The Weekly Round-Up: Smashed laptops, dreamy datacentres and Twitter fever

Upgrade your office hardware, take a datacentre world tour and meet up at the tweetup...
Written by The Round-Up, Contributor on

Upgrade your office hardware, take a datacentre world tour and meet up at the tweetup...

Crash. Bang. Smash.

Sorry, the Round-Up's just in the middle of sorting out a laptop upgrade.

Smack. Wallop. Snap.

Yes, in these days of tight tech budgets you have to get a little bit creative when persuading the boss that it's time for some new kit. Even if your kit is so old that Babbage would have looked at it and laughed.

Excuse me again. Thunk. Pop. Thwack. Boom.

It seems that one in four office workers is so starved of new gadgets that he or she thinks deliberately breaking a work computer or mobile is the best way to get a new one.

Two out of five office workers say their antique PC damages efficiency through crashes and data loss, leaving them willing to resort to extreme measures just to get an upgrade.

The research across the UK, France and Germany, by online backup company Mozy, found that for many UK workers, going to the office involves a trip back in time - to the Jurassic past of computing.

The average computer in a British office was found to be over five years old, compared with German businesses, where the average age of a computer is only two years and seven months. Two out of five Brits surveyed have more modern kit at home, with work computers being, on average, two years older.

So even though their work PC should feature on Antiques Roadshow, most British workers still trundle on stoically, perhaps moaning about their poor IT provision over a cup of weak tea and a dusty biscuit at break time.

In contrast, it is French workers who are far more likely to think smashing their office device is the quickest way to get an upgrade, manning the barricades in the name of shiny, cutting-edge, multi-core processor touchscreen hardware.

Workers in financial services are most likely to moan to the researchers about the age of their PCs and this group is also more smash-happy than average, which may go some way to explaining the financial crisis of the past few years.

Most depressingly, one in 10 UK workers said they’d even resort to buying new parts for their work PC themselves to perform their own upgrade.

Although, to be honest, with the Round-Up's tech skills, there wouldn't be a whole lot of difference between attempting an upgrade and smashing the PC to pieces with a hammer.

Location, location, location

Now you might think datacentres are non-descript buildings stuffed with servers - somewhere the techies can sneak off to for a snooze when the demands of iPad and smartphone end users become too much.

But you'd be wrong. Some datacentres are places of glamour, elegance and excitement.

Datacentres are also like catnip to silicon.com readers who have a seemingly inexhaustible appetite for photos inside these installations.

So, understandably, this week's photo gallery of the world's weirdest datacentres has been creating some excitement. A datacentre in the Antarctic? We got it. One in a chapel? You bet. Inside a nuclear bunker? Naturally.

Check out all these photos and more. The Round-Up cannot be held responsible if looking at this story leads to a serious case of datacentre envy in your IT department. You have been warned.

Twitter for twits

Social media: the latest time-suck to drive down productivity in your office or the best way ever of keeping up with friends, colleagues and customers? The Round-Up is figuring it's a little from column A and, hopefully, and bit more from column B.

Getting the hang of Twitter but want to get more out of it? Relax, for silicon.com is here to hold your hand as you step out onto the social media superhighway. Want a list of the top tech tweeters? We've got one right here with our list of top UK tech twitterers: CIOs, academics, analysts, politicos and bloggers freshly updated. Want some help deciding which Twitter tools can ensure all the right people listen when you make that momentous "eating a flapjack" tweet? We've got that too, in our list of 20 Twitter tools to optimise your tweets.

And by the way, the Round-Up would like to say a big local radio DJ-style 'hello' to all the twitterers who made their way to the inaugural silicontweetup last night, which involved lots of conversation, quite a lot of tweeting and the odd glass of beer as well. Good fun all round and we'll do it again soon. If you're on Twitter, you can keep up with all the fun by following @siliconlatest.

That's all for this week. The Round-Up will be off for a couple of weeks now, thanks to the Easter bunny and the royal wedding. So enjoy the long weekends on the way and the Round-Up will be back to bring you more fun on the other side.

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