It is always kind of funny to watch the expression on people's faces when they ask me where I work, and I tell them I work from home. For most people, the idea of working from home is strange and confusing - not something they would consider part of a normal routine. Home is where you live, sleep, eat, watch television. It's not where you work, they say. However, the fact is that, like me, a lot of people now are choosing to work in Soho (small office, home office). We find it more convenient and more relaxed. Instead of getting up early to battle the traffic, I can get up late and have a leisurely shower before sitting down to work. Sometimes I even get dressed first. Nonetheless, as far as most people are concerned, you work in an office, with computers, telephones, desks and, perhaps most importantly, other people. However, I find I can get more work done without the disturbances of other people. I also can listen to my collection of country and western CDs, without anyone making comments about my taste in music. Furthermore, I have a computer, telephone and desk. Well actually, I have my dining table, which doubles as a desk. Indeed, my improvised desk is a good example of how simple working in Soho can be. The fact is, for most operations, you do not need high-priced, powerful equipment. You just do not need full multimedia capabilities, unless you are going to be editing special effects for a music video, or writing a CD-Rom guide to East European ski resorts or Swiss mountain walking trails. At the same time, an ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) connection is a little excessive unless you are going to be sending whole encyclopaedias of information to the US. I get by with a 486-based laptop, and an excruciatingly and frustratingly slow 2400bps modem. Although I may be crawling along in the slow lane of the information superhighway, I still find the set-up is quite adequate for my needs. I dump words from my computer into other people's computers, which is basically all I need to do, and occasionally retrieve some various servers. While a desktop may be nice, it would take up too much space, and I cannot fold it up and put it away in a drawer when I have company. As for the modem, it's an internal model that was offered as an option with the computer, and it's a cheap computer. Of course, when setting up a Soho office, price is going to be a factor for many people. However, there are plenty of bargains out there, if you are prepared to put in the legwork. A day or two spent wondering about the computer malls should yield all the basic equipment you require, principally a computer, fax modem and printer. In fact with e-mail and a fax modem, you may find that a printer is unnecessary. Nonetheless, in the occasional quiet moment, I still find myself dreaming of my ideal set-up: an Intel Pentium-based desktop, with 28,800 modem, and a dedicated phone line so it can act as a fax machine. It also would be nice to connect the computer to some kind of remote access device, so I can connect to it while I'm out. Of course, I would need a nice large desk to rest this dream machine on. Then, all I would need is some fellow workers, water dispenser, coffee-making machine, ringing telephones, dozens of umbrellas by the door, and it would be just like any other office.