Why Are Laptop Batteries So Bad?

If you are like most people with laptops you know that they are only as portable as the nearest outlet.
The companies advertise like their laptop batteries make these machines so that they can go anywhere with you and there will be no problem but there is a problem.


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ou only have a couple hours max of normal word processing type use and then you are toast unless you either have a backup battery or you can plug in somewhere and recharge.
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The other problem is that lots of places that you go and that you would love to use a laptop at aren’t able to supply outlets to everyone and so you are up a creek as they say.

So my main question for this piece is why are laptop batteries so bad?

To answer this question I am going to do a quick search on the internet and try to quickly glean as much information as I can in the next few minutes and then I will proceed to pack it in to the next 2 paragraphs or so.

Here I go….
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Well we will start with what most batteries are made of and that is Lithium Ion cells (older laptop batteries were made of nickel cadmium). These batteries have several advantages including no memory and no scheduled cycling (That does not mean however that it is a good idea to repeatedly run your battery dead).

These batteries are therefore low maintenance. However because their cell oxidation can not be reversed through cycling there is a definite and short lifespan for these batteries.

This turns out to be around two to three years and is not necessarily lengthened by not using as oxidation goes on in the form of self discharge even when stored.
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Now it is recommended that one stores the battery at about 40% capacity and in a cool place.

The 40% capacity gives it the ability to self discharge slowly without going all the way dead (which is bad for these laptop batteries, if you recall). These batteries will oxidize more slowly in cooler temperatures which prolongs the life.

These power cells are not meant for long term storage as already mentioned because the self discharge will drain it sometimes to the point of no return.

The reason why these new laptop batteries are so much more expensive than they used to be is because they require an internal circuit that prevents it from overcharging.

Overcharging can cause the battery to heat up and actually burst into flames.


Wireless – The Future Of Connecting To The Internet

What is WiFi?


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ifi or Wireless Fidelity, allows you to connect to the internet from virtually anywhere at speeds of up to 54Mbps.
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WiFi enabled computers and handsets use radio technologies based on the IEEE 802.11 standard to send and receive data anywhere within the range of a base station.

Wireless is a technology that’s inexpensive, easy to use, and practical and yet… it’s a technology that’s still very young. Here’s a quick look at what the future could hold for wireless.

The Radio and the Phone

Wireless networks will always win over wired ones, if for no other reason, simply because it is much cheaper for signals to travel through the air than it is to install and maintain wires.
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For example… consider that telephones were originally used for sending and receiving news reports.

When radio was invented, this stopped almost overnight – why bother going to all that expense when it’s free ‘over the air’?

The same principle applies to computer networking.
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Imagine having a choice between a wired Internet connection and a wireless one.

The only reason to choose a wired connection would be cost because currently it’s cheaper? However, that will change soon.

Wireless is also easier. Once the cost gap closes, if given the opportunity, there’s no logical reason why anyone wouldn’t switch to a wireless connection.

WiMAX

WiMAX is the next generation of wireless. It will use a standard called 802.16. The current standard is 802.11.

It’s still a work in progress, but the possibilities are exciting.
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WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access and is designed to complement existing wireless equipment… rather than replace it.

The big advantage of WiMAX is that it greatly increases range. Rather than being measured in square meters, which is how the current standard is measured in, WiMAX ranges will be measured in square kilometers.

Some estimates say the best WiMAX stations will be able to transmit up to 50 kilometers or about 30 miles!
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Clearly, this opens an incredibly wide range of possibilities.

Wireless access would move from LANs (Local Area Networks) to MANs: (Metropolitan Area Networks) covering a whole town or city with wireless access. The question would no longer be if you could connect via wireless, but what WiMAX network you wanted to connect too.

Other benefits of WiMAX include speed of up to 70Mbps (almost 10 MB per second) and better security.
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Imagine a future where ordering Internet access is as simple as connecting your existing wireless equipment to the network, opening your web browser and buying a low cost subscription.

That’s it – done. No more access points, no more routers, no more configuration… just wireless Internet, anywhere and everywhere at broadband speeds.

WiMAX is in the process of taking the world by storm.

For the latest news on WiMAX visit the WiMAX Forum (a non-profit industry group set up to promote WiMAX) at http://www.wimaxforum.org. WiMAX has been in development since 2001 and the first WiMAX equipment is expected to hit the market in late 2005 or early 2006.

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a new standard for short range radio connectivity.
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It is the new and promising field in the wireless communications standardization activities, which will profoundly affect the operation and applications of electronic gadgets of the future.

The most obvious purpose of Bluetooth technology is to replace USB and it’s designed to eventually replace almost every wire there is… except power cables.

What does that mean?

It means that someday your TV could be connecting to your DVD player via Bluetooth or your speakers could connect to your radio with it, and so on and so on.
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As you get older, expect to see fewer and fewer wires.

I know… people said the same thing about paper but it turns out that people like paper and don’t want a ‘paperless society’. On the other hand, how many people do you know who have cable or wire fetish? The biggest remaining article is reliable wireless power.

When they figure out how to provide reliable wireless power (i.e. better batteries)… look out because the flood gates will really open up.

A Simpler Life

Convenience… the first benefit of wireless technology that comes to my mind.
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Wires have so many flaws, especially when they go long distances and the overall wireless project is to remove the vast majority of them from our lives.

Of course, another nice benefit will be cost because once wireless if up and going full-bore it will cost less than wire based transmission.

My prediction… within 10 years, wireless access will be making everyone’s life much easier and it will be the norm. The future is wireless!


Wireless POS And Wireless Mobile Computing- Restaurant Software That Increases Profits

Until recently, restaurant and hospitality owners were wary of adopting wireless POS systems for their establishments.
Issues such a cost, ease of use and a general uncertainty about new technology caused them to take pause.


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owadays, however, with the popularity of PDA’s, Blackberries, cell phones and the like, mobile technology and wireless mobile computing has become main stream, and hospitality providers are taking a second look.

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In a high cost and competitive market, it’s no wonder that those in the hospitality industry want technology to help them increase revenues.

But how can a wireless POS device help them achieve this?

Wireless mobile computing can help in many ways.

One such instance is by eliminating the need for staff to line up at a specific POS terminal to place orders.
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By utilizing mobile technology, serving staff are more productive since time spent during the order taking process is decreased. Wireless mobile computing also allows serving staff to place orders instantly, and then go directly to the next table, thereby increasing table turns.

And because serving staff are more productive, significant savings can be seen through decreased labor costs.

Another drawback to stationary POS terminals is that serving staff usually place a number of orders at once to the kitchen, overwhelming kitchen staff.

Placing orders tableside eliminates this problem, as orders are more evenly spaced.
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One important benefit to also consider with a wireless POS solution is that by placing orders directly at the table, order taking is more accurate and less food is wasted. This directly translates into decreased food costs.

Also, serving staff can spend more time with customers, which significantly increases up-sell opportunities.

Utilizing wireless mobile computing in a hospitality environment also allows restaurateurs to approach staffing in a more cost effective and efficient way.
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Instead of scheduling a large number of serving staff who are responsible for all the order taking and food delivery, a wireless POS solution allows restaurant owners the opportunity to hire just a few skilled staff, give them larger sections, and make their primary focus greeting customers, taking orders and up selling.

Non-serving staff can then be hired (at significant payroll savings) to dispatch food and clean sections. When serving staff are able to remain on the floor, the result is superior customer service and again increased sales through up selling and faster table turns.

Now, Volante POS Systems of Toronto, Canada has come along and revolutionized the wireless POS industry in a creative and innovative way.
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By using PC notebooks (not much bigger then a handheld) the entire POS software is loaded on the unit and it runs as a terminal with peer to peer, data synching etc. PDA’s don’t work in this manner- they require writing to the unit (in other words, new code, separate product) plus they’re not robust enough for Food and beverage.

Volante has evolved its software into the peer to peer architecture, and now POS software can be loaded onto a small wireless notebook with amazing results. The technology is revolutionary – nobody else can do what Volante is doing.
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This approach can work exceptionally well in venues that aren’t traditional table side establishments, such as stadiums, trade shows, casinos, arenas, race tracks and outdoor sales areas (such as rooftop patios for instance) where conventional POS terminals aren’t practical nor feasible.

Wireless mobile computing from Volante offers even more important and innovative features. For instance, the menus on the notebook or handhelds are the exact same menus as on the traditional register.
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The databases are in sync with one another. You don’t have to program them separately; they’re an extension of the host computer. This approach is less expensive because it doesn’t require separate servers for handhelds and traditional registers.

And because Volante POS software is written in pure Java, its real time as well.

For more information on how wireless POS technology and wireless mobile computing from Volante can help your business increase profits and productivity, email them at sales@volantesystems.com or visit their website at http://www.volantesystems.com.

Wireless POS solutions truly allow Hospitality leaders to enter the 21st century, while also giving them an extra edge in a fiercely competitive industry.