Tablet PC Thoughts

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Palm bugs that might never get fixed!

As I am completing my divorce, it is causing me to find obscure bugs in various software. I have a 4 year old son, and I have 50% custody of him. Part of that arrangement means that I have to share holidays with him on alternating years. I had him for the Thanksgiving vacation this year, but his mother has him next year.

As a user of a Palm Tungsten E2, and Outlook, I figured that I would set-up the "recurring appointment" in Outlook and the sync that to my Palm. I learned that it's not that easy. The first thing was learning the syntax of the recurring configuration in Outlook. First I created the "Thanksgiving Vacation" appointment in my calendar, from November 22 at 7:00pm, till November 26th at 7:00pm. Then, I have to create a recurring appointment that repeats "From 7:00pm till 7:00pm lasting 4 days, monthly on the fourth Wednesday of every 24 months, starting on November 22, 2006 through November 29, 2020". Outlook actually deals with this ok ... but when I sync to the Palm it fails.

As I dug further into the problem, I found that the issue is that the Palm conduit, or sync software, can't seem to deal with the 24 month interval. The error log tells me to "split the appointment" into individual days, however when I do that the appointment sync's to the Palm on a 12 month interval. Uh ... not quite what is showing in Outlook.

After I spent hours trying to resolve this I finally realized that the only way around this is to "hand create" all of the appointments each year. Or to go in and modify each of the "occurances" of the recurring appointment to modify them in a way to make them unique and "non-recurring".

Hello ... Palm? Anyone out there interested in fixing this bug?

Head-worn displays still being worked on ...

During the Tech Boom there were numerous companies and people working on Head-Mounted displays. As a dealer for Xybernaut, one of the only dedicated wearable computer vendors at the time, I bought a nice unit from Olympus. It was one of a very small lot of units, and was built to integrate into the Xybernaut units. I used it for a lot of my WarBlading efforts ... our "war driving" on roller blades. :-)

Shimadzu is one of the vendors who has persisted in this space ... they have always had an impressive (yet costly) solution. Their Data Glass 2/A has some impressive specs, and I can't wait to see exactly what the Data Glass 3 will be!

What got my started looking at this again was a post I read that lead me to some more current research. I came across this web page by Ozan Cakmakci who designed a new head-worn display, and wrote some papers about them. It's cool to see that people are still looking at this.

Friday, December 01, 2006

New Nokia E70

I've had my Nokia E70 for about a month now. Here are some thoughts on the phone ...
  • It is slow. Period. This phone has now taught me that hardware vendors are trying to push far too much software and functionality at the limited processors in these devices. I find myself constantly waiting for the phone ... waiting for menus ... waiting for the applications to load and be usable. This phone is noticeably impacting my productivity in a negative way.
  • The phone is not reliable. Right now, my key problem is around the bluetooth connection to my Jabra BT250v headset. Once or twice a day now my headset connectivity stops working. I go through the menus on my E70, turn off the bluetooth, then turn it back on, and re-connect my BT250v and it's back working. But this is like having to re-boot my phone once or twice a day. C'mon Nokia ... can't you create a reliable product?
  • The task list is too limited. I had bought the phone hoping that I could replace my Palm Tungsten E2 ... and it's close ... but the Task/ToDo list application on the E70 is just too limited. I use 15 different ToDo lists on my Palm to organize my life. The E70 doesn't include the ability to create multiple lists ... it's all dropped into one big list. Bummer.
  • I do like the browser. I have to admit that it has been fun just opening up my phone, and cruising the Internet every now and then. The browser is small, but well designed, and very usable. I'm able to read the news and do searches, etc.
These are just a few quick thoughts off the top of my head ... I'm still glad I bought it ... maybe I'll have to keep checking for firmware updates to see if anything gets fixed. I am impressed at where these devices have got to ... I can only imagine what the next generation of phones will be like next year ...