Commentary

On Technology

By Phil Baker

Maxi and mini notebooks that will get noticed

While notebook computers have become a mature category, it hasn't stopped companies from trying to find ways of distinguishing their products from run-of-the-mill models.

Don't Skype this column

Last week, Attorney General John Ashcroft held a press conference in which he referred to "peer-to-peer," or "p-to-p," technology as "permission to pilfer." He was referring to its use to illegally exchange copyrighted material such as music and movies. Using this logic, he might just as well have condemned printers that can print copywritten material.

When less is more

Sometimes spending more for a product doesn't guarantee better performance.

Wireless phone accessories

I've been trying out a few of the latest wireless headphones for both wired and cellular phones.

San Diego: The country's new photographic capital?

While San Diego is best known for innovation in telecommunications and biotech, it's also the home of Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE: HPQ) imaging and printing division -- the company's most profitable, contributing $24 billion in revenue this year with about 15 percent in profit

At last: Verizon rolls out the Treo 600

In what can best be described as "what took you so long," Verizon announced this past week the availability of the Treo 600 for its cellular network.

Printers that do it all

If you've been looking for a new printer or fax machine, you may want to consider an all-in-one device that combines printer, scanner, fax and copy machine into a single unit. Called multifunction printers (MFP), they take up less room and are less expensive than buying separates.

Robotic vacuums not yet substitute for human touch

What do you get when you cross drudgery with high technology? A robotic vacuum cleaner that wanders around your home picking up dirt. Considering vacuuming is not one of my core skills, I thought this could be a way to contribute to doing one household chore that I've avoided for years. My wife was skeptical.

Macintosh improvements keep coming

A visit to Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference provides an opportunity to see what's really new in personal computing. The yearly conference, held in San Francisco, was attended by 3,500 developers of Macintosh software from around the world, attending seminars and learning how to apply what's coming next from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL).

A high-tech case study

I've been looking at a number of new carrying cases designed to accommodate the computers, accessories and other high-tech stuff that we lug with us to the office and on trips. These cases attempt to bring some order to carrying all these pieces of technology. All are cleverly designed and represent some of the best of the latest offerings. I've listed them by their capacity, from smallest to largest.

A new way to back up your computer

Backing up our computers is like flossing. It's something we all should do, but somehow many of us are not meticulous about doing it. Once we've had a hard drive crash and realize the value of what was lost and the time needed to fix it, we'll likely be more diligent.

Accessorizing your iPod

The popularity of the iPod has led to an assortment of new accessories that lets you play it through your car radio, turn it into a voice recorder, a tabletop stereo system, and even a storage drive for digital images. I tried a number of these products and found some of them to be worthwhile, though many are quite pricey.

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Phil Baker

Phil Baker is an expert in new product development and market development for large and small companies. He has held senior product development and marketing positions with Apple, Polaroid, Seiko, Proxima, ...

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