Friday

Friday 25/10/2002Back in the days of PC Magazine, we used to do group tests of laptops. And not just your 'slap in a benchmarking disk and write down a couple of numbers' tests, goodness me no.

Friday 25/10/2002
Back in the days of PC Magazine, we used to do group tests of laptops. And not just your 'slap in a benchmarking disk and write down a couple of numbers' tests, goodness me no. These were hardcore: we had robot fingers poking away at keyboards, battery discharge tests that sucked the very life from the poor little cells, and we finished off with our favourite -- the drop test. The logic was impeccable: at some stage in the life of your very expensive portable computer, you're going to drop it. Wouldn't you like to know that you'd bought one likely to survive? So, we dropped them. Onto concrete. From a height. They broke. Some crazy-paved their displays, others cracked at the hinges, still others lost a lump here or a disk drive there, but they broke. To their eternal credit, the PR companies swallowed hard and took back the broken bodies of their brave little soldiers with barely a whimper. We felt so guilty that we dropped -- so to speak -- the test from the list of things to do, but I still think it was a bold and justifiable silicide. Were we to bring it back, we'd have to update it to include PDAs -- and not just dropping them neither. What's the worst thing you can do to your PDA? Over to Matt Broersma in the newsroom, where his Psion Series 5 is sitting on the very same chair that he's about to... oh dear. That must have hurt. Yes, he broke it with his bottom. A once healthy -- nay, business-critical -- device, reduced to a psychedelic mosaic of shattered LCD through the sheer power of one man's arse. He is devastated, poor chap, and we -- well, we tried to be supportive, comforting and calming. It turns out we're not very good at those, but we are very good at giggling outrageously and making rude jokes about new user interfaces. Luckily, he's in the right place for such fundamental mishaps: a steady stream of new portable toys is always hurtling through the office, and I believe he's already been re-equipped for the price of a 400-word review. But will we adopt the Broersma Buttock Bounce as a standard part of our test suite? I think we should. Postscript: Fabulous Web site of the week is http://www.mpe.mpg.de/www_ir/GC/gc.html, where a ten-year observation of the Galactic Centre has resulted in a movie of a large star orbiting the black hole that lives in the middle of the Milky Way. Not an animation -- a movie. Six megabytes, so modem owners beware, but this is pure science fiction come true. To have your say online click on TalkBack and go to the ZDNet UK forums.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All