Wednesday, January 23, 2008

How do you like them Apples ?

Last week, we were treated to Apple's vision of the future - in particular the MacBook Air.

I must say that I was wow'ed by the technology, but disappointed at the premium pricing. So needless to say, I shan't be putting my name on the pre-order list.

From another viewpoint, nearly all Version 1 products - yes, even Apple's - tend to have bugs & glitches. So I'll wait.

By a fantastic coincidence, I was reading Khaled Hosseini's excellent book "The Kite Runner". How about this for a relevant quote :

"One time, when I was really little, I climbed a tree and ate these green, sour apples. My stomach swelled and became hard like a drum, it hurt a lot. Mother said that if I'd just waited for the apples to ripen, I wouldn't have become sick. So now, whenever I really want something, I try to remember what she said about
the apples."

Not sure how sour the Air will be, but I think I'll wait for that particular apple to ripen a little.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Alas, poor Foleo ....

Awwww ....

Before it had even reached the shops, the Foleo has been knobbled.

Palm CEO Ed Colligan has this to say :

".... after careful deliberation, I have decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration and focus all of our energies on delivering our next generation platform ...."

A Foleo II is hinted at, but I'll believe it when I see it. Or read about it on the web.

Back to the trusty old Psion for a while .....

Friday, August 03, 2007

Foleo, Foleo .... wherefore art thou Foleo ?

Just when I was putting my thoughts of owning a Macbook to the back of my mind, a colleague showed me the spiel for a forthcoming gizmo - the Foleo - from Palm.

It looks looks like it is being received with mixed reviews.

  • On the one hand, there's the good stuff : it's portable, it syncs with smartphones, it's got a good screen and keyboard, runs familiar Palm apps.

  • On the other hand ... it won't do movies and it's not a PC and it's not a Mac.

The sub-notebook is clearly territory where Psion boldly went before with the Series 5, Series 7 and Netbooks. And yet, despite producing truly portable, reliable machines with excellent out-of-the-box software, instant-on and long battery life ... they never saturated the market in the way that they deserved.

Why ? I believe there were two main reasons :

  1. Users wanted their familiar applications. At the time, that meant Windows stuff. Sure, Psion provided PsiWin to convert word processing and spreadsheet files between the platforms, but that's just not the same is it ? All that mucking about only to find that your formatting headings have all gone funny ....

  2. It was a proprietary architecture, so Psion prices were at a premium.There was no real direct competition in this arena - although Psion did eventually license their system to other suppliers (the GeoFox was a gallant effort) but it was too little, too late.

I believe that there is room in the market for a Foleo-type device, as long as the price is right, and as long as information can be easily shared between devices. Given the abundance of decent web apps (Google Apps and Zoho, to name but two), some of us might only need a decent screen, a decent keyboard and a decent internet connection to keep us happy. As long as the Foleo's browser can keep up with the demands of these apps, then it could break through.

So has Palm got a winner here ?

My head says no. This is based purely on the Psion experience.

My heart says yes. This is based purely on a love of gadgets ... and the fact that I personally would use one of these gizmos.

Good luck, Palm. You'll need it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

There'll be no sleep in here tonight ....

Oh, it's early. 02:53 to be precise. I am officially a Creature of the Night. Well, for tonight anyway. Late last evening, I found a cough mixture and took a slug - then discovered that it was the non-drowsy variety. Shit. Add that to an active, non-rested mind (too much buzzing around in there at the moment - need to dump it out & organise - see it all in front of me) and bingo ! A wonderful recipe for insomnia !

I went to bed at 11:30 last evening & slept for approximately 20 minutes. I realised at 02:10 that I wasn't going to be able to properly rest and then I crept downstairs. So quiet. Even the early birds aren't up yet, and no water-heater gurgling away, either.

There's the moon almost directly south, three days past full. The last full was a little bit special. 30 June 2007- a Blue Moon. That's when you get two full moons in one calendar month. Happens on average about 40 times every century, apparently.

I've half a mind to drive off so that I can see a sun-up, but I've got my cup of tea and now I really don't feel like moving or going back to sleep.

I've got my trusty iPod with the "Nine Lives of a Healer" meditation music by Jesse Stern). Very relaxing indeed, but in a non-soporific way.
Sounds like the sort of music that would be a great background for Tai Chi. Without wishing the summer away, roll on September when I (hope to) have the chance to resume the art at the Royston Complementary Health Centre.

I've got my trusty Psion Netbook. So good having something reliable with which to make notes. However, I have been entertaining thoughts of an Apple MacBook lately - mainly to replace the desktop (which is becoming rather erratic lately). Question is ... would the Mac muscle out the Psion as well and become the portable of choice ? Would it be the end of a beautiful relationship with the 3, 3a, 5, 7 and Netbook models.

Some advantages of the Psion :

  • truly portable
  • instant-on
  • looooong battery life
  • stable
  • no-frills word processing & spreadsheets
  • good calendar & to-do list management.

Some disadvantages of the Psion :
  • lack of modern apps
  • no system upgrades
  • browser/email functionality is limited
  • synchronisation with modern packages not guaranteed - suffers somehwat from the proprietary-platform issue.

So there we are. Even if I do splash out on a MacBook, I doubt that I'll have the heart to get rid of the Psion 5 & Netbook. There'll always be a place for a fast, simple text entry system.

Look. It's 03:46 and birdsong is mingling with the meditation music. The accidental mashup sounds beautiful. I wish it were more of a typical summer morning; I'd sit outside and greet the day with the birds.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Rudyard's Conundrum

Been around for quite some time and still ongoing.

Should I fill each minute with sixty seconds worth of race well run ?
Or should I sit back, relax and let my mind have a bit of room to reflect for a change ? (Buddhism)

I tend toward the former, not wishing to waste any of my spare time.
Reading, trying to write, trying to get ahead on some studies, running, bicycling, DIY, gardening, socialising with family & friends, watching some TV, listening to some music. Oh yes - and being a husband. And being a father.

Today's learning point is to learn to reflect.
Sit in a quiet room and do NOTHING for 10 minutes each day. A mental shower ? Mental floss ?