Apple, Sony and RM, are all brand names that we have probably all heard of. It is likely that when you read each name, that you have some impression of their brand or products or reputation. It’s quite understandable that if you have a good experience with a manufacturer’s product that you would consider buying more product from that manufacturer and, vice versa, if you have a poor experience of a brand then you are probably less likely to buy further products. I have not always had products from Apple and, as an outsider I have been surprised by the apparent loyalty (some might say, addiction) of fanboys to their products. I no do have a couple of Apple products and, I shall be honest, I have been pleased with them and would consider buying further products from them. Similarly, I had always thought that Sony were a reputable brand and bought a Sony camcorder based upon that impression. I was not happy with it. Okay, it took good video and had a good selection of features but the camcorder proved to be incompatible with just about every piece of computer software apart from the ones made by Sony. Recently, I bought a laptop by Sony and I really wish I hadn’t. All the extra junk, Sony have put on it have made it a difficult computer to use, many items of software I want to install just do not install properly (if at all) and the keyboard layout just really isn’t to my liking. RM, as many of you will now, are a major player in the ICT in education arena. I recall some of the early RM products and especially recall the pain of the MCA computers and, later, Window Box. Yet, RM, remain a dominant player in the educational technology arena, which again indicates the power of a brand name booth for good and for bad. So what can we learn from this? Well, I guess the first thing is never trust a name, no matter how good it may have been in the past and no matter how much other people praise it. The second thing to learn would be to always trial a product before purchase. Just because something the company has made in the past has been good or bad, does not mean that the same will be true of subsequent products. The third thing to learn is that when buying any product, make sure it will work with what you already use !