JWR’s Recommendations of the Week

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. This week the focus is on rugged laptops.


The Old Farmer’s Almanac – 2018

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Movies and Television:

The Real Inglorious Bastards. (A documentary about an OSS team that parachuted into the Tirol region, during World War II.) Now available on DVD, or free download for Amazon Prime members.

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Stone of Destiny. Also available for free download for Amazon Prime members.



Dougie MacLean: Inside the Thunder

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Holding Up Half The Sky: Voices Of Celtic Women II



Instructional Videos:

For those wire “fishing” expeditions: Three Easy Ways to Get Wires and Cables Through Walls

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Wranglerstar: Wildland Firefighting Tools



The View From Chaos Manor (The Late Dr. Jerry Pournelle’s blog).  Note:  There is is now a special page for condolences.  may Jerry rest in peace.  His blog (the Internet’s first blog and longest-running) will live on.


Gear (Rugged Laptops):

In response to a request by a consulting client, I’m making some recommendations on laptop computers for preppers.  The best choice for preppers is a rugged (or “ruggedized”) laptop.  But they can be quite expensive. One  viable option is to buy a standard laptop, but to carry it in a sturdy waterproof case, such as a Pelican laptop case — the size of a large briefcase.

Here is a lot of laptop for the money: Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch FHD Notebook (Intel Core i3-7100U 7th Generation , 4GB DDR4, 1TB 5400RPM HD, Intel HD Graphics 620, Windows 10 Home), Obsidian Black

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If you rather go full rugged, this one from Dell is great: Dell N4951 Latitude 14″ HD Rugged Laptop (Intel Core i5-6300U, 4GB DDR4, 500GB Hard Disk Drive, Windows 10 Pro)

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And of course nothing beats the time-proven Toughbook:  Panasonic Toughbook CF-532JCZYCM 14-Inch Laptop

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There are also now rugged tablets available, like this: Vanquisher 8-Inch Ultra Rugged Tablet PC (2nd Gen), Windows 10 / Intel Quad Core CPU / GPS GNSS / Gorilla Glass Panel / IP67 Waterproof, For Enterprise Mobile Work


Make a Suggestion

Want to suggest Recommendations of your own? Then please send them to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!


  1. I have only recently started ready Jerry’s books. They are amazing to read, and full of wonderful detail. Another good man I won’t get to meet. I shall miss not meeting him.

  2. All of the recommendations include Windows 10 as the operating system (OS). That is the LAST OS I would recommend to anyone given Windows 10 propensity to “phone home” with personal data.

    Consider using Ubuntu version 16.04 which is the latest version with long-term support (LTS). You may even install it on a used laptop and still get acceptable performance. The Ubuntu OS Is free and installs with the Firefox web browser and Libre Office (which is similar to Microsoft Office).

    1. I’ll second the Ubuntu recommendation. I’m running v. 12.04 LTS, for many years passed it’s sunset date, and it still works great. Some versions of Linux are not for the faint of heart (I’ve performed stage 1 and 3 gentoo installs), but Ubuntu is simple to install, use, and maintain. The developers there have really done a bang-up job.
      Windows is horrible for so many reasons… especially the safety and privacy conscious, use anything but!

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