For a notebook manufacturer buying a bus, stripping it, spraying it, jamming it full of techno wizardry and taking to the road is not normally on your list of things to do, but it has worked well for UK boys rockdirect.
Pictured below in Covent Garden (outside the swanky headquarters of PR company More2) is the necessary proof that confirms I kid you not. In a former life the vehicle was an old library bus, but it underwent the mother of all Pimp My Rides to transform it into a mobile LAN and marketing nirvana.
Inside 12 laptops can be linked together, while the others can feasibility be added in via wireless. A large plasma TV is mounted at the rear head of the bus to convey the action and it can be mounted outside the bus to taunt the inevitable crowd that a vehicle like this will attract. (Incidentally, that’s me reflected in the plasma. I was trying to get Will Harris from sister site Bit-Tech, but he skipped out just in time!}
Unfortunately, rockdirect big cheese Nick Boardman informed us that it is illegal, unsafe and all kinds of crazy to try and game whilst on the move (I suppose seat belts could be an issue…) so itchy trigger fingers have to remain holstered arrival.
Speaking of which, rockdirect plans to drive the bus here, there and everywhere promoting its kit (likely destinations I heard include schools, supermarkets and shopping centres). Whilst Nick wasn’t against the idea of hiring the bus out for the right cause and encourages readers to contact the company directly with any ideas you have. (Or you could just argue in the Forums?)
Anyway, this wonderful automotive eccentricity wasn’t the only reason I’d stuffed myself onto a tube and sweated the whole way to Pickpocket Central. There was some new hardware on show too.
Technically, rockdirect wanted to show me three machines and while I’d already covered the Hardbook, it proved to be just as impressive in its magnesium alloy finish as it looked in those photos. In fact, Nick then got medieval on its ass smacking the palms of his fists into the lid and generally making it feel unloved, while he proudly showed off the dusty sole marks on the lid from various pairs of shoes which suggested it had been a long, if ultimately unscathed, day for the Hardbook.