Laptop MD joins forces with Data Recovery Clinic!

We are excited to announce that Laptop MD now has joined forces with Data Recovery Clinic. Steven, the lead technician at Data Recovery Clinic, has been providing emergency data recovery from hard drives and raids of all configurations for over 23 years.

DRC, established in 1989, attributes their high success rate due to their cutting edge ATOLA data recovery equipment and highly trained technicians in data recovery. They have successfully recovered data from all over the globe and from all types of media. If your data can be recovered, then they can recover it. If you don’t believe us, just ask: NASA, 3M, Lucent, Pepsi Co, Chicago Stock Exchange, Sandia National Labs, CAGEMA INC, Raytheon, Dell, HP, IBM, Compaq, Norton Utilities, and many, many more whose data they have successfully recovered.

With their “no-data no-charge payment system”, it’s a win-win for anyone who has been faced with the disastrous failed hard drive, flash card, or memory stick at the most critical moment. Come to Laptop MD and let us battle “Murphy’s Law” for you.

The Types and Differences of Ultraportable Laptops

Types of Ultraportable Computers
From Top to Bottom: Toshiba’s Portege Z830, Apple’s MacBook Air, Google’s Chromebook

As we talked about in our introduction to ultraportable laptops, ultraportables come in many different sizes, shapes, and configurations.

We looked briefly at the difference between ultraportable laptops, netbooks, and tablets: netbooks are outdated compact laptops which were built with all the features of a laptop but in a smaller form and with processing power limiting functions to 1-2 tasks at a time.  Tablets, on the other hand, were built with the same hardware and components as ultraportable laptops but are designed to be a balance between a laptop and a smartphone with appearance and design as defining factors.

Today we look at the different types of ultraportable laptops and what sets each apart from one another.  Everyone is a player in this emerging market with PC makers, Apple, and even Google all laying a stake with ultraportables.  As we’ll see the characteristics of weight, battery life, and hardware configuration set ultraportables apart but function and form also play a big role.  Additionally, each type is defined by their small contributions and enhancements to the laptop, such as wireless syncing and cloud based offerings.

Read on to learn about the different types of PC, Apple, and Google ultraportable laptops and how the MacBook Air from Apple and Google’s Chromebook add unique twists that set themselves apart from the others. Continue reading

School, Work, and Play in the Cloud

Helpful Digital Productivity and Cloud Computing TipsIt’s August and we’ve been focusing on back to school tips recently but, as you’ve noticed, digital back to school tips aren’t necessarily just for students.  Practical back to school digital improvements such as efficient note-taking/storage and iPhone protection are for everyone.

In preparing for our digital back to school tips sections, a few weeks ago I came across an article from PC World about Going Back to School in the Cloud and I thought to myself – “this is a great guide to cloud computing that anyone can use”.  There’s a lot to talk about in this article but here are a few key take-aways in the areas of online office suites, online digital storage, and cloud based file syncing and sharing that will help you make better use of new (and old) technology.

Continue reading

Surviving ‘The Cloud’ on a Sunny Day

We’ve been talking a lot recently about cloud computing, what it means to you both now and in the future, and the conversation continues but I recently ran across an online article on how to survive in the mobile world when the proverbial plug gets pulled away.

Here are a few quick tips to help you overcome the weakest Wi-Fi signal in the most digitally barren environment:

Invest in a Wi-Fi hotspot from your cell phone provider: If you know you’re going to need an internet signal and you’re going to be on the road, having one of those nifty Wi-Fi hotspots will help you immensely.  If you want to travel light, look into tethering your iPhone or Android to your computer.  It will probably cost you a bit extra but be well worth the convenience in money, size, and reduced anxiety.

Have a backup plan: The cloud is the future but right now things are still touch and go, especially with limited internet connections in some parts of the country.  Have a backup plan:

Make sure to have a solid set of offline tools so that you can still work when you’re disconnected, and keep local copies of anything business-critical (your schedule, for example).

Investing yourself fully in the cloud, at this point, is not a wise idea if you plan on being away from a steady internet connection and you need access.  Rest assured, the full cloud is coming soon!

Look for Wi-Fi spots Near Where You Are: New York City is a great place to work remotely because there are about as many open/free Wi-Fi spots in the City as there are people!  You can look at websites, such as Open WiFi Spots, and find available/trusted networks near you.  As always, practice safety when using open networks as these networks are more susceptible to shady characters snooping on your incoming and outgoing digital connections.

Stay tuned for digital security tips and best practices from LaptopMD.

Tell me in the comments – what are your remedies to your (im-)mobile frustrations?

Hardware + Software in the Cloud = The $99 Computer

We’re a mobile society.  We like things now, the way we want them, without deviation.  Cloud computing, at least in the beginning, will force all users to retrain themselves in how they use computer hardware and software in terms of flexibility and mobility.  As you might be noticing throughout our series, cloud computing restricts the digital experience in one sense and expands it in another.  The shifts that cloud computing bring will not only be in the concepts of online security in the cloud but the concepts of hardware and software will shift as well.

The Advent of Consumable Hardware

Cloud computing will spell the end of traditional hardware setups as more and more of the required computing power is done offsite rather than through the local computer.  Existing cloud-based systems are already decreasing the dependence of the local computer by allowing you to access and view everything from any device, whether it’s from your iPhone or a friend’s computer.  I’ve talked about Google’s Chromebook in the past and this is only the beginning of a new trend – one that threatens traditional business models…  Computers will become more consumable and will either be offered at cheap prices to encourage the use of a particular cloud based system or will be offered at a subscription rate and you will pay as you go.  Since cloud computing decreases the dependence of the local machine, it is easy for me to see a computer system existing soon that can be replaced for $99 rather than warranting necessary repair or upgrade.  This advance will change how companies like LaptopMD operate.  As we have for the past 15 years, though, we will continue to adapt to the changing technology market and continue to bring our expertise to bear.  Technology service companies will always be needed and small business support will be a growing market in the coming years for us as companies look to outsource their hardware needs (even though they’ll be going to the cloud). Continue reading

Trust in the Cloud – Will You Be Safe?

Security in the Cloud

Yesterday, I shared with you the new era of cloud computing and explained how online web applications will eventually replace our traditional operating systems.  In this post I look at the security issues with putting your entire digital life in the cloud.

Do you trust others with protecting and taking care of your sensitive data, photos, and other important computer documents?

Computer security is a top priority and as we’ve learned with viruses and related hoaxes the best defense against such attacks is often placed on the end user (the person who uses the files).  Where trust is one-dimensional in traditional computing practices, cloud computing requires placing trust of your ‘system’ in the hands of individuals who may or may not have your particular interests in the forefront of their mind.  Today, I look at how individuals will have to share the trust (often forcibly so) of their cloud ‘systems’ with others or be restrained by the decisions of others in terms of security, safety, data retrieval. Continue reading

Future Tech: The Advent of Cloud Computing

Advent of Cloud ComputingTechnology is an ever-shifting paradigm, as evidenced by the forthcoming Chromebook and last week’s announcement of Apple’s iCloud.  When I first started working with computers no one knew what an iPod was and very few people had palm pilots (remember those!?).  A major important shift that I’m seeing in technology nowadays is the move to the cloud or online based computing.  With this shift, I see several inherent drawbacks for users and businesses alike but there are also several areas of promise.  Over the next week I will take a look at the inherent drawbacks and the good possibilities that the future holds with the advent of cloud computing.  Additionally, we will be looking at the benefits of cloud computing and end users can benefit from this shift.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing can be a vague term meaning several things.  In the simplest sense the term can mean “online access to and storage of files and media traditionally stored one’s ‘local’ desktop”.  In a more pure form, cloud computing is referred to as “interconnected but independent web apps accessed in a strictly online sense with little or no dependence of a local computer or storage apparatus”.  The processing or ‘thinking’ power, a key component, is accomplished by the local machine in the first instance (largely described as a glorified online storage system with built-in sharing and viewing capabilities) and is handled by the online server rather than the local computer in the second definition, harkening back to the old ‘mainframe’ with a terminal which accesses different ‘offsite’ programs.  Whatever the chosen application, the way consumers interact with their files is changing and that change will present many hurdles for consumers and companies alike. Continue reading

The Google Chromebook is Almost Here

Google Chrome LogoA couple of weeks ago I posted a blurb on the LaptopMD Facebook Page sharing with you Google’s announcement of their newly announced Chromebook.  As you may remember, in February I previewed a pre-release Google laptop that I received and had an opportunity to ‘play’ with.

You can read the summary of the announcement on PCWorld but here are some important details regarding the recently announced Google Chromebook:

Availability: June 15th – You will be able to place orders through Amazon, BestBuy, and other retailers

Pricing: Google will offer two tiers of pricing.  You will be able to buy and own a Chromebook starting at $349.  However, students and educators can subscribe to the Google Chromebook (as a service) for $20 per month and businesses will be able to take advantage of a similar subscription service for $28 per month.

What You Get: Untethered online access to web applications and more including Google’s growing cadre of services including the forthcoming Google Music service.

Tech Specs: 6 to 8 hour battery life, integrated WiFi on all models with 3G connectivity available on select models (up to 100MB free with additional bandwidth available from Verizon Wireless), HD Webcam, 2 USB Ports, and more.  View additional tech specs for the Samsung and Acer models recently announced.

The Google Chromebook is an exciting realization of “living in the cloud” and cloud computing as I talked about in my earlier post.  Be sure to check the Google Chrome website, as well as this blog in the future, for more information about the Google Chromebook!

What’s your reaction to the Google Chromebook – will you be buying one?  Tell us in the comments.