Notebooks, "transportable" ISPs and video editing

  Mande 23:57 19 Mar 03

Grateful for any input on the following: I work in several countries across the EU but occasionally in North America and Asia. I need a new notebook (budget about £1800-£2000 maximum) and I can't work out what kind of ISP arrangement is best to transport across these continents. Which ISP should I hook up with - or should I have different ones?

Also, with my choice "narrowed" down to Toshiba - which I am used to, Dell or Sony, should I look closer at the Sony given that I am keen on editing camcorder footage and now have a Sony camcorder? Not sure how to best download off a Sony proprietary memory stick unless using one of their notebooks.

Thanks for any suggestions.

  Taran 05:50 20 Mar 03

This is a common problem and can only be answered based on your expected online use while away on business. You will be able to get online access just about everywhere, at a cost and with the correct modem adapters or connection (most notebooks feature either WiFi or Bluetooth (or both) in addition to a standard 56k modem and LAN ports, so getting hooked up with a connection is arguably the least of your worries. North Americ especially, is well cpvered in most populated areas and large hotels by wireless networks of one description or another, with many large hotels offering Airport/bluetooth connectivity.

If you don't mind a suggestion, if your use is largely for emailing while away, then a simple solution to any issues you may have is to ensure that your chosen ISP offers webmail facilities, where you can actually log into your inbox via a web page (like Hotmail) and view or reply to your messages that way. Most hotels the world over have connection points to allow you web access, and many train stations/airports feature the same.

One method I would find it difficult to function without is by using a tiny little program called Popcorn, available if you click here

It will run from a memory stick, floppy drive or your hard disk and when set up will allow you to check as many email accounts as you have set up through one online connection. It's an unblievably simple to use program that has seen more miles than I care to remember with me and I know many other IT professionals use it extensively while travelling. It also has the beauty of being one of the few executables that many cyber cafes will allow you to run.

Regarding your video editing, any of the brands you mention should more than cut the mustard for you. Obviously your Sony camcorder will more than likely fit in with a Sony notebook without much fuss, but as long as you get a otebook with the relevant ports and software, any of the brands mentioned above are well worth looking at.



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