Archive for the ‘tech’ Category

About those comments

January 29, 2010

I’ve been using Haloscan for comments for years. Sadly, Haloscan is shutting down in a couple of weeks and all those comments will go away. I did export them, 2,986 snarkolicous comments in all. Hopefully I’ll find a way to import them here and at the backup site (which I need to update anyway).

Update: Ok, all the Haloscan stuff is gone. Now to get the blogger comments working again.

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This probably violates Apples whimpy terms of service

January 20, 2009

Ok, not the letter but definately the spirit of “You also agree that you will not use these products for…the development, design, manufacture or production of misiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.”

However, seeing a iPod Touch mounted to a M110 Sniper Rifle to provide an external ballistics calculator is kinda cool.

Palm’s new smartphone

January 12, 2009

The Pre, designed to compete with the iPhone and Android based phones. Details over at Urbin Technology.

New iPhone firmware

July 11, 2008

I’m installing it now. Details to be posted later at Urbin Technology.

PDAs, Smart phones and the ubiquitous Internet

July 7, 2008

I started out as a Day Planner user. I went digital with my first PDA, a HP 200LX palm top. I switched to Palm OS devices when I started working at 3Com. That was just after 3Com purchased Palm’s parent company and all the geeks there had one.

For a straight PDA, you can’t beat a Palm OS device, IMNSHO, of course. The interface is clean, easy to use, and has a large pool of third party apps to support it. I never liked all the overhead of the various revs of the Windows CE OS. I don’t want to send time figuring out out how to use my PDA, I just want to use it.

I’m currently using a Palm LifeDrive, which is a spectacular PDA. It has a big crisp screen, WiFi, Bluetooth, SD support, a three Gig microdrive and it can handle MS Office files. I also have a folding keyboard that uses the IR interface. A good road warrior feature, since it makes it usable on a plane. The keyboard is larger than an Acer EEE PC sports, so I can do some serious writing on it if need be. On the downside, Palm has discontinued the LifeDrive and is focusing on their Smart Phone line instead of dedicated PDA devices.

One of the best features of Palm OS devices is the PC interface. The Palm desktop app is much, much better than Outlook for contact management (again, IMNSHO), Calendar management, Task Management, and…well you get the idea. It it also very easy to load files onto the LifeDrive (including word docs, PDF files, and photos). I added another Gig of storage to it by adding a one Gig SD card. Given that the prices for larger SD cards is dropping, that is an easy way to add storage.

The Palm LifeDrive is also an excellent ebook platform. The screen is easy to read and the 3 Gig internal drive holds a lot of books. I currently have about 40 loaded. I use the Mobipocket reader most of the time. The Mobipocket format is what Amazon uses on the Kindle, with their encryption. If you have an Amazon Kindle, it reads unencrypted Mobipocket formated files just fine.

A few months ago I broke down and bought an Apple iPhone. I wanted the ubiquitous Internet access, and I liked the big screen and sharp graphics. As a web browser and light email client, it really performs well. As a phone, not so well. For a straight up phone, I prefer the Motorola Razr it replaced. The one key feature I really miss. Voice dialing. In particular, voice dialing from a Bluetooth headset.

Another thing the iPhone is not, is a PDA. No categories for the contact list, no desktop support for the notes feature, no external keyboard support (not even an Apple Bluetooth keyboard), and no external memory support (the SD slot on the LifeDrive for example).

Yes, there will be the new Palm OS and third party app support in late July 08, but even the new hardware lacks one one key feature, external memory support. It seems Apple is dead set against putting a SD slot in their phone. I can see why. A quick search on Amazon shows an eight Gig SD memory card selling for $25. That is a bit less than the $100 difference between an 8 Gig and a 16Gig iPhone. It also allows a way to move data, and perhaps applications, on and off the phone that isn’t controlled by Apple.

Which brings us to the G-Phone, which is any phone running Google’s Android OS. Those won’t be available until Q408, and won’t be as slick as an Apple iPhone. It will, however, not be a locked down platform like the Apple phone. My prediction is by Q409, with a year of an active and enthusiastic developer base, the competition between the Google G-Phone and the Apple iPhone will be much more pronounced.

Also posted to Urbin Technology

Twitter update

May 17, 2008

According to Twitterholic, Both Leo Laporte and Kevin Rose have passed Barak Obama’s campaign for number of followers. Leo is in the #1 spot and Kevin Rose #2. John C. Dvorak is just shy of the top ten.

No Microhoo

May 4, 2008

Microsoft drops its plan to buy Yahoo.

The big winner, Google.

The King Twit says…

April 28, 2008

“Twitter late night is kind of a swinging place, full of insomniacs, the caffeinated, and Australians. I dig it.”

So says Tech journalist Leo Leporte.

Good and bad news for Palm

March 21, 2008

The Centro is a hit, but at $99 the profit margin is slim.

Opening up the iPhone

March 10, 2008

Apple finally released a SDK. MIT Tech Review looks at what this could mean:

“This is a huge deal,” says Ken Case, CEO of Omni Group, a company that implements ideas from David Allen’s Getting Things Done in organizational software for the Mac operating system. “Apple has built this small handheld computer that’s based around the same fundamental technology of the Mac. What [the SDK] means for us is that we now have the opportunity to build software that people have been clamoring for since the iPhone was announced.”

Businesses will be more likely to dole out iPhones to employees because, in addition to e-mail compatibility and synching ability, Apple is now offering a way for employees to access business servers that are behind firewalls. Moreover, the phones can be cleared of all data remotely, if they are lost or stolen.

Nonetheless, says Allen, it’s still not a complete free-for-all. It’s not clear whether programmers will have access to certain layers of information about the phone, such as those that could allow them to build Bluetooth peripherals like keyboards. Allen says that he hasn’t yet had a chance to dive deeply into the SDK, but he’s not sure whether it will allow for software that lets iPhone users receive data, such as instant messages, while they’re placing calls over the cellular network (something that’s not possible now).