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| DearWebby is actually Helmut Morscher, the CEO of Webby, inc.
Originally the "Tech Support Pits" were reports of the funniest tech support incidents, but over the years the
column gradually shifted to answering tech support questions put forward by the readers of the Dear
Webby Humor Letter.
This collection of computer and web advice was started partly because readers demanded an archive, and partly
because some questions were asked again and again. Each page has a different day's Tech Support Pits column.
Tech Support Pits column from Dear Webby's Humor Letter of
07/30/04: Charging laptop on a boat
Tech Support Pits:
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I will be spending the rest of the summer and most of the
fall on a houseboat. I will be using wireless DSL and the
modem is happy with the 12 Volt from the boat's electrical
system. Is it safe to charge the laptop from that ?
You will ruin the battery if you do. It needs 19 Volts or
more to get fully charged. Just get a cheap StatPower
inverter and turn the 12 Volt DC into 110 Volt AC. Most of
your 110 Volt appliances can plug into that. Forget vacuum
cleaners, toasters and electric kettles, but all small
items from alarm clocks to computers will work fine.
You can use solar panels to charge the boat batteries, so
that you don't have to run the engine for charging. I ran
a desktop computer and printer on solar for five years
in the Yukon, but always via an inverter, and they worked
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