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General Dynamics Itronix notebooks endure extreme conditions on expedition

General Dynamics Itronix, an industry leading maker of rugged notebook computers, announced that its fully rugged GoBook® XR-1 notebook computers withstood the rigors of more than 70 days aboard rigid inflatable boats, experiencing the extreme conditions associated with a tropical river environment. While supporting the Roll Back Malaria Zambezi Expedition 2008, the GoBook XR-1 computers enabled critical communication links among expedition crew members, support staff and headquarters, providing satellite navigation and communications, logistics planning and regular Web site updates.

“Most notebooks would not have survived, much less continued to perform well, after a couple of weeks of traveling with this expedition,” said Andy Leemann, Zambezi Expedition co-leader. “The GoBook XR-1 notebooks withstood bumps and vibration from the river’s regular currents and occasional rapids, mud and sand and 95% tropical humidity.”

“We needed notebooks that were both rugged enough for a two-month trip in the heart of Africa and powerful enough so photographers and videographers could use them to document our efforts to help fight back malaria,” said Helge Bendl, Zambezi Expedition co-leader. “The GoBook XR-1 notebooks allowed us to continuously update our Web site and bring powerful expedition pictures to the world, uploading photos each night after spending a day on the river. The notebooks were also extremely useful in navigating our way through six African countries as we could access satellite images online that helped us find our way through mangrove forests and the river’s delta. Despite the dusty camp site conditions, with the help of the GoBook XR-1, we were able to create a mobile office environment that supported our communications and logistics planning efforts without having to worry about data loss or hard drive failure.”

“We are proud to have contributed these rugged notebook computers to this year’s Roll Back Malaria Zambezi Expedition,” said John Schneider, business unit director for General Dynamics Itronix. “While our rugged notebooks are designed to withstand harsh conditions faced by mobile workers ranging from police officers to combat soldiers, it is extremely rewarding to support this humanitarian effort that brings attention to the need for malaria awareness and treatment in Africa.”

Launched in early April 2008, the two-month Roll Back Malaria Zambezi Expedition traveled along the Zambezi River, Africa’s fourth longest and largest river that flows into the Indian Ocean. Navigating through Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, the expedition stopped along the shores of each country to meet local malaria control staff, document the malaria situation in remote river communities, and distribute long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and malaria medicines. By exposing the difficulties of delivering prevention and treatment tools, the Roll Back Malaria Zambezi Expedition illuminated the need for cross-border cooperation in the region, rallying government and public support for the Trans-Zambezi Project, a common Zambezi-wide malaria control initiative. The initiative, developed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), is designed to reduce the number of malaria deaths along the river by 50% by 2010.

About the GoBook XR-1 At just 6.8 pounds, with a very small footprint (11.8 inches by 9.65 inches by 1.97 inches), the General Dynamics Itronix GoBook XR-1 notebook is the world’s smallest and lightest fully rugged, full-functional wireless notebook. The XR-1 combines rugged features with high-performance computing and unmatched security in a product designed to perform in mobile outdoor environments. The notebook has the ability to operate up to four embedded concurrent wireless radios—WLAN, WWAN, Bluetooth and GPS—to ensure the widest range of coverage options with seamless roaming capabilities offered via special wireless management software.

Published in Public Safety IT, Sep/Oct 2008

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