Archives for February 2009

Lunchtime links

What I’m reading at lunchtime today…

‘Oldest English words’ identified
A research project at Reading University that analyses how words have developed, and which are likely to get less use in the future.

‘Most unfortunate names’ revealed
A study has revealed that some people in the UK have particularly unfortunate names.

The slow death of handwriting
Is handwriting dying out?  Are we writing less with pens and paper and ever more with computers?  Probably…


Aschermittwoch is the German name for Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  Although it is not a public holiday, most companies will allow their employees time off during the day to go to church, if they wish to.

At church, people are blessed with a cross on the forehead made from the ashes of last year’s palm leaves.

This is also the day on which the policital parties hold their regional meetings.  The use them to plan for the coming political year, and also to critise the policies of their opponents.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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What a difference an inch makes

Over the last few weeks I have been blogging and podcasting about my Acer Aspire One A110L (sold in the UK as the A110-ab) with which I am more than satisfied and which has revolutionised my work because I no longer take a 15″ laptop with me, just to setup a router or access point.

Before I purchased the Acer model, I was originally thinking about buying an Asus Eee PC.  Both are, or at least were, available with Linux and so it was really a matter of which one was easier to configure for UMTS and other software that I wanted to use.  Taking a 8,9″ computer weighing about 900g with me to an appointment makes a big difference.  Plus the Linux version boots a lot quicker than the older Windows laptop.

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Asus roadshow in Frankfurt and was shown the new models that will be appearing in the coming months, and it appears that these smaller laptops will be getting bigger – with 10″ or even 12″ displays.  Asus obviously believes that this is the way forward, as they have now announced that they will be phasing out the 8,9″ versions of the Eee PC this year.

Whilst I can understand the need for a 12″ version to offer an alternative to the more expensive high-end 12″ laptops, I think it is a mistake to give up the format that made this type of computer so successful.

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