Techno Life

Mike Lynch, founder and chief executive of intelligent software company Autonomy, is a seasoned transatlantic flier who jets regularly between his twin headquarters in Cambridge and San Francisco. A ruthlessly light traveller, he shuns the fashionable BlackBerry for his trusty Sony laptop. On his days off, he likes big-screen TVs and miniature steam locomotives

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


I carry my laptop all the time - I need it for my e-mail, but also for presentations and slides. So it has to be small and totally reliable. This is both. It seems to survive the rough-and-tumble of daily life pretty well and it has a DVD player, so I can even watch a movie if I get time. I don't have a BlackBerry - I always have the laptop with me, so why would I want to carry a BlackBerry as well?


I've started using one of these recently because I have a hearing problem. It is very good - much better sound quality than most in-car sets, although wearing one does make you look a bit odd. Especially this one, which has a big red flashing light on it. I think I will stick some tape over that. I am obsessed by connectivity, but I think that to be successful in the technology business, you have to be obsessive about things, almost to the point of being slightly deranged.


I know it's sad, but if I can't get online I start to get twitchy very quickly. So if something can get me a connection where I couldn't get one before, then I will try it. This datacard is a good back-up way to get a fast connection. When they get it right it will be fantastic, but it's not quite reliable enough for me to use all the time yet. You'll be in the middle of doing something and it will switch from high to low speed with no warning.


I am optimised for travel and ruthless about how much I have to carry, so the only thing I insist on in a phone is that it should work everywhere. This one does, and has a camera on it too, but apart from the obligatory photos of the kids, I don't really use it that much. Autonomy has dual headquarters in Cambridge and San Francisco, so I spend about a third of the year in California. But I still prefer living here in the UK, despite the greyness of the place in winter.


I have a weakness for big plasma screen TVs - I'm up to one with a 60-inch screen. When a new and larger model comes out I tend to upgrade, so I have quite a few of them scattered about my house in Suffolk. I also collect miniature working model steam locomotives - I've got six, but my garden slopes too steeply to build a track for them.

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