Friday, February 19, 2010

“Laptop Legs”

One of the things that concerns me as a support guy is the tendency of laptops to overheat when operating “flat” on the tabletop.  I have one, admittedly several years old, that will shut itself down after about a half hour of operating like that.

My previous solution has been to use whatever’s handy to prop up the back of the laptop so that it gets some decent airflow.  Unfortunately, that “whatever’s handy” item isn’t always handy.

In glancing through the Cyberguys catalog some time ago, I ran across an interesting item: “Laptop Legs:”

Laptop Legs

I’ve been using them on my main laptop for several years, and I’m satisfied enough with their value vs. price (US$11.49) to take the time to write this up.  (And no, I have no connection with Cyberguys beyond being a long-time and very satisfied customer.)

I just ordered three more sets to fix up my wife’s netbook and a couple of laptops that I’m setting up.  The packages look like this:

Laptop Legs, in package

They have adhesive backing, and they can be removed, at least according to the instructions, although they also caution that it may leave some adhesive residue behind.  So I would (1) plan carefully where you plan to put them on the laptop, and (2) plan on not removing them.

When they’re on, they look something like this (on my wife’s netbook, an Acer Aspire One):

Laptop legs, installed on netbook

Once installed you have two legs that can be folded out.  The smaller one is 1”, the larger is 1-3/8”.  The smaller one also has the rubber padding on it, so that if you do need to leave it flat, it has less of a tendency to slip around.

Folded out, they look like this (on an old Dell Inspiron 1100 I’m planning to reuse):

Laptop legs, folded out on 1100

In this case, I’m using the longer legs to prop this laptop up.  As you can see, with the legs folded out there’s plenty of room for airflow through the fan opening on the bottom of the computer, into the system and out through the vents in the center and the viewer’s far left of this laptop.  Using the SpeedFan utility, which I use to monitor the temperature of the CPU, I notice a significant improvement between not using the legs and having them folded out.

BTW, I took the photo with the laptop on a rug just to provide some contrast to make it easier to see the legs, but I don’t normally use it that way. :)

The Laptop Legs are manufactured by LapWorks of Cucamonga, California.  Details on this specific product can be found on their website here, including a video demonstrating the installation procedure.

Again, I have no connection whatsoever with either or LapWorks, other than simply being a customer.

Thanks for reading!

-- //Steve//

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Social Networking at the Silverwood house:

My wife has – at my prompting – taken the “giant leap” into the world of social networking.  I’ve got her set up now on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn!  She’s not a blogger yet, but give me some time to work on her…

-- //Steve//

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beautiful Wildomar…!

We sure do have the prettiest sunrises and sunsets here in Wildomar, California.  This one showed up on the weather page at (SouthWest Riverside News Network):


Virga over Wildomar

Virga over Wildomar: Cone clouds of water vapor reach for the earth. Photo courtesy of John Garrett.


As of right this minute, it’s here, just in case you want to see it for yourself.  (Corydon and Union is the street location from which the photo was taken.)

We are also extremely grateful for the rain this season.  Our total accumulation in Wildomar this season is just over 11 inches.  I know many areas have suffered enormous damage from the rain, and we’ve had our share of road problems and mudslides, but despite all that it’s still a welcome relief from the long drought and the high water rates we’ve had to pay over the past few years.

Allan's truck nearly getting washed away

Allan’s truck out front of our house, getting an undercarriage wash…

Next-door neighbors missed out on some 'whitewater' fun!

Neighbors next door could have done some “brownwater” rafting…!

Across the street, more of the same

Across the street, more of the same.  At one point, the water runoff from up the hill was enough to completely fill the street from curb to curb. (Uphill is to the right of these pictures.)