Mobile Phones and computers

When I’m working on my laptop, I virtually have to keep my mobile phone at the other side of the room to stop it causing my laptop to make that ‘de der de der’ sort of noise evry now and again.

My question is twofold. What is the phone doing that is causing the noise? And is this process detrimental to the laptop at all?

Your cell phone is a mini-radio. the signals interfere with your laptop speakers. I believe it causes this via induction. I don’t see why it’d be a problem.

Your cell phone emits radio waves. All of the little metal bits on the circuit boards inside the laptop act as itty bitty antennas. This isn’t unique to your laptop. Any electronic device will pick up radio signals to some degree. So, all over your laptop, you’ve got tiny electronic signals from the cell phone being added onto its normal electronic signals. There are two types of signals used in your laptop, analog and digital. Most of the computing guts of the laptop use digital signals. The speakers use analog signals. With an analog signal, any noise that ends up getting coupled into the signal comes out your speakers. This doesn’t really cause any harm other than being really annoying. The noise that gets coupled onto the digital lines though can cause bits to get flipped. If you get one bit flipped in just the wrong place, really bad things can happen. Your data can get corrupted, or the computer can crash. Fortunately, digital signals are fairly immune to noise just by their nature. Digital signals are either on or off, so you have to add enough noise to make an “off” signal look like an “on” signal (or vice versa) before anything bad happens. Any noise that isn’t strong enough to flip a bit gets completely ignored.

Your cell phone could cause bad things to happen in your laptop, but its not likely. A desktop is even more immune to noise because of the metal box it sits in. Even if it were to make the computer crash, it’s only temporarily flipping bits inside the computer. The cell phone won’t cause the laptop any permenant mechanical damage of any sort.