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CLICK IT: What to put in that space you've made.

Byline: Stephen Cawley

FIRST choice: Desktop PC or laptop?

If you are going to be moving around a lot, shuttling between the home office and the work office, or simply travelling on business, a notebook might be more advisable.

However, if you are going to be remaining in one location, or if you have access to the company's network a desktop machine might be a better choice.

The type of machine you use will probably be decided by your employer.

Even if you're paying for the PC yourself, bear in mind that you still need software. If your employer has a site licence it may include remote workers, but only if they use the same version as those based on-site.

A few years ago you had no choice for going online. Telecom Eireann (as Eircom was once called) had a monopoly on providing telephone services. Now you can go to one of several suppliers. And it used to be that you had one choice of technology: The plain old telephone system (POTS). Now you can choose POTS, ISDN or, if you live in the right area, ADSL.

POTS is an analogue service, created to carry voice traffic only. Data was an afterthought and digital signals generated by a computer must be converted into analogue signals by a modem and the top speed available is 56kbps.

ISDN, on the other hand, is a digital technology and it is possible to send data at 64kbps. It may not sound a lot faster, but because it is digital it's more efficient. You can also use more than one ISDN channel at a time to double your connection speed - but you pay for two phone calls.

The problem is that both POTS and ISDN are metered. In other words you pay according to the length of time you are connected.

This can make planning a bit unpredictable. Various organ-isations have been clamouring for some sort of flat-rate access product where the user pays a monthly fee for unlimited Internet access. Current ADSL products include Eircom's i-Stream and EsatBT's ADSL, which start at about EUR90 per month.

ADSL stands for asymmetric digital subscriber line. This is considerably faster than ISDN with download speeds starting at 512kbps and upload speeds from 256kpbs (thus the name 'asymmetric'). Only certain exchanges support the technology at the moment.
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 27, 2002
Previous Article:CLICK IT: .. and finally, have you told the family?
Next Article:CLICK IT: TIPS TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR COMPUTER LET CREATIVITY FLOWER; PC Live! Editor Stephen Cawley specialises in helping computer novices....

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