Photo Album: DigitalLife Expo 2007

September 28, 2007

Of last year’s small attendees, only Supacam and GelaSkins came back. No Pepper. And, shockingly, no Sony! I wanted to fondle the new Sony Reader, dammit.

Even though Palm had four Meeting Rooms, no Foleo. Palm was all Centro.

No Asus Eee in sight or even hinted at. Damn!

The show was shockingly small. My quick overview was done in just an hour!

On with the show…

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Gateway was showing off a new machine that ripped off the Mac design was all-in-one…

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…in fact, it’s called One

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Gateway also showed off this humongous monitor; that’s three websites and an XboX picture-in-picture running

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The cheap-ass Palm display; you had to pay for drinks!

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Sorry-assed freebies (also a pen and jellybeans; not shown)

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Crowded, huh?

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No Treos. No PDAs. No Foleo. Just Centro.

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Centro being demonstrated. Palm had the blonde I ordered, but no Foleo!

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The crowding will kill you…

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PC Magazine made it worthwhile again with a batch of wee devices

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The big deal HTC Advantage running WinMob 6. Their HotSpot wasn’t working so I couldn’t try Opera browsing. But still, now having given this thing a feel (that’s far less than a fondle), I was very unimpressed. About a grand for that? No!

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Size next to Centro actual-size brochure

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Next to the ShitDrive my LifeDrive (left edges aligned)

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With iPhone (left edges aligned)

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My flash kills the HTC screen while the iPhone smiles

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Better picture where I off-centered the flash… iPhone screen is still better

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HTC vs OQO (left edges aligned)

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Dell brings color to notebooks. Big whoop.

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Erector is pimping a WiFi spy robot now…

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… I didn’t get details. Go Google.

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Aie! My mortal enemies!

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Yeah, she looks like a satisfied customer. Must have used the 770!

Just as my brain began to melt out of my ears, I hear over the rush of earwax, “Mike! Mike! Mike! Mike!” I think, “Me? It’s a trap!” “Mike! Mike!” I turn around and my god —

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— it’s Liz Kelly and Hannah Fairlight of Girls Don’t Cry at the Save Net Radio booth! Real human beings at the trade show! How did they get in?

Then it was back to the torment for me…

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Why? Why? Why?

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See above caption

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A Pac-Man hat!

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What the world was waiting for: Snoopy on cellphones! Kill me now.

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I don’t know what it is …

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… but I want it. NOW!!


Did anyone buy these?

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Spider-Mutt. And Linux should sue for abuse of the penguin.

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Look at them, ready to pounce and kill me!

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Some parrot robot that does things

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No Philip K. Dick electric sheep in sight. Thank God!

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Cute enough to make you want to kill yourself. Not cute enough for Japan.

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The new slavery: People as videogame consoles

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All right! Something freaky!!

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An electronic camera that magnifies up to 200x. What’s this guy have?

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As I thought: FLEAS!

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Non-parasite-infested samples to magnify

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OK. This is just wrong.

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Toshiba’s new Gigabeat player. More fodder thrown underneath the iPod juggernaut.

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This is a very interesting notebook. Very lightweight with a CD/DVD drive!

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The specs. Turns out that sub-2-pound one uses Flash, not a hard drive. Always a catch!

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Only I would turn a notebook over like a turtle to show you its bottom isn’t flat!

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Closed view. Wee LEDs on the edge you can see when closed.

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Scale next to LifeDrive

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Next to dollar bill (suggested by Toshiba rep!)

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Screen in outdoor transflective mode. No, it’s not turned off —

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— close up. I was told it’s very bright in direct sunlight. Hmmmm. I was also told you can get this with XP installed instead of Vista. The Toshiba rep wanted that made very, very clear. Wow, Vista must be the biggest disaster in Microsoft history!

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Eight flatscreens showing eight players killing each other in Gears of War

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This was fun. Toshiba did a Deal Or No Deal game

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They picked a number by random draw corresponding to a seat. This woman was the first to play…

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She picked a case. The two models were very lovely and lively. Drool. Real women!

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The banker tries to get her to swap the case for a backpack!

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“Open the case…”

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Oh. My. God!

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Close-up

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She won top prize: A free Toshiba laptop computer!!!

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One of those ceiling-projected interactive displays seen on mall floors

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At hp’s booth, I come across their Tablet PC …

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— and leave my mark!

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The new hp PDA next to the LifeDrive; hp stylus shorter & thinner than LifeDrive’s. Yes, my LifeDrive screen is also showing year view on full brightness! Those of you thinking of swapping a RAM-based Palm PDA for this, forget it. It took five seconds to open a Mobile Word document. I can get that shitty non-performance with my LifeDrive!

I go back to the Palm exhibit…

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LifeDrive next to Centro

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Real-life size comparison: my shit-ass Thiefone Tracfone next to the Centro

I need a break from this unrelenting technology. I go see Hannah and Liz and find to my horror…

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Hannah has become professorial, tutoring people on Saving Net Radio. Poor Liz is getting high from sniffing soy chips again. She has such a tough addiction!

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I see the pair of assassins Palm and Nokia have co-funded to kill my ass. I flee.

But there’s no escape. In the hallway leaving, I see …

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American technology vandalized by Finns …

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… inside it has an Anti-Internet Tablet installed …

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Thoughtfix probably drooled. (I see the lad is lapping up the Kool-Aid these days… sad.)

The show ran til 7PM. I fled a little after 5PM (sorry, Hannah and Liz!). It was very disappointing. I didn’t return today due to lack of sleep. If I’m bored tomorrow, I might return to see what’s going on. But I doubt anything will be…

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Did you just read this post? Now click here.


Go Get Yer Stephen Fry, Unillustrated

September 22, 2007

A poster over at Gear Diary has cloned the electrons of Stephen Fry’s now globally-famous cri de coeur about smartphones and other like pocketable devices.

Go read it here.

Thanks to Jim Moat for the email tip.

Yeah, you still can’t get it from Fry:

We’ve enjoyed extensive web traffic over the past few days. As a result, the Forum and Blog will be shutting down from Saturday 6.00AM-12.00PM (British Summer Time) whilst we upgrade the server.

Please return for the latest on Stephen’s blog and events in the Forum.

And for those of you (which probably includes Fry himself) who doubted I’ve read his novels, here’s one of the many bits I scanned and carry around with me in my PDA (currently a wretched Palm LifeDrive):

Jane’s house found itself somewhere near Onslow Gardens. There was money in her purse, no question, courtesy of her Uncle Michael no doubt, and, like every rich, ignorant girl these days, she passed herself off as an interior decorator.

“People saw what I’d done with the flat,” she said, as the taxi drew up outside a standard South Kensington white-pillared portico, “and asked if I could help them out too.”

The interior lived up to my ripest expectations. Hideous flouncing swags for curtains, raw silk instead of wallpaper, you can picture the whole sham shambles for yourself, I’m sure. Barbarically hideous and as loudly wailing a testament to a wholly futile and empty life as can be imagined. Just how fucking idle, just how rotting bored, do you have to be, I wondered, to sit down and dream up this kind of opulent garbage? She was standing in the middle of the room, eyebrows raised, ready for my gargles of admiration. I took a deep breath.

“This is one of the most revolting rooms I’ve ever stood in all my life. It is exactly as hideous as I expected, and exactly as hideous as ten thousand rooms within pissing distance of here. It’s an insult to the eye and fully as degrading a cocktail of overpriced cliché as can be found outside Beverly Hills. I would no more park my arse on that sofa with its artfully clashing and vibrantly assorted cushions than I would eat a dog-turd. Congratulations on wasting an expensive education, a bankload of money and your whole sad life. Goodbye.”

That’s what I would have said with just two more fingers of whisky inside me. Instead, I managed a broken, “My God, Jane . . .”

“You like?”

“Like isn’t the word . . . it’s, it’s . . .”

“They tell me I have an eye,” she conceded. “Homes and Interiors were here last week, photographing.”

“I’m sure they were,” I said.

“You should have seen the place when I moved in!”

“Such a sense of light and space,” I sighed. Always utterly safe.

“Men don’t usually appreciate such things,” she said with approval, moving to the drinks table.

“Fuck you, you mad, sad bitch,” I said inside, while “Even a man couldn’t fail to be knocked out by this skilful, tasteful blend of the ethnic and the domestic,” said my cowardly outspread arms.

— The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry; pgs. 21-22

Right then. Hurry off and go buy his books. They are hugely funny, witty, and intelligent.

Previously in this blog:
Someone Bop Stephen Fry On His Noggin, Dammit


LifeDrive Notes: That Bluetooth Keyboard

September 8, 2007

I used it for two hours straight last night. Brightness at lowest level. Battery starting at 100%. It dropped to 75%.

This morning, I used the LifeDrive with both the keyboard driver and Bluetooth turned off, doing the usual stylus-on-screen stuff and the battery plummeted from 75% to 64% in just 40 minutes!

As for the keyboard’s performance, I only had one very brief instance of the keyboard going into a letter-repeating fit as was constantly the case when using it with The Biggeest Piece of Shit Known to Man.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with the keyboard. I can type for real on it.

Only problem so far is that none of the function keys work with the LifeDrive. On the 770, F1 would drop down the menus. Not so with the LifeDrive. And I haven’t yet found the key combinations that will allow basic things like Copy/Cut/Paste, so I have to use the stylus on the screen.

Having used that keyboard only with the 770, my brain is locked into that dendrite. I kept thinking I had to Save the Memo I was typing into! I had to keep reminding myself I was using a Palm!

More keyboard reports later…

Previously in this blog:
LifeDrive Notes: I Can Has Bluetooth Keyboard?!!?
LifeDrive Notes: My Innate Fekkin Idiocy
OK, Now The Foleo Scares Me
LifeDrive Notes: Palm Keyboard Vs. Human Brain
LifeDrive Notes: Typed On A LifeDrive
LifeDrive Notes: New Palm Bluetooth Keyboard
LifeDrive Notes: Software, EBooks, & Keyboard
LifeDrive Notes: DocsToGo 7 Hates The Bluetooth Keyboard Driver
A Pocket Keyboard Fit For The iPhone?
LifeDrive Notes: Why A LifeDrive?
CrunchGear Has Balls!
(Anti-) Progress Report
Digital Life: Pepper Pad 3


LifeDrive Notes: I Can Has Bluetooth Keyboard?!!?

September 6, 2007

Following up on my previous post: The answer is … maybe.

I downloaded the driver for the Palm Wireless Keyboard with Bluetooth® wireless technology.

My God. It worked!

But then I got a crash.

Don’t know why.

But when the LifeDrive rebooted, it worked again.

Before all of you rush out to try this At Home, give me a day to bang on it to see if it’s all good.

In the meantime, some piccies:

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You can’t read the screen, but it says: I Can Has Bluetooth Keyboard?!!?
(And, yeah, the WriteRight is worn. You lookin’ to start trouble?)

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Top view of both keyboards. Notice the big-ass Driver On! note.

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Lined up for key-size and roominess comparison

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Close-up action shot of above

(Yeah, yeah. Shut Up about the surface it’s on. I wanted to post pics fast here, so I put it on a mat the cat sleeps on! No flash reflection. And oooh, look at that contrast!)

Previously in this blog:
LifeDrive Notes: Palm Keyboard Vs. Human Brain


LifeDrive Notes: My Innate Fekkin Idiocy

September 6, 2007

So, I see that many of you are clicking through to investigate the Chinese Bluetooth keyboard I have (let me be clear: I call it the Chinese Bluetooth keyboard not because it types in Chinese — but because I had to frikkin order it from there, via ebay!).

Well, I clicked through myself to see what you were all looking at, and my eyes fell on something I had never even considered: that the keyboard was compatible with PalmOS 5!

I bought to work with the Nokia 770. And then just put it away for some later time, never thinking to even try it with the LifeDrive since it didn’t come with any driver.

Anyway, I just tried to make it work with the LifeDrive.

Hit a speedbump.

The Bluetooth on the LifeDrive asks for the Passcode of the keyboard to make it a Trusted Device.

The keyboard came with no documentation.

I’ve tried:

1) Putting a passkey on the LifeDrive prompt

2a) Typing the same on the keyboard

2b) Typing the same on the keyboard while holding the button underneath the unit (that turns on the radio)

No joy.

I just sent an email to the manufacturer.

Oddly, the support section offers a driver that is for their previous wired keyboard. I don’t see how that would work with this unwired one. Maybe I am missing something. But this driver seems very old and I don’t want to have to wipe my LifeDrive as an accidental consequence of trying it.

I tell you, if I can get this baby to work, it would give me hours more writing time each day. I wouldn’t mind the weight and the bulk compared to the Palm Universal Folding Keyboard because I can really type like hell on this Bluetooth baby. It’s joy to my fingers.

Stay tuned.


Today’s Episode Of The Steve Jobs Show, Plus More

September 5, 2007

Well, he went thermonuclear today. With that $200 price drop on the iPhone, he clear-cut the jungle of phones and made himself a new home. See previous post.

I was hoping for an iPhone/iPod SDK announcement, but I guess this will come with the big Leopard intro next month. I sincerely hope that such an SDK announcement will happen — and along with it, the ability to pair a Bluetooth iPhone with a Bluetooth keyboard (again: mine!). Well, such an ability would probably have to happen via that rumored Death Star Upgrade of the iPhone’s guts. Again, something I hope will be announced next month.

Uh, everyone out there did notice that the new iPod Touch models lack Bluetooth, right? So if you want something that is capable of keyboard work in the future, the iPhone is the only thing to buy. Let’s not forget too: the iPhone has a built-in camera. Future Mobile Blogging Machine!

While I have your attention, I want to dispel two myths about the iPhone from witnessing an everyday person using it last week.

This was a woman who wasn’t any sort of techie. She had an iPhone at last week’s South Street Seaport free concert. I was standing on this pillar and she was sitting in front of me. Basically, I was able to get a good view of her using it, peering over her shoulder.

First, I could not make out what she was typing even though as they’re hit, the on-screen keyboard enlarges each letter. So much for privacy concerns. I think someone would really have to be right next to you in order to effectively spy.

Second, she was fast on that on-screen keyboard — and she was doing it all while holding it in her right hand, bopping on those virtual keys using her thumb! She was doing SMS with it. And she was doing it with more than one person. She would keep popping out of one balloon-filled SMS session to Contacts to open another person’s session and type something in. I was impressed. She made an occasional typo, but she didn’t seem at all frustrated by it. Interestingly, I never saw her choose any of the suggested words from automatic word completion. She was merrily moving that thumb along quickly. So much for all the objections about the lack of a Treo-like hard keyboard!

I fondled an iPhone again last night, before typing this post. I was very interested to see how the iPhone would handle this blog now that I’ve gone from 320-wide photos to 440-wide. I was also interested to see how it would handle the pages here that have a ton of pictures on them.

Well, Safari crashed several times. Just went Poof! Back to that Home screen with no warning.

Now, the Nokia 770 did that a lot on me. The main difference is, with the 770, one of two things would happen: the unit would totally freeze, requiring me to hard reset it, or it would spontaneously hard reset on its own. Restarting the 770 took well over a minute. You cannot imagine the frustration and aggravation of that unless you’ve been through it the several hundred times I’ve been through it.

So what happened with the iPhone and Safari crashing?

I’d immediately get that Home screen. I’d hit the Safari button — and within two seconds Safari would be up reloading the very page it had crashed on. Did I feel the same frustration and anger I felt with the 770? Not at all! In fact, once the page it had crashed on was reloaded, it didn’t crash on that same page again. The 770 usually did!

Another thing: the iPhone has a 320×480 screen. So does my LifeDrive. But absolutely nothing on my LifeDrive looks as sharp and crisp and as vibrant as on that iPhone screen. (As for WiFi on the LifeDrive, forget that! I tried it again last night and it crashed and rebooted on a WAP-formatted page! How pathetic is that?! Also, the LifeDrive takes about three minutes to reboot. Worse than that 770.)

Anyway, it’s clear today that Apple and Steve Jobs intend to keep their foothold on top of the media and smartphone mountain. I don’t see how any company can compete with them. All the rest had years and years and years — and churned out the same crap year after year. Even if they stole outright from Apple, violated all their patents, they would still miss a key ingredient: The iTunes Store.

Now, Steve Jobs, I hope you’re working on adding ebooks!

Previously in this blog:
Newsflash! Pictures Of Corpses Left In Wake Of iPhone Price Cut!
Tomorrow’s iPod: The Beginning Of Bliss?
A Post-iTunes Fable For NBC
Nokia’s Upcoming Fake iPhone
Should Apple Turn iTunes Into A Platform?
iPod Price History: Will Apple Fight Or Lose?
Quote Of The Day: Nokia’s Innate Ineptness
iPod Touch Coming Next Week?
SanDisk Announces The Sansa Clip
jWin MP3 Player Needs Replacement
Another Argument For eBooks On The iPhone
Apple Wins The Internet Video Wars
Reference: Installing Native Apps On An iPhone
iPhone: AT&T Bill Delivered In A BOX!
iPhonespotting
eBooks On iPhone: HarperCollins Kicks In
China’s Ferocious iPhone Clones
Safari For Windows: Still Sick!
iPhone More Popular Than Zune And Harry Potter
eBooks On iPhone: Well, There Are Magazines At Least!
The eBooks On iPhone Campaign: Steve Jobs Loves Books! Hey, Steve, So Do We!!
eBooks On iPhone: The Clamor Continues!
eBookery For iPhone?
eBooks on iPhone: Another Person Who Won’t Wait For Apple
eBooks On iPhone: Not Waiting For Apple!
iPhone: First eBook On It?
iPhone Death Star Upgrade Coming
Mucho Namaste To FSJ!
Will Apple Steal The eBook Limelight From Sony And Create Another Mass Market?


OK, Now The Foleo Scares Me

September 3, 2007

That last post was typed into my LifeDrive using the Palm Universal Wireless Keyboard.

It was a pain in the ass to do!

So many typos because the keys weren’t where my fingers expected them to be and also because the keys were so damned small and cramped together. Plus the damned driver has to be dealt with — it apparently likes to meditate and do nothing.

It got me to thinking about what it would be like to type on the Foleo’s vaunted ISO-compliant full-size keyboard.

But when I got home and measured the Palm folding keyboard, I found it measured a wee over ten inches wide. Or the alleged width of the Foleo’s keyboard!

However, when I look at this view of the Foleo (generously donated without their knowledge by Palm):

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It sure looks a hell of a lot roomier from bottom to top row than the folding keyboard. The length of the spacebar worries me, though — but looking at my PC’s keyboard, it actually seems to be the same length. Some sort of optical illusion…

I’ve been looking for a mobile blogging machine. At first, I thought the Raon Digital Everun could be that. But a five-inch screen could be a problem. Plus, I’d have to remember to, or simply constantly, lug along my Chinese Bluetooth keyboard (which, aside from carry weight, I love).

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My travel keyboard

Then I thought the upcoming HTC Shift would be heaven. But it’s just about seven-and-a-half inches wide. That makes for a cramped keyboard — close to three inches less than the length of the Palm folding keyboard! And then there is the ~US$1,500 price tag. I’d get very nervous carrying that in a shoulder bag in a ferry crowd.

Something keeps going through my mind about the Foleo. I’m even ashamed to admit that this meme has gotten stuck to my brain: The Foleo is a PDA grown-up.

Yeah, slap me around for holding that in my head.

Anyway, no conclusion here. Just troubling thoughts.

Fondle photo galleries:
Palm Infocenter
Gizmodo

I might as well note the Foleo sites that have cropped up:
ProFoleo — which has a keyboard article today!
Foleo Fanatics
Foleo Central

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Bwahahaha! You laughed at me, Cane! Who’s sorry now?!

Previously in this blog:
Ugh. Backlogged. Still.
Poor Ed Colligan. Ascared Of Me.
Engadget Snags The Attention Of Autistic Palm, Inc.
iPhonespotting
Oh Look! I Get To Bash Palm And Nokia At The Same Time! It’s Two Two Two Hits In One!
Palm Flogs Blog, Flails, Fails
iPhone Vs. Palm Treo: You Can’t Fight A Corpse
Microsoft, Palm, And Nokia: You Better Be Freaking Out!!
Failure Has A New Name
Treo-Skimming. A Post-iPhone Craze?
Record Blog Traffic: Apple iPhone Vs. Palm Foleo
Earth To Palm: Change The Foleo’s Browser To Safari
What Foleo 2.0 Needs
If FSJ Says It, Then It Is So!
Oh My God! What Did We Buy?!!?
Prediction: Palm To Drop All Handhelds
LifeDrive Notes: Should Palm’s Software Engineers Be Beaten With A Spiked Bat Or Tied Up Together And Dumped In The Ocean From 30,000 Feet?
Palm’s Flopeo, Uh, Foleo: Best Other Name For It
A Picture Of Two Tech Devices That Should Have Never Been Released
My Reaction To Palm’s New Foleo Device
On A Day When Palm Gets Everything Wrong, Apple Gets It Right