A couple of weeks ago, I realized that my trusty full-size headphones were incompatible with my glasses. It wasn’t the fact that they pushed my ears up against the arms of the glasses and made them sore that clued me in, though you might have thought it would have. No, it was when they pushed my glasses sideways enough to push a sore spot onto the side of my nose. I suppose I could wear different glasses, but I really like these.
I gather that increasing numbers of people these days use their cell phone to tell the time, and don’t bother with a watch. However, the watch is fighting back. Behold, the quad band GSM phone in a wristwatch, with Bluetooth (so you can pair it with a headset for phone use) and OLED display showing analog hands. Plus 1.3MP camera, kinetic battery recharge, and MP3 player. At 13mm thick it’s still pretty bulky, but not much worse than my Casio G-Shock.
When I moved to the USA, one of the first things I did was get a cell phone. I was going to be living in a big city, rothko was working in a different part of town, we needed to coordinate things–it seemed to make sense. We went to Omnipoint, got a couple of phones, everything was good. A few years later, Omnipoint were purchased by Voicestream. We got a phone upgrade.
As the reality distortion field begins to fade, people are starting to wake up to the iPhone’s shortcomings. I’ve been assembling a list of issues I’ve seen mentioned: No SDK. No Flash. No Java. No Bluetooth file transfer. No DIY MP3 or AAC ringtones. Although the camera takes 2 megapixel photos, the only way to get them out is to e-mail them, which resizes them to 640×480. No Bluetooth keyboard support.
I bought a Nokia N800. It’s an Internet tablet, about the size of a large PDA or a small thin paperback book; almost exactly the same size as a Nintendo DS Lite, in fact. It runs Linux. It connects via WiFi or Bluetooth. I bought it because I spend a lot of time reading web pages, PDFs and other electronic documents. In particular, my “killer app” was to be able to read the electronic edition of The Guardian with my morning coffee—ideally, in bed.
I got a new ThinkPad laptop last week, a T41p. I think the old T23 knew. It saw that the newcomer had built-in WiFi, rather than an old Orinoco silver card sticking out the side. It saw how the bright new LCD panel illuminated the room. It saw all the little flourishes, like the built-in keyboard light and the titanium screen casing, the gigabit ethernet port and the LED indicating Bluetooth.
My previous PDA was a Palm V. 16MHz 68000, 160×160 B&W screen that could do greyscale in special modes that most software didn’t use. I didn’t particularly want to replace it, but there were a few issues I was having. First off, the fact that it was serial based rather than USB meant it was a pain to connect to any modern computer; getting it hooked up to the Mac involved a USB to serial adaptor, special drivers, and a lot of futzing with Palm Desktop, and the end result was painfully slow.
Sony plans to introduce Blu-Ray discs this year. They’re 12cm, the same size as DVDs, but start with a capacity of 27GB. Plans are to increase that by 2x fairly quickly. Looks like I’ll be able to move my photographs to a single disc more quickly than I thought… Also announced was the PEG-NZ90. Feature list: 2MP digital camera with flash 16MB RAM Palm OS 5 on 200MHz XScale processor Removable rechargeable battery pack Built-in Bluetooth Slot for 802.
Well, what a freakin’ disappointment that was. I joked a while back that since Apple couldn’t shift enough of the current iMac because of the pricey screens, they would probably introduce a new Cinema Display iMac, priced hundreds of dollars higher. Unfortunately, they did, and it looks kinda ungainly. And that’s it for new hardware, except for a 20GB iPod. Sure, some of the features in the next OS X release look cool, but we already knew about those.