One for the geeks. There's clearly a problem between the Panasonic CF18 Toughbook and its version of XP and the driver for the USB to Serial device and Software on Board and possibly also Airmail. Once the usb gadget is connected it seems to obliterate all other com ports so unable to connect iridium. Sob operates sporadically and I think it may be the continuous data feed from the GPS and the instruments that the computer can't handle but something must have triggered the instability. Now crashing every 24 hours or so. Not the serial ballpoint mouse - that was disabled tho it might be back.
How do I find the missing com ports? How do I troubleshoot the thing? I now have this laptop (CF18) disconnected from the USB gadget and will try to keep it talking to Airmail and iridium. Sob on one of the backups (Aspire one netbook but also have another ancient toughbook as further backup) - has already crashed once so I'm not too sanguine. Same com port problem on that one - just doesn't show available ports in the set-up wizard for the dial up modem. Seems something is interfering with the set-up program or not releasing com ports once assigned if that makes sense.
The anguish of the ignorant plodder. Would matter less if the HF would work consistently.