Nokia N800

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.

R.I.P. PalmOS 1996-2005

Earlier this month, PalmSource (owner of the PalmOS operating system) was purchased by a Japanese company named Access. Access has now announced that the death of PalmOS is imminent. As for Palm, they have the right to use PalmOS for another 4 years, and that’s it. So, they’ve started making Windows Mobile devices. So, farewell PalmOS. You were great at first, but like Classic MacOS you weren’t built to withstand the shoddiness of modern software, and your crashes became tiresome.

PDAs, Part I

Many people wonder why anyone would want a PDA in the first place. Even on Slashdot, every time there’s a PDA story, multiple people will post about how useless they are. Well, I’ve tried organizing my life using paper, and it doesn’t work. I’ve tried desktop and laptop organizational tools, they don’t really work either, though they’re close. My problem with paper is partly psychological, and partly practical. The psychological issue is that I have a pathological distaste for any kind of waste.

PDAs Part 2

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.


As far as work goes, today was a change of pace, as I was asked to travel to Virginia to give a presentation to a bunch of sales account managers. These are the guys who handle the big customer accounts and keep the million dollar deals flowing, and the company needs to make sure they know everything there is to know about Lotus software… so I was asked to go tell them where they can find everything there is to know about Lotus software.


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.

Palmed off

Sara’s Palm III is dead. I decided I could probably upgrade and pass her my Palm V. However, after careful consideration I’ve come to the conclusion that all currently available Palm devices suck. That is, every model from every manufacturer has some fairly basic flaw that makes it unappealing to me. Hard to believe? Let’s see… Handspring Visor: 2MB RAM. Handspring Visor Deluxe: Needs alkaline batteries, no rechargeables. Bulky plastic case.