Ng: Gadget innovations-A A +A
By Wilson Ng
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
WHEN the personal computer industry was in its infancy, the units seemed to progress by leaps and bounds. Now, it seems the units are just more of the same. Units are just a little bit faster or have more memory or capacity. Even the screen resolution does not change – after all, how fine or granular can the screen be? I’m sure the technology exists to have millions of colors or even millions of pixels but then again, will our eye see the difference?
What’s the difference between notebooks released two years ago and current units except for more memory?
There are, however, a few innovations that I think are cool.
The first thing is that some new notebooks will have new sleep-and-charge ports. If you notice, many of the mp3 players, tablets, cell phones and even cameras now use USB ports as chargers with the appropriate adapters. So for many of these gadgets and devices, I actually charge them when using the computer.
When I get home at night, I want to charge some devices and, as a result, I have to turn on my notebook. I don’t use the notebook when I sleep at night but I have to turn it on so that I can get power in my USB for charging of the devices. Now, many new notebooks have sleep-and-charge ports that can charge your devices or give them power even if the notebook is turned off. I think that’s cool and will save your battery and your notebook. The next time you get a notebook, ask if it has that feature.
It is now common for people to bring along external USB drives to back up files or use data in different computers. One great way to secure your sensitive or confidential files is to use Lenovo Thinkpad’s USB Secure Hard Drive. This is an external hard disk but with a numeric keypad.
When you connect the drive to the USB port, the drive will detect the connection and
you can use it only when you type in the correct password. Passwords can be six to sixteen digits (only numbers are accepted so it’s actually a combination password number).
When you type in the correct password, you will be able to access the files and it will unencrypt them. Otherwise, it is encrypted and even if the person opens the device and removes the platters, it will not be able to access the files.
This is a great feature because the security is in the hard drive. It does not matter
whether you are plugging it to a Windows, Linux or Mac, or even different computers, the protection will still work.
The caveat is that the device is a little bit pricey. But if security is important to you, you may want to consider it.
Another device that is really useful is the Huawei SuperStick. This is a very small portable Wi-Fi hotspot device that you can just put in your pocket. It accepts a SIM card (preferably a subscription with unlimited data because it can be expensive).
The device is battery powered and can encrypt or protect its Wi-Fi connection so that only authorized users can use it to access the Internet.
It’s really a cool device. If you bring around a notebook, a tablet, an e-reader and a smartphone, you can use the SuperStick to share a single mobile Internet connection instead of having different subscription plans for the devices.
The SuperStick allows several connections so you can share the connectivity with your friends in school or with co-workers in a small office. (www.ngkhai.net/bizdrivenlife)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 23, 2011.