Thursday, October 16, 2003

Laptops vs. PDA’s – IT’S WAR!!!:)

I have heard a lot of arguments about how the continually lowering prices of laptops is going to become competition for the high-end PDA's. True laptops have a bigger screen and more internal RAM, BUT....hum anyone getting used to my "but"'s on subjects???

OK, the reasons, IMHO, that the laptop will never wipe out the need for a PDA are as follows.....

Imagine that you are at the water cooler and you met someone who has some info to impart to you but don’t have the time to run back to your office with you, what are you going to do? Whip out the laptop and lay it down on the water cooler and power it up and now.....the guy has already left. Hum, doesn't sound like such a good idea to me, sounds like a PDA out of the pocket and one of the many note-taking or list-making applications would have served you much better in this case. Not to mention your laptop wouldn't have to be wiggling on the top of that cooler!

OK, let’s do the same scenario in a plane; I know most of you travel often. You are on the plane and need to take a note, perhaps something you just read, something you just heard, something your wonderful brain just coughed up hoping you wouldn't be able to document it and will be tortured for years on the wonderful idea you had and it just slipped away as the laptop was powering up or you couldn't get to your laptop for a multitude of reasons; the 'seatbelt" sign was lit up, you had to stow it over someone else as your compartment was already full, etc... OK, now I am sitting next to you and as you are mumbling your brilliant idea, I pull out my Clie and write it down in BugMe, then I started to outline a plan for it in Bonsai, pretty soon I am one of those flash millionaires, sorry about that. Maybe I'll buy you an extra battery for your laptop as a consolation:) He, he.

I will let you know a secret here; I wanted a laptop since they first came out. I wanted one BAD! But they were too expensive. Then one day, I got a PDA and away I went. Now I have a laptop as well as my Clie and I use my Clie far more.

What I have serious issues with are the power-up time and the actual portability of the laptop.

In the time to power up and power down a laptop you lose a lot of time, also you can' t realistically power it up and down every time you need to take a note, look up some info or even have a few minutes to kill. It simply isn't logical.

Now for the actual portability of a laptop. Sure you can take it most everywhere with you, but DO YOU??? As I tried to point out, you can come up with or be presented information in many situations in which your laptop would be nowhere near you. Another example, you are working on something, anything, and you are trying to formulate how you are going to organize it and possibly the the benefits of this project. Wouldn't it be so much easier to be able to switch on your PDA and take notes as the ideas hit you? Rather then try to remember them until you power up the laptop or note them down on, GASP, paper until you can transcribe them to your laptop?

Doesn't sound that "mobile" to me, does it to you?:)

OK, so how about your scheduling, do you keep that on the laptop? I don’t think that would be very wise as you wouldn’t have easy access to it. Espically is you are on the run, you don’t want to have to get the laptop running to check on your schedule for the day.

OK, lets wrap this up. I think that having immediate access to your contact information, directions, maps, schedules and notes (not to mention all the other programs and information) make the PDA a must have over or with a laptop. These are things that you simply can’t live without and the laptop, in the end, is too much of a hassle to deal with these tasks. Impractical may be a better word for it.

So that’s my view on the situation

Monday, October 13, 2003

I was reading Shaun's recent post about how EBooks are what your PDA is made for and I have to whole heartedly agree with him! I never thought I would catch onto it as the size of the screen is so small when compared to the size of even a paperbacks page. BUT I was soon to find out how addictive this would become for me.

I have always been an avid reader, I can't begin to say how much I love books and have since about 2nd grade. My house is lined with bookselves, where ever I can squeeze one in and that's only the non-fiction and very rare fiction books that I buy. Typically I use or used to use the public library weekly for fiction so as to keep down the cost and the clutter of all the books I read.

Now I have to say that having books in an electronic format makes me a bit nervous. Why? Because they are easier to "lose", I can't put my hands on them or walk by them everyday and know they are where I left them (I have heard this from several people as well, so I am not TOTALLY insane!). If I forget where I stuck it on my PC or simply forget I have it, then it is essentially "lost" to me and hey I pay good money for these! So I have a folder to keep them in on my PC and back them up to CD and forget these crazy worries that I have about losing them.

So I started to read some on my IIIc and then my N610 and T615, but it never really took off until I went for the NX70V. Then, I joined an on-line ebook library and now I read whenever I get a spare minute! I use Mobipocket primarily as that's what the library books are formatted for. I rotated the screen to landscape, looks very close to the width of a paperback and set up my auto-scroll. Then I can paint my nails or eat my lunch and not be totally bored:) I also use Palm Reader as it can rotate and auto-scroll and many ebooks that I purcahse are in Palm Reader Secure Format.

In any case, I think there are a lot more of us out there, that simply love to read on their PDA and even when they have the book in paper format, will end up reading the electronic format anyway. That reminds me, I was recently reading an Edgar Allen Poe story sitting with my husband, I decided to take a bath but won't let my books near the tub, so solution, I put my Clie into it's Otterbox (which I bought so that I can take my Clie in the tub, to the pool, on the beach, on the boat, etc...WONDERFUL thing to buy!), pulled up The Works of Edgar Allen Poe (the same as I was reading), found my place in the story I was reading and I was off to my bubbly tubby!:) But I digress, as usual.

Try out one of the ebook readers and grab some ebooks form Memoware.com (free, all free!) to start out with and see how you like having your book always on hand (or Palm-ha, ha!)!:)

Friday, September 12, 2003

Remember Daytimers???

You know, those organizers with *GASP* paper in them?

And more then just the paper you had to carry around a black pen, a red pen, a highlighter, paper, PostIt notes, business cards, paperclips, paper, calculator, tabs, paper (no I am not senile:)), etc, etc....

Those were the bomb back then! Funny how happy I was with mine and it didn't do half (far less in fact) then my Clie does for me.

Remember lugging it around? I finally had broken down and gotten one of the ones with the zipper that goes all the way around it, to keep my papers and such in after they fell out in the car one day.

I do!!! Ok, lets get real here (listen up Dr.Phil!). I vaguely remember carrying it to work and back and that was about it, then after I quit, well it sat on the counter in the kitchen. I mean, come on!!!! Like I was going to drag that around in my daily life! Frequently, I would copy out what I thought I needed for the day onto another piece of paper to take with me and hope that I didn't need anything else. Well, frequently I did:( And that "At-my-finger-tips-keep-it-all-in-one-spot-so-it's-always-there-when-I-need-something" Daytimer? Well, my fingers were with me and it was at home, most likely burried under mail and such that always seemed to collect on it.

I still have mine as a matter of fact. It sits under my desk collecting dust and, on occassion, dusty fingerprints from my hubby when he needs to call a relative that he hasn't called in a long time. That poor man, he kept up with me for about 3 PDA's (being able to find the address book on mine that is) but now with Agendus Pro, even the hardware key for the address book has been re-routed to another program and he can't figure how to find the phone numbers.

And when I went on travel, I had to bring the Daytimer and books and magazines and games and CD's and a CD player and paper and pens to write letters and good Lord only knows what else! An entire backpack full of stuff!!! Now I clip my Clie onto my belt and remember to bring my headphones and I am gold:)

So, all the convince aside, lets get to some cold, hard facts.

You lose your Daytimer and it's all over, it's GONE! You lose your Clie and you are in good shape still. Why? Because all you have to do is to buy another one, slap it in the cradle, choose your user name and sync it up:)

Icing time, your PDA is most likely covered under your homeowners insurance policy!:) Call your agent, right now, and find out and if it's not then ask about adding it.

Now if you lose your PDA, you get it covered under insurance and all your info. is safe on your PC:) *Sigh* Doesn't that feel good?

You lose your Daytimer and not only are you stuck trying to gather all the info and such again, you have to buy the Daytimer and supplies all over again. No help in the restoring and no help with the cost:(

So sad:(

Too bad....he, he, he....

I have my Clie:)

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

This is a test of remote posting via my avantgoblog channel. On that note, I am finnally getting my website together and I am totally psyched about it!!!:)

Monday, September 01, 2003

This is a test of remote posting via my avantgoblog channel. On that note, I am finnally getting my website together and I am totally psyched about it!!!:)

Friday, June 27, 2003

Nintendo??? Nope, CLIÉ!

I had played the Master Thief: Phoenix Rising when it first came out. It was amazing, for free that is. It was monochrome, but I got a real taste for where Neil Wooding was going with this line of thinking in games for the PDA.

So when I thought about reviewing some games, where did I go, to Palmgear to look up just what Neil had come up with. I had been out of the PDA “gaming” for a while and so I didn’t have a clue that he had been a very busy man. Please note that new versions of these games with sound enhancements to utilize the OS5 devices are expected to be released soon, hopefully within the next month.

Master Thief, Mission: liquid Gold and Master Thief, Mission: Silicon Heaven are quickly becoming my two most-played games on my Clie. In fact it only took starting one of the games, playing it for about 5 mins and configuring the controls to figure out what revolutionary games these are, for the PDA. It's reminds me of the James Bond:007 game for Nintendo (which is the only video game I play).

One of the things that impressed me the most, OK well there are two so please bear with me, is the graphics. WOW! So few games and in fact programs in general utilize the wonderful screens of the Sony Clies'. These two games do utilize the screens resolution and color range, though I do wish more games would utilize the 320X480 screen that is present on so many Clie models now. I was also very impressed with the controls and how configurable they are which made the game all that much easier. I have an NX and the buttons aren’t set into a row like the typical Clie so I went out and treated myself to the gamepad controller and that made an even bigger difference.

The graphics scrolling is very smooth which is great as a lot of games are very disjointed when you play them. It does, however, get very grainy when you get close to a “wall” or other object, to the point that you can’t tell what it is you are looking at. This makes it difficult to find doors in dark rooms.

They do run from a memory stick, which is always a big plus, especially considering they are 651 and 648KB.

Let me tell you that these are real, hardcore games for your PDA and are not ones that can be played for a few minutes and then dropped. If you want a game that you can really get into, like role playing games, then you will fall in instant love with these games.

Both games are basically the same, except for the missions and the environment you are in. In Silicon heaven, you are started on the 5th floor of an office building and your mission is to steal the Cy 300: ArticficalIntelligence Chip. In Liqiud gold, you are in the Chemical Science Factory and you need to steal a chemical formula.

You start out each game with a stun-gun and a mission. Along the way you pickup other weapons and useful items such as medkits and keycards. You have to avoid the guards, which come in human and robot forms and of course the faster you can find the better weapons, such as EMP devices and explosives, the better off you will be against them. You are presented with different types of gaming in addition to the “shoot-em-up”, for example you must solve puzzles such as the codes to doors.

Both games, I think, are wonderful in that you get started out slowly, with things that are easy to identify (guns, enemies, etc…) and then progress to harder and harder levels as you learn the game. This makes it so you can just sync the game and go, but you won’t master it in a week after you have spent many late nights trying to put it down.

All in all, they are great games and I think you would be very hard pressed and most likely very unsuccessful to find another game for the PDA that comes close to these.

I hope you all get a chance to try and enjoy them as I have.

Monday, June 09, 2003

If the links and pics don't show up soon, I will find another way to display the info:)

I am just giving it a while to see if they will show up:)
NOTE: This has been edited so that the URL's are shown in a form to be copyed and pasted so as to view the pages and pictures I talk about. I am trying to learn how to use this Blogspot site, so please bear with me:)

I have just received my new Otterbox by UPS.

(You will have to copy and paste this URL to see it) http://otterstore.com/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=57

I had been so excited when I found out about these boxes and had rushed to my PC to buy one. I was a bit disappointed when the Sony Clie NX70 wasn't listed as one of the PDA's that the Otterbox would fit, but I was obsessed by the level of protection this box would give my Clie, especially as we roll into the summer months and I spend a lot of time at the pool and beach with my children. Not to mention being able to read my books in the tub:)

So anyway, I kept going back to Otterstore.com, I Googled for other boxes with the same level of protection and useability, but nothing new was coming up. So in desperation, I looked up the internal dimensions of the Otterbox and the dimensions of my NX. It would fit!!! As a precaution before ordering, I call the Otterstore and asked if the inside was made to fit a particular model as it is ordered or if it is customizeable. I was told that it came with foam inserts that you use to make your PDA fit properly without slipping around inside the box. Joy was mine and I ordered immediately, along with the belt clip for carrying around at said beach and pool.

I was so excited that I told a friend and he really scared me by saying that he someone who had ordered it only to find that his NX didn't fit:(

Well, to make a short story long (no errors in that saying!) I was scared, but locked into it now, so I waited.

The box arrived about an hour ago and I set about to cutting and customizing the foam until my NX fit perfectly in the Otterbox, this is what worked for the NX model - 1 1/8" pad on top with 1 1/8" pad and 1 1/4" pad on the bottom to accomodate the "hump" on the back of the NX. My Clie doesn't slip and is flush against the protector on the front of the box! I can turn it off and on easily and have tried the stylus all over the screen with only minor problems at tha far edges, now it still works along the sides I just have to push harder then I would like.

I am rather upset that the stylus for my NX doesn't fit in the silo on the outside of the box, it is too thin and slips right through, but I had an old Palm IIIc stylus that does the trick.

Also, I was under the impression that the model I ordered came with the wrist strap as well and as the box that held the Otterbox in it (with in the UPS box) was opened then I am unsure, but there was no wriststrap included:(

Overall I think this box does exactly what it says it does and is a wonderful investment for anyone who uses their PDA anywhere near the water (sand or similar) or anywhere it could suffer damage due to a serious fall.

Here are a few pictures of how my NX fits into the Otterbox. (please copy and paste the URL to see the pics of how the Otterbox and NX fit together)




By the way, there is another model that allows for port useage, http://otterstore.com/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=58 (please copy and paste this URL also to view the other Otterbox available)

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