We're moving offices over Easter, and after much cajoling from our office manager, I'm finally clearing out ZDNet UK's lab space. It's hell in there, with more entangled power leads, cat 5 cables and other random bits of tech flotsam, not to mention jetsam, than you can shake a stick at.
Dispatches from the Reviews Editor
Hello, I'm the Reviews Editor at ZDNet UK. My experience with computers started at London's Imperial College, where I studied Zoology and then Environmental Technology. This was sufficiently long ago (mid-1970s) that Fortran, IBM punched-card machines and mainframes were involved, followed by green-screen terminals and eventually the personal computers we know and (mostly) love. After doing post-grad research at Imperial for a while, I got involved in helping to produce a weekly news magazine based in Amsterdam. This was in the mid-1980s, and one of my duties was to set up data communications links with technologically-challenged national newspaper journalists in a number of European cities via a 300-baud modem and an acoustic coupler. Tech support people have my sympathy! I've been in computer publishing since the late 1980s, starting with Reed Business Publishing's Practical Computing, then joining Ziff Davis in 1991 to help launch PC Magazine UK as Production Editor. After a couple of years I switched to commissioning, editing and writing, becoming a Technical Editor and then First Looks Editor. When ZDNet came looking for a Reviews Editor in 2000, I was ready to make the move from print to online — just in time for the dot-com crash! It's been a long road from punched cards to the cloud, but it'll still be fun seeing where we go from here.
So, I'm talking to a helpful and informative German gentleman from navigation specialists Telmap about the company's BlackBerry-based solution, and he's giving me the low-down on the technology at the back end that pushes out the maps you need in a clever way. "Ach, I have told you too much: I'm going to have to kill you!
Having seen rain, sleet and snow (and sometimes all three at once) in my time at CeBIT, it's a relief to find Hanover bathed in spring sunshine as we ascend to the giddy heights of CNET's HQ perched atop the mighty Hall 1 at the Messegelande.Hall 1 is notorious for its ability to swallow whole legions of tech hacks, who are apt to become disorientated as they penetrate its central region, where no outer walls, windows or doors are visible — just endless stand upon exhibition stand.
It's March, so it must be CeBIT, "the world's largest trade fair showcasing digital IT and telecommunications solutions for home and work environments". Next week, vendors, IT professionals, the public, analysts and the press — a crack squad from ZDNet UK among them — will descend upon Hannover for the annual 26-hall extravaganza that last year accommodated over 6,200 exhibitors and some 430,000 visitors.
We all know it's impossible to keep a secret on the InterWeb these days, and sure enough one of the worst-kept secrets is the imminent appearance of Windows Mobile 6, codenamed 'Crossbow'. Microsoft will do the official bit at 3GSM in Barcleona (to be dutifully covered by ZDNet UK's intrepid reporting team).
Much excitement in the Reviews corner of the ZDNet office on Friday, when Dell delivered an enormous box containing its quad-core Xeon-based Precision 390 workstation. Another enormous box had some days earlier supplied the 30in.
G11 — no, it's not an economic grouping of nation states, it's the latest addition to Sony's range of VAIO notebooks.A 1.
It seems only yesterday that I was posting a blog entry about Microsoft launching Windows Vista and Office 2007 — and now they're doing it all over again!Actually it was 30 November last year, which was when Microsoft's licence customers were able to get hold of the new OS and office suite.
The US and Japan have had Sony's UX series ultra-mobile PCs for a while, and now it's the UK's turn. Today the company announced that we are to get the VAIO VGN UX1XN, pictured below.
We may be well into the dark days of January, beset by financial worries, Seasonal Affective Disorder and the rest, but a little spark of the Christmas spirit still burns in the shape of ZDNet's fabulous 12 Days of Christmas competition. Five of the prizes are still up for grabs as I write — from Adaptec, Google, D-Link, Netgear and Intel.
I've been using Mandriva's new Linux-distribution-on-a-USB-stick, Mandriva Flash, and most impressive it is too. On a small 2GB USB key, you get a fully portable Linux desktop comprising the Linux Kernel 2.
Generally speaking, camels are safe over here in Blighty, confined as they are to zoos, safari parks and the odd circus. Not the life your average member of the Camelidae might have chosen, perhaps, but better than falling into the hands of predatory Turkish Airlines workers at Istanbul's international airport.
We've just reviewed our second Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC), the R2H from ASUS. In case you'd forgotten, the UMPC caused something of a stir back in February/March when Microsoft ran a teaser campaign for Origami (Redmond's codename for what turned out to be the UMPC) — a small slate-style Tablet PC running Windows XP.
Today's the day when the tech media's guns point towards Redmond and fire a triple salvo at Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007. ZDNet UK, of course, is weighing in -- as I write this, the Office 2007 Special Report is live, and the Vista and Exchange ones are imminent.
Wireless networking kit based on the draft 802.11n specification has been available for a while, and we've now performed some throughput tests on a range of products built around different chipsets.
The best of ZDNet, delivered
- 1 Motorola Moto G (2nd Generation), First Take: Bigger and better, but still affordable
- 2 Should you buy a Chromebook Pixel, Surface Pro... or a laptop (or two)?
- 3 Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display: There's life in the (high-end) desktop yet
- 4 The History of Wearable Technology: A timeline
- 5 Plantronics Voyager Legend: First Take