I finally got my mill, and am working on making the motor mounts. My wife doesn't work a 'set' schedule, so it's very slow going. An hour here, 2 hours there. Just about have my X axis mount done. And now I need to think what I'll be using to run it.
I'm using HobbyCNC driver board. I'm going to just start with the small stepper motors that I have already. I've had it hooked up to my home pc, and it seemed to work fine. But I don't want to use my main system to run it. So, I'm looking at a new system. I really really really want a laptop. I've came up with some pros and cons for each. Feel free to pick away at them. I DO NOT feel comfortable leaving any computer in my garage, as it's not exactly in the best of shape.
Small form factor.
No monitor needed.
Very easy to unhook and move.
Battery powered for usage while not hooked to the machine. (browsing around the house and such)
Can be used for addition things.....movies while on trips. We make about a six hour one way trip 2 or 3 times a year.
Mobility for taking drawings/models to the customer.
Easily transfer of files (wireless network which I already have)from anywhere around the house.
You just look so damn cool with a laptop.
More expensive than a PC.
If something fails, it costs more to replace.
Non-upgradable. But I don't see this as really being a problem.
Large form factor.
Requires a monitor (additional cost)
Heavy and bulky for moving.
Would only serve the one purpose.
Floppies Floppies Floppies.
You just don't look so cool carrying a desktop as you do a laptop.
I'm sure there are more, but my mind is blank now.
I'm more than likely going with ebay. I'll have at least my modeling software installed, so I want something powerful enough to run it. 1Ghz with at least 256MB RAM. I'll be using Mach2 to run the machine. It's probably obvious that I'm a bit biased towards the laptop. Are there any hardware issues that would justify a PC over a laptop? I remember reading somewhere on this forum that the parrallel port on laptops is sometimes questionable. Is that so on newer laptops, or is that just an issue with older ones?