Colorado is a wonderful state to visit for business or pleasure. This summer my wife and I will be spending almost a month there. We have a housesitter for home and will be staying at a cabin at 10,500 ft. For the portion of the stay where I’ll be working (telecommuting) I have tried out a variety of hardware and software for the job.
If you are thinking about telecommuting from Colorao, this post illustrates a surprisingly capable telecommuting setup for a very low price… Here’s a photo taken with the Sony camera described below and processed with the Acer laptop below…
#1 Laptop: Acer Aspire One A0722 11.6″ notebook/netbook $200
We picked this up in Pueblo Colorado at Target. It was $249 plus they gave us a free $50 gift card. Bringing the effective cost down to $200!
+The 11.6″ screen is fairly nice (for the price) with a good resolution 1366×768.
+The CPU is a dual core AMD model C-50 which offers surprisingly good performance and battery life of 4-5 hours.
+Upgrades are VERY easy on this machine, one screw allows access to the RAM and a few more screws will have the hard drive out.
+The first thing I did was upgrade the HD to a SSD, with that upgrade performance is very acceptable for most tasks (web, word processing, basic photo tasks)
+The fan on the system is quiet, though it does kick on quite often
+Built in SD card reader, HDMI port and three USB 2.0 ports (USB 3.0 would have been nice!)
+Built in video camera and microphone for videoconferencing
-Keyboard… I find it very hard to type on the Acer’s keyboard!
-Build quality… the Acer just feels a little cheap. Nothing has broken, and nothing is threatening to, but it just feels like a low price machine (which it is!)
#2 Camera: Sony WX5
If your telecommuting job requires you to do basic photography then you are definitely going to need a digital camera.
I brought a variety of cameras with me as both my job and my personal life require a range of photography equipment. One of the most pleasant surprises has been the Sony CyberShot WX-5 camera. This inexpensive compact camera does a very nice job in good light. Specifically, in the bright mountain sunlight it really excels. Indoors or in dimly lit environments it struggles.
One of the nicest features is the panorama sweep, you can take a panorama with the press of a button and a swivel/sweep of the camera!
Pano example #1:
Pano example #2:
(click for larger versions!)
+Video quality is also very good for a camera of this size and price.
+I recommend checking eBay for the WX5 as they can often be found for less than $100 on there…
(to be updated)
The purpose of this short post was to give you a couple of low cost gear options for getting your job done cheaply and with a minimum of bulk!