Category Archives: Remote Working

Sony VAIO

I like my Sony VAIO. It has one of the best screens I have ever seen, and it is quieter than a cat stalking a bug on a rug. However, my battery has gone kaput after only one year and I’m not happy about it.

Not least because if I want to get another, it will cost me £139 for the almost useless standard battery, and £279 for the longer life battery that would count as standard on any other laptop (the screens on these things use so much power they sap the batteries, which is an OK trade for me as I want a good monitor on my laptop).

Originally I thought my laptop, which is a VGN FS215B, had daughter board problem as it didn’t register any battery at all. I posted a note on Sony’s award winning online help, and in a week got a message back saying if, after cleaning the battery terminals it still doesn’t work, I should buy another battery.

It took them a week to chew over THAT.

Great.

I have an old jalopy of a Eurocom that lasted three years without a hiccup before this. It may be true that the screen had the luminance of a muddy pond, and it made more noise than a politician, but it still works and lives to this day as my trusty gypsy back up.

At the first available opportunity I am going to check out Panasonic Toughbook technology. This Cyber Gypsy needs something that I can use in my cluttered old wagon, on the road, in the shower, whilst up mountain peak or in that white water raft.

My Sony is cute, but I think it might be a fireside option.

OK. If I am going to make this a review I had better review the damned thing.

Positives;

Great screen.
Quiet, I used to know my old laptop would not be stolen because I’d hear where it was at 50 miles, not this one.
Quite fast.
Look cute.

Negatives;

Seems like the batteries are useless and SONY are making a mint out of replacing them.
Looks cute, the girlfriend prefers checking her email out on this rather than her DELL.
Doesn’t feel solid, it has that ‘sell them pretty so that when they look worn they’ll come back for another’ quality about it.

If anyone has come looking for a review that includes information on how to overclock the damned thing, remember I’m a Cyber Gypsy, and am more interested in how I can run the thing on solar power.

And i’d like the battery to work.

POSTDATE….

This laptop broke not long after the warrenty date. I have a friend who works at Sony, he has a buddy in the parts department, he said DO NOT BUY SONY VAIO LAPTOPS, now that’s coming from the horses mouth.

What apparently happened to this one is the glue that holds the VGA chip to the mother board came unstuck so the screen stopped working. To buy another motherboard is more than a new laptop – I tried getting a second hand motherboard off of eBay but this didn’t work as there are so many different motherboards for the one model.

So do not buy a Sony Vaio, even at Sony they admit that Sony Vaio Laptops are Shit, they are designed to break shortly after the warrenty runs out – I own a Nissan, they are successful because they are well engineered and they last forever, why Sony has decided to go for the old American model of built in obsolescence I do not know, but as they seem to be making a good load of money they really do not seem to care.

Have I made myself clear, DO NOT BUY A SONY VAIO, of you want a SONY VAIO REVIEW then this is it here, the SONY VAIO REVIEW is that SONY VAIO LAPTOPS are a rip off.

There.

Hereford to Paris

Hereford

It’s my last day in Hereford and I have just gotten used to the quiet. It is no longer a roar, but sooths now.

This morning I woke early and popped on top of a hill by the house. A local farmer was collecting what looked like mushrooms. The contrasting light of the morning, the clear air, so different from the London I inhabit right now.

My car (an old Karmann Ghia) wouldn’t start this morning so I had to enrol the locals into getting helping me find some jump leads.

The chap who got me on the road – Gus – happened to have a collection of around twenty vintage tractors in his shed.

As you do of course.

We chatted about tractors for a good while until I felt I needed to be on my way.

Tomorrow it’s off to Paris for the weekend. I stay in a flat just near canal St Martin where I have wireless if I have to work.

But I really would rather not. It’s romance this weekend, but I’ll try and find the time to update this ditty.

The Middle Of Nowhere

Well not quite the middle of nowhere.

I am house sitting in a remote village on the welsh borders. Apparently it was one of the last valleys in the UK to have gotten electricity, but that was a while ago now.

The house I am in was wired up to broadband only last week. There was a connection for a year before that, but the neighbour had it, and he wasn’t sharing.

It is excessively quiet around here. It is so quiet it’s noisy. I am basically being a small scale zoo keeper. Well, I’m looking after two cats that leap cheerfully about like wraiths, looking all cute but killing off the local fauna in large amounts. I see the furry evidence that they leave me as presents.

I have a few deadlines to meet, so am tapping away on my trusty VAIO, still marveling a little that I can move my business with me. As long as I can reach the net, I can be in touch.

I’d like to move to warmer climbs when the frost moves in. that means getting a good client base built up by winter.

Work harder..

Google’s neighbourhood, one big WiFi network!

Last week Google offered to make it’s entire hometown one big WiFi network

Mountain View, California, will then be the biggest community in the US with free WiFi.

About 72,000 people live in Mountain View, an 11 square mile city 35 miles south of San Francisco.

companies like Google and VeriSign are based in Mountainview, so during the day the population can rise above 100,000

Laptop Travel Tips

Laptop Travel Tips
By Elizabeth Lord

Travel laptops require more consideration on top of the usual factors involved in buying a laptop, such as performance, price and warranty. Getting a system that is light is critical. With widescreen models becoming more popular, whilst great for viewing, it just adds weight to the system. If you are not into watching movies or complex graphics, a smaller screen should be fine.

While the price of laptops compared to desktops has shrunk recently, you will still pay slightly more for a laptop. With laptops reasonably difficult to expand or upgrade, it’s a good idea to add more memory or get a bigger hard drive at the time of purchase. Your system should have at least two USB 2.0 ports, as this will be the main way of connecting to external devices.

If you are a frequent traveler and want to use your laptop while flying, there are some other design issues you might want to consider. Widescreen laptops can be a hassle if you are in the coach section, as there is hardly enough room to open the machine. A system with external controls for volume and Wi-Fi can also be good, to avoid annoying other passengers or interfering with the aircrafts navigational system. For really long flights, a second battery is probably the most cost effective way of keeping your system powered up.

As laptops are more likely to be damaged or stolen while on the road, it is a good idea to have a backup plan. Do a regular backup so if something bad does happen, you don’t lose too much data. The easiest way to do this is to buy a laptop with a built in DVD burner. One DVD disc should be more than enough to store your work data. You could also use a CD burner, but you would probably need to carry multiple discs. If you only have a small amount of files you need to backup, a USB flash drive would also do the job.

Laptops that are on the road regularly are more likely to break down. So invest in a good quality carry case to limit any potential damage in transit, and always keep your backups up to date.

Most warranties these days are only twelve months, so if there is a extended warranty available, it may be worth taking up if you are constantly on the road.

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The Glow Lounge

The Glow Lounge, in cavendish parade just near Clapham South tube, is my first port of call to investigate how connected London actually is.

The glow lounge overlooks a busy junction of the south circular road. You have views of Clapham Common, outside seating for those hot days, plug points in case your laptop runs out and a funky traveller style menu, offering anything from a full english breakfast to a Thai curry.

The prices are reasonable with a Thai curry working out at £5.85

The smoothies seem to be popular, and I can imagine the Glow Lounge getting lively in the evening when it turns into a bar.

I met up with Kerry who co owns the bar with her boyfriend, who runs an internet business downstairs.

Kerry explained that the £2.00 charge to use the internet connection is because the diners were being pushed out by too many laptop users. At the weekend they only allow internet use if people are eating. In other words laptops are welcome off peak, but in the evening it is a bar and at the weekends they need to prioritise diners.

Seeing the size of the place this seemed perfectly reasonable, and I’ll be coming back for a full monty breakfast one morning soon.

Cyber Gypsy

Have you ever wondered about the possibilies that new technologies offer us for freedom. Are you the kind of person who thinks that work and life can blend in harmony, rather than compete like oil and water. Do you think that work shouldn’t get in the way of life, that remote work, or remote working can be a tool for change, shading those barriers between our ability to fund our journey whilst making that journey!

We will start in London,the home of the free…..now where is that cappuccino?