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 Internet Terminology – Confusion Or Clarity?

Wireless Internet Terminology, like many things in life, especially those that have anything to do with computers is filled with terminology.
But like most things, once you learn a few of the basic terms, understanding will come quickly.


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o don’t be confused get informed and to help clarify, I’ve put together a basic wireless “internet-to-english” guide to help you along.

IEEE – The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

The IEEE is in charge of the wireless networking standard, as well as many other computer-related standards – including the Ethernet standard.

They ensure that computer equipment made by different manufacturers can work together.

PCMCIA – Personal Computer Memory Card International Association

Simply another standard for how to plug credit card size devices into a laptop computer to boost it’s capabilities.

It’s been suggested by some that it should stand for “People Can’t Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms”. PCMCIA is a great way of adding wireless networking to your laptop as easily as inserting a disk.

PCI – Peripheral Component Interconnect

Used to install devices like graphics cards and network devices inside your computer.

You would be using a PCI, if you wanted to install a wireless card inside your computer.

802.11

Set by the IEEE, it’s the current wireless networking standard.

It helps ensure that wireless devices can communicate with one another or in other words – they are interoperable.

Interoperable

Simply means that two different pieces of equipment have the ability to speak to each other or another way to put it – they are compatible.

They can use them together because they were designed using the same standards. Because of the IEEE and the principle of interoperability, all wireless equipment you purchase should be compatible.

Driver

Not a piece of golf equipment but computer software that informs a computer how to talk to devices that plug into it.

Most wireless networking drivers come on a CD-ROM. You then download the drivers from the CD onto your computer.

Ethernet

Currently, the most common way of connecting to a LAN or Local Area Network.

Most wires connected to your computer today are ethernet and if you have a cable internet connection an ethernet wire is in all likely-hood, what is being used to connect to your modem.

USB – Universal Serial Bus

A port used for connecting all sorts of devices to a computer, including keyboards, a mouse, printers, external hard-drives and basically anything else you can think of.

If you don’t have a laptop or want to open up your computer you can get a USB wireless device.

WEP – Wired Equivalent Privacy

No longer used because in 2001 it was found to have security issues.

As a result, it is now the old standard for encrypting wireless networks.

WPA – WiFi Protected Access

The new standard for encrypting wireless networks. An upgrade of WEP to fix security issues.

To avoid becoming vulnerable, a WPA encrypted network changes encryption methods often. In addition, if an attack is detected, it has the ability to shut itself down for thirty seconds.

PAN – Personal Area Network

A network of devices connected together in one small area.

A simple example of a PAN would be your computer, USB keyboard and mouse. Using a technology called Bluetooth, a PAN can be wireless.

LAN – Local Area Network

Briefly mentioned above, LAN is a computer network that… generally speaking is confined to one building, such as a home or office.

A wireless LAN is also known as a WLAN.

MAN – Metropolitan Area Network

A network that covers a larger area, like a city or town.

They are expensive but a wireless MAN has the capacity to spread Internet access across a wide area. Many college universities set-up a MAN to connect the entire campus.

WAN – Wide Area Network

A network that covers or connects to more than one physical site.

A simple example would be a business that has locations in different cities, states or countries and they need them each location connected on the same network. The Internet itself is a WAN… the biggest WAN in the world.

Mbps – Megabits Per Second

Not to be confused with MBps, megabytes per second. Mbps is measurement of connection speed.

There are eight megabits in a megabyte.

GHz – Gigahertz

One gigahertz is one billion cycles per second… it’s a measurement of frequency.

If the term sounds familiar it’s probably because it’s also used to measure the processing speed of the CPU on your computer, which is also measured in gigahertz.

Linux

A popular and growing alternative operating system to Windows.

Linux is a less bulky, more efficient operating system in many ways than Windows and not to mention – it’s free. Many servers run Linux for this reason. Computers running Linux can run many programs and connect to the Internet without needing Windows. Many wireless devices run Linux or are compatible with it.


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.