Category Archives: portability

On this page:

RIP, PDA

I discovered to my chagrin this morning that the Compaq iPaq no longer retains a charge, perhaps because its internal battery has gone kaput. That's what I get for leaving it dormant for almost a year. Like this stubborn girl who occasionally just Wants to Stay in Bed, Darn It!, the iPaq will grudgingly work if you keep it supplied with power, and it'll go back to sleep immediately after.

In retrospect, I should've paid more attention to the flashing orange LED as I copied my (very few) phone contacts into the PDA using Bluetooth. =) I had too much fun categorizing contacts and thinking how cool it would be to be able to broadcast a text message to, say, all of the Graduate House people for an impromptu barbecue, or give you a filtered list of all the people I know who are into both AJAX and Ruby, etc. I rather enjoyed filling in my calendar for the next few weeks. I even played around with transferring some of the images from my phone to the PDA, where I could view them with Internet Explorer.

Oh well. =)

The good thing about that, though, is that it's made me realize that the commute is not really hopeless, and that my Fujitsu Lifebook P1110 laptop is more portable than I give it credit for. I can usually snag a seat on the train, even during rush hour, and my laptop's small enough that it can fit on my lap without requiring any elbow space. Glare is not a big problem. Even if it were, I could just switch to speech synthesis and use headphones. (See, I _knew_ there was a reason why I was into wearable computing in college!)

I don't mind batching my mail and my blog entries. I've gotten quite used to it, and it gives me time to think (and cancel stuff!). I also don't really mind looking phone numbers up on my laptop and keying them into my phone to dial. I don't do that too often, anyway. Most of the time, I get in touch with people through e-mail.

One of the coolest things about my computer, though, is that it can start conversations. I don't think the Fujitsu Lifebook P1110 is sold here, which is probably why it always draws comments. It's cute! It's small! It's different! (Take _that_, all you "Think Different" Mac geeks! ;) ) Sure, it's scuffed and held together with masking tape (had some complications during open-heart disk-replacement surgery), but that just gives the computer more character.

Besides, people smile when they see the sticker reading, "The geek shall inherit the earth." I think I need aother sticker reading "emacs" just to drive home the point. I hope that means vi geeks will still talk to me, though. ;) What I need, really, is something that'll allow me to indicate my changing interests. A tagcloud. An updateable tagcloud, preferably. Not that I have much back-of-laptop real estate left. There, I've made Stowe's sticker vertical instead of horizontal, which will give me more sticker space to play with. Maybe I should add sticker paper so that peeling off and resticking stickers is easier, or maybe I should just let stickers accrete in layers to give people a better reflection of reality...

Oooh! Magnetic poetry for laptops using stickers and sticker paper! That might be fun to try out. Or maybe I could add a little plastic sleeve and have a "Thought for the Day" index card / Post-it. It would be nice to have an index card holder for this, anyway. That sound like a job for duct tape...

Battery life's holding up, too. The commute is an hour and a half long, which fits quite well. I might want to get a new extended battery so that I can go back to advertised battery life (my current one drains in 2 hours or so instead of the 8-10 promised, waah!), but that's not a particularly high priority right now because the cafe I most like to work in is clueful enough to not only allow geeks to plug in, but also to provide power bars so that we don't have to fight over outlets. ;)

A better battery would be handy for conferences, though, as I take _way_ too many notes. It's fun!

You know what would be really, really cool? A wireless chording one-handed keyboard - like the Twiddler, but Bluetooth, but not one of those homebrew Bluetooth hacks that might fall apart in my backpack. Or a wireless mouse/remote so that I could control ebooks while my laptop is in my backpack. I had this totally sweet deal going with my Twiddler before, because I could just leave my laptop in my backpack and control the speech synthesis output from outside.

I should try out the Vaio again to see if that'll be a bit more portable. That one was designed to be used while walking around, so it might be an interesting experience.

Okay, I should stop writing about gadgets... <laugh> I don't have a pressing need for anything extra at the moment, and I'm still learning to make the most of what I have. =)

On Technorati: ,

Random Japanese sentence: テーブルに猫の足跡が付いている。 There are footprints of a cat on the table.