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We’re gonna need a bigger boat office

Ah, the glamour of technology journalism. In the Home Office Manual I wrote for Haynes Publishing, I stressed the importance of having adequate space. As you can see, I practice what I preach.

Tidy desk, tidy mind

(not pictured: PDA, mobile, cameras, TV aerial for Media Center, headset for Skype, speakers and subwoofer, microwave oven and cuddly toy)

7 replies on “We’re gonna need a bigger boat office”

It’s all right actually, particularly when you go crazy in Vista’s power management bits and whack everything up to eleven. Battery life’s criminal (largely because of whacking everything up to eleven) and booting/shutting down takes forever, but when it’s up and running it’s a nice wee machine.

Wouldn’t use it for heavyweight stuff – video card’s crap, on-board memory’s only 512MB – but there are some nice touches including on-off hardware buttons for wi-fi and bluetooth, a multi-card reader and a nice synaptics touchpad with scrolling buttons as well as the usual keys. Screen isn’t the biggest but it’s crystal clear with reasonable contrast, and the keyboard isn’t too baggy. XP drivers for things like the touchpad are fine in vista and surprisingly enough it’ll happily run Aero Glass.

Be warned, though, Acer’s free vista upgrade process is a major pain in the plums. You need to send proof of purchase to somewhere remote, pay £14 for shipping and wait until 2032, or something. And annoyingly it doesn’t come with any CDs at all for its software – not a huge problem in broadband-land, I know, but it still bugs me.

From what I’ve heard the acer vista upgrade doesn’t seem to be any worse than anyone else’s.

I’m still very happy with my three-year-old Acer laptop. I’d recommend them. And yes, the Synaptics touchpad they use is excellent — one small way, in fact, that it beats the Macbook.

You’re right, I do. The biggest problem with having lots of kit is bloody USB cables. Is it really so hard for firms to put some sort of identifier on their USB plugs, particularly when they’re device-specific cables? It seems so. The USB cable for the sat-nav? Plain black plug with a USB logo on it. Phone? Plain black plug with the USB logo on it. Headset? PDA? Card reader? Printer? External drive? All plain black plugs with USB logos on ’em. Which is why, when it comes to plug something in, it takes about three days of trial and error.

I could always label them myself, I suppose, but where’s the fun in that?

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