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How to Not Sweat the Mobile Office

(This is a copy of my Loose Wire Sevice column, produced for newspapers and other print publications. Hence the lack of links.) By Jeremy Wagstaff I do a lot of work on the road, including setting up offices from scratch. What I’ve learnt—and the mistakes I’ve made—could fill a book, so maybe I’ll write one. But here, for now, are some tips I’ve found useful about working on the road—especially if you’re on the road for any length of time, or setting up your stall in a new place, temporarily or permanently. The first thing to do is to get a local SIM card asap.Continue readingHow to Not Sweat the Mobile Office

More Things To Stuff In Your USB Port

Another visit to the  Hong Kong electronics expo thing. It really is big. I don’t think I’ve covered a third of it and I’m exhausted. Anyway, clearly I had no idea what I was talking about when I listed some gadgets you can plug into your USB port. There’s more. The thing this year seems to be to mix n match a USB dongle. One USB drive, for example, also sports Wi-Fi. Another is also a Bluetooth dongle. Then there are the whacky things that just make the most of being a) powered by the computer and/or b) connected to the computer. Shenzhen-based 6dragon TechnologyContinue readingMore Things To Stuff In Your USB Port

Get Even More From Your USB

I’ve written before about the uses of USB keydrives (here’s the latest list of programs that will run off them). But the USB port can be used for more. Since taking root in an office I’ve found the Dell desktop has a pretty generous six USB ports. None of them used for anything official so I’ve colonised some of them with: A Logitech cordless mouse — much nicer than the PS2 mouse the office provides. It’s the same mouse I use at home, so my hand is used to it, and it’s easy enough to throw in my bag along with the USB dongle. NoContinue readingGet Even More From Your USB

This week’s column – Flash Drives Aren’t Flash

This week’s Loose Wire column is about Flash drives:  I LEFT YOU last week in the capable hands of Ethel Girdle, the fictitious octogenarian who took her accusations of built-in obsolescence to the technology giants. One of her beefs was about so-called flash drives–small devices that store data, for example as memory cards for MP3 players, digital cameras or personal-digital assistants, or as ultra-portable drives which can plug directly into your computer’s USB port. These little things have taken off in a big way. Nowadays it’s hard to find a gadget that doesn’t use them–even your cellphone uses the same technology–or a keychain that doesn’tContinue readingThis week’s column – Flash Drives Aren’t Flash

Warm Your Coffee With USB

Not a lot of interesting stuff to report today so I thought I would offer you this (not particularly new, but still cutting-edge) gadget for USB port: a coffee warmer. AkibaLive reports the Sunbeam USB-bus powered coffee warmer will “keep your coffee warm at a temperature of around 40 degrees Celsius for 120 minutes. The device can fit any size coffee cup, comes with a power on/off switch and is made of high quality insulation material so you won’t get burned. Oh, and it doesn’t need a driver. If you’re really serious about the issue of warming your coffee, here’s the company webpage showing aContinue readingWarm Your Coffee With USB

Palm Cradle Or Orthotic Pregnancy Band?

Palm, or palmOne to be precise, have just come out with the new Mini Cradle, “perfect for holiday gift-giving”. So what’s different about the Mini Cradle and your normal cradle? It has, according to the press release, “a unique, modern design complete with built-in lighting and a silver metallic base. The illumination provides users with positive confirmation that all cables are connected and the handheld is properly attached.” It sell for $50, and should be in shops in the next few days. It recharges and synchronizes data through the USB port of a PC or Mac. It is compatible with any palmOne handheld with theContinue readingPalm Cradle Or Orthotic Pregnancy Band?

Column: USB and the CIA

Loose Wire — How to Steal CIA Secrets: It’s as easy as USB; Universal Serial Bus drives are getting small enough to hide in coffee mugs, and you can attach them to most computers and all sorts of other gadgets   By Jeremy Wagstaff from the 5 June 2003 of edition of the Far Eastern Economic Review , (c) 2003, Dow Jones & Company, Inc. I got some flak last time I was rude about how implausible technology is in Hollywood movies, even supposedly authentic fare such as Minority Report, The Bourne Identity and Mary Poppins. One comment was “grab a beer and chill out,Continue readingColumn: USB and the CIA

Column: backing up

 Loose Wire — Just To Be on The Safe Side By Jeremy Wagstaff from the 30 May 2002 edition of the Far Eastern Economic Review, (c) 2003, Dow Jones & Company, Inc. A few weeks ago I wrote about how to back up your files in the case of disaster, theft, stupidity or a combination of all three. But as several readers pointed out, nearly all the methods I suggested have flaws: Backing up to another drive is no good if you don’t take the drive with you — assuming your computer is eaten by Godzilla or your mother sells it in a garage saleContinue readingColumn: backing up

Column: Christmas stuff

Loose Wire — Have a Bidet Christmas   By Jeremy Wagstaff, from the 27 December 2001 edition of the Far Eastern Economic Review, (c) 2001, Dow Jones & Company, Inc. For most of us, this Christmas is going to be what I would call (remember where you heard it first) a “bidet Christmas.” In a nutshellthis means we’re not looking to buy a whole new bathroom, but we’d like to buy something to remind ourselves we’re still consumers and there are still things out there we don’t need but we’ll buy anyway. Hence the bidet. I’d like to point you in the direction of someContinue readingColumn: Christmas stuff

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