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40

Interface (connectors): Parallel ATA a.k.a. IDE, ATA, ATAPI, UDMA and PATA — legacy, wide 40-pin connector for disks produced few years ago. In case of notebook drives pins are smaller, and there is also power supply in the same plug. Serial ATA (SATA) — modern connector. Most modern laptops use it. 6 data pins and 15 pins including power ...


28

The problem is that allowing people do unpaid overtime on their own kit is very cheap, so managers aren't so willing to stop it; but will of course be happy to blame IT when there's a leak... Only a strongly enforced policy is going to prevent this. It's down to management where they want to strike the balance, but it's very much a people problem. I've ...


26

I wouldn't recommend Netbooks personally for the following reasons: Small keyboard. Your programmers are most likely going to hate the small keyboard after a short time period. Productivity killer. Possibly slow speed. For running the software depending on which processor you get it may be quite slow compared to what they could use - this could be a big ...


24

I've gone pretty much 'USB everything' so all the extras stay in the bag until needed. USB serial port, USB ethernet adapter ( I hear you about sometimes needing two NICs! ), USB CD/DVD-RW. The weight still adds up on the shoulder, but the base machine then requires nothing more than a USB port (or two or three unless you also add a USB hub to the mix). ...


16

The biggest strike against netbooks for this type of work is the small screen. The screen on most if not all netbooks is too small for a modern IDE. You could get vim + a command window using 6x13 into 1024x600 but an IDE is not going to work. If your team is mobile your main compromise is between weight and screen real-estate. In essence, the more ...


15

Another one you can use is DBAN.


15

Are you looking for something like this? http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/setup/adhoc.mspx It's called Ad-Hoc wireless networking and it can be used to connect PCs to each other (and to the internet via ICS) without a router.


13

Our company requires whole-disk encryption on all company-owned laptops. Sure, there's an overhead, but for most of our users this isn't an issue -- they're running web browsers and office suites. My MacBook is encrypted, and it hasn't really impacted things enough that I've noticed, even when running VMs under VirtualBox. For someone who spends much of ...


12

Dragging computer hardware (which is difficult to clean, let alone sterilize) in and out of a supposedly sterile environment sounds downright scary. And that's even before you start considering how users interact (touch) the device! I'd strongly recommend using a dedicated (fixed) device in the OR. There is also a strong case for looking at contactless ...


11

Unfotunately, it seems that your battery has reached the end of it's life. See this article for guidelines on how to maintain lithium based batteries. Four main points from the article: Avoid frequent full discharges because this puts additional strain on the battery. Several partial discharges with frequent recharges are better for lithium-ion than ...


11

More RAM is the way to go. Running multiple applications, that extra RAM will do a lot more good than a faster HDD which is still physically restricted to it's single spindle. Once you run of RAM and the OS starts paging to the HDD, your system will crawl irregardless of how fast your HDD is.


10

Check out ThinkWiki; it has SOOO much information on thinkpads and good configurations, etc. And I'd personally suggest a T-series thinkpad, just cause a bunch of my friends (and myself) have them, and Linux works incredibly well with them (after a bit of tuning, of course).


10

From a hardware perspective, there is no straightforward way to do that. The video ports on most laptops are outputs, not inputs, and you can't reverse that. The keyboard/mouse ports are inputs, not outputs. Most USB controllers inside your server and laptop will fight over devices connected to the same bus, so attaching them via a hub is also not ...


10

Short answer: yes, this will damage your battery. Take it out for extended periods when it's not going to be used. Lithium Ion batteries (as in your laptop) have a pretty short life anyway. Even if you leave it sitting on a shelf, never used, within 5 years or so it will be useless (which is why I feel sorry for people who are buying the $100,000 Telsa car, ...


10

Laptops don't have multiple processors Laptops don't have 192+Gb of RAM Laptop CPUs are often low-power versions (both in terms of watts and processing power) Laptop CPUs often put themselves into low-power mode to conserve battery power Laptops don't have RAID disk systems Laptops don't have Fibre Channel HBAs Laptops don't have mutliple ethernet ports ...


9

I would focus less on the equipment itself, and more on the data involved. This will help avoid the problems you're running into now. You may not have the leverage to mandate policy on personally owned equipment. However, you had better have the leverage to mandate how company owned data is handled. Being a university, we have issues like this come up ...


9

First create a live Linux installation on a USB drive (instructions). Then boot off that USB Linux installation and run: shred -vfz -n 100 /dev/hda You can change 100 to whatever number of passes of zero writes you want ("z" is specifying zero writes). The "f" parameter overrides any permissions issues. "v" is verbose. /dev/hda should be your hard disk ...


9

My philosophy has always been to get the most powerful systems in the hands of the developers. I believed this as a developer, and as a system administrator, and still as a database administrator. I understand that they are running Python and MySQL, but if they are serious about their craft, they are going to need the power. Plus there is the issue of screen ...


8

We use TrueCrypt. For laptops we insist on a BIOS password as well.


8

A few things here: 1) Batteries last 2 years under the absolutely ideal conditions (a user who never leaves the computer plugged in for days on end, and who regularly fully discharges and recharges the battery). 2) No user has ever used a battery under ideal conditions. In my experience doing laptop repair and working with laptops, the batteries last 18 ...


8

The keyboard may be an issue. Many cut corners to get the size down and since you don't get a full keyboard, typing may be frustrating. System resources and screen size may be an issue for some as well. I know the Dell netbooks only come with XP, and with Windows 7 just around the corner, the netbook landscape could change shortly. I considered this a ...


8

Yes, actually: see this USB-to-KVM thingie. It is rather expensive, but does exactly what you want. If it wasn't so pricey, I'd have one in my bag.


8

Why stop at gigabit? This device allows you to connect a pci express 16x card using an external box and the laptop's expresscard/34 slot. Now you put a 10gig card with sfp+, like one of these, into that. While you're at it, grab a couple of passive fiber taps. Now you've got a box that allows you to snoop any link you may encounter short of a sonet link, ...


8

ARM chips are RISC processors that were created by Acorn and the design is now owned by ARM Limited. They license the design out to manufactures to add on to their own chips to create “systems on a chip” that contain many feature on one chip, and with the ARM design are able to include the CPU as well. The ARM is very prevalent in low power embedded ...


8

Others have already commented on the disadvantages. I'd like to say a few good things. Advantages to using laptops: Power backup - assuming that the batteries still work, they would provide a sort of built-in UPS for the servers. Lower power consumption - as you've already mentioned. Built in KVM - no need for external monitors/keyboards, assuming the ...


7

1.) Working remotely For developers, remote desktop is a very good solution unless 3D is required. The performance usually is good enough. In my eyes, remote desktop is even safer than VPN, because an unlocked notebook with VPN active allows quite a bit more than a view to a terminal server would. VPN should only be given to people who can prove they ...


7

Its actually possible to Run ESX as a virtual machine on your laptop:-) See the PDF here (Run VMWare ESX 3.5 & ESXI on Server 2.0 link) Also here Ran pretty well on a Dell laptop - as long as the Processor has V enabled in the bios and is compatible


6

You asked how to shop for notebook hard drives. I prefer to hit my favorite review sites and look in their storage review sections. One of these always seems to have a good comparison review between hard drive vendors: TomsHardware storage section - most recent comparison is the 2.5" comparison charts. These are way too detailed, though. Anandtech ...


6

Factors affecting Li-Ion battery life: Everything I've read says that Li-Ion batteries last longest if they're kept cool and lightly cycled: run them down a little bit and then charge them. They basically have a fixed number of discharge/charge cycles, so keeping them plugged in most of the time is fine. I see 300-500 cycles mentioned frequently, one site ...


6

Video processing is an example of something you typically wouldn't do on a server. This is because typically you need to get the video to the machine (i.e. off your camcorder) which is very heavy on your network and servers don't have firewire. Also, you would need to transfer full frame-rate uncompressed video down the line which again means you're ...



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