Hands On with the Ananta 17.3-inch Touchscreen Portable Monitor

There was a time when a second monitor was a huge luxury and a pain to use. But those days are behind us. The Ananta 17.3-inch Touchscreen Portable Monitor delivers plenty of connectivity options and doesn’t even need an external power supply if you’re using it over USB-C. But can it replace a tractional monitor? Or is there a little more than meets the eye here?

Thoughts on Sonos and what it means for the future of all ‘hardware’

Some months ago, audio company Sonos made a very unpopular announcement. The company declared that it would be changing support for a number of older products. This caused great consternation as the company had said, many times on the public record, that because of the way the products were made, new features could be retrofitted to older equipment. This is because almost every component within a Sonos speaker is under software control.

After a huge amount of backlash from its customer community, Sonos backtracked and drew a line in the sand, declaring older products, made before May 2020, part of an ‘S1’ environment and anything newer is part of ‘S2’.

Homebridge is the ‘one ring’ for home automation

Over the last three or four years, home automation has become a really big deal. Much of the coverage you read talks abut the “smart home” – a house where various appliances such as lighting, window coverings and heating and cooling are controlled using a variety of sensors and apps. But the reality of creating a smart home is far harder than many people realise. Not all devices will interoperate because there’s turf war in progress. Amazon, Apple and Google have all established their own standards for managing the integration of different components. But there may be a way to get the different warring factions to play together. It’s called Homebridge.

Using my home office as a smarthome experiment

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a chance to rearrange my office and set up a reading nook to create a productivity and relaxation haven. But I can’t help injecting a little bit of tech into all that so I’ve also used this as an opportunity to create a microcosm of a smart home in this one room. That lets me play with some neat gear without disturbing the rest of the home. Here’s what I’m using and the lessons I’m learning.

Notability: An almost perfect app for journalists

As a journalist, I need to keep track of a lot of things. I have interviews to record and makes notes about, story plans to create, and a bunch of other tasks that don’t conveniently fit into one particular tool. Added to this is that I like using technology and that I hate using paper. I’ve had an iPad Pro for a while now – the smaller one with the 10.5-inch display rather the laptop-esque 12.9-inch model. I’ve also got one of Apple’s Smart Keyboards and the Apple Pencil. So, I had all the hardware I needed but not the software – until now. Notability has filled the void and is an essential ingredient in my productivity recipe.