I spent the morning at the International Digital Forum at the IAB and here some of my notes from the talk.
Pernille Rudlin talked about how Fujitsu used social media around the world. The most interesting takeaways for me was that a B2B brand was making better use of Facebook than it was getting out of LinkedIn and employee engagement was a major part of the return on investment.
Dan Bloomfield of Oban Multilingual gave a brief overview of the Brazilian, Indian and Chinese online eco-systems.
I stayed a couple of nights at the Britannia Hotel in Manchester, my stay was a mixed bag.
This is what my room looked like.
- Location – the hotel is in a fantastic building that was originally built as a warehouse for a wholesale drapery business. At the time Manchester was at the centre of the global textile industry and the buildings were designed to reflect this stature. The hotel was put in the 1980s and the original cast iron staircase is the centrepiece of the hotel
- Location – you can’t get much more central than its position on Portland Street, walking distance from many of the main attractions from Piccadilly station and the Canal Street gay quarter to Deansgate shopping area
- Price – if you look online you can get competitive room prices from the Britannia Hotel.
- I found the staff to be polite and professional
- Free wi-fi: well nothing is free but it was night to see that you didn’t get gouged for internet access. However I wasn’t impressed by the performance
- If you want something shipshape and shine, the Britannia isn’t the hotel for you. They are making their assets sweat to give competitively priced rooms, so you have to put up with old carpet and fittings and tired decorations
- The TV seems to have a random selection of stations available. I have no idea why
- The wi-fi is absolutely abysmal see my test results for yourself. I was staying for business purposes and couldn’t get anything meaningful done and on the second night I couldn’t get on the internet at all
30 Portland Street
Manchester M1 3LA
+44 161 228 2288
The phenomena of BYOD (bring your own devices) is where employees bring their own computing devices into work. It is not something radical or particularly new despite what trends blogs may have you believe. I have with one exception at Pirate Communications had a company phone and never had a company smartphone. Much of the reason was that my cell phone number is as much my identity as my email address.
Students of the history of personal computing know that the first generations; usually Apple II’s were introduced into businesses to run VisiCalc spreadsheet software and subvert the IT’s grip on business information and modelling. The tradition of ‘pirate’ IT systems is still carried on in different departments of merchant banks (its why trading models are often built in a complex Excel spreadsheet rather than as a dedicated application). Increased computing power in smartphones, tablets and laptops leave consumers better equipped than the IT departments who were previously in charge of outfitting technology to employees.
Left to Your Own Devices – EuroRSCG
I’ve only had PC envy with a couple of devices during my twenty something years at a Mac user:
- The IBM ThinkPad 701 series with its butterfly keyboard
- The Sony Vaio PCG C1 series of notebooks
In common with the 701, Sony’s C1 impressed me with its product design. In a pioneering design for 1998, the C1 included a built in web camera above the screen that could be rotated to try and ensure an optimum camera position.
Sony made a small modular computer. What was important was what they had left out in their device case and instead relied on a set of outboard peripherals so the user could bring or configure their computer set-up to suit their needs. The PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) slot was equivalent of the USB socket today and used to connect a wide range of devices including both fixed-line and GSM wireless modems.
The beauty extended on to the inside of the devices with some of the range using a Transmeta Crusoe processor. The Crusoe was the Intel Atom almost a decade before the Atom; it used a combination of software techniques and hardware innovations to reduce heat output and improve power consumption. This had some benefit in terms of battery improvement, but battery life relies on a combination factors such as screen power, hard drive power and other parts on the circuit board.
This device is even more remarkable when you realise that the Sony Vaio C1 was launched some seven years before Steve Jobs went on stage at Apple’s Worldwide Development Conference in 2005 to announce the move to Intel processors because of a new focus on computer power per Watt. You could consider the MacBook Air that I am typing this post out on as a spiritual successor to the Vaio C1.
More about the C1 and one man’s adventures trying to install Linux on it