The Download – News, Reviews & Q's

Laptop Computer Purchase – Check!
Secure Your Laptop – Check!
Software Installation – Check!
Personal Technology – Ummmm.

If technology isn’t your thing, this column is for you. It is written to give the tech-challenged a foothold in what is new and hot. If technology is your thing, consider the column an invitation to participate and share your tech thoughts with fellow students. Comments from both sides of the spectrum will be happily shared. In success, this column will be part informative and part discussion.

Welcome to the first edition of the Harbus Technology column. This bi-monthly feature will be your direct source for what is going on in the world of technology and how it affects you – the HBS MBA student. Look forward to straightforward explanations of the latest technology news, gadget reviews, and answers to tech questions submitted by your fellow students.

I’m Ajay Arora, a member of the Class of ’08. My background is tech, M.Eng in Electrical Engineering with six years working in the technology industry for Motorola, Cisco Systems, and Magis Networks. I am just now coming off a two and a half-year stint working for Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, in his Seattle-based venture capital firm – Vulcan Inc.

Today’s starter edition features brief reviews of some of the hottest gadgets you will find on campus this year.

Motorola Q
A smart phone that looks chic and doesn’t scream geek

Following the sharp design of its wildly successful RAZR phone, Motorola’s Q Smartphone is a great accessory for the MBA student. The phone features productivity tools (calendar, email, contact manager) and full multimedia support (music and video!). The full keypad is ideal for sending emails and setting up appointments. Stay tuned for a dedicated issue on smart phones next month!

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Belkin Wi-Fi Phone for Skype
Call home often, save $$$

For those who haven’t yet discovered Skype, you will soon! Skype is a very affordable way to keep in touch with long distance friends (think international). However, using Skype on a computer to make voice calls was cumbersome – until the Belkin WiFi Phone came along. The device looks like a candy bar cell phone and doesn’t require a computer to make Skype calls. The phone is available for under $200 and only requires a free Skype account and WiFi access.

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Get your television fix anywhere on campus

For television junkies the SlingBox is a must have accessory. This $200 gadget streams television content from your home to your laptop. After connecting the silver brick-sized device to your cable outlet you can view television programming on any internet-connected laptop, desktop or Smartphone. The setup takes less than 15 minutes and the video quality (even via wireless on campus) is impressive.

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Nike + iPod Sports Kit
Run the Charles with a little high tech help

This $29 accessory is perfect for exercisers who already own an iPod Nano. Just drop the quarter sized sensor into your shoe (a Nike+ shoe is recommended – but not required) and plug the wireless receiver into your Nano’s accessory connector. Now you can listen to your music and get audible updates on your estimated speed, distance, and calories burned.

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Garmin Nuvi 350 Portable GPS
Because you’ve already figured out Boston is a confusing city

With a price tag of $650, this gadget might be tough to justify on a student budget. However, if you hate getting lost, the Nuvi is worth every penny. Featuring a color touch screen, built in MP3 player and photo viewer, this palm-sized gadget will help you navigate anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. It has one of the most intuitive user interfaces after the iPod.

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Since this column is new, I can use your help making it successful. Please contact me online or in person to let me know what you want to know and what you think. I can be reached at