In troubled economic times the attractions of free software become increasingly obvious, and even for die-hard users of Microsoft Office, the prospect of upgrading to Office 2010 in Q1 next year may prove too much to contemplate. After all, Office 2007 essentially rearranged the deckchairs with the ribbon interface didn't it?
Dispatches from the Reviews Editor
Charles has been in tech publishing since the late 1980s, starting with Reed's Practical Computing, then moving to Ziff-Davis to help launch the UK version of PC Magazine in 1992. ZDNet came looking for a Reviews Editor in 2000, and he's been here ever since.
Our friends at Computer Aid, the charity that supplies refurbished PCs to developing countries, have published their follow-up to the low-power computer testing that ZDNet UK carried out last year.A year ago, ZDNet produced a five-strong shortlist (ASUS Eee, OLPC XO, Intel Classmate, Inveneo Computing Station and NComputing X300) based on performance and power consumption measurements.
Drobo's original USB 'data robot' combined an attractive chassis with the company's BeyondRAID technology to deliver a well-received and user-friendly storage device, mainly aimed at creative professionals requiring large amounts of direct-attached storage. Subsequently the company has added a second-generation device with FireWire support and a networking module (DroboShare) to broaden its appeal.
Samsung recently caught the attention of notebook users with the 12.1in.
Dell has made rugged Latitude notebooks for a while, but the latest Latitude E6400 XFR model looks to be the toughest yet. Aimed at "the military, first responders, oil & gas environments, manufacturing floors, field technicians and homeland security" (phew), this 14.
We were diverted yesterday by Gizmodo's report (via TechFlash) on ex-Vista-honcho Jim Allchin's solo album, Enigma.Of course it's all too easy to scoff at the former Microsoftie's AOR noodlings.
There has been much vaunting on the interweb these past couple of days concerning India's '$20 laptop'. Or is it $10, or $30?
Most of us are familiar with Google's web-based applications, but useful as they are, Google Spreadsheet and its perpetual-beta brethren don't yet deliver the look and feel of a desktop application. One 'cloud' app that most definitely does, and has recently turned version 1.
The announcement of Sony's tasty-looking 638g, 8in. VAIO P (below), which launches over here in February, has sparked a debate in the ZDNet UK office about what is, and what isn't, a 'netbook' (we take these things seriously round here).
OQO, maker of UMPCs, or MIDs (or whatever the latest name for even-smaller-than-netbook PCs is) has surpassed itself with the press release announcing its Model 2+ device.The hardware (above) is genuinely interesting.