Sunday, February 13, 2005

Autobiographical Ramble

I realize that it is now more than a month since I have posted anything, so I thought I would explain why and make some promises.

The digitizer problem on my T|E has reached a point where I cannot select a checkbox or drag and drop accurately. I have tried every cure I could find, and am sure it is hardware related since it is present immediately after a hard reset. But if I send it in for a repair, I will be charged over £100 and sent a refurbished unit. So I might as well accept the inevitable and buy a new Palm.

But which one? During the Autumn I had extensively tested a Zire 72 and a Tungsten T5. Both had a fair bit going for them, but neither was quite right for me. My objections were quite personal, to do with how I use a PDA, and the Zire72 came close, but that has now been passed on to a friend so it would mean buying a new one.

After entering an intellectual paralysis of indecision, I decided to battle on with the faulty T|E until the T|E2 is launched in April. Having made this delaying decision, I began to notice that I was just not using my Palm as much as I used to. I was even leaving it behind on a few occasions and once I could not remember where I had put it (if you do not understand the significance of this, you are not yet dependent on your mind-extension in the way I am).

So I then spent much time thinking about whetehr to do without my Palm altogether, whether to go back to a paper diary. Though tempting, I realized that the weight of diaries, address books, notebooks and newspapers I would have to carry instead would soon get me down (sic). So, back to the Palm hunt.

And on Friday I made a decision: I am getting a Treo. I cannot afford a 650, but LuzernTech have a nice deal on the 600 at the moment. It comes with a spare hotsync cable and charger, which will save on the initial accessories cost. All I need to do now is choose a nice case.

In a way it is an odd decsion for me. I do not use a mobile phone very much (I have a job where I do not ever need one!!), and prefer to do my internetting on a Mac with broadband, so I am not getting it because I want that side of things. In fact I have steered well clear of smartphones because I have always liked the idea of leaving my mobile behind and when I am away from home I can always borrow a PC or go to an internet cafe. Unfortunately, I rarely do either.

I have not yet completely fathomed my real reasons for choosing the Treo, but they seem to be a mixture of: (a) I carry my Palm everywhere, so this would mean I would have a phone and a camera with me as well, should I need them, (b) evenings and weekends I tend to leave my Palm behind because I am carrying a phone to keep in contact with my family and do not want too much clutter, (c) when away from home I always have the multiple charger problem, (d) about once every four months it would be useful to be able to check email over a mobile connection. And I suspect there is a sense that, whatever I may wish for, this is the future of mobile computing so I had better try it out.

And now to the promise: I will write up my experiences on this blog. I expect the two big issues to be the 160x160 screen and finding the right software.