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Earth, Wind, Fire and Water hurled into laptop designs

You don't have to be mad to work in IT - or do you?

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What is it about the IT industry that attracts more crazies than an explosion in a sex toy factory? Linux geeks choose their favourite operating system partly because they like fiddling with it, but mainly because it isn't made by the Company Which Must Not Be Named. Mac users are just plain mad and the less said about WAP phone users, the better. And talking of oddball ideas... Toshiba launched a new notebook last week (hold the front page! - Ed) which features water cooling - a technology previously reserved for monstro mainframes. The Portege 3440CT incorporates a "super cooling heat pipe" which attaches directly to the processor and uses low-pressure water vapour to displace heat through the magnesium chassis of the computer. If our experience with water cooled mainframes is anything to go by, the question remains over where the bucket to catch the drips should be placed. And what better accessory for the new age laptop owner than solar power? No more sleepless nights worrying that your notebook is being charged using electricity from a nuclear power station. Just a few workless hours while you wait for the sun to come out "The Sun Catcher Pro has been brought to market to fulfil a need for a way to run or recharge battery operated devices while in the field, at the beach, at a weekend retreat, or in the Outback - anyplace where your access to power is limited," says the sales blub for the $395 device a href="http://www.powerexperts.com">here. Notice the telling word 'Outback'? Solar power may indeed be viable in sunnier climes, but Manchester is a different ball game entirely. Perhaps with a bit of cross fertilisation, the two concepts could be combined to produce a hydro-electric powered notebook suitable for more temperate regions. Almost a year ago, The Register ran a story about a combined clockwork/solar powered laptop- charging device with a target price of $50 being developed for Apple by Freeplay (of clockwork radio fame) and General Electric. A search of the Web today found no mention of it. ®

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