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Thursday, August 21, 2003
I'm going to have to stop linking to the Washington Post and the New York Times. The links are only valid for a few days after which the content must be purchased. I'll probably just extract the text for those articles to which I really want to link.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Rode about 70 miles today, first to a court case involving a cyclist who was hit by a car while in a crosswalk. He was suing the motorist for damages. He lost, mostly because of a very unprepared and rather scatterbrained lawyer.
Then rode downtown to the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Impressionists works from their permanent collection were on display. Most gallerys in DC are preparing for new, Fall shows, so there aren't many good shows to view. Spent a little time drawing from the sculpture The Sun Vow by Herman MacNeil. It's depicts an older Native American helping an adolescent boy shoot an arrow. The human forms are beautiful.
Then rode by the the music store that is buying my lp's. Their hours are posted on the window but they are only a suggestion of when they might be open, and today they were closed. Since they don't answer their phone, it's kind of hard to figure out when to make the 20 mile trip.
Returned home at a fast pace and couldn't help trying to keep up with some of the hotshots on road bikes, despite the fact that I was on my modified mountain bike with panniers and about 20 lbs. of stuff. Will probably have sore knees tomorrow.
Monday, August 18, 2003
Friday, August 15, 2003
Wondering about some of the NY bloggers. Checked both Megnut and Zeldman but they haven't posted since the blackout. I assume Megnut didn't get out of town for her Nantucket vacation that was supposed to start today.
Running log of info on PDA's:
10-9-2003 - Extensive PDA comparison site.
Tungsten E - Downside: 126 MHz processor, lack of Universal Connector, no vibrating alarm, no microphone. Upside: Notes can be bigger, updated Documents to Go included. $200.
Tungsten T3 - Bluetooth uses lots of battery power. Contains everything the E lacks. $400.
10-9-2003 - The Sony TJ35 does not have a voice recorder. It has an MP3 player and uses a standard headphone jack. It also allows one to turn off the screen while playing songs. It uses PicselViewer to display files in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint formats, as well as Adobe Acrobat, TXT, GIF, and JPEG. 5-hour battery life. It does not come with a cradle, and since the TJ's are wider than older Sony PDAs, it does not fit in many cradles. $250 and a $30 rebate.
8-20-2003 - There's a review of the new Garmin iQue 3600 GPS handheld that runs Palm OS at Brighthand. It comes with lots of software, including roads for the entire U.S. It also lets one locate a contact address by clicking on it. It must be popular, as all vendors listed have it either on backorder or are taking pre-orders. None had it in stock. The street price is around $550. Amazon has it for $511. Too bad the battery life is so poor, running out after about 3 hours of GPS use.
Requirements: Documents to Go, SD or CF memory, MP3 player, Remote keyboard
Tungsten T has 1-bit path from memory, T2 and Zire 71 both have 4-bit
T uses OS 5.0, T2 and Zire 71 use 5.2.1.
Zire 71 does not come with Documents to Go
T2 screen is not so great outdoors.
Maybe a Pocket PC isn't such a bad choice. The HP iPAQ h1910 is a pretty basic, bare-bones unit selling for $200. right now, and it meets my above requirements. Documents to Go isn't needed because it comes with Office compatibility. Unfortunately, it looks like the foldable iPAQ keyboards only work on the 2200 series and above.
The Toshiba e355 is also on sale now for $200, and USB keyboards work with the unit. It's not pretty but is very thin and has just about everything I need.
Haven't been doing much blogging of late. It is hard at times to get motivated to write here with so little feedback (i.e. none). The chief motivation is to be able to look back at the archives over time and find out what was of interest to me in weeks/months past.
Currently trying to figure out the best PDA or small computer to purchase for keeping track of info and being able to keep minutes from committee meetings. The Palm platform probably has the most support from third party vendors, and there is lots of public domain software available. The Pocket PCs are probably better able to link to the Microsoft tools that I use. The first version of the Pocket PCs were so bad that I'm still bias against them, although I've been hearing some good things lately, and the price is dropping.
A good PDA/cellphone combination would make some sense for getting email remotely and not having to carry two devices. The big drawback is that the Treo's aren't compatible with portable, full-sized keyboards on the market.
There are so many choices available that it is mind-boggling. The Palm website provides a Palm devices comparison tool, and there is a multi-vendor comparison tool on Dave's PDA Place. I'm tempted to just get a basic device to which additional memory can be added and a keyboard and continue to carry a cell phone.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
The NEC MobilePro 900 comes very close to my idea of the ideal portable computer. It turns on instantly, is expandable, has two usb ports, and a nearly full-sized keyboard. Battery life is good at 8 hours. The downside is that it uses MS H/PC 2000, for which there don't seem to be that many applications, much less open source applications.
Another possibility is the HP Scout, a prototype Tablet PC. There is almost no info about the Scout on the web. I read about it while purusing the latest magazines on mobile computing. HP recently announced that they would be introducing a consumer-oriented Tablet later this year, which could be the final version of the Scout. It has an interesting pop-out keyboard. But it runs Windows XP and probably takes 5 minutes to boot.
Why can't computer manufacturers come up with a small (around 2 lbs.) portable with a decent screen (around 13 inches), with plenty of USB ports and a CD drive, for a reasonable price. To keep the price high they add on cameras, DVD writers, etc. Isn't there a market for a basic computer that doesn't weigh a lot but has a real operating system as opposed to Palm OS or Windows CE (Pocket PC, Mobile, etc.)? It shouldn't take several minutes to load the OS like Windows XP or 2000 either.
At one point I thought the OQO or Tiqit would be the solution, but they are vaporware at this point, and they will cost too much at around $2000+. The Tablet PC is close.
Just about ran over a chipmunk on the way to work today. I was riding on the Trail and out of the corner of my eye I saw a little creature running parallel to my bike. Luckily it turned away from me at the last minute.
Monday, August 04, 2003
The weekend got off to a shaky start when, on a long ride on the W&OD Trail, we came upon a parent and child riding toward us. The child, being a typical 10 or so year old child, darted out from behind her father and rode into our path. The person ahead tried to stop and I couldn't grab my brakes in time and crashed into her. The result was some chain link fence rash on both of our arms, making it difficult to sleep that night. Dancing wasn't much fun either when a partner would firmly grasp my scrapped-up arm as is customary when doing the two-step or waltz.