Oh Brave New World…

Continuing my research into Gadgets new (that’s my excuse!), I have acquired the new Kindle ebook reader from Amazon – and I am very impressed.

This is not my first foray into the world of ebooks as I have been using a Sony PRS 505 for a year now but the advantages of the Kindle are immediately apparent. The main one is its own 3G wireless network which enables books, newspapers and magazines to be downloaded directly onto the Kindle without the need of a PC connection. It is, in fact, an Ipod for books which is a pretty neat concept.

I like the concept of subscribing to a newspaper or magazine and have it downloaded automatically to the Kindle. I realise the same thing happens every morning with my actual newspaper which appears as if by magic through my letterbox – irrespective of the weather! – but its not quite the same thing.

I remember some years ago taking my, then teenage son, (he is now a father in his own right) to an exhibition at the Science Museum based on Star Trek. One of the more serious themes was how the then imagined technology had become reality – the communicator – aka the mobile phone for example. A number of items had still to become reality but the ebook is one of them. Even the digital pad that I signed to confirm receipt of the book had been imagined in the series – although the pretty ensign in the impossibly short dress that constantly presented something seemingly important to Captain Kirk for signature was a great improvement over the rather surley delivery man who arrived at my doorstep on a wet and cold morning.

..And that is what is so intriguing in this technological age. We really are only limited by the extent of our imagination and what once appeared in a cult sci – fi series is now reality.

Brave New World indeed … although I am still waiting to talk to a machine in the wall and say..”tea – Earl Grey -hot!”. Maybe next year!

The Cloud – Snow – bring it on!

As I look out at the wintery scene from my home office window and suffer pangs of guilt at not making it into the office for the second day running (did I really try hard enough?) my conscience is somewhat lightened by the fact that I have easily completed two days work and that I had to do it from home rather than the office was academic.

This is, of course, one of the principal advantages to the Cloud and one that seems to get lost in the various discussions and arguments – Business Continuity and the ease of working from anywhere as circumstances demand.

By using applications such as E-conomic, DropBox and Zoho (I have blogged about these previously) I am enabled to work on my various projects without any disruption that would otherwise have been caused by the inclement weather – I was even able to give a new client a Web demo of E-conomic using GoTo Meeting.com.

I have, in fact, made use of the long Xmas break to complete my move to Cloud computing for virtually everything that I now do. Apart from the business applications above I have moved everything currently on my laptop Cloudwise as follows:

Personal e-mail: Google mail
Photos etc Picassa
Music Mp3tunes Music Locker
Banking On line bank software and Buxfer

One of my prized gadgets is my Acer Netbook which is now running solely on Jolicloud. Jolicloud is a webbased operating system for netbooks which, apart form the basic UNIX software installed on the Netbook, operates totally on the Web and is an exciting foretaste of what we can expect from the Google Chrome operating system, which caused such a stir last year when it was announced.

I was intrigued by an advert running over the Xmas period from PC World for a desktop PC with 1 terabyte capacity for just under £400. I am not entirely certain as to how much a terabyte is but it is certainly more than the 20 megabyte capacity that my first office PC had all those years ago!

Apart from being amazed at how cheap it was, it does make me wonder that in view of what I have just written, why exactly would one need such a large capacity – is this not a bit of a throwback to earlier times, rather like the old American gas guzzling saloons developed at a time when petrol was cheap and in what seemed limitless supply.

So I am now entirely Cloud based – un-fazed by the Weather or other natural disasters. I can work anywhere and anytime as long as I have internet access – and yes I can tether my Iphone and use that as a modem if needs be.

The only disadvantage to this, as far as I can see, is I have no excuse not to get my work done!