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Essential Kitbag

Essential Kitbag
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First Published: Wed, Jun 13 2007. 12 07 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Jun 13 2007. 12 07 AM IST
3M Privacy Shield Filter
You’re parked in a plane, working stealthily on a confidential file or a personal document. The nosey person sitting next to you seems to have nothing better to do than peer intently at your notebook screen. What do you do? Ignore him? Give him the look? Or lug your laptop to the loo? No. Install a privacy filter on your laptop to make it difficult for prying eyes around you to see what’s on your screen. This lifetime warranty 3M Shield Filter protects your privacy without blurring or distortion, reduces glare and protects the fragile LCD screen’s surface from scuffs, scratches and dust.
Battery Brick Pack
Another way to keep your laptop humming while unhooked to an electric power source is by getting hold of a battery brick. This diminutive (DVD-sized) portable energy bundle can give your laptop an additional five to six hours of uptime—that is above and beyond the note’s own battery resources. Loads of options are available. It all depends on your needs and the laptop’s energy consumption specifications.
Solar Laptop Computer Charger
Leaving for an extended off-site camp in the wilderness of the Sunderbans? Or planning to scale Mt Kilimanjaro? But desperately want to stay in touch with your office work? Your phone may work fine for some days with a couple of extra battery packs, but what do you do to power your laptop after a couple of hours? Simply strap on a lightweight Solar Laptop Computer Charger before your trip. It will energize your laptop (as well as your GPS, cellphone, camcorder, MP3 player and more) via its solar panel modules when you’re away from the power lines. All you must do is pray for sunny days.
Universal 4-in-1 Power Plug
The most rudimentary of devices, the humble plug can mess up your best-laid business plans at times. A simple 4-in-1 device such as this offers the four most common international plug configurations used in most of Europe, Asia, North America, Russia, New Zealand, Africa and West Asia. It features a power indicator light and includes a travel pouch. Mind you, these devices just allow ease of appliance use when you are confronted with an alien power outlet; they don’t convert AC to DC or vice versa.
Imation Clip Flash Drive
Here’s a natty way to secure your gigs on a USB pen drive without getting perturbed by the rain or the rough. Available in capacities of 128MB to 4GB, the capless little toughie has a water-resistant rubberized shell to shelter it, and a sturdy carabiner to secure it to bag, belt or briefcase. An external write-protect switch, three write-on labels, password protection software and a five-year limited warranty are other assets.
HP Deskjet 460cb Mobile Printer
One accessory that can be extremely useful to a business traveller is a portable printer. You can use it to get your hard copy printing requirements on the trot, no power cables attached. Take a peek at this HP: Four-colour, 17 pages per minute, optional Wi-Fi, optional Bluetooth, memory card slots, PictBridge, 4x6 inch borderless photos in 45 seconds and a lithium ion battery that can churn out as many as 450 pages per charge. Do we need say more? Yes, the weight… 2.2kg. Other stats—it stands 3.25 inches tall and 13.4 by 7.28 in elbow-width and depth. If that’s too big, wait till 2007-end for PrintDream’s “mouse-sized” Random Movement Printing Technology (RMPT) printers. It translates random motion (hand movements) into high quality text or image printouts.
MoGo Mouse BT
For those not-so-nimble fingers which can’t do without an external mouse but abhor lugging those fat input devices and fussing over tangled wires. MoGo Mouse BT is a slim, palm-sized, two-button Bluetooth-enabled wireless mouse that “lives and feeds” inside your laptop. It sports an intelligent battery management system that recharges the device within minutes of being ensconced in your laptop computer’s PC Card slot—which is also meant to be its home when it is not in use. Neat feat for those of you who skid all over the track pad.
Combo Car/Air Notebook Power Adapter
Long drive/flight/cruise looming. Need that presentation/business plan/sales kit ready by the time you land but wondering how you’ll ever manage as there’s not enough juice in your notebook’s battery. Beg, borrow or buy something such as the Targus Combination AC and Auto/Air DC Notebook Power Adapter. Plug into the available car or aeroplane socket and work on till the cows come home. But do check your laptop’s power rating requirements before you purchase one. Different notebook makes and models require different adapters.
JiWire WiFi
Price Free
Using the world’s largest directory of public Wi-Fi hotspots, you can stay in sync with the online world anywhere on Planet Earth quite wirelessly. JiWire helps you locate free and paid Wi-Fi hotspot networks (1,45,115 of them in 134 countries) closest to you and secure your wireless Internet connections. It also teaches you how to use Wi-Fi products and wireless broadband services. Each verified hotspot in the directory has detailed information on access options and, often, maps and driving directions to get to it. If you foresee that you will be sans Net access the moment you set foot in foreign lands, arm yourself with JiWire’s downloadable offline version of Wi-Fi Hotspot Finder from www.jiwire.com/jiwire-downloads.htm?cid=LAPTOPHHH1&partner=LAPTOP before you sally forth.
Laptop Lock
If you travel in constant fear of getting your laptop purloined and your highly classified data pillaged, listen up. Depending on how you set it up, the moment Mr Thief sets hands on your portable, Laptop Lock can securely obliterate super-sensitive files into oblivion, encrypt data, caution the crook, execute another program, lock the looter out totally and, if connected to the Internet, beam you its current IP address location. And ah, did we mention… this security agent works gratis.
Gadget Theft
Price $19.95
(Rs818) for a 5-device, 1-year subscription
Gadget Theft is a fairly similar tracking device. Only, this application and Internet utility tracks your pilfered iPod/MP3 player, USB flash drive, digital camera, GPS device, cellphone, PSP, hard drive, PDA or notebook. When your stolen gizmo is plugged into a Web-connected PC, a GadgetTrak agent on your device recovers related IP addresses, location, Windows user name, computer name and so on and mails it to you. Then it’s over to Scotland Yard, NYPD or Nangloi police station.
All the products mentioned here were available from various vendors on the Internet at the time of going to press. Prices may vary from vendor to vendor. Tax/shipping/freight costs are excluded. Prices in rupees are just foreign exchange conversions of dollar prices.
Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.com
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First Published: Wed, Jun 13 2007. 12 07 AM IST
More Topics: Business of Life | Gadgets |