by Paul Sanders
The real brilliance of notebook computers is their portability. You can take your work and play with you wherever you go, and with the right laptop and a few accessories, you can stay connected at nearly any time, in any place. Here are some tips for making sure notebook computers work for you when you are out and about.
Get a comfortable computer backpack. Although notebook computers are designed to be portable, they are not necessarily always lightweight. A nice computer backpack will help distribute the weight of your laptop computer, books and other materials evenly across your shoulders. Computer backpacks also have lots of pockets for accessories.
Adapt with connector cables. You never know when you will need to connect your machine to another notebook computer, a projector or an HDTV. If you have USB, Firewire, HDMI or other ports on your notebook, be sure you have connector cables for them in case you need to connect to something.
Practice "outlet awareness" to keep charged. When you are on the go, charging your notebook computer is not always convenient. Learn to be "aware" of spots where you'll be able to plug in, like cafes, hotel lobbies and airport terminals. Don't forget to pack your power cord, without which you can't charge your notebook anyway.
Learn how to navigate network settings. Depending on your operating system, you will have different tools to manage the wireless networks that your notebook computer encounters. If you frequently find yourself at a library that offers free Wi-Fi, save the settings for that network; the next time you visit the library, you will be able to simply turn on your notebook computer and log in quickly.
Keep storage media on hand. Sometimes, you just can't connect and transfer data between your notebook computer and other devices. In that case, it may be wise to have a blank CD or flash drive on hand. You can burn the files to the CD or transfer the files with the thumb drive. Storage media and notebook computers go hand in hand to help you make your information portable and transferrable.