Somewhere, Someday, Somebody, Somehow

Writing with a pen and paper at 37,000 feet instead of on the array of digital gadgetry that surrounds me is quite liberating.

By the wonders of modern man I am writing these words on board a plane – BA794 to Helsinki for all you plane spotters – using a pen and a page in my work diary (the pen is PaperMate and the page is for the 4th April and, yes, I know it’s not 4th). I will, I imagine, be transcribing it later this evening in a hotel in Helsinki.

Amusingly, here at 37,00 feet on an Airbus A320, I have an array of digital equipment sat under the seat in front of me. A laptop: too big to open and anyway the battery is nearly dead as I used it with a wifi hotspot in the terminal. My ‘phone/PDA: it really doesn’t look good opening a ‘phone on a plane as there’s a tendency for other passengers to think you’re switching it on. Besides, the built-in keyboard is useless for this kind of lengthy writing. I also have my MP3 player and a camera but neither of them are much use for writing on. So I sit, with a trusty old pen, scribbling something I will later type. I assume, if you’re reading this, that I have actually typed it up.

I also have a small jungle of cables with me. Chargers and connectors to allow all the various devices to communicate. In fact, I think they are taking a disproportionate amount of luggage space. Everything has to be charged: the ‘phone, the mp3 and the camera. Nothing seems to work on a trusty pair of AAs anymore. I am not sure why this is but it’s as frustrating as hell.

So, I have to ask myself why I bother with all this gadgetry? Is any of it going to make my life any easier? Sadly, I don’t think it will and – to be honest – it’s not much fun anymore. I just want items that make travelling easier and I don’t have the money for a private jet. Has anybody solved this conundrum?

I do have a love of this kind of technology: I know that I am one of the people who believe it has the power to liberate but, frankly, right now all the competing vendors are not getting it correct and I am not sure why. Somewhere, someday, somebody will get it right. I only hope that I have a hand in it – somehow.

Where Was I?

Where are we this week children? That’s right, we are in Norway.

I’ve just come back from a couple of days in Oslo. The meeting was good and I spent the afternoon on the waterfront, drinking beer, and proofing some new documentation. Good way to spend a Friday!

Vacillation’s What We Need

I think too much about some things, especially, about useful pds gadgets which aren’t important.

If you hadn’t worked out that I like my pda gadgets by now where have you been? I suggest you take a crash course: Phones & PDAs, Another PDA, Personal Information Management and Why Do We Love Our Mobile Phones?

So I decided that my Treo 600 was a pain. I mentioned before that it’s OK at many things but it isn’t great at any of them. As a regular Palm it’s good but as a ‘phone it’s just OK (by which I mean poor). As a camera it is very poor. So I started to become obsessed by finding a solution to my problem/desire to get it all in one. Then, because I vacillate so much, I decided that my Treo 600 on Orange is actually pretty good and I want to keep it. A few hours later a whole Nokia fetish kicked in before I decided that, yet again, Treo wins. I don’t like the idea of not having my contact and diary synchronised properly. I thought, for a moment, that WAP could be a solution but it’s not the same. Then I saw the new Palm Tungsten E2 and thought well …

Now, please tell me why I become so engrossed in this subject. Why can’t I, just like a normal person, have a ‘phone that is a ‘phone?