Laptop Lock and Mobile Printing

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by misterman8, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. misterman8 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    #1
    I am going to be traveling with my iBook for a couple of months for my dissertation. I am going to be collecting data as I go and I really cannot afford to lose the 'book. Of course I am going to back it up on a removable drive and email it to myself at every turn, but it would be a major problem to lose the computer. I have two questions, make that three:
    1) Are laptop locks worth it? I have heard yes and no. I am not interested in spending money just so I feel better, but I also need to protect my investment. Do they draw attention? How easy is that tiny little cable to cut?
    2) If yes, which one? I don't care how big and ugly it is, I care about how effective it is.
    3) I am going to be in some places that are pretty far from a Kinko's, and there is a fairly good potential that I am going to need some basic b/w printing, are mobile printers worth it? and which are good? My goal here is small over fast. I have patience but not space!

    Thanksh
     
  2. fitinferno macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    Your dissertation sounds like good fun :)

    I'll gladly give an opinion on your first and second question. To be honest, I see laptop locks as not being truly worth it. You should never be leaving your laptop open and by itself for long periods of time (they aren't hard to put to sleep and take with) and I feel a lock only perpetuates the thought of the laptop's safety thus making one leave it for even longer periods.

    Secondly, yes, many of the manufacturers do a crap job when it comes to making these said locks. I have concerns not only with the fact that they can be opened by people who have the right ambition so easily in some cases (best example is the really crappy kensington one), but they only lock into a tiny hole on the computer. If you snap the lock mechanism out of that whole and break a corner of the computer, the parts are still quite valuable...

    Anyways, if you really wanna lock it up, this lock seems tempting: www.laplocker.com

    All in all, though unfortunately ball and chain like, keep it w/you!
     
  3. misterman8 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    #3
    Holy crap. A bit of overkill, especially for traveling. I am not keen on the idea of adding 3lbs to my pack just so I can lock it up in a permenantly open position. Thanks though. I could drag the 'book where ever I go, but there are going to be times and places where it is not appropriate to be hauling in a laptop or bag.
     
  4. fitinferno macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    Hehe, changed your mind on not caring about how big or ugly it is? :p

    Good luck finding a solution, though...it may just be you have to buy something and just risk it, unfortunately. Maybe you can take some insurance out on it before you leave?
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    At Michigan, I owned and used a Kensington one with my old Compaq laptop. I think the main point is to discourage casual / unprepared thieves. Someone who's prepared is going to get your computer. Just face and accept it. But I figured this was good because I was running around and my office was typically open / unlocked. Here at Florida, my office is locked if no one is in it, and I don't bother with using it on my iBook.
     
  6. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #6
    I agree that the best course of action is not to leave your laptop but, having travelled with mine, that's not always practical. A lock might not deter a serious theft and I'd never suggest leaving it alone with just the lock to protect it.

    But, it can deter the casual thief who might have spotted a door ajar and will grab loose items but not hang around to break things (risks making noise and being disturbed) or who is part of a team where one distracts you in a coffee shop by asking directions or spilling something on you while the other swipes your 'Book (I've had this attempted before with phones). The cable might be cut but I'm not sure how many opportunistic thieves carry around boltcutters; the pro thieves might, but then they'll get through any lock anyhow.

    If you're staying in hotels, they'll usually have either a safe in the room or a safe at reception where you can store valuables. While the fact they're locked lets a thief know there's something worth nicking, they usually also mean that you're covered by your insurance rather than if they go missing from an unattended room.
     
  7. misterman8 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    #7

    Yeah I guess I hadn't thought through the weight issue 'till I saw that tank of a lock. So I guess the concensus is to be smart and get a lock if I want to take care of the lower level thieves?

    Anybody have any thoughts on the printer? After having sat and talked through things with my supervisor I am wondering if it is neccesary/worth it? I am going to be giving surveys in several languages and while I will be able to come quasi-prepared I will only be guessing at the numbers of each language I will need. If this is really that bad an idea I will just print off enough of each to fully cover my sample and just lug those around instead of a printer. I would appreaciate any input you all have on this one, Thanks.
     
  8. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #8
    Where are you doing this? Major cities and decent sized towns?

    Why not just take a single copy of each language version and get them copied at the appropriate town? Saves lugging a printer and paper around with you and most towns have the local equivalent of a Kinkos that could copy for you - would it end up that much dearer than buying a mobile printer and the respective cartridges?

    Might even mean you had room for that monster lock!
     
  9. misterman8 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    #9

    I am going to be in and around Johannesburg and Cape Town in S. Africa and in Dharamsala in India, I have no idea what my access to a copy shop will be in either one yet. I haven't quite gotten to that level of detail yet with my in country contacts. I am just trying to gather some info so I can make a quick decision when I know more about my logistics.
     

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