Royalty gets a Rupert

A week of IT

Royalty gets a Rupert

Poor old Prince Harry. Not only is he saddled with an older brother who looks like his mum, a father who looks like Prince Charles and more money than he can spend in one lifetime, even at Michael Jackson's current rate, but now the spare Heir to the Heir to the Throne finds he has to use "a computer" to get into Sandhurst. Harry, unfortunately, has been asked to resit the test.

Actually, you'd have to side with Harry on this one. The second son is traditionally sent to the army, and everyone knows a typical British army officer has a batman to handle irritating details like operating a computer, laying out the appropriate uniform for the day, formulating battle strategy, etcetera, leaving the officer to concentrate on life's more pressing issues, such as paying one's mess bill and deciding when best to invade Belgium.

This one's for you

Spotted on eBay, the perfect vehicle for Richard Naylor and his CityLink colleagues for the next big video conferencing meet they have to cover. One Winnebago Adventurer, a 37-foot-long mobile home kitted out with not one, not two, but seven workstations, gorgeous Herman Miller Aeron chairs, flat panel monitors, DVD players, an ageing Compaq Proliant server, satellite connection (we're sure you can re-program it, Richard), air conditioning (a must for the Karaka horse sales) and of course its own generator. Actually, it has two generators.

Richard reckons his current van is pretty cool — but we've seen pictures, and we think CityLink needs the Winnebago. The reserve is only US$10,000 so if we all chip in I'm sure we can help out. Shipping might cost a bit more though.

Fad 1: Beyond txting

The older you get the harder it is to send text messages (assuming you even want to). But it seems teenage fad-dom has moved on again. A recent article in the Herald's weekend magazine — not available online, unfortunately — detailed how (some) modern teens are earning and spending their money. When it comes to earning, forget lawnmowing or retail: one lad earns his pocket money by running a weekly virus scan on his parents' business computers. And what does he want to spend his money on? A GPS unit for his windsurfer.

Fad 2: Beyond uncool

While we might not personally want to try GPS windsurfing, E-tales scribes can see how it might be a cool thing to do. Not all techie devices, however, are created equal. Witness the Segway, the two-wheeled electric personal transporter that we were told would change the way the world moves. Although E-tales can attest a Segway is fun to ride, there's no getting past the fact that the rider does look like a total twit. It's the transport equivalent of those plaid shorts beloved by the large, fashion-challenged tourists who pour off cruise ships.

Nevertheless, you know a gadget has become mainstream when it's advertised on TradeMe, and so it seems the Segway has gained some type of acceptance. A Gore man advertised a Segway on the online auction site this month, suggesting it for marketing or tourism use. He also suggests what could turn out to be the Segway's killer application: "great for in the back of a motor home".

E-tales is edited by Jo Bennett. Send your tales of wit and woe to etales@computerworld.co.nz

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