Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Some of my favorite laptop accessories

At home, we have several computers. We have a desktop for the family and kids. I have my own laptop, my wife has her laptop, and then we have a few mini computers, ultra-mobile PCs, etc. Since I do most of my blogging at night, I’m often relying on a variety of laptop accessories while I’m working.

Let me tell you what my typical “home office” consists of:
1. Wireless Bluetooth Mouse. I use a laser Bluetooth mouse so that I can work efficiently on almost any surface. I got my mouse on eBay.
2. Cooling pad. Whether my laptop is on my desk or on my lap, I use a cooling pad to keep the hard drive as cool as possible. I want to minimize the risk of any data loss from a failed hard drive (I’ve been there too many times).
3. Backup hard drive. I’m not always connected to my external backup hard drive, but it’s there and I perform enough routine backups.
4. Laptop stand. If I’m typing in bed, then I like to use a stand. A laptop stand does two things: it allows you to use a mouse anywhere (even if you’re working in bed) and it also allows you to keep the laptop off your body.
5. LED light. Since I blog at night, I use a USB-powered LED light so that I can see my keyboard.
Some people think that my house has a computer in every room. No. Instead, I simply take my home office with me to different rooms. In the summer, I’m often working in the cool basement. During the winters, I may be upstairs where it’s a bit warmer.

Now, when I travel for work, I always carry these laptop accessories:
1. Extra battery. You simply never know when you’ll need more juice.
2. Triple outlet adapter. How many times have you been at the airport to find that someone’s already using the outlet? Well, with a triple outlet adapter, everyone can share that precious airport outlet.
3. Cooling pad. I still carry my cooling pad since I’m frequently computing on my lap when I’m on the road.
4. Sleeve. I use a protective sleeve for my laptop. This makes it easier to go through airport security because I can keep the laptop in the sleeve.
5. Universal power supply. I always travel with an AC/DC power supply so that I can charge via an outlet or via a cigarette adapter or airplane power port.
So, whether you’re a road warrior or someone who rarely travels, make sure you have the right accessories to protect your laptop and the data that’s on your machine.

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