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Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Monday

See a sneak preview of an absolutely fab cellphone. I can't reveal the name of the manufacturer - because they don't know I know - but it's the bee's knees. It has infra-red connectivity, so you dump it next to your laptop and voila, it's all connected. It has an absolutely splendid user interface, and it's small with a stupendous battery life. And it's dual band.

The best bit, though, is the radio linked cordless headset. The size of a small pen, this tucks behind your ear and communicates with the phone from up to six metres away. So, you can have your phone in your briefcase or pocket and make and receive calls in complete freedom. Stunning, and I want one very badly indeed.

Tuesday

Cambridge Display Technologies has something wonderful to show - a 2" green and black television screen. This is perhaps not exciting for what it does - the first electronic TV display that managed the same feat used a Braun tube and flickered into life sometime in the mid 1920s - but for what it is. The active constituent is plastic.

CDT's light emitting polymers - LEPs - are pretty similar to ordinary plastic. You mix them up in a big bowl. You spread them on something and let them dry. Then you attach electrodes, and they light up. It's just like LEDs or LCDs, only you don't a billion dollar plant to make it: I've seen an LEP made by one bloke in a white coat in a perfectly ordinary chemical lab.

This is undoubtedly going to be one of the hottest technologies of the next twenty years. It has one big drawback - minute contaminations lead to a rapid degeneration of the light output. Water and oxygen don't help. They think it's going to take a while to sort that one out, but when they do - and it's a when, not an if - we'll have cornflake packets with videoscreens. It's going to be that cheap, that ubiquitous, that much fun.

Wednesday

Day off: finally get the police around to check the flat (no dabs, no hope), and my parents turn up with a spare TV, video and stereo that were gracing The Vicarage. They also bring with them an insurance man, who whips out his clipboard and - before I can say Pearl - has the place covered. Hah! Do your worst, blaggers!

Parents terrific in all respects. My father, the flying vicar, is getting very close to his PPL - he regales me with tales of perfect landings and cross-country stints.

Thursday

Shoulder locks solid. Ouch. Now, I've never been blessed with the most athletic, slickly moving of bodies but I've never had much in the way of aches and pains. This comes as an unpleasant surprise. I mail a friend who's an absolute martyr to her RSI and ask 'Could it be...?'

She mails back and says 'Probably. And if you don't get it sorted out now, then I'm never talking to you again'. Don't much fancy never getting drunk with the woman again, so I email human resources and ask for help.

Alyson Nesbitt, long suffering taker of care for all of us, turns up with a risk assessment form. It remains unfilled as she gasps in dismay at my working habits - monitor close to face, piles of stuff everywhere, me sitting on edge of seat. With a sigh, she sorts out a better chair for me and makes some mild recommendations - but will the threat of painful disability cause me to change the habits of a lifetime?

Watch this space.

Friday

It's 42 inches big. It glows in lots of different colours. It's Fujitsu's new 3" thick plasma display and it's utterly, utterly gorgeous.

We've got one in the office, and all work crawls to a halt as various technical editors fight for the right to put up their favourite stuff. We have psychedelic screen savers, DVD movies, FIFA '97 and that infamous Windows desktop, all shining forth across the room in the most luscious colours imaginable.

Good news: it's three thousand pounds cheaper than the old version. Bad news: it's still seven thousand quid. Once they get down to the thousand pound mark, you won't be able to see for the dust raised by the stampede - but I wouldn't be sure that they'll get there before the LEP stuff is in the same ballpark.

Technology marches on. It's a great time to be alive!

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