A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Wednesday, October 29, 2003


Skype is apparantly one of the most downloaded utilities in recent times. It's a peer to peer (P2P) system for talking (not messaging or e-mailing) to others over the 'net. And, yes, you guessed it, it works through corporate firewalls.
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Saturday, October 25, 2003

Ultraportables etc.

The options are pretty much outlined on Dynamism's or Kemplar's (better) site. I bought a JVC 7230 only to find that it was somewhat second-user and took it back. They're in short supply and the shop didn't have another (it was in Haggle Court Road) so I'm still considering the options.

When I took the JVC machine back I was offered the new Sony PC-TR1MP (there's a TR2 out too) for �1560. This is bigger than the JVC machine (see Kemplar's excellent size comparison chart), though, so I didn't buy. However, the Sony does have a DVD drive built in (hence it's height) and the screen is fantastic. Indidentally, that was another defect on the JVC machine - a lit pixel; worryingly lots of manufacturers refer to such a defect as "normal" and not covered by a warranty. My advice is to check the machine you're buying in the shop before you buy. Without an optical drive loading software is tricly even with a WLAN connection.

One manufacturer that takes a different approach, however, is Sharp. Their Actius MM10 can be docked to a desktop so that its disk appears as a disk on the desktop allowing easy access to whatever's on the notebook from the desktop.

Of course any discussion on notebooks should cover tablets too, but I'm hoping a colleague will be able to provide a better insight than me for next week.
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Friday, October 10, 2003

The search for the elusive "portable" notebook

I'm reading good things about the upcoming Handspring Treo 600 from palmOne and am apparantly on a waiting list for one of these from Orange. Whilst waiting for this, I've turned thoughts towards replacing my company supplied notebook - a Sony VAIO C1XM. This little machine has done exactly what I wanted from it - it really is portable, is just about usable for a few hours at a time (although the small keyboard and mouse pointer mean that the cursor sometimes moves when you don't want it to) and it even works on my WiFi network at home. My real problem with it is that it runs Windows 98
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