COMMUNICATIONS

This image appeared in the SEAPOWER magazine published by the Navy League of the United States. Its image stood out because there is an Oiler in the photo. Oilers are the subject of this web site. The actual image was for a specific companies product.

This author experienced the switch to laptops in the 1990's while working with BOEING. Each employee's workstation connection then needed a laptop docking device. The employee was supplied with a laptop which was to be disconnected when they left work and either locked up or carried home. Those huge old computer towers disappeared. The process of using the laptop required it to be connected to the network at the employee's work station by redocking or it could be connected to the network at home or anywhere with the use of a PC cord. Wireless connections came along 4 or 5 years later. Logging in to the company network required the entering a constantly changing password. Each employee is recognized with this connection and has permissions to use only certain files on the company servers.

Laptops in the military serve a great purpose; a secure and fast means of communications. On navy ships, the wireless connection (as pointed out by Lia Burris ET1 SW) is not possible because each compartment is enclosed within metal, watertight bulkheads. A satellite connection is possible if your laptop is outside. She was on the ships cableway inspection team which was not fun. She too served during the era of converting to laptops. All cables passing through each watertight bulkhead must be sealed properly and many people did not do it properly. Perhaps cruise ships have special rooms set up where wireless will work like internet cafes. Ships power systems have more interruptions and spikes than public power and a laptop computer most certainly needs the best power protection.

Ships inventory systems had a great improvement when computers were introduced. Modern day crew members have no idea what it was like to go down into the supply hole, expecting parts to be in a drawer and have them not there all because someone did not take the time to update the inventory list. Now they have the scanner. Now it is all bar codes. Now, ordering one part and receiving 1000 because the system had a glitch, is a rarity. Before, lots and lots of paper work had to be filled out by hand. Now the information is routed to people over the network, avoiding the need to hand carry it around the ship, up and down ladders, hoping people have time to read and sign it. No time wasted running around to those in charge. No interruptions of an officers schedule with knocks on the door, only special pings or bells from their laptops. They are spoiled rotten. :) Lia

Currently, systems can be accessed on an up and running computer military computer by swiping a password protected common access card, anywhere in the world. Even just to read your email. Persons can function with a laptop as if they were at their own desk. If physically in California, documents can be printed out in your office in Maryland or any other printer in the world.

Still, during a combat situation aboard ship, you have to hope the cabling system has alternate/backup cabling where you can move to another location to communicate.