Techno life

Clare Hart, chief executive of information business Factiva, is based in the US, but travels regularly to the UK and Europe. She never leaves home without her Palm Treo and her IBM laptop, but has had to abandon the idea of upgrading to the ubiquitous BlackBerry because she doesn't like the scroll wheel.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


This is my newest thing. I've only had it a month. I use it when I'm exercising. I never thought I would get one: I wasn't sure I liked music that much, but getting just the tracks I like is great - I'd never buy a Blondie or a Bon Jovi album, but there are some tracks of theirs I really like. I'm also working on a motivational playlist - songs that I know will really pick me up after a long trip or a hard meeting. I've been spending far too much at i-Tunes.


This is a universal power adapter, so I can plug in my laptop wherever I am - in the car, on the plane, in hotels all over the world. It has adapters for everything you can think of, so I don't need to worry about charging the batteries before I go. It's not exciting technology, but it is really useful. I don't like gadgets for their own sake, but I do like them when they help me to do my job better. This does.


I love TiVo. You can watch what you want when you want, and skip all the ad breaks. Nobody with a TiVo watches commercials any more. I know this is a bit sad for someone who works for an information company, but I love the news - Tom Brokaw on NBC was my favourite, but I like Brian Williams too. And the Daily Show with Jon Stewart is great. Stewart is really funny, and his special guests are a Who's Who of American politics.


I do most of my e-mail on this and, as with the Treo, I take it everywhere. Most airports have wireless now, and getting on the plane with all your e-mail freshly downloaded and ready to work on makes a real difference. I like it because it's small and pretty light - about four-and-a-half pounds - and I'm obsessed with not having too much stuff to carry when I travel. I don't check in baggage on a flight if I can help it. I'd like it to be smaller still, though - about half the size would be nice. But then the keyboard would get difficult.


I live on this, it's got my e-mail, contacts, diary ... and it's my mobile phone, too. I keep it in my pocket and use it hands-free. Because it's Palm-based, it synchronises with Outlook easily, and I really love the point-and-click operation. I tried a BlackBerry e-mailer recently because so many people are using them now, but I couldn't make the switch. I hate the little wheel thing, and the phone functionality is better on the Treo. I bought my first one in 2002, but I dropped it down an escalator at Newark Airport and it broke. I made sure that I bought a case for my new one.

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