Asus G50V, G71V Gaming Laptops Announced  

Posted by Laptop Tips

Asustek has officially released two new gaming laptops - the Asus G50V and G71V, featuring Intel Centrino 2 technology and the Nvidia GeForce 9700M GT graphics.

The Asus G50V comes with a 15.4-inch or 15.6-inch display. The latter has a 16:9 aspect ratio, suitable for watching movies. This laptop comes with the Core 2 Duo processor and up to 640GB of hard drive space using two 320GB HDDs.

The 17-inch Asus G71V sports the Intel Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Extreme, or the Quad Core QX9300, as well as up to 1 terabyte (TB) of storage provided by two 500GB hard drives.

The both notebooks come with up to 4GB of DDR2 system memory, the GeForce 9700GT video card providing 512MB of video RAM, optional Intel Turbo Memory 2.0 for better system responsiveness, and various optical drive options, including Blu-Ray.

Asustek’s G50V and G17V also include 2-megapixel web cameras, WiMAX-ready Intel Link 5100 wireless modules, optional Bluetooth, LED lighting effects along the laptops’ side, and the back that changes color according to the fan speed.

The notebooks run Windows Vista operating system.

Select G50V models are available now in the United States. There is no information on pricing and availability of the G17V.

Hourly jobs are perfect for busy moms  

Posted by Laptop Tips

The kids are going back to school and soon, parents will have more free time during the day—and more things to spend money on, like school supplies and piano lessons. In addition, the rising cost of gas and other everyday expenses may cause some families to need a little extra income this year.

With’s ZIP code search tool, you can easily search for hourly jobs in your area. You can also find jobs in all of the most popular fields, and hourly jobs are perfect for busy moms who may want to learn new job skills and bring in some extra money for their family. Start your job search today.

Acer Announces First Aspire One Models for the US Market  

Posted by Laptop Tips

Acer today officially announced three Aspire One affordable netbook models for the U.S. market - the AOA110-1722, AOA110-1566, and AOA150-1570.

All of the three models include an 8.9-inch WSVGA 1024×600 display, the Intel Atom N270 processor at 1.60GHz, Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics, a built in web camera, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi wireless LAN, Ethernet LAN, three USB ports, a multi-in-1 media card reader, SD Card reader, and VGA output. These mini-laptops weigh 2.17 pounds.

The Acer Aspire One AOA110-1722 is priced at $379 and includes 512MB of system memory, and a 3-cell battery, while the $449 AOA110-1566 has 1GB of RAM and a 6-cell battery. The both ultraportables feature 8GB of solid state drive storage and Linpus Linux Lite operating system.

On the other side, the Aspire One AOA150-1570 runs Windows XP Home OS and sports an 80GB traditional hard drive, as well as 1GB of RAM and a 3-cell battery. The AOA150-1570 costs $399.

According to the press release, Acer’s Aspire One is initially offered in either sapphire blue or seashell white colors. It will also be available in golden brown and diamond black later this year.

Acer says the Aspire One can be purchased now via Acer’s authorized resellers including BestBuy, Circuit City and CDW. However, we were not able to find the mini-notebooks online at these retailers at the time of this writing.

Windows Vista Too Slow? ReadyBoost Can Help  

Posted by Laptop Tips

Have a Windows Vista preloaded on your laptop, but the system is too slow? If you have Windows ReadyBoost-capable USB flash memory, you can speed up your PC in just a few steps.

The insufficient notebook’s and desktop PC’s main memory can cause operating system to run slow on these machines. The new feature in Windows Vista, called Windows ReadyBoost technology, lets users utilize a removable flash memory device, such as a USB thumb memory drive, to make computer more responsive. According to Microsoft, ReadyBoost can speed up the computer since it can retrieve data kept on the flash memory more quickly than it can retrieve data kept on the hard disk.

But, not all USB memory sticks found on the market are capable of running ReadyBoost feature. You must have USB memory device with 2.5MB/sec throughput for 4K random reads and 1.75MB/sec throughput for 512K random writes.

If you are not sure which drives fulfill this request, you can check the unofficial list of ReadyBoost-compatible memory devices.

For using ReadyBoost under Windows Vista, you need to insert USB memory stick into USB port first. An AutoPlay window should appear with “Speed up my system” option at the bottom of the same window. Under the ReadyBoost tab, select “Use this device”, and then set the amount of space to reserve for this feature.

If your USB stick/thumb drive doesn’t support ReadyBoost, under the ReadyBoost tab you will see the message “This device does not have the required performance…”.

The ReadyBoost can be used to help your PC running Vista easier, but you should take the computer vendor’s advices suggesting use of at least 1GB of main memory with Microsoft’s new operating system.

Mastering the Self Service Moving Process  

Posted by Laptop Tips

There's a lot that goes into the moving process and you quickly realize how fast the dollars add up. Anything that can ease the financial pressure of a move is more than welcome. Self-service moving companies are a great way to save money on the otherwise expensive process of moving your life. By removing the cost of extra labor, more money stays in your pocket.

Self pack moving companies also provide you with the flexibility and savings that make relocating more bearable and more financially manageable. Pack and Ride provides clean, well maintained moving containers along with professional drivers so all you need to do is load and unload. With service in 46 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, Pack and Ride is a great solution to cheap moving. If you're interested in saving money on your move, get a free quote from Pack and Ride and see how much you can save.

Important Features: Laptops  

Posted by Laptop Tips

One of the most important decisions you'll face when choosing a laptop is the size and type of screen. The issue quickly becomes confusing given the variety of display technologies available. The first consideration, size, is more straightforward. Experts and laptop owners agree that larger screens of 15 and 17 inches are easier to use for hours at a time. In a home or office, you can connect a laptop to an external monitor.

Manufacturers offer several choices of displays for most of the models covered in this report. In most model lines, display sizes are fixed, but you can choose among several levels of quality and resolution. Sometimes you can choose between a coated screen (brighter and sharper) or uncoated screen (which some people prefer for work applications because they are less susceptible to glare and reflections). Backlit LED displays are the newest improvement.

Experts say to look for the following in a notebook computer:

  • Get a Core 2 Duo processor with Santa Rosa or Penryn technology. Most laptops use Intel's Core 2 Duo CPUs. Budget models have older Intel processors or AMD processors. The Core 2 Duo supports 64-bit processing, which has an advantage for video editing and working with large amounts of data, such as databases, when software exists that can take advantage of it. Models with the new Intel Penryn processors are especially recommended, but they are just now reaching the market.
  • Make sure to get at least 1GB of RAM. Typically, high-end notebooks have 2GB of RAM, which can help applications run more quickly and smoothly. It will also allow you to run more applications at once without system drag. Despite Microsoft's recommendations, reviewers say a minimum of 1GB of RAM is needed for running Windows Vista, and 2GB or more is better. Laptops rarely have internal expandability, so maximizing your RAM at the time of purchase is the best course. Unless the laptop has an open RAM slot, you will need to replace your existing RAM if you decide to upgrade in the future.
  • Consider the display coating. Reflective screen coatings are still popular, since they make graphics and movies look more saturated. However, these screen coatings can be problematic in an office, where lighting and movement can create glare. If you plan mainly on office work, consider choosing a notebook without a glossy coating or pay more for a backlit LED display. Manufacturers let you choose with many models.
  • Most laptops come with at least 80GB hard drives. Photo, music and video files take up a lot of space. Adding a larger hard drive when you configure a system is a worthwhile upgrade if you collect media files (music, photos or videos). You cannot add an additional internal hard drive to most laptops, so allowing room for growth can be a good investment. However, if the manufacturer gives you a choice of a bigger hard drive or a faster one (which we found is often the case), faster is better for most people.
  • Think about wireless connectivity. Almost all laptops now come with integrated Wi-Fi. Some also come with an antenna for the Verizon and Sprint EV-DO or Cingular's EDGE Wide Area LAN (WAN), which lets you connect to the Internet anywhere in range of the provider's data network (mostly major cities). A variety of new wireless technologies is usually an option.
  • Take note of service/support and warranty. Warranties range from one to three years. A one-year warranty is the norm for entertainment and gaming laptops, but three years is common for business laptops. All manufacturers offer warranty upgrades, and prices can vary by model (as is true of Dell laptops). Tech support is generally free during the warranty period, but not thereafter. Because all laptops are proprietary and have few user-replaceable parts, ExtremeTech and other experts recommend, "Get the best warranty you can afford. Unlike desktop computers, laptop PCs' parts cannot be swapped out if something fails." Manufacturers such as Dell and HP are adding extras such as theft insurance to warranty upgrades to make them more attractive.
  • Consider software. Consumer laptops are bundled with software; unfortunately, it's usually not the software you really want or need. For example, you won't get Microsoft Office without specifically paying extra for it. Instead, you get bloatware that consists of expiring trial versions of programs, crippled software (unless you pay to unlock full functionality) and adware. Usually you get a temporary version of an antivirus program. Reviewers say that software manufacturers pay to have the junky software loaded, so it lowers the price of your computer. Smaller brands include less bloatware. Dell will allow you to order some models without all the extra software.

Multimedia and gaming laptops typically come with the Vista Home Premium operating, and business laptops most often come with Vista Business. You can still opt for Windows XP on some models, but only through June. Business users should consider checking with their employer as to Vista compatibility of company software. Critics of Vista are uniform in their complaints that Vista was rushed to market, and compatibility with a large percentage of hardware and software is still unresolved. Microsoft is beta testing SP1 for Vista, which should make it to the public in late 2008. This revision will hopefully fix some of these criticisms.

The Vista operating systems include voice-recognition software, parental controls and a comprehensive system search function. The security upgrades have received much attention, but do not reduce the need for third-party antivirus and anti-spyware programs. However, Vista does include a two-way firewall (XP only has a one-way firewall).

Windows Vista Basic Home replaces Windows XP Home, and experts say it is fine for most purposes. One feature that Vista Basic Home does lack is the Windows Mobility Center, which Microsoft is promoting for laptops. The Windows Mobility Center includes battery-conservation software, fast resumption from hibernation, an improved battery meter, support for a second display, presentation features and a HotStart button that lets you access media controls without fully booting to Windows. (For example, you can play a CD with the laptop closed.)

Windows XP Media Center Edition is replaced by Windows Vista Home Premium, which includes the Macintosh-like Aero interface. Reviewers love the look and feel of Aero, but it needs lot of memory to run smoothly, making 2GB of RAM almost essential. Vista Home Premium's lineup of features includes Windows Movie Maker and Movie Maker HD, DVD and CD recording software, Xbox 360 compatibility, Windows Photo Gallery and tools for organizing and locating media.

Vista Business lacks multimedia features, but adds backup and restore software and remote access, as well as faxing and scanning software. It also includes Aero.

Vista Ultimate combines all the features of the Home Premium and Business versions, and adds an encryption feature that lets users lock their hard drive. Check the Windows website for more details on all of the versions of Windows Vista.

Buying Acer laptops  

Posted by Laptop Tips

This isn’t your traditional Acer laptop review. Although there are many guides on the Internet to buying computers, and furthermore, many Acer laptop review guides, this guide will simple give you ten easy, concise points to follow in buying an Acer laptop.buying_acer_laptop

Whilst this may sound like an Acer laptop review, we will not be talking about specific Acer laptops such as the Acer aspire laptop, or the Acer Ferrari laptop, which are two of the more popular models. As to not sound like an Acer laptop review I will look at the company in general and give you some points to consider if you want to buy an Acer laptop.

Firstly, stick to your budget. In every Acer laptop review I have ever read there is a mention of the value for money and the great deals you can get when you buy an Acer laptop. This is certainly true, however, with that you also have to remember that you have a budget, and no matter how many features and how great value the laptops are, it is no reason to throw your budget out the window.

This leads on to the next point. You shouldn’t buy a laptop that doesn’t suit your needs. If you have read any Acer laptop review they will push you to buy the biggest and greatest laptop around no matter how many of the features you aren’t going to use. Think of what you need and stick to it.

The most important things to consider are screen size, weight, battery life, and processor speed/system performance. The computer you need will vary greatly depending on what you need it for, for example a predominantly gaming Acer laptop will require a bigger screen and greater processor and memory requirements and definitely a video card. Whilst if you want something ultra portable, your requirements will be much different from that of the gaming system.

Timelessly I have seem people dispense with what they actually need after reading an Acer laptop review, and going out to buy something vastly inappropriate for their needs.

Another tip is to get an extended warranty. I cannot stress this enough. It is not to say that Acer laptops are not as reliable as other brands such as Sony or Toshiba, more importantly, it is the fact that laptops usually result in expensive repairs and work cannot be carried out by just anyone. Although many Acer laptop reviews may mention this, it is something you should keep in mind as a good investment.

Finally, don’t be tricked into buying extras you don’t need. Acer is fairly good with the whole ordering process and doesn’t try to sell you unwanted additions and software that you won’t use. But coming from an unbiased point of view, an Acer laptop review cannot be complete without knowing what you are purchasing, what you need and what you will not. Keep in mind this when buying any laptop system.

Gateway P-7811FX Gaming Notebook Launched  

Posted by Laptop Tips

Gateway has launched the P-7811FX 17-inch gaming notebook PC, the latest in its P-Series FX Edition line.

The Gateway P-7811FX, the company’s first laptop with the Intel Centrino 2 mobile platform, comes with the Core 2 Duo P8400 processor at 2.26GHz, NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS 512MB dedicated video card, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 200GB hard drive at 7200rpm, and a DVD burner. Its widescreen display has a resolution of 1920-by-1200 pixels.

The notebook also incorporates a 1.3-megapixel web camera, HDMI output, the Intel Wireless Wi-Fi Link network connection (802.11a/b/g/n), Gigabit Ethernet LAN, a 56k modem, three USB ports, an ExpressCard slot, eSATA and Firewire ports, and a 5-in-1 media card reader.

The P-7811FX weighs 9.2 pounds and ships with Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit preinstalled.

Gambling Forum  

Posted by Laptop Tips

Online gambling should be all about fun, but it could also be very disappointing if you stumble across the wrong site. Let us guide you through your gambling experience. You will soon be gambling online with no fear.

Gambling Forum gives you the opportunity to communicate with other casino online players. Instead of wasting your time (& money) in search of good online casino, you can simply learn from others experience.

Gambling Forum is activated by online casino players and it is devoted for them. The site is also available in german, Die besten Online-Casinos.

One of the good things about the online casino software getting better on the web these days is that you get a much more enjoyable time when gambling. There are better graphics and interfaces. Go and play some video slots and you'll see what I mean.
So, if you want to check out a casino online experience have a look at

Restore Battery Life  

Posted by Laptop Tips

Even though laptops are meant to travel, we all know they spend 95% of their life perched on a desk just like a normal desktop computer. The only problem is, this is bad for the battery.

New Lithium-ion batteries need to be re-calibrated once every few months to ensure they stay fully charged. Often all you have to do is completely run down the battery and then re-charge it to breath new life into that tired old battery.

Would you also like to have a better way to determine exactly how much life your battery has remaining? A much better program for this than the standard Windows battery indicator can be found in the Google Desktop Sidebar plugin Performance Power Monitor.

First, download and install the wickedly cool Desktop Sidebar, then install the power monitor plugin. Keep in mind that this plugin take a little time to learn about your battery, so you’re going to have to run your laptop on battery power a few times before it is totally accurate. But it shows the amount of battery capacity and time remaining as well as the current load the laptop is drawing from the battery.

Once you’ve done all that, peruse the other sidebar plugins, and let me know if you think there’s one I should really check out!

Halloween costume  

Posted by Laptop Tips

Halloween is a holyday on the 31 October, where children go from house to house asking for candies on the traditional trick or treat visit, if someone doesn’t have a treat the little “monsters” will perform some kind of trick on their house.

We are now at the middle of August and the time will pass very quickly, in a blink of an eye we are at Halloween! And it is time to start looking for Halloween costumes!

But not only children get fun, on Halloween holyday! Adults have fun too, in different kind of parties, like costume parties where everyone play a role.

These costume parties can have a special theme or not, with everybody with different kind of costumes from monsters to super heroes, ghosts or skeleton costumes, pirates and gorillas, every kind of costume is allowed at Halloween parties. And of course in some adult Halloween parties there are guests using other sexy Halloween costumes, and most of the times they are the centre of the party.

here are some important symbols of Halloween today, like the carved pumpkin with a candle inside, and their horror look and that is called Jack-o’-lantern and it is a symbolic skull that once was used in the Celtic festivities.

Today Halloween is spreading all over the world from United States to Canada, from Mexico to Europe!

Yes, it's still August and could be too early to talk about Halloween but to others, like Christmas and other important holidays, Halloween is also their most anticipated event of the year. And probably shopping for Halloween costume safety especially for the kids are on their lists as early as now. To avoid shopping rush at the department store during the holiday itself, you need the web's finest theater and online store that would save your time and effort. Costume Cauldron offers over 10,000 masquerade costumes and other Halloween items for you to choose from to liven up your party.

Laptop vs PC  

Posted by Laptop Tips

A query on the never ending battle between strength and agility, laptop vs PC. By David Jonas.

It’s time to sack up and buy a computer. After dreaming about RAM the night before you head over to your local computer store only to be befuddled at the very first question the clerk asks you, “Do you want a laptop or desktop?”

Now I trust most of you wouldn’t actually go to the store before taking this question into consideration, that’s why you are reading this. But the point remains, before you can decide what kind of computer you want (Dell, Mac, Hewlett Packard etc.), you first need to consider whether you want the portability of a laptop or dexterity of a PC.

Before I go any further, let me admit my bias by saying I love my laptop. But prior to explaining my choice to go portable (and its infinite wisdom), let’s take a look at the downside of laptops and the superior qualities a stationary computer provides. As with all purchasing decisions, there are pros and cons to whatever you choose, and what has worked beautifully for me might not work for others depending on the situation.

The Argument Against Laptops
Price per computing power is usually the first consideration, in which case a desktop is a much better choice. Laptops are more expensive then their PC counterparts, sometimes twice as much. The reason for this is the design aspect of a laptop. The same components are squeezed into a small space and the price for that convenience is pushed onto the consumer.
This design doesn’t just affect space for the guts of your computer, but the keyboard and screen too. Typing on a smaller keyboard takes practice. Some people never really feel comfortable and this interferers with their entire computer experience. Also, the screen of a laptop is not as large or high in quality as a desktop. If you want to use your computer to watch DVDs or you’re an avid gamer, gazing at a small screen with low response time for long periods can be annoying and even detrimental to your eyes.

Another important factor is the durability of your computer. Laptops are light and portable, but also more fragile. Now I wouldn’t suggest dropping your desktop 4ft either, but those kinds of accidents only happen when you are carrying your computer, something you really only do with a laptop. Because all the components on a laptop are so squished a serious fall can wipe out everything. Poof, no more computer.

Even if your laptop survives the fall, fixing or adding to a laptop is far more troublesome than dealing with a desktop counterpart. You can’t exactly order up an extra hard drive and attach it yourself. Laptops require professional installation, and some computer extras you simply won’t be able to ad. A desktop, on the other hand, can be added and modified as you please. Want a new video card? Almost anyone can learn to add one to a PC himself, but it’s virtually impossible on a laptop. Everything from adding memory to an extra USB port is just easier and user friendly on a desktop.
The last consideration which weighs in against laptops is who uses the computer. If this is going to be a family computer, get a desktop. Family members will still fight over who gets to use it when, but at least they won’t get territorial about who gets rights to the computer overnight.

So desktops have some things going for them. But there is just something about the romance of a laptop that still makes you consider buying one. Every episode of Sex In the City makes you wish you could scrawl down your thoughts while sitting in bed wearing pajamas too. Every flight you take you get jealous of the person next to you whipping a laptop out of a fancy bag. If you just can’t shake these notions of individuality then you might have the laptop bug. But aside from images of computer loner cowboys, there are serious conveniences that a laptop affords its owner. Despite all the setbacks laptops are always in demand for a reason.

Why Make the Jump to Laptops?
The fact is, laptops will never be as good as desktops in terms of computer power. But they do have that one wild card; they can go where no desktop has gone before. There are a number of practical reasons why this could come in handy. A lot of business people need a computer on work trips. Others just need to work on the same computer at home and the office. For them, it isn’t a matter of choice. They just need a laptop to remain productive.
Then there is the college demographic, perhaps the largest consumer of laptops. Students don’t ‘need’ a laptop, but most find it helpful to take their computer to class, the library, coffee shops or even friends houses for study groups. While I’m sure this group could do just fine without a laptop, I’ve also heard you can bake a cake without eggs. But that doesn’t mean the cake tastes good. Students depend on computers but they also live on the go. Having a computer that can go with them is invaluable.

Laptops are stolen more frequently, but you can also buy a lock for them. This brings us to why I think laptops are a smarter choice and just make more sense.
Not only do you get a benefit no PC can provide, but all the ‘drawbacks’ of laptops mentioned earlier can be addressed. Unless you are editing a full length feature film you won’t need all the computing space and power of a desktop. So buy a lower rate laptop and money evens itself out. If you run low on memory, just burn it to CD or DVD. If you don’t have a burner, take your computer to a friend’s house that does (it is portable after all). I earnestly believe all people can learn to interface with a laptop. If people can engrave your name on a grain of rice, everyone can learn to type on smaller keyboard. Gaming isn’t the same, but the best games today come on separate consoles like the Xbox, so extreme gamers shouldn’t really care. And while a laptop is more likely to be damaged, consider that you could never take a desktop camping, so of course there is going to be a higher damage rate. That doesn’t make laptops flawed, just the people who used them.

Laptops also cater better to the individual. You can buy an office friendly HP, an art inducing Mac, or even a rugged friendly laptop like the Rough Rider III. There is just no room or need for variation like that with a desktop. Laptops are personal and hence shape themselves around you. When was the last time you went on a vacation with a PC? Laptops can go where you do, making your computer experience as unique as you are.

Bottom line, laptops offer something desktops never can, increased productivity and relaxation at the same time. I can work, play and talk with my friends at my convenience. With a wireless card I can go to a coffee shop in any city and surf the Internet for free. When I’m done, pack up, go home and set it back up to log on before I go to bed. As a writer if I need to go to the library or meet someone for an interview, I have no problem bringing my laptop with me. I’ve even known people to bring their laptop with them on road trips, going from wireless provider to wireless provider, letting their computer play their mixed road trip soundtrack as they drive. That is the beauty of portability. If you aren’t ever going to need that flexibility, a desktop is the right choice, but don’t count it out. You never know when you’ll have to compute on the go.

Data recovery from laptop computers  

Posted by Laptop Tips

A lot of important data is being stored on laptops today. Laptop use has increased significantly in recent years. Increased demands for portability and convenience have been envisioned in this mobile technology.

Demand for laptops has gone up in part due to the spread of telecommuting in businesses today. Businesses often allow employees to work on laptops at home and bring them to work.

Data loss in a laptop can end up costing the company a lot of employee hours worked. Even people who use their laptops for personal use are not pleased if they lose any important data. Carrying around a laptop all day can cause stress on the machine and increase the chances of data loss.

There are many companies that can help you with the laptop data recovery process. After you contact a company, first you will likely go through an evaluation process to evaluate the extent of damage done.

A lot of companies will offer a free evaluation and a quote if they feel they can successfully perform recovery operations. It may be a good idea to shop around for services to make sure you are getting the best deal. Each company may offer a different price. Some companies even have fixed pricing.

If you are panicking over a blank laptop screen or a hard drive crash, you will be happy to learn that a high percentage of the requests data recovery companies get are successful completed. However you still need to be prepared that some of the data may never be recovered. The only way to find out is get proactive and contact representatives from data recovery firms.

hard drive

Several data recovery companies have specialized departments for performing data recovery operations on laptops. You can get a lot of your data recovered and receive it in a readable format, even from badly damaged storage devices.

Laptop systems are more fragile and therefore highly susceptible to damage to their hard drives.

There are many companies online that can offer you internet-based laptop data recovery. This allows you to ship of your laptop to company headquarters and have it shipped back to you after the data has been recovered.

Some problems you may experience with your laptop is a dead screen, hard drive crash, etc. There are different types of laptop data recovery operations you can perform. Laptop data recovery can allow you to recover files after such events and after technical malfunctions. You may also be able to recover MS Word, Excel or Power Point files that you may have accidentally deleted.

Laptops can receive a lot of abuse and their hard drives can get damaged. You may need laptop data recovery support if:

* You dropped your notebook and it no longer turns on.
* An unsolicited e-mail has downloaded a Trojan or virus on your laptop.
* The laptop”s hard drive crashes.
* You accidentally deleted some important company files and you want them retrieved in a hurry before your boss finds out.

If you have lost important company data and your boss just says to go and recover it, rapid data recovery can be a solution. Often companies can perform emergency operations to recover lost data and get you on your way in only 24-48 hours. However be prepared to pay up for these services. The services will be worthwhile depending on how important the lost data is to you or your business.

If you are involved in the management of a company, you may want to keep the contact information of a reliable data recovery specialist near your desk. You never know when you may need one.


Posted by Laptop Tips

Dust…Frequent overheating will damage the motherboard! Here is an expanded article on heat and laptops.


The laptop starts beeping, freezes, restarts by itself or shuts down after it has been on for some time, typically 10-15 minutes or more. If you start it again, it does the same thing after just a few minutes.


Most laptops overheat because the fan intake is blocked either from placing the laptop on a soft surface or by dust. In either case you will need to let it cool down before turning it back on (may take up to 30 min). If you suspect that dust is blocking the fan/heatsink, get a compressed air can and try to clean it now (that will cool down the laptop too).

Sometimes overheating is caused by a fan malfunction. If the fan is completely stuck, the laptop will show an error message immediately after starting. However in rare cases the fan’s fins are just loose or broken and won’t move enough air to cool the laptop.

In either case you should try cleaning the fan(s) and heatsink(s) with compressed air. That is best done outside, as usually there is a surprising amount of dust accumulated in there. If the laptop continues to overheat, you will need to bring it to a repair shop.

Also if you have dropped the laptop, the screws holding the heatsink may have broken off. In this case the laptop will overheat in just a couple of minutes as the CPU has lost contact with the heatsink and is not cooled at all.

Geek to Live: Laptop tips  

Posted by Laptop Tips

You just got a shiny new laptop to use on your commute to the office, on business trips, vacations and at the coffee shop down the street. Congratulations! You'll be a productivity powerhouse! But hold your horses for a minute there, bucko.

Any road warrior will tell you life with a lappie isn't always easy. As a freelancer with a keyboard permanently propped up on my thighs (like right now on an airplane bound for Seattle), I've got a few hints and tips for extending the life of your laptop and easing the pain of the never-ending outlet and hotspot hunt.
Extend your battery life.

Laptop productivity on the cold, cruel and often electrical outletless road often depends entirely on how much juice you've got left. The screen draws the most power from your battery. When you don't have access to an outlet, dim your screen to the lowest setting to make your battery last as long as possible.

Also, disable unnecessary CPU-cycle-eating processes - like auto Bluetooth device and wifi network detection - to save juice and make your battery last longer.
Save your keyboard and screen.

geektolive-keyboardiskin.jpgAt the beach house there is sand, at the coffee shop there are crumbs, and right now your fingers are covered in Dorito dust. Protect your keyboard from stray crumbage getting into the cracks with a protective cover. At a reader's recommendation, I invested in the iSkin which does double duty: it keeps crumbs out from between the keys and also protects the screen from keyboard scratches.

geek-to-live-laptopkeyboardprotection.jpg Another way to prevent screen scrapes is a piece of rubberized shelf liner cut to fit inside your lappie like the bologna in a sandwich when you shut it. I've also seen people use a thin piece of cloth.

If your laptop keys are already sticky and furry, give it a good cleaning with some compressed air, cotton swabs and elbow grease.
Keep it cool.

After an hour or so, a computer can burn one's thighs and wrists (like my super-heat conducting titanium Powerbook). If this is a problem for you, get material that doesn't conduct heat well between your skin and your lappie, like a lap desk or your laptop sleeve. Long-sleeved shirts with big cuffs help on wrists when the top of your keyboard gets hot to the touch.
Work offline.

Web-based email's great, but the dream of always-on Internet connectivity hasn't yet come true. Get yourself set up to work offline on your laptop on the plane and other wifi-less locations.

For example, Mozilla Thunderbird is a must-have install on your laptop. In addition to downloading all your mail locally for working with offline, Thunderbird 1.5 has excellent SMTP management so you can switch which server you send your mail through when you get online very quickly. Using a NetZero dialup account that requires you use Need to use the secure SMTP server at the office for work mail? No problem. You can set up multiple SMTP servers and associate them with different email accounts with Thunderbird.

For more on working offline or with a super-slow connection, check out previously-posted feature How to survive a slow internet connection.
Secure your data.

While you're out and about and on open wireless networks, make sure you've got a secure firewall installed on your laptop and that its settings are extremely restrictive. Turn off folder sharing and any local servers you have running (like a web, FTP or VNC) to keep others from peeking in on your data. Make sure your laptop's logins have strong passwords assigned.

Also, consider encrypting the data on your disk in case of theft, using a utility like Mac OS X's FileVault. If you're really concerned about someone grabbing your laptop and running, check out "Lojack for Laptops" software which helps you trace and recover your stolen computer.
Carry it well.

geek-to-live-booq.jpgYour laptop spends a lot of time swinging over your shoulder, banging around on your back, bumping into the guy next to you on the subway, and sliding around on your car's back seat. Wrapping it up in that spare Linux tee-shirt and shoving it into your messenger bag full of gadgets probably isn't a good idea. Make sure that sucker's snug as a bug in a rug. Invest in a padded sleeve or bag made to carry laptops that'll protect it when your bag falls over or gets kicked. I really dig the spendy but stylish Booq bags and sleeves; a little research will turn up the right one for your budget and style.
Back up when you get home.

Portable computers deal with a lot more wear and tear than desktops, and this increases the risk of hard drive failure. So most importantly, make sure you back up the data on your laptop.

A few months ago, a panicked Lifehacker reader wrote in saying the laptop from which she runs her business was stolen and that she had no recent backup. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU. Create a lappie docking station space at home where you can plug in to recharge the battery and hook up an external drive to backup your data. See more on how to automatically back up your Windows data here.
Pack some helpful extras.

If you've got a CD-R or DVD-R drive in your lappie, keep a few spare blanks or a USB drive for easy backup on the road. A 2 to 3 prong electrical plug adaptor might help in places where your 3 prong plug needs to go into a 2 prong outlet. And of course, an extra charged-up battery, an ethernet cable or phone cord or an extra mouse might be a helpful addition to your portable arsenal.

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