potential upgrades ibm's thinkpad x20 weighs a scant 3.1 pounds yet packs a 600 mhz piii processor, 128 mb of ram, two usb ports, and almost four hours of battery power. from $2,199, www.ibm.com. the ipaq h3650 handheld computer retrieves and stores e-mail (with attachments), digital photos, client info (up to 1,000 names and addresses), and mp3 files. it comes with 32mb of memory and a color screen ($499). www.compaq.com. with visioneer's onetouch 8100 you can scan, copy, send e-mail, and produce newsletters and other business documents. $99.99, www.visioneer.com

joseph roitz, telework program director, at&t
current setup a toshiba tecra 8000 laptop, mitsubishi diamondtron 17-inch monitor, and hp fax/printer/copier office jet

wish list "a pda would be nice, a kind of a gadget du jour, something that could work seamlessly with the rest of my equipment," says roitz.

potential upgrades palm's monochrome, four-ounce vx ($399) and its 5.9-ounce, color-screen iiic ($329) both offer one-button pc synchronization. software would allow roitz to print documents from the palm on his hp printer. and a quick tour of palmgear.com would give him all sorts of other cool options. www.palm.com

- marc boisclair
tip for telecommuters
if you want to start telecommuting, persuade your boss that it will be good for the company, not just good for you.

be flexible, especially in the beginning. many managers are more willing to let an employee start by working one or two days out of the office, if that's geographi-cally feasible.

if you have any choice at all about where you live, try not to be more than one time zone away from your home office. (californians who work for new york companies sometimes complain that they're expected to work normal west coast business hours plus the hours that new yorkers are at work in the morning.)