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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!)!:)

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