Monday, November 22, 2010

I don't like laptops as primary machines

by Donniedarkness on Sunday November 21, 02:38PM
I tend to shy away from using laptops (even with docking stations and such) for primary machines. I'd go with regular desktops. The costs of upkeep and such will be more predictable that way. I don't prefer any one brand over another, but I typically tell my clients to stay away from Dells (because of all the issues with capacitors on motherboards over the last several years). My clients tend to go local, even if it costs a tad more, and those that do tend to be happier with their purchases.

by perpenso on Sunday November 21, @03:10PM
Agreed. Laptops only when needed. Do people need to be mobile during the day, moving from place to place taking their computer with them? At a 20 person company having one person visit the office of the person with the computer in question does not seem prohibitive. Taking your computer to meetings and such, vastly overrated and usually a distraction.

If you like the idea of people taking their work home do you accept the increased costs of lost and stolen laptops and the decreased lifespan that frequent travel brings? Is your data secured on an encrypted volume? Even if IT creates an encrypted volume are users actually using it rather than saving files to the unencrypted desktop? Have you planned training to address this sort of issue?

When traveling overseas these lost/stolen concerns magnify. Furthermore is there anything on the laptop that your country does not allow to be exported or anything that the visited country does not allow to be imported? Perhaps even that state-of-the-art encryption software you normally use has export/import issues. Not to mention the "personal" folders where porn was downloaded. Have you planned training to address these issues? Even when a laptop is clean customs may hang on to it for some reason, its fully within their power to do so. Will having a person lose their day-to-day computer be an issue?

When a person takes work home are they on the clock? Do you live in a jurisdiction where unpaid overtime is becoming more and more of an issue even with salaried people? You may be setting your company up for an unpaid overtime lawsuit once someone becomes unhappy and quits. I've seen it happen. I've seen companies in California switch all their engineers and lower level of management from salary to hourly due to this sort of thing.

The list goes on ...

Laptops can be great and they can be required while traveling. Perhaps have a few than can be checked out on rare occasions when people *must* work at home or travel. Have them copy only what they need for that day or trip, and wipe the laptop when returned.


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