I spend a couple of days a week working from home. Broadband, laptops, and cheap lightweight storage make my life easier. Dropbox has helped too.
At home I have a stand for my laptop, wireless keyboard and mouse. Our dinning table transforms into a desk/office combo in no time at all. Planning ahead means I set myself tasks for the day, and usually have an effective, interruption free workday (assuming the dog cooperates).
Browsing Wired’s gadget lab blog I stumbled across a sexy alternative to the laptop: the Xi3 modular computer. This tiny machine is a full desktop PC but in a 4″ cube. It’s easy on the eye, has full performance, and given it’s size is fully portable. I am now wondering if I could replace my laptop with the Xi3 and just plug the cheeky little thing into the TV at home.
I also wonder whether the Xi3 might be the future for our computer labs. They are scalable, require little power, and can even support multiple users. That means for intensive tasks such as GIS and remote sensing we could have single users units but for word processing we could presumably have multiple users on one unit (see image below). Given that temperatures in our labs exceed 26 C in spring and summer, the low power consumption (8-20W) should also mean less waste heat! Space saving, power and money saving, and a potential solution to a bloody awful working environment?