boost real-life computer applications
battery, mouseless wrist pad increase ease
by Alan Zisman (c) 2003 First published
in Business in Vancouver
, Issue #692 January 28- February 3, 2002 GearGuide
of items for people on the go, and a couple for those of us who have to
stay at home (or the office).
life for your notebook not what you really need? Most notebooks won't
keep you working (or watching movies) all the way from here to Toronto,
to say nothing of letting you work without charging up for a couple of
days on the road.
comes to your rescue with a series of PowerPads, the size and
shape of a legal pad. Plug your laptop into one of these external
batteries, and keep going and going, with power for more than a day's
use. Models feature different connectors for different popular notebook
models. The PowerPad 160 costs about $750; PowerPad 120 costs about
$600, and PowerPad 80 goes for about $400. They include
quick-rechargeable SuperPolymer Lithium Ion batteries providing roughly
12 to 16, 9 to 12, and 6 to 8 hours of battery life, respectively.
Kleenex, Palm's original PalmPilot has taken on a life of its
own as the name for a whole category of products, in this case,
personal digital assistants, or PDAs. But for a while, it's seemed like
Palm was spinning its wheels, while other companies' products showed
what PDAs could do.
Palm released two new product lines: the $169 Zire, aiming to
be the low-cost model for home users, and the Tungsten line
providing power, speed, and connection options for business users. The
new Tungsten T (about $700) offers the best performance of any Palm,
based on a new version of the Palm operating system to support a new,
faster processor. The 320x320 pixel full-colour screen has four times
the resolution of any Palm to-date, for much smoother photo display.
Tungsten T's buttons slide down to reveal the Graffiti writing pad,
making the whole unit easily pocket-sized. Other features include
Bluetooth wireless connectivity, enabling it to use Bluetooth-enabled
cell phones for Internet access or to print to Bluetooth printers. And
voice recording can be used to store memos, which can be downloaded to
your main computer.
high-end model may prove too much too soon for some though, at least
until Bluetooth phones, printers and other devices become more common.
to your desk and your desktop? Contour Design's RollerMouse
www.contourdesign.com) may make your typing quicker, easier, and
healthier. It does this because mouse-replacement RollerMouse isn't a
mouse. Instead, it controls the computer cursor with a rolling bar and
set of clickable buttons built into an ergonomic wrist-rest that fits
below most standard computer keyboards.
easily used with either hand, and doesn't require moving the wrist away
from the keyboard. Studies suggest it improves productivity while
reducing wrist-pain for many users.
while you're staying in, you may want to print out the photos from your
last trip out of the office. Digital cameras produce photos that are
easy to view and manipulate on computer screens. But it can be
frustrating to get them onto paper. Enter a new generation of dedicated
230 ($299) is a miniature inkjet that prints snapshots on
four-by-six-inch photo paper. Its nicest feature is a small LCD screen,
just like on most digital cameras. Plug your camera's memory card into
one of its four slots, view your photos on the Photosmart 230's screen,
and print your selections -- no computer needed. (If you prefer, you
can connect it to a computer to fiddle with your photos prior to
printing.) HP claims that prints made with the Photosmart 230 will last
for up to 70 years.