Storage, GPS, notebooks and near arrests.

So far, the highlight of my day has been nearly (but not quite) getting arrested at North Sydney station. Apparently I look a bit dodgy, and shouldn’t take photographs of things. Who knew?

Otherwise, it’s been rainy and wet and busy, much like any other day. While I get on with it, you can amuse yourself with my latest writing work. First of all, at CNET, a Sony Vaio review with a bonus equine pun:

Sony Vaio VPCS117GG: “Sony’s latest notebook fails to really stand out in performance or battery life terms.”

and then at GadgetGuy, a couple of category roundups for GPS and External Storage. Not so much full reviews; more overviews:

Self Storage: The External Hard Drive Round-Up: “With so much of our lives kept on computers, a computer storage failure can really ruin your day. That’s why keeping backups are so important, and why external hard disks have become so popular.”

The 2010 GPS Round-Up: “Where on Earth are you? We’ll tell you where with GadgetGuy’s round-up of as many GPS devices and iPhone applications that we could get our lost hands on.”

Power, broadband, VoIP and gadgets

Another busy week kicks off here at Busier than normal, actually; between events, dentistry and child-minding duties I’ve got less than a full working day to polish off a week’s worth of work. Not even one single day; stray batches of hours here and there. Going to be interesting juggling all of it and still intermittently sleeping.

Today’s offerings start at, where I’ve cast a critical eye over Uniden’s “wireless” charging solution:

Uniden Wireless Power Starter Kit: “Uniden’s charging solution couldn’t be easier to use, but a full kit is rather costly.”

Then there’s the April edition of Australian PC User magazine, where I’ve written one of the key cover stories on ADSL broadband and VoIP plans. I suffer through all the tables, terms and conditions and comparisons so that you don’t have to. All you have to do is buy the current issue, on sale now.

Aside from the exciting world of broadband tables, you’ll also find my reviews within of the Varta Solar Charger, TomTom Car Kit For iPod Touch, HTC HD2, Navigon 6300 and LG New Chocolate Slide BL42K.

Thumbdrives, Lifebooks and Teeth

OK, that’s a little odd for a subject line, even on this blog. But it’s all in context, you see. I’ve been rather busy keeping multiple editors happy with lots of copy. Lots and lots of copy, and there’s still more to come!

First of all for PC Authority, an article on the first commercially available USB Flash Drives:

Vintage Tech: this is what portable storage looked like at the turn of the century: “How many USB Flash drives do you own? Chances are it’s far too many. But back in the year 2000 they stored a ridiculously puny 8MB and required – shudder – drivers on a separate floppy disk.”

Then at, a review of Fujitsu’s nice-but-costly Lifebook:

Fujitsu Lifebook P8110: “Fujitsu’s sturdy and attractive Lifebook has good battery life and should appeal to business types.”

Before finishing up at MacTheMag with a discussion about dentists and intuition:

MacTheBlog: An Inconvenient Tooth: “What did the dentist say to the computer?”

It’s another glorious day in the (reviews) Corps. A day in the Corps is like a day on the farm…

Well, except for every paycheque being a fortune, that is. But I can’t complain, with plenty of work flowing my way right now. Keeping with the Aliens-inspired theme, my review of one very Alien laptop has just gone live at

Alienware M11x: “Alienware’s a Dell subsidiary, and as such the range of configuration options means that you can have an M11x in a variety of configurations, rather like a pizza. “

Voodoo technology and Steamy questions

Ow. Face hurts post dental surgery. Amuse yourselves with these while I gargle some salt. Lots of salt, apparently, and to make it worse I’ve got to go back in a fortnight and do it all over again…

At PC Authority, another Vintage Tech column:

Vintage Tech: Looking back at 3DFX Voodoo: “3DFX’s technology was groundbreaking for its time, but the company is little but an Nvidia afterthought these days. What gave the Voodoo its special magic?”

And at the returning MacTheMag, a blog on Valve’s recent Steam announcements:

MacTheBlog: Things Are Getting Steamy: “Alex Kidman has condensation on his glasses…”

As many tech references as I can Packard into one post

Oof. That’s bad, even by my anything-for-a-bad-pun-standards.

Oh well. Anything for the Hewlett of it…

(ducks incoming tomatoes)

But it’s in context, with two different Hewlett-Packard machines going under the review hammer* at

HP Mini 210: “HP’s Mini 210 combines style and battery life in a combination that makes it genuinely compelling.”

HP Pavilion MS214a: “It won’t thrill any Apple fans into not buying an iMac, but HP’s latest all-in-one is quietly powerful at an acceptable price point.”

And if you don’t like’s layout, you can read the exact same thing at instead:

HP Mini 210: “HP’s Mini 210 combines style and battery life in a combination that makes it genuinely compelling.”

*No Dr Horrible reference should be inferred from this. Eww. Stop thinking that. I’m ashsamed of you, I really am.

Area reviewer buried under collapsing pile of notebooks…

That could describe me at the moment. Or, given the company I keep, many of my friends and colleagues. The only way to avoid a crushing death that ends with an Intel jingle would be to review some of them and reduce the size of the pile. So that’s what I’ve done, starting today with a review at

Samsung R580: “The R580 combines attractive design and performance grunt, but you can’t take this desktop replacement notebook too far away from a power source for long.”

The iPhone. It’s nice, but…

It does have its problems. I go into one of them in some detail in a review today at

iXpand 3G: “Ask any iPhone owner what they hate most about the iPhone, and 95 per cent of the time they’ll say battery life. Three per cent will talk about Apple’s somewhat oppressive control mechanisms, and the remaining 2 per cent is split evenly between people who lie about owning an iPhone and Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series marketing managers.”

Old processors aren’t worth much…

That’s one finding of this week’s Vintage Tech column at PC Authority. You’ll have to read it to find out the rest, although I am kicking myself that I forgot to include the infamous division bug in there. Wonder how long it’ll be before somebody picks it up in the comments?

Vintage Tech: Looking back at Pentium: “Despite first arriving way back in 1993, the Pentium surprisingly still refuses to die. So what is so special about this chip?”

Steamy Winds…

It’s all about things airborne today, with a review at

MSI Wind U135: “MSI’s latest netbook impresses us with a quality keyboard.”

And then one of the more widely reported news pieces of the day, given my own treatment at

Mac gaming breakthrough: Steam coming to Mac: “Valve opens the Portal to Mac gamers from April and pledges to release games on Mac on the same day as Windows.”