Down to Stevenage for the monthly chat. I was interested to see a Panasonic Toughbook (very rugged looking laptop) and a neat Palm emulator on Tony's Nokia N770. If I could get one for my PocketPC then I wouldn't need to carry two PDAs around. I still haven't migrated some of my data or found substitutes for some of the apps I use. Malc showed up later to talk about his attempts to recover a dying hard drive. One suggestion was to bang it on a table if the heads were stuck.
Several people were interested in the new Asus Eee PC. It's a mini laptop with a flash drive for not too much money. I don't really need a powerful laptop and probably wouldn't want to take one on holiday, but this is much more convenient and powerful enough for internet, photo editing or watching videos. A big plus is that it runs Linux. I can't justify one just now, but perhaps it will encourage a new wave of budget devices. Or they will just bring out a better one for the same money in six months.
My software revelation of the week is that Skype released a Linux client that does video! It's a beta, but that's never stopped me before. I have it installed, but have yet to try the video feature. Otherwise it looks the same as the previous one, i.e. a bit lacking in features, like showing contacts by group, that I liked before. I don't have a working webcam myself. Recommendations for something cheapish that works on Ubuntu are welcome. Other interesting new software this week was Miro. It's a sort of RSS reader for video. You can subscribe to various feeds and get the latest editions. Some of it is even in HD, but the examples I tried were not that impressive on my 19" CRT. One day I'll move to a nice 22" widescreen LCD.