12 Volt computers are readily available, with 12V CRT's. Most laptop computers built today use 12V power supplies. Im not sure how to re-charge the current battery supplied or condition generated power for the proper electricity, but feel that this would be a better solution than trying to bring klunky desktop machines with us. Laptops are more durable and portable.
Offered by Ron.
As a computer expert, I would highly recommend the use of portables during the aftertime. Available electronic equipment will be very limited. There will be little hardware to swap around. Therefore, durability of portables should supersede serviceability of desktops. Plus, many hardware failures are related to human error while servicing a machine. And in this case, there's no replacement hard-drive. Point being, the odds of computer electronics functioning properly are much better with a laptop--its never opened up. I have IBM thinkpads that are 10 years old and running perfectly. Which is why I would recommend laptops as a solution to those who are not stockpiling replacement equipment for whatever reason (lack of know-how, cost, etc.). Old laptops that have withstood the test of time are highly-functional and very cheap.
Offered by Gabe.
I would tend to disagree with you on laptops vs. desktops or mini towers. In my experience, laptops fail more often, and when they fail, they require specialist skills to service. On stationary PCs, changing a card (display adapter, SCSI controller etc.) or a disk is simple, the screen and keyboard are separate from the cabinet, etc. I plan to store a number of spare SCSI controllers, IDE and SCSI disks, display adapters, network cards, keyboards, mouses etc. (As of today, I have 3 stationary PCs with Adaptec SCSI controllers and a number of IDE & SCSI disks from 2GB to 36GB each.) For the novice PC user, maybe laptops are simpler to deal with, but if a component fails, the whole PC is useless. I agree that most problems with laptops occur during the first year. However, in my experience, the modern laptops tend to die (i.e. have a major malfunction) just after the 3 year warranty period is over. What sort of processors and software do you have on 10 year old laptops? Bottom line: If you want to go for such old equipment, you will have to run obsolete operating systems, and modern software will probably not be available or capable of running on those machines.
Offered by Jan.