Go West, Young Blog, Go West!

January 13, 2010 Leave a comment

To anyone that is following along here I am pulling up stakes and moving my blog to my own URL at www.technogasms.com.

My reasons are twofold; I’m using it as further motivation to work hard on updating consistently and as I run another blog using the wordpress.org software I was just getting annoyed by the limitations of being hosted on wordpress.com.

Thanks for reading and come find me at www.technogasms.com.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Droid Shouldn’t

January 12, 2010 Leave a comment

CES has come and gone and it was certainly as many predicted the CES of the Tablet. From Balmer’s keynote through almost all of the coverage I saw there was a tablet in every pot and a slate in every garage.

That’s great, I love tablets and have an HP TC1100 that I use regularly for note taking, sketching and general web surfing. I’m hardly the first to say it, but if HP added touch and put it on a diet down to about half an inch or so it would have a huge seller on its hands. The TC1100 was a brilliant design and it’s spiritual successor was seen to some degree at CES in the Lenovo U1, although I think the multiple OS concept is flawed, it’s missing the Wacom screen and the $1,000 price tag is beyond what the market will bear for that device today.

Now on to my problem with nearly every tablet that we saw at CES; the operating system. Android has no business on a device that is any larger than five inches. I don’t care if it can be done, the point is that it shouldn’t be done. Just when I thought Google’s iron hand was guiding the manufacturers down the “superphone” path and bringing a degree of consistency to the Android Market for developers we see this giant wrench thrown into the works potentially derailing things to a phenomenal degree.

Image of a tablet running Android

The image of the ICD Ultra courtesy of Engadget illustrates my point perfectly, there is about a 1 to 1.5 inch gap between the icons on the home screen, it looks terrible. I never saw anyone open an app other than the browser or their own in-house developed apps on any of these tablets, but I can imagine that many of them would not scale well at all. As things stand presently there is no way to indicate what device you are using when browsing the Market so there is no way to control whether you are seeing apps that would function well on your device or not.

This is also ignoring the simple fact that the sort of apps you might want on a 9-10 inch device are simply not the same as those that you would want on a 3.5-5 inch device. I don’t really want a shopping list app or flight tracking app on something that is too large to fit in my pocket. This is precisely the reason why I can’t believe that the Apple Tablet is going to be anything so simple as an enlarged iPod Touch, in moving from the pocket to the couch/backpack your usage scenario is changing dramatically.

With a 10 inch tablet it should be nothing short of a full computer. I want to be able to edit photos, I want OneNote or something like it (if you haven’t used it you don’t know what you are missing), I want a digitizer/touch screen and I want solid battery life. Basically I want Windows 7 or OSX assuming Apple has managed to cook in comparable tablet support. Courier seems to be the blessed union of all these features so hopefully the wait there can be measured in months and not years. What I think this tablet should be is a subject for another post though.

To some degree this boils down to not wanting Google spending resources on molding Android to this purpose when Chrome will be here soon enough and seems far better suited to the kind of couchputing that most of these tablets are being designed to serve up. I want all attention in the Android department put toward making it the best smart/superphone OS experience in the land. I recognize that Google has already stated that there will probably come a time when Chrome and Android OS are one, but today is not that day. Do not make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people, down that road lies madness.

My blog has moved to www.technogasms.com, come check it out!

Nexus One and the “Superphones”

January 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Image of the Google Nexus One Anroid PhoneWe have had about a month of the Nexus One orgy and today is finally the day. Just minutes ago the press conference concluded and we finally now know that the Nexus One will be available on Verizon this spring. We also know that the Nexus One is just the first piece of a larger initiative by Google to bring a series of “superphones” to market by working tightly with a number of manufacturers and these devices will be released on multiple carriers in several countries. It sounds like Google was no longer content to let manufacturers coast with the status quo of Android devices and the only way to ensure that wouldn’t happen was to step in and take a more proactive role.

I like where it is taking them for now, but it does seem that Google is making the switch from kindly benefactor to benevolent dictator with this announcement. I’ll be very interested to see how much Android becomes focused on these “superphones” and whether hardware development outside of this program begins to fall by the wayside. I’m sure if that is the case the developer community will be ecstatic as it will pare down the presently wide variation in screen size, resolution and power.

Lastly I would like to just thank Verizon for finally signing on to something worthwhile and having it apparently go somewhere. After their stupid “Any Apps, Any Device” announcement seemed to yield next to nothing I was beginning to believe that they were just going to forever pay lip service to openness without ever backing it up. I would love for Verizon to take a powerful stake in Android and WebOS and just say the iPhone be damned.

My blog has moved to www.technogasms.com, come check it out!

The Google Phone

December 12, 2009 1 comment

Chances are you have seen that some Googlers’ were tweeting about the rumored Google Phone at their last meeting of the year. Descriptions vary from simply “beautiful” to “A sexy beast. Like an iPhone on beautifying steroids.” Beyond the vague praise the only real information among all the tweets was that the phone is made by HTC, unlocked, runs Android 2.1, has animated home screen backgrounds and is due out in January. Hmm…does that sound a bit like something else we’ve heard about?

Now unlocked means that this thing is most likely GSM and so sadly not precisely what is coming to Verizon, but if you recall from the leaked HTC codenames in the 2.1 ROM there is both a HTC Passion and a HTC PassionC. Based on some of the existing device code names with “C”s next to them it was deduced that it probably stands for CDMA. If Google is really making a play at having the top dog Android phone out there would be no reason for them to limit it to one or the other. Here’s hoping come January no one is left out in the cold on this “sexy beast”.

It sounds like more info will hit the intertubes in relatively short order so stay tuned.

Update: TechCrunch is speculating that this will be a direct sell from Google as an unlocked GSM device. That would definitely preclude Verizon from getting in on the party. I still am holding out hope that this is just a slightly spun version of the Passion and that we will be getting the same tech on Verizon. I personally think that the posting on Google Blog points to testing of a high level new device, but a similar process went on with the Droid prior to release, so I’m not entirely sold on TC’s theory yet.

HTC Passion

December 12, 2009 2 comments

Image of the upcoming HTC BravoA few days back some news on the HTC Passion popped up again, unfortunately the news was that it won’t be available until January.

On the positive side we have this pretty new image of the rumored device to stare at longingly over the holidays. This is actually the HTC Bravo, but that is simply the European version of the Passion so we can assume this is roughly what we will be looking at stateside come January. It seems plausible that this is the polished version of the previously leaked device images. I’m sure Verizon will probably require that the buttons be squared and lined up to match more closely with the Droid and Droid Eris aesthetic, but hopefully they don’t mess with anything else as this is a slick looking device and creates a nice separation from the hard lines of the Droid.

I’ve made my peace with waiting through January before committing to anything as this is just too tantalizing to let go and presumably we will also know by then if the Motorola Sholes Tablet is just a unicorn or something that will actually find its way to Big Red.

My blog has moved to www.technogasms.com, come check it out!

Motorola Sholes Tablet

December 3, 2009 4 comments

I see what’s happening now, I’m clearly about to enter a 6-7 month period where I am paralytically afraid to upgrade due to the impending Best Phone Ever™ being released just a month from whenever I begin to feel slightly safe to upgrade.

I made brief reference to the Sholes Tablet in my post on the HTC Passion a couple weeks ago, but some new images have slipped out courtesy of a Boy Genius Report find that seem to confirm a few of the interesting upgrades from the existing Droid in the form of an HDMI port, an 8 megapixel camera, and finally a xenon flash. Other than going on a no keyboard diet the rest of the phone remains exactly the same as the Droid we know today.

Image of rumored Motorola Sholes Tablet found on Boy Genius ReportDropping the keyboard I don’t need, adding the HDMI port and to a lesser degree the xenon flash are the only things of interest to me here. The jump to 8 megapixels is more concerning than exciting as we’ve seen time and again that getting too far ahead in the megapixel race just leads to noisy unsatisfactory photos and video. Other than what most interpret to be a software related glitch to the Droid camera right now I’ve seen mostly positive things about it so hopefully Motorola is managing to at least maintain that standard here.

I’ve seen a few people on various forums and blogs whining that an HDMI port is unnecessary and a waste of space and I couldn’t disagree more. Obviously this isn’t the sort of thing you are likely to use every day, but with the multimedia capabilities of these phones I think a video out is an absolute no brainer and why would you hit short of an HDMI port given the choice. It would be great to just pull out the HDMI cable when visiting my family and display all the new photos and videos of my daughter’s shenanigans.

So what are we looking at here Motorola? Two months? Six months? The Droid is likely going BOGO as early as tomorrow; one would assume that means the HTC Passion is coming in the next two weeks as previously predicted. Once upon a time that would have made me think that I was safe to upgrade as nothing new would be coming down the pike for several months, sadly/thankfully those days are done.

Seeing this seemingly near production quality Sholes Tablet have anyone back in a holding pattern or is it still bring on the Passion and the Sholes Tablet can be damned to the same black hole of mystery as the oft rumored VeriPhone?

My blog has moved to www.technogasms.com, come check it out!

Image of an iPhone with the Verizon logo beneath it

Pomera Digital Notebook – Greatest NaNoWriMo Tool Ever

December 3, 2009 Leave a comment

With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for those that don’t know) come and gone again I fell short on my first effort by about 10,000 words. 40,000 was a respectable effort for me and unquestionably far more than I have ever churned out in a 30 day period before. I’m blaming my failure on not having this awesome device from the fine people at Pomera.

There are times when you want a versatile device that can run HD video, browse the web, Tweet, update your blog, etc…. Then there are times when you want something that absolutely cannot do any of those things as you are massively ADD and will try to do all of those things simultaneously while you are supposed to just be writing.

This device is perfectly suited for those times. It’s like dragging a copy of Writeroom (a great piece of software if you don’t have it) with you wherever you go, only better. As good as Writeroom is at removing the distractions normally found on your laptop/netbook this thing actually completely removes all temptation as it simply has no other functionality beyond typing. As the blog title suggests I am normally one to advocate for the latest and greatest in everything, but this is one occasion where the limitations of this throwback device are exactly what make it a winner.

My blog has moved to www.technogasms.com, come check it out!