Tuesday, October 28, 2003


I have just bought my wife an iPod. Wow, that is one cool piece of kit! But here are some comments from a Palm users perspective:

Smooth rounded casing feels good in the hand.
Touch sensitive controls work nicely (but you need that Hold button).
Best backlight on a B&W screen that I have seen.
MASSIVE storage capacity.
Excellent quality audio playback, even with Audible books.

Tiny, low res screen.
'Nested menu' OS makes navigation hard when you can only see the current menu.
No file manager (not even of the limited type provided by Palm's standard Launcher)
iPod connects to the travel charger via the same firewire cable it connects to the desktop (so if you try to hide cables on the desktop, using the travel charger is a pain - given the price of this thing, why couldn't they include 2 cables?)
The price is higher than a T|T3, but it lacks 90% of the functionality.

StyriteUSA: P-arno 661

A package arrived from StyriteUSA including their combo pack. Unfortunately, they do not have the T|E ones ready to ship yet, so the cable is for a T|T. But it is better than my Brando one.

Most impressive, however, was the P-arno 661 stylus (where do they get these names from?). The concept is familiar: a standard ballpen with a stylus tip at the top, so all you need to do to switch is turn it around. This is a simple and excellent idea (it is the one that Mont Blanc use for their stylus pen too). What makes the P-arno stand out is that it is a miniature ballpen: from tip to tip is is almost exactly the same length as the T|E. This makes it perfectly suited for PDA use.

In fact, I think that this may be the 'killer accessory' for Clie owners. It is well known that the Clie stylus is horrible, and for the few months I used a Clie I found myself carrying a stylus/pen around all the time, even when walking the dog. But unless you are wearing a suit, or a jacket with inner pockets designed for pens, carrying a full-size multi-function pen adds considerably to the inconvenience of being dependent upon your PDA. But the P-arno adds next to no weight or bulk.