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August 14, 2009

Tech Torture with Topher: Wrap-up

Posted: 05:24 PM ET

Editor’s note: This is the latest in CNN.com’s ongoing “Tech Torture With Topher” video-blog series, in which we “torture” CNN.com staffer Topher Kohan by depriving him of a technological convenience for a week to see how he copes with it. This week, Topher is trying to conduct all his digital business only on his smartphone while traveling for work.

Hello all!

Well, after a week of conducting all my work only from my iPhone - except for that one e-mail problem, which required the services of my laptop - I believe this thing could work.

As I say on the video, if you plan ahead of time you can go to a conference and work just fine with only a smartphone. The next time I travel I might still take my laptop, but I will definitely leave it in the room when I go to meetings and out and about.

So that's it for this edition of Tech Torture with Topher. Thanks for reading, watching and commenting. I'm looking for ideas for next month's TTWT - a non-iPhone-related torture, please! - so feel free to drop a comment on this post with any suggestions you might have.

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August 13, 2009

Tech Torture with Topher, Day 4

Posted: 02:20 PM ET

Editor’s note: This is the latest in CNN.com’s ongoing “Tech Torture With Topher” video-blog series, in which we “torture” CNN.com staffer Topher Kohan by depriving him of a technological convenience for a week to see how he copes with it. This week, Topher is trying to conduct all his digital business only on his smartphone while traveling for work.

Hi all! Here's a quick update for Day 4.

I had a good day yesterday with just my iPhone, although I had to cheat and use my laptop to get an e-mail that was too old to appear on my phone, which only displays my most recent 200 e-mails. I believe this is an iPhone-specific issue. I also know that if I organized my mail better, this would not be a problem.

Besides that, I am working just fine on the phone.

What do you think? Is this a way you would travel? Would it work for business, or just for personal trips? Drop us a comment and let us know.

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August 12, 2009

Tech Torture with Topher, Day 3

Posted: 04:48 PM ET

Editor’s note: This is the latest in CNN.com’s ongoing “Tech Torture With Topher” video-blog series, in which we “torture” CNN.com staffer Topher Kohan by depriving him of a technological convenience for a week to see how he copes with it. This week, Topher is trying to conduct all his digital business only on his smartphone while traveling for work.

Hello all! I'm in San Jose, California, on business and getting ready for Day 3 of TTWT on the road.

So far, working only from my iPhone has been easier than I thought it would be. That said, it does have some issues: A really bad battery life, and no way to recharge or change the battery when I'm away from my hotel room or don't have my bag with me. Yes, my battery died, leaving me cut off from all digital communication.

Also, you can't view Flash sites on an iPhone, and that has caused some problems for me. I also don't recommend trying to view Excel spreadsheets on an iPhone.

But, all and all, it hasn't been that painful - yet.

For more details, check out the video. Thanks for reading, and watching, and please drop a comment below and let us know what you think of this week's "torture" experiment.

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August 11, 2009

Tech Torture with Topher, Day 2

Posted: 03:39 PM ET

Editor’s note: This is the latest in CNN.com’s ongoing “Tech Torture With Topher” video-blog series, in which we “torture” CNN.com staffer Topher Kohan by depriving him of a technological convenience for a week to see how he copes with it. This week, Topher is trying to conduct all his digital business only on his smartphone while traveling for work.

So here we are at Day 2! Yesterday was a travel day and an easy day for only using my iPhone - I was on a plane most of the day, so there wasn't much need for my laptop.

Today will be the first big test: I'm attending a conference in San Jose, California and have to resist the urge to carry around my laptop. Tomorrow I will have a full update on the ups and downs of this adventure (misadventure?).

So with that, please take a look at the video, leave your thoughts in the comments and jump on Twitter to follow the conversation there. Thanks!

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August 10, 2009

Tech Torture with Topher: Topher hits the road

Posted: 03:35 PM ET

Editor's note: This is the latest in CNN.com's ongoing "Tech Torture With Topher" video-blog series, in which we "torture" CNN.com staffer Topher Kohan by depriving him of a technological convenience for a week to see how he copes with it. For last month's TTWT, click here.

Hi everyone, and welcome to a new installment of Tech Torture With Topher!

This time I'm out of the office all week and will be doing a TTWT from the road for the business traveler in all of us. I'm heading to the West Coast for a conference, and like many of you, I'm trying to bring less stuff with me when I travel.

So. . .my challenge this week: I will try to use only my iPhone to do my work. No laptop for me! No spacious keyboard, no wide screen, no printing capability. If I discover I can do everything on my iPhone that I would do with my laptop, then on my next business trip I'll leave the computer at home.

As always, I'll be reporting on my progress throughout the week via videos. Your part is offer ideas, suggestions, criticism, encouragement and ridicule through the comments below. The conversation also will be taking place over on Twitter so feel free to jump in there, too.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

- Topher Kohan

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July 3, 2009

Topher: My phone's back and all's right with the world

Posted: 01:23 PM ET

Well this is it: The last day of this week's Tech Torture with Topher.

I spent a hellish week without my smartphone, but I'm about to get it back in my hands again. Not a moment too soon.

Here's what I've learned this week: I am fully addicted to being connected at all times. I like the fact that between computers and my iPhone I can get online at almost any time of day and get information or have a conversation.

Thanks to everyone who commented and Twittered me about this. Part of the reason I do this monthly video blog series to get feedback and start conversations with you, our audience. But, to answer one disappointed commenter - no, I am not Topher Grace.

I'm looking for ideas for the next Tech Torture with Topher in August, so if you have any suggestions, drop them in the comments or head over to Twitter and message me there.

Thanks again! From me and Darth - see you next time.

Other post in this series:

Tech Torture with Topher: Bye-bye smartphone
Tech Torture with Topher: I want my smartphone back!!
Tech Torture with Topher: I want my Phone Back

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July 1, 2009

Tech Torture with Topher: I want my phone back!

Posted: 05:10 PM ET

Hello all,

It's Day 3 with no smartphone and, wow, this sucks.

I feel disconnected, and not part of the collective online world. I know - lame, right?

I keep having the feeling I am one or two steps behind in my work because of my lack of connectivity. I know this is crazy, because I added it up and between my home and office computers I'm very close to being as connected as I was when I had my iPhone. But it still feels like I am missing things.

I took my laptop to my meeting yesterday and found myself more distracted than if I had my smartphone. Because I had a full screen in front of me, I was peeking and reading in ways that I would have never done with just my iPhone in my pocket.

I got some great comments on yesterday's post, including one from Josh that I talked about in this video that I think you all will like once you watch.

Thanks for watching and keep the comments coming! It's the only way to keep this conversation going, and it always raises new and exciting discussions I never would have thought of.

Here's a question I asked in the video: What is the one piece of technology you own that you could not live without?

Please take a minute and drop a response. And jump on over to Twitter to join in that conversation.

Other post in this series:

Tech Torture with Topher: Bye-bye smartphone
Tech Torture with Topher: I want my smartphone back!!
Tech Torture with Topher: My Phone's Back and all's Right With the World

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June 30, 2009

Tech Torture with Topher: I want my smartphone back!!

Posted: 01:11 PM ET

Hey everyone!

So here we are in Day 2 of this week's Tech Torture with Topher. This week, I'm giving up my iPhone to see how hard it is to live without constant Web and e-mail connectivity. After one day, I have one thing to say:

I WANT MY PHONE BACK!

OK, I feel better now.

Already this morning I had a real problem because I didn't have my smartphone.

When I got to work I went straight to my first scheduled meeting instead of going to my desk. I sat in the conference room, alone, for about 10 minutes until a very nice person walked in and told me the meeting location had been moved. They had sent an e-mail while I was on my way to work in my car. Without my iPhone, I had no way of getting it. Oops.

My first post on this topic Monday has already attracted a lot of great comments. I want to quickly touch on some audience questions.

Yes, believe it or not, part of my job involves the use of Facebook, Twitter and AIM. I know, tough work if you can get it.

I'm also getting a lot of people saying that they refuse to get a smartphone for their job and how freeing that is to them. My response: If you have a job where your boss doesn't make you have a smartphone so that you can be reachable at all times, I say, ROCK ON!! But I do not. I work in a 24/7 news industry, and my bosses need to communicate with me via e-mail all the time. Lucky me.

Keep the comments going and hop on over to Twitter if you want to join the conversation there.

Other post in this series:

Tech Torture with Topher: Bye-bye smartphone
Tech Torture with Topher: I want my smartphone back!!
Tech Torture with Topher: I want my Phone Back
Tech Torture with Topher: My Phone's Back and all's Right With the World

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June 29, 2009

Tech Torture with Topher: Bye-bye smartphone

Posted: 02:55 PM ET

Welcome back everyone to a new Tech Torture with Topher.

First off, thanks to everyone who made the last TTWT such a hit. Because of you all, we get to do a new one this week. The torture topic? My smartphone.

Let me explain. Like many of you, I have a company-issued phone through which my bosses and co-workers often contact me. I have it with me all the time and believe I couldn't do my job without it.

But is that really true? We're about to find out. I'm giving up my CNN-issued iPhone for the week and will try to get by instead on an old phone with no Web, e-mail or even texting capability. How will this impact my day? Will I e-mail more or less? Will I spend more time at my desk?

What impact, if any, will it have on Twitter, Facebook and AIM - which I use not just for personal reasons but to keep in contact with other people who work in the same field?

I'm sure some of you will be wondering what the big deal is. You don’t have an iPhone or a BlackBerry and you get along just great in your day-to-day life. But in the past month I've heard from a lot of people who say they couldn't do their job without their smartphones. So it's not just me.

OK, here we go. I'll post daily updates throughout the week. In the meantime, hop over on to Twitter or leave a comment below. And check back in tomorrow to see how I'm doing.

Other post in this series:

Tech Torture with Topher: Bye-bye smartphone
Tech Torture with Topher: I want my smartphone back!!
Tech Torture with Topher: I want my Phone Back
Tech Torture with Topher: My Phone's Back and all's Right With the World

Editor’s note: Topher Kohan is the search engine optimization (SEO) coordinator for CNN.com, a tech dork, a “Star Wars” aficionado and an all-around good guy. (No, really, he is — just ask him.)

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June 5, 2009

Tech Torture with Topher, Day 5

Posted: 02:02 PM ET

The final day is done.

This was great week, and I loved all of the feedback I got from you all.

So the big question is, was this Tech Torture with Topher a success? Could I work 100 percent in the clouds?

No.

I had two files that couldn’t be opened in an online application, so I had to use a desktop app.

Like I said in the video, if you have a job that needs no special software, and all you need to to do is work in a word processor and a spreadsheet with e-mail (like me), then yeah, with some planning and work, you can do this really well (with some bumps).

If you need to do some editing of video, audio or images, then no, this is not possible for you to do at this time. In the future, maybe, but not right now.

Thanks for everything this week, and keep the comments and tweets going. And send me ideas for the next Tech Torture with Topher.

Thanks, all.

Other post in this series:

Welcome to Tech Torture with Topher
Tech Torture with Topher, Day 2
Tech Torture with Topher, Day 2 : Part 2
Tech Torture with Topher: Why?
Tech Torture with Topher, Day 3
Tech Torture with Topher, Day 4
Tech Torture with Topher, Day 5

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Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.

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