Techno life

Dr Sinclair Stockman, chief information officer of BT, owns at least five PCs, but hates cables. Irish-born, he spends the week working in London before boarding Eurostar to head home to his wife and family in Paris at the weekend. Little wonder, then, that he is so fond of his svelte Toshiba laptop and his Blackberry, and sings the praises, too, of the humble USB port

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


What I look for in a notebook computer these days is light weight and wireless LAN capability. This one is extremely light and very thin - the design assumes you will receive all your data wirelessly, so there is no CD or disc drive in it. It's great for using on Eurostar. With the extended battery, I get four and a half hours on a charge. I had one of the first Toshiba T1000s in the '80s - it was a superb piece of design; the basic layout of notebook PCs hasn't changed since.


I've had this for about 18 months, a long time for me. It's looking a bit battered and the battery contacts are loose. But it keeps going - I even dropped it down the loo and after 24 hours or so of drying out it worked again. I'm also trialling a Motorola smart-phone at the moment - it's got a nice interface, but I prefer my Blackberry. Typing without a proper keyboard will always be slower.


I use this not only for sending and receiving e-mails, but also as a phone. I work from home a lot and my Blackberry means I don't feel shackled to my PC. But I do turn it off sometimes - technology can dominate your life if you let it. I can read attachments, even use spreadsheets - I've done a budget on my Blackberry from the top of an Alp. It passes the champagne test - you could have a glass of champagne in one hand and still work this with the other.


These are so handy - just plug and play. The USB port is one of the great unsung advances in computing. Before it existed, you wasted so much time. When you eventually found the right cable, you'd plug it in and then find that you didn't have the right software drivers for the device you were trying to use. I have five PCs at home in Paris - both my kids and my wife have one - plus, there are a few old ones lying around.


I would buy a digital camera if it had built-in wireless LAN capability, but they aren't readily available yet. There'd be no more plugging it into the PC or burning pictures to CDs if everyone had a camera that could communicate wirelessly with the net. In a couple of years, we'll start to see affordable 5Mb-10Mb home broadband connections, with a whole range of integrated entertainment services.

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