I gave my second and last Gmail invitation to Ed, the proprietor of Caffeine Free Digital, a mostly technology-oriented blog. I didn't get anything in return, other than an eventual plug for my blog in his. I just wanted to get rid of the thing, and from his posts and e-mails he seemed like a decent guy.
I've been drafted for more business travel this summer. I'm going to Frankfurt next Saturday for a week, then London in July, and Hong Kong and Tokyo in August. We're deploying a managed desktop firewall to all of our PCs, and my department is in charge of the server side of the operation. So we need to go along for the rollout and make sure people can still work despite our policies blocking any applications we don't want to allow, like instant messaging, viruses, and trojans. I don't know much about the software, but I'll pick it up in a hurry.
As part of my agreeing to work on this project (not that the idea of free travel around the world wasn't enough of an incentive), I asked for and received a new laptop. I had been using an IBM T30 ThinkPad for about a year, but I never really liked it that much. It was fast, and it had a touchpad, but it was large and heavy, and not particularly sleek for a ThinkPad. Our firm's summer associates, as well as myself since yesterday, are using brand-new T41 ThinkPads, which are slightly lighter, but faster and much better looking than the T30s. Plus they come with DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drives, so now I can rip and burn CDs and watch movies with the same portable PC. I think the screen is a little bigger than the T30, so my DVDs should look even better while I'm sitting in business class for seven hours. There's still no decent 3D gaming support in these laptops, but I can play Age of Empires II, so I'm all set.