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Archive for July, 2007

Laptop’s being lapped up – Cost and convenience prompt shift from table to mobile

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

laptop
The tech tool has moved from the the table to the lap. With more and more PC-users switching from desktop to laptop, the mobile computer has hit the fast lane.

“Close to 80 per cent of customers entering our store to buy a machine choose laptops,” says Naresh Kumar Bothra, the chief executive of Computer Exchange on Park Street. The average monthly sales figure bears out the fact — laptops 200-plus; desktops less than 40.

Sujan Mahapatra, the regional sales manager of HCL (east), is equally bullish about the laptop boom. “Six out of 10 buyers prefer a laptop to a table computer. They could be first-comers or repeat buyers but laptops are in great demand. Around 10 to 15 per cent of our overall sales come from laptops, even though we entered the market only six months ago.”

Convenience and cost are the twin causes why the laptop is being lapped up. A basic HP laptop with all essential features is priced at Rs 26,999 and a high-end configured one like those of HCL starts from Rs 36,000.

“The laptop consumes less power, has battery back-up, gives the user mobility and is also a status symbol,” sums up Mahapatra.

Segment-specific models and brands are also responsible for the switch to the ‘mobile comp’. Computers broadly fall into three categories — for the corporate world, students and the general public.

“Many machines now are bought by parents for their children,” says Bothra. At Computer Exchange, MNC brands like Lenovo, HP and Compaq comprise 90 per cent of sales.

With the life span of a desktop bigger than its laptop counterpart, what tilts the scales? “The laptop gives you the same features as a desktop and occupies lesser space. Single users and small offices prefer them. In Calcutta, the ratio of laptop to desktop buyers is still 50:50, but it should soon catch up with the national ratio of 70:30,” feels Kaushik Mukherjee, Apple authorised re-seller.

“Sixty per cent of our sales come from Apple laptops, and 40 per cent from desktops and workstations,” he adds.

And Apple doesn’t come cheap with the starting price for an iMac desktop being Rs 54,100 and Rs 58,700 for a laptop. “Laptops are most in demand from single consumers and corporate houses but government offices, banks and PSUs still prefer desktops,” reveals Mukherjee.

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Connecting to TV From a Laptop

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Q. Is it possible to turn my regular TV into a computer monitor so I can watch movies that I downloaded into my laptop?

A. With the proper type of cable to connect the two, it’s certainly possible to pipe the video files you download from the Internet from your laptop computer to your television set.

These days, RCA (also known as composite or phono plugs), S-Video, D.V.I. (digital video interface) and, the latest, H.D.M.I. (high-definition multimedia interface) are among the many types of connectors used between computers and televisions. With so many standards in use, start by inspecting both your laptop and your TV for what connection is offered. To identify what’s back there, Microsoft has an illustrated field guide of common cable connectors at tinyurl.com/87jqd. An easy-to-follow guide can also be found at www.techlore.com/article/10061.

You will find H.D.M.I. ports on new HDTVs, sometimes two or more of them. S-Video is commonly found on many laptops and slightly older TV sets. If you have the S-Video option on both sides, connecting them with an S-Video cable (less than $20 at most electronics stores) is easy. You will probably need to adjust your laptop’s display control panel to send the video image to the TV screen. Video cards, video-card drivers and other settings may complicate matters; check your manual or manufacturer’s Web site for your laptop’s video-out settings and options.

Older laptops and TV sets without S-Video usually have a standard yellow video jack instead, which accepts a video cable with an RCA plug on the end. Most video cables don’t carry the audio signal, though, so unless you have a great sound system on your laptop, you’ll probably want to get audio cables to connect the computer to the TV as well.

Computer and electronics stores offer three-line RCA cables with the yellow video plug and the red and white audio plugs on either end for these situations, as well as S-Video to RCA cables for when you have RCA jacks on one device and S-Video on the other. Gadgets like AVerMedia’s $80 QuickPlay PC-to-TV Converter (aver.com/ppd/quickplay.html) can also simplify matters because they support a variety of video connection types.

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Laptop Theft – Analysis

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Statistics

* A laptop is stolen every 53 seconds in the USA – Symantec

* Over 600,000 laptops are stolen each year in the USA – Safeware Insurance Agency

* 97% of these laptops are never recovered – FBI

* The second most common crime, just after identity theft, is laptop theft – FBI

* Lost or stolen laptops are the top culprit of data leaks/breaches, accounting for 45% (of all the incidents studied) – The Identity Theft Resource Center

* Laptops are the number-one item stolen in San Francisco – San Francisco Police Department

The Fear of Theft

As laptops become more common, the laptop theft rate is also rising at an alarming pace. Laptops are a favorite item among thieves due to the ease in which they can be transported and resold.

* Portability and complacency make laptops an easy steal – Montreal Mirror, October 5, 2006

* Laptops have legs. You need to keep them chained (even at home) – Safety tip from a personal blog

Where Laptops are Stolen – Locations

Nowadays people take their laptops with them everywhere. In addition to work, school and travel, the proliferation of wireless internet hot zones have people bringing laptops out in the street, using them in public cafes.

* Police say normally quiet cafes are becoming hunting grounds for laptop bandits – San Francisco Chronicle, April 8, 2006

* “Where else do you have a thousand-dollar item sitting on a table in a coffee shop?” – San Francisco Chronicle, April 8, 2006

* University campuses are turning out to be a crook’s best friend. Jacques Lachance, a security investigator at Concordia University, estimates that one laptop a week is stolen at the University. – Montreal Mirror, October 5, 2006

* Thieves are also making a killing stealing laptops from cars. According to the Montreal Police Service, 3,928 portable computers were stolen from vehicles last year, up from 2,870 reported thefts the year before. “Sometimes students will lock their laptop in their car but it’s still visible,” Lachance says. “Or they’ll think it’s secure in the trunk, but people watch them go to their car, and later they’ll just break through the trunk.” – Montreal Mirror, October 5, 2006

* Many airports are full of professional thieves who make a living from stealing laptops and selling the content of the hard drive to the highest bidder. – Traveling Light, The Entourage Help Page

Aftermath

Once your laptop is stolen, the likelihood of recovering anything from your loss is quite slim. Losing your laptop is devastating and quite costly when you consider the priceless photos, files and personal information you have stored, in addition to the expensive hardware.

* There is nothing that can prepare you for the feeling of loss and the dread that comes with knowing that your personal data is gone forever. While it is very inconvenient and can be very expensive to replace the laptop itself, NOTHING can replace the hours of hard work that is stored on your computer. – The UK Web Design Company

* “Three months after I lost my laptop and started rebuilding my files, I still have only one third of my data recovered,” says Ms. Gilbert. “It will be at least six months before I will reach full productivity, and I’ll never have everything back”. She lost sleep and spent countless anxious weeks worrying about client information and how she was going to stay on top of her projects. “I never want to go through it again,” says Gilbert. – Lessons in Data Loss: A Case Study, Data Deposit Box

* For personal computer users there are mp3 playlists, emails, personal photo albums, and other important files. For the professional computer user, the stakes are higher…perhaps it’s the accounting data for your company’s 3rd quarter earnings, the PowerPoint presentation you will be giving to the CEO on Thursday afternoon, or the proposal that needs to be sent to the European office A.S.A.P. There are some real horror stories about the financial impact to a corporation of having its entire five-year marketing plan stolen along with someone’s laptop. – The UK Web Design Company

* Dr Chetan Ruprai, 28, a specialist registrar in the maternity ward at York Hospital, is desperate to get her laptop back. The machine contains three years worth of painstaking medical research which cannot be replaced and is vital to her career. “This is very distressing and I will do anything to get it back” she said. – The Press, January 27, 2007

* I was out the cost of the laptop plus I had to redo 3 websites I built. Backups were stolen too. The theft of my laptop cost me thousands. – Personal blog post

* Of course I filed a police report, but I’ve already said goodbye to years and years worth of memories. Photos, videos, documents… some (very few) of which were backed up but most are now in the hands of a thief. – Personal blog post

Besides storing all your invaluable data, laptops also serve as an extremely important work, communication and entertainment tool. In our computer dependent society, it’s not surprising that victims of laptop theft often feel an immense sense of loss and anguish.

* Losing a laptop is a traumatic experience… I know it was a total disaster for me. All my email was gone, my photos from the Russia/Ukraine holiday, the new OKS features I wrote on the plane coming here, and so on. Of course, I was left without my slides for my meeting the next day, and with no laptop to conduct my course Wednesday-Friday. – Personal blog post

* After my laptop was stolen, I definitely had a good cry. There’s a feeling of depression perhaps and certainly futility. I miss the first computer that was truly mine. I liked that laptop! I’m missing my pictures and notes. I’m missing the Mac software I had figured out how to use. Without a computer, I can’t send email or blog. I can’t watch videos. Having my laptop stolen affected my lifestyle, my community, my mental and emotional wellbeing. I was mad that my family and I had to pay the price for someone else’s actions with both time and money… – Personal blog post

* You can steal my car, my money, my shoes, I don’t really care, but don’t steal my damn laptop! – Personal blog post

* Oh I had insurance. Insurance doesn’t cover weeks of modeling time done on my laptop, or a sketchbook nearly filled with drawings or notes. So as all the other architecture students are looking forward to a break from the studio, a time to spend with family at the dinner table enjoying Thanksgiving and in front of the TV enjoying football and beer, I look forward to 100 hours in front of a drafting table and a laptop borrowed from the school, drafting and CADing to my hearts content. Why me? Why now? What did I do to deserve this? – Personal blog post

* I’m a graduate Professional Writing student at USC. I write fiction, nonfiction and screenplays. As a result of the theft of my laptop, I lost some pieces I had written, I had to buy a new laptop, and I was pained emotionally because of the incident. I felt, and still feel very wronged, and taken. It makes me sick to know someone has my laptop with my personal files. – Personal blog post

* It was like you cut off my arm. I had my whole life on my laptop. Two novels, years of photos, work files, and more. Since I’m a full-time volunteer these days, I have no money to buy a new computer. – Personal blog post

* As I slept, someone entered the house and stole my laptop, backpack, wallet, cell phone, and iPod. All while I slept. My life revolves around that laptop and the loss is monumental to me. – Personal blog post

* Fortunately, whoever entered my abode and took my possessions didn’t kill or maim me. But the loss of my LIFE, which was entirely wrapped up in that laptop, is almost too much for me to bear. All day I’ve been making phone calls, leaning on good friends for support, and changing what passcodes I can in an attempt to thwart the upcoming identity theft, or whatever else the thief decides to do with my personal information. – Personal blog post

Small businesses might have the most to lose when a laptop goes missing. The loss of vital data such as client information, accounting records or business plans could all spell disaster for a small business.

* The day my laptop was stolen almost killed my business. The laptop can be replaced. However the loss of critical DATA was the biggest risk my business has ever faced. – The UK Web Design Company

* Users today store more mission-critical data than ever before, so a lost laptop is a huge issue for a small business owner. In total, 7 out of 10 small businesses go bankrupt within a year of experiencing a major data loss. – Lessons in Data Loss: A Case Study, Data Deposit Box

As seen in the news recently, even large companies such as Boeing and Fidelity are not immune to theft. Both have had laptops stolen from employees that contained very critical data pertaining to hundreds of thousands of people, putting these innocent victims at risk for identity theft, credit card fraud and a slew of other dangers.

* “2006: The Year of the Stolen Laptop” – Forbes, September 7, 2006

* Boeing disclosed that files containing Social Security numbers, names and home addresses of 382,000 current and former employees were compromised when an unencrypted laptop was stolen from an employee’s car. – MSNBC, December 13, 2006

* The University of California, Berkeley, is warning more than 98,000 people that the theft of a laptop from its graduate school admissions office has exposed their personal information. Files on the laptop contained names, dates of birth, addresses and Social Security numbers of 98,369 graduate students or graduate-school applicants. The files go back three decades in some cases. – CNN, March 28, 2005

* Financial services giant Fidelity Investments confirmed that a laptop containing the personal information of almost 200,000 Hewlett-Packard employees was stolen from its property. – CNN, March 23, 2006

* Georgia-based Emory Healthcare reports that a laptop containing information on 38,000 of its patients was stolen. The missing laptop contained information on patients who had been treated for cancer at Emory Hospital, Emory Crawford Long Hospital, and Grady Memorial Hospital. The data included names, addresses and Social Security numbers.

The theft of patients’ medical records is a growing concern, particularly as these records can be used to engage in “medical identity theft”. Thieves can use stolen identities not only to obtain credit and loans, but to get expensive medical procedures that they might not have otherwise been able to afford, running up thousands in debt in the process.

Patients who have been hit with medical identity theft can find their insurance premiums skyrocketing, and can face large medical bills for procedures they never had. – ConsumerAffairs.com, January 8, 2006

Without a doubt laptop theft is a real concern, but you can minimise the risk by using one of the secure laptop bags with built-in anti-theft features that are available from Pacsafe. They have models available for both men and women, if you are concerned about the risk of your laptop being stolen then take a look at the MetroSafe 300 Secure Laptop Case.

By: Sean Clarke

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

For the complete range of Pacsafe Anti-Theft Bags, including their secure laptop bags visit Pacsafe.com

Laptop Shopping Guide

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

What is a Laptop?
A laptop computer (also known as notebook computer) is a small mobile personal computer, usually weighing from 1 to 3 kilograms (2 to 7 pounds). Computers larger than PDAs but smaller than notebooks are also sometimes called “palmtops”. Laptops can easily be transported and conveniently used in temporary spaces such as on airplanes, schools, temporary offices, and at meetings. Laptop computers generally cost more than desktop computers with the same capabilities because they are more difficult to design and manufacture. Laptops are generally composed of a motherboard, sound card, graphic card, CD-ROM drive, floppy drive, monitor, mouse and keyword.

Why should I choose a Laptop instead of a Desktop Computer? Key features & Tips!
Depending on your usage, you may find yourself needing a more portable solution for your computing needs. If this is the case then a laptop is a must. If you are going to choose a laptop computer you must do one thing first: determine what exactly your laptop is to do. This will help avoid unhappiness after the purchase. For instance if you are going to use your computer only for internet access and running small software programs then a notebook is for you, but if you wish to start a MP3 collection and run intensive programs then a desktop is a better match for you. One thing to remember that for laptops are 20%-40% slower than their desktop equivalents (having the same features i.e. CPU, RAM, hard disk capacity etc.) slower CPU’s, motherboards, hard drives and video systems all contribute to the overall speed.

Laptops comes in a range of different prices. You can find many discount laptops from as little as Rs.3,2000.00 to over Rs.3,00,000.00. Price ranges for laptops general depend on the manufacturers and the extras that you decide to add on. Some of the more popular manufacturers of Laptops include Dell, Apple Macintosh, HP (Hewlett Packard), Compaq, IBM, NEC, Sony and many more.

Things to look for in a laptop? Options & suggestions!
There are many available options within a laptop package. Some of the key features you should be comparing when shopping for a computer laptop are as follows: hard drive size, processor speed, screen size and resolution, weight, battery size, amount of ram memory, type of motherboard, type of sound card, type of graphic card, CD-ROM drive, DVD-ROM drive, CD or DVD burner drive, floppy drive, zip disk drive, and warranty.

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