Taking Family Leave

I will be out of pocket for a while as my wife and I will probably be having a baby tomorrow. While I am not positive, I wanted to let you know the reason behind the lack of updates here at MobiBeat, if and when we do have the baby. Take care.

The PDA Planning Panic

There is a good discussion over at Palm247 about using your PDA for planning your schedule. Shaun McGill starts the discussion with his experience, and then he ends it with a question, “Do you feel that your PDA dominates your life or has it given you more time to relax?”

Personally, I believe our panic (or busy) nature has more do to with society in general. We are expected to do more with less because of the technology available to us. Let’s take look at a simple example, the washing machine.

The washing machine definitely saves a lot of time when compared to using an old scrub board. For the sake of the discussion, we will say it saves people four hours a week. People do not take that four hours to relax, they use that time to do something else. Thus, we are basically doing more things in less time, in other words, being efficient.

If we take the simple example of the washing machine and apply to all the other technological advances that have been made in the last century, we have only pushed ourselves into doing more things in less time. Thus, we constantly put ourselves under pressure to get more and more done. By doing so, we believe we are being efficient with our time, which we probably are. However, being efficient with our time is one thing. Being effective with our time is something totally different, and I believe effectiveness is something to be considered when looking at the endless of things to do.

Participate in the Discussion over at Palm247

Another Palm Treo 650 with an Added Accessory

I sold my unlocked GSM Palm Treo 650 since my company was planning to purchase one for me. Before I went ahead and just ordered another Treo, I thought I would look around to see what was available. I have considered many options, and some of them included the use of multiple devices.

Since I could not find the perfect device, I decided to go ahead with another Palm Treo 650 that the company bought. In addition, I also purchased a Dell Axim X51v with the money from selling my Treo. I really missed the 640×480 screen, as well as the compact flash slot that I used for my digital camera. Plus, the multimedia experience and the web experience is really better than any device available.

All in all, I believe I have the best of both worlds. My Treo will be my daily workhouse that keeps me on task and connected while the X51v will do the heavy lifting by playing multimedia, viewing large pixel photos, surfing the Internet, and managing my large number of files. I guess you could say I purchased another Palm Treo 650 with an added accessory. However, it was one of the most expensive accessories I have purchased in a while.

Proposed Solutions for Mobile Computing

There is an excellent article written by Bob over at MobileRead.com titled Proposed Solutions for Mobile Computing.

As for my vision for mobile computing, I would like to see an independent device, without the need for another computer. I want a mobile device running a mobile operating system that can handle all the major tasks that I perform on a daily basis which includes handling email, managing my schedule, managing my contacts, managing the list of things I need to do, jotting down a note, browsing the Internet, running a word processor, running a spreadsheet, running a presentation, running a database, watching movies, listening to music, burning data to a CD/DVD, connecting to a network, viewing PDF files, and reading books.

Now, I know the list of things is long, and there are some mobile devices that can already handle most, if not all of this. However, in many ways, current devices do them marginally well, or they still need to be connected to a computer in order to do some of them.

I basically want the capability of a laptop without the bulky peripherals (i.e. 15″ screen, full size keyboard, CD drive, etc.). However, it still needs the basic mobile technology (i.e. screen, some form of input like current mobile devices, WiFi, Bluetooth, microphone, headphone jack, and memory card expansion). In addition, it needs to support an interface that would easily allow me to connect to peripherals I need.

For a typical setup, I could imagine a docking station that was connected to a home network, a 19″ LCD monitor, a CD/DVD burner, a keyboard, and a mouse. You simply slide the mobile device into the docking station, and you are ready to go. In addition, you could have the same setup at work. Thus, you could easily go from home to work without transferring or synchronizing anything. Although more restrictive due to the devices input/output limitations, you could still access the information on the mobile device itself plus have the ability to connect to the Internet using WiFi or Bluetooth networking capabilities.

I could also imagine a “laptop” docking station that would be the same form factor of current laptops, but you could simply slide your mobile device into the “laptop” docking station for access to your information via a 15” LCD monitor and full-size keyboard along with all the other stuff that comes on a laptop.

I really think something like this would be viable because it would replace a lot of redundancy. It would be a true centralization of your data, and it would save a lot of time managing multiple devices.

Why Have PDAs Failed In The iPod Era?

Over at Slashdot, there is an interesting discussion taking place on Why Have PDAs Failed In The iPod Era?. Although it is very long, there are some interesting points made throughout the 595+ posts.

Personally, I really do not think something fails just because it does not have the response that iPod has had. However, I think the PDA could be more successful. Here were some of the things that I would like to highlight that would help the PDA:

  1. Better marketing
  2. Better media applications
  3. Simplified user interface
  4. Easier to use
  5. More storage space
  6. More reliable
  7. Better battery life
  8. Better out-of-the-box experience

Of course, there are many others, but I think these cover the big items that PDA manufacturers need to consider. They need to focus on a few things, and they need to do them well. In addition, I really think PDA manufacturers need to educate the public. For example, I saw a lot of comments made about a PDA losing its data when the batteries die. This has been addressed by the latest Windows Mobile devices and Palm devices.

Disconnected in a Connected World

In today’s connected world, are we really that connected? I say that because I enjoy just watching people be people, and I observe with a great intent to understand. While it appears we are connected by various technologies, it appears to me that we miss out on a lot of life’s unexpected experiences by sticking with what is comfortable, such as listening to music we commonly listen to using an iPod or talking to people we normally talk to using a cell phone. I must admit I have done the same thing with email and blogging to keep in touch with those back home when I am away from home, but what are we missing as we indulge in our connectness.

Then, we go out with some friends, yet we talk to other friends more via the cell phone during the course of the evening than the friends in front of us. Can we not just enjoy the company of the people we are around physically without having to be mindfully and electronically connected to others in our life? Have we become so connected that we are actually disconnected in more ways than we realize?

Cannot Believe Everything You Read

It is sad but true. You cannot believe everything you read. A lot of the times, it is probably just ignorance on someone’s part. At other times, it can be intentional as some skew the facts for a more exciting story.

I am not sure what happened with the latest story from Computer Business Review, but it appears the facts about Access’ intentions for the Palm OS were grossly misrepresented. In fact, the story was actually withdrawn from the Internet.

Thus, we can rest assured that the Palm OS will continue. It will not continue in its present form, but it will continue. You can read more about the incident at Brighthand.

Trip Boss Birthday

It’s looks as though Trip Boss is turning a year old in 2005. To celebrate the occasion, Creative Algorithms has joined forces with Palm247 and PalmAddicts to bring you a birthday celebration. In addition, they are hosting a contest to give someone a chance to win a device of his/her choice. For more details, check out all the information over at Creative Algorithms.

The Perfect Mobile Device – A Myth

In the mobile world, there are only so many things you can fit into a device. As a customer, there always seems to be some compromise you have to make when determining what device to buy. Maybe the device is a little bigger than you would like. Maybe it has a camera that is not allowed by your workplace. Maybe it is missing Bluetooth or WiFi. Maybe it does not have enough memory. Of course, the list can go on and on and on.

This really is apparent to me as I am trying to make a purchase myself. I am finding that there is not a perfect mobile device (cell phone, smart phone, or pda). It just does not exist, and I have tried a lot of different devices. For me, the Treo 650 came close to combining everything I need into one device. However, the screen size, absence of WiFi, and other quirks kept it from being the perfect mobile device for me.

I have even considered the perfect mobile solution, which would consist of multiple devices. Considering multiple devices is equally frustrating as it adds so many other issues into the mix such as recharging them all or carrying them all. It just seems cumbersome and time consuming to buy and to manage multiple devices.

Even though it seems to be a myth, I am still hopeful that I will find my perfect mobile device.

One Device or Two Devices

I just sold my Unlocked GSM Palm Treo 650 since my company agreed to buy me a Cingular GSM Palm Treo 650. Now, I not so sure I want to go back to a converged device. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Treo 650. However, I missed having two separate devices.

Before the Palm Treo 650, I used a Sony Ericsson T616 cell phone paired with a Palm Tungsten T5. I liked the large screen of my Tungsten T5. Plus, I felt more comfortable letting them borrow my Sony Ericsson T616 than I did not letting him/her borrow my Treo 650.

At the same time, I did enjoy having only one device to carry with me. Connecting to the Internet was a lot easier with the Treo 650, and I was able to connect anywhere through Cingular’s data service. This made retreiving email a breeze no matter where I was.

As you can tell, I have put some thought into it. However, I might be missing some good points on either side of the discussion, so I ask, “One device or two?”