Event of the month
After scouring the market for a suitably dynamic event, we have concluded that there is only one day worth mentioning this month. IT professionals will want to clear their diaries for 25 December. This is the time for merriment, satsumas and abandoned puppies on the hard shoulder of the M25. This is perhaps the only day in the entire calendar when you can put aside all your IT worries and woes and concentrate on Noel's Christmas House Party in peace. The CEO of North Pole Inc exclusively told us, 'Ho, Ho, Ho'. We can wholeheartedly agree, and the team would strongly
recommend that you partake of the Harvey's Bristol Cream, Bendicks bittermints and save the heavy stuff for after the Queen's speech.
Event: Christmas Day
Contact: S Claus, North Pole
Price: We're not sure, but isn't
it the thought that counts?
IT Web site of the month
d.Comm is an Internet-only magazine from The Economist Group, covering all areas of data and telecoms as well as Internet-related issues. It provides an entirely customisable publication in that it allows you to select topics from the Hotlist. Areas available include technical subjects such as ATM and cabling, as well as email and the Internet. You can also select reviews of technology books. Your own Hotlist can be updated when required. Each month there are new surveys to be viewed, or you can go to the archives to view past research. If it's news you're after, there's a daily news service or weekly news briefings, as well as features on your chosen topics. In the Resources section you can search for company details under the Business Directory listing, or browse the selection of exciting new Web sites. The Recruitment section provides a vast list of jobs currently available, which is regularly updated.
IT Web site: d.com
Price: free on completion of a questionnaire
CD of the month
In the 1970s you couldn't open your front door for fear of meeting an encyclopedia salesman on your doorstep. Thankfully, you can now turn to a CD-ROM version when you want a world of information at your fingertips.
There are many multimedia encyclopedias around, but it's the 1997 version from Hutchinson that gets our CD of the month recommendation. It makes the most of the electronic format by featuring a monthly online update service. All you need is an Internet connection and you've access to one of the most up-to-date encyclopedias around.
All the features you would expect from a first-class encyclopedia are here - plus a great deal more. The 39,000 articles are enhanced with video and audio clips and backed up with the 'who's around' feature which links these to the fully-illustrated timeline, where you can browse by date or event. Making further use of the Internet, the CD now features 1,000 new Web sites and gives 1,500 guides to further reading.
Book: Hutchinson Multimedia Encyclopedia 97
Contact: Helicon Attica on 01865 204204
Gadget of the month
It's a video camera like no other. Based on the new Digital Video (DV) format, the JVC GR-DV1 camcorder combines miniaturised components with ultra-compact mini DV cassettes to make it the smallest and lightest around - just bigger than a standard 35mm camera. It's powered by a small Lithium-Ion battery, so there's no hefty power-pack to lug around. Also, its tough aluminium case means you can keep it in your pocket or handbag and whip it out at a moment's notice, not giving your subject the time to hide or ham it up. Or you could think of it as a radical audio-visual tool for business applications - collecting information for a survey, monitoring a project's progress, or recording an important meeting. Although it can operate as a simple point-and-shoot video camera, a wealth of creative features lurk behind the innovative design. These special effects include: different zoom magnifications, snapshot mode, as well as Sepia and Classic Film modes to recreate the feel of an old movie. Most of these features can be used while shooting, or enabled during playback. The digitally-recorded sound and pictures can be transferred to a standard VHS video tape. The DV1's multimedia potential is unlocked via the JLIP (Joint Level Interface Protocol) terminal on the docking station. This allows you to link a PC to one or more compatible devices (VCR, camcorder) via a junction box - with the operation controlled from the PC.
Gadget: JVC GR-DV1
Contact: JVC on 0181 450 3282
Business Web site of the month
Which? Online from the Consumers' Association is a complete online service providing unbiased and independent consumer information. Subscribers receive a personal email account with unlimited Internet access. The site provides a wide range of reports from all the major Which? magazines and selected books, as well as the chance to communicate directly with Which? Online and other subscribers in the Forums. The 'free' area of the site features campaigning and public-safety messages from the Consumers' Association.
Business Web site: Which? Online
Price: subscription is #14.75 per month (incl VAT and Internet connection), or #7.75 without. The one-off connection fee is #11.75, or #5.75 if you already have an ISP.
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