Monday, October 04, 2004

Zire72 Photos

Since no one asked, I thought I would post a couple images anyway. They are the original files from the camera, not edited in any way or even resized.

Wikis and Memos

I had a few emails today after my AcroWiki post, some confirming its buggy nature. Zak went one better and gave me a link to an application called Mobile Notes. This does (just about) everything AcroWiki promised, but as yet seems to be bugless. And it is free.

The difference in functionality is primarily the Index. AcroWiki automatically creates an index page with links to all your memos (or all in a category). This makes starting off very easy, but is rather badly implemented, in taht it does not allow you to edit out the links to some notes.

Mobile Notes is completely unforced: it lets you do whatever you like with no presuppositions about how you want to structure your note system. And it has one thing AcroWiki lacked: shortcuts to insert some of the syntax. All in all I am very happy. If you agree with me, send an email to the developer to tell him how great he is ;-)

Not the T5

I don't have any opinions (yet!) about today's big news, but I do want to record some of my thoughts about the Zire 72, which I have been using for the past few days.

My Z72 is a refurbished unit from LuzernTech, and I must say it is in excellent condition. The screen is perfect and there is not a cosmetic mark to be seen. Everything seems to work well too.

Part of the reason for trying out the Z72 now is that E&B have at last come out with a Slipper case for it. I have become addicted to these cases because they suit my usage pattern: smart when sitting on a table in a meeting, slim enough to fit in a trouser pocket and protective enough to rattle around loose in a shoulder bag.

So here are my first impressions in roughly the order they occurred:
  1. Best feel in the hand since the m5xx series.
  2. Incredibly easy bluetooth set up - I was internet sharing within minutes of taking it out of the box.
  3. Very bright screen, but with no really low setting. Even Energy Dimmer cannot get it to dim below about 30% of its full brightness.
  4. The battery appears to run down to about 65% very quickly, but keeps on going. Since this is a refurb, I am going to spend some time reconditioning the battery.
  5. Good selection of apps in ROM: Camera, Media (photo/video viewer), Web Pro ...
  6. Camera and Media software well integrated: one tap moves from one to the other.
  7. The camera is pretty limited but is pretty sharp in ideal conditions (sunlight, 2m focus) and its weaknesses in other conditions can be exploited to produce some interesting and atmospheric images.
  8. Brings out every possible flakiness in The Missing Sync!
  9. Once in the case, it feels a bit chunkier than the T|E, though it only weighs 3 grams more at 135g.
  10. Speaker volume and quality is similar to a small transistor radio.
  11. The hard buttons seem to be designed to need a harder press to wake up the device than to function when it is awake. This is difficult to measure, but I have been using 123-Launch which enables application launching with multiple button presses, so, for example, to run a Hotsync I press the Contacts button three times. If the device is off, the first press has to be noticeably firmer than the second and third.
  12. I installed but quickly ditched BTTogglePro because the bluetooth management on the device is so good. When you initiate a connection it asks if you want to turn BT on. There is a BT icon in the command bar which indicates whether it is on or off and launches the BT preference panel. And when BT is on, there is an icon next to the battery monitor in the Launcher.


For the record, AcroWiki is full of bugs. Apart from the fact that the syntax documentation is inaccurate (well, it fails to specify some important details), sometimes even the correct syntax is not parsed right.

I am still looking for a better way to organize my (>300) memos. What I really want it the ability to find stuff by browsing. Categories help so long as they do not have too many memos (about 20 is the maximum). A system of keywords is very effective for searching, but does not help with browsing.