golden Pavilion, Japan
The pavilion is probably the most recognizable temple in Japan as it is entirely covered in gold. Shining in the light, the Golden Pavilion, or Kinkakuji, looks like beautiful jewel box. In 1950, a disturbed Buddhist temple novice burned the 14th-century pavilion to its foundations. Within five years, however, the Golden Pavilion rose again. On the new roof, appropriately, perches a phoenix. The pavilion was originally built as a retirement villa for the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, who, after withdrawing from public life, exercised power in the background by installing his ten-year-old son as shogun.
When he died, his retirement villa was converted into a temple, in accordance with his wishes. The much-admired pavilion rises in three stories, each having a different architectural style and reflecting a different aspect of the shogun who built it. The first floor is a residential palace, complete with a covered dock for the shogun's pleasure boat; the second is a Buddhist prayer hall or samurai house; and the third is a small Zen temple with sliding doors and bell-shaped windows. Set on pillars, the Golden Pavilion extends over the pond, a popular design of the Shinden style during the Heian period of Japanese history. A person approaching sees two pavilions, as the water reflects the image. On the exterior of the graceful building, a layer of shimmering gold leaf creates an unforgettable picture.
Incan Ruin - Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, The lost city floating in a kingdom of clouds, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, a mysterious settlement that the Incas built, occupied, and deserted, all in less than a century. For hundreds of years the city was hidden in the jungle. Then, in 1911, Hiram Bingham led a university expedition to the Peruvian Andes. On a valley floor along the Urubamba River, he met a farmer who guided him up to the ruins of the hidden city, the only Incan site that hadn't been looted or destroyed during the previous four centuries.
Machu Picchu spans a mountain saddle between green jungle peaks. The settlement has only 200 residences, suggesting a population of about 1,000 people. The city contains a large number of religious buildings that were constructed with great care. One of them, the Temple of the Sun functioned as an observatory focused on the heavens. A mark cut on a rock at the center of the tower lines up, through a window, with the exact spot where the sun rises on the June solstice. In the temple's recesses the Incas placed religious statues or offerings.
Another small cave at Machu Picchu served as an observatory for tracing the December solstice. Ritual religious bathing may have been done at the Fountains, a series of 16 small waterfall baths where the sacred focus may have been water. But the principal shrine at Machu Picchu was probably the intihuatana, the "hitching post of the sun", a stone that the Incas may have used to observe the heavens and mark the seasons. No one knows for certain how the stone was used. Near the settlement lie other intriguing sites. The Intipunku, or Sun Gate, is a notch cut in a mountain ridge that frames the rising sun during fixed periods on the calendar. The famous Inca Bridge is located along an ever-narrowing mountain trail that, at some places, is cut into a sheer cliff. The builders cleverly left a gap in a buttressed section of the trail that they could bridge with two logs. As needed, the logs could be removed to make the road impassable to outsiders. Perhaps it is no wonder that this nearly inaccessible mountain city remained hidden and unknown to outsiders for centuries after the Incas abandoned Machu Picchu.
Iceland was settled in the 9th century by Norse Vikings. The first settlement and major city is Reykjavik. Reykjavik has a bustling nightlife, an exciting arts scene, and offers visitors the opportunity to explore the countryside in short trips to areas such as Thingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir. If you are interested in nature, Iceland is a great place to visit. The terrain in Iceland is so rugged due to centuries of volcanic activity; this is where the US tested their lunar landing module that eventually drove on the moon. Because of Norse woodcutting and volcanic activity, there are virtually no trees on the island. There is one small "forest" that is a national landmark.
Iceland, Greenland's neighbor, benefits from the gulf and jet streams with huge 100mph winds constantly blowing, being sustained for more than a day. Most travelers go to Iceland in the summer, however, Iceland in the winter is equally as beautiful, and there is the added bonus of less tourists and tones of snow. The interior of Iceland is not assessable in the winter months but the ring road is always passable, but careful driving and a 4WD is needed in the ice and snow. Over the Christmas period there is hardly any traffic on the roads in the South and the drive from Reykjavik to Vik is stunning. Glaciers, mountains, volcanoes and countless waterfalls keep the six hour drive interesting. Hofn is a good place to stop to explore Iceland's biggest glacier. Better still, Hoffell is a remote town close by, which, is very close to the foot of the glacier. In Hoffell you can also find naturally heated hot tubs, perfect for sitting in to watch the northern lights away from any artificial light, if the conditions are right.