Skip to main content

How to Shop for a Portable Device

What do I want? Do I even need a phone? When the iPhone came out, my first reaction was wishing it wasn't a phone. If I want a touch screen in my pocket, shouldn't I safe money and open my options with a Nokia Internet Tablet? The iPod Touch and the iPhone will be open, eventually. They can be coerced into running new things, already. The Nokia has a huge library of software, and can be made to run linux with lots of apps I already use. The price is undeniably better, of course.

Everything says "Don't get the expensive Apple device," and yet, I want to buy it. I even want the phone model, when I don't want a phone. What great marketting.

If I could find any decently open e-paper device, I'd jump on it before anything else.

Comments

Jesse said…
I'd like to just say that I have an iPhone and I love it - I've hacked mine using the software hacks to "open it up" - I've got games, Python/Ruby and a vt100 terminal installed, as well as an ebook reader and much more.

It's small, gets great power usage, and has a wonderful interface. While it is true - I am an apple fanboy - setting that aside for the moment, I find it to be a perfect mix of form and function.

Not to mention, I like hacking the device up. More on what I am talking about:

http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/08/29/apptapp-installer-equals-easy-third-party-apps
Unknown said…
The iPhone looked pretty good to me except for two things:

1. No 3G. (I want 3G more for the lower latency than for the higher bandwidth.) I just know that Apple will announce a 3G iPhone a few months after I buy a current model.

2. AT&T may not be usable in Charlotte.

To expound on that second point: presumably you want to use the iPhone's ability to talk to AT&T's network, and I believe you are in or around Charlotte. In general, Verizon is king here for coverage, and AT&T is still in second place. They've gotten better, but of the handful of people I've talked to on AT&T, they still report coverage problems. For example, Highland Creek (north side) coverage is bad, and coverage in some of the places in south Charlotte (particularly Ballantyne (sp)) is reported to be inadequate.

If you've already got AT&T and you're happy with the coverage, this is a non-issue for you. For what it's worth I've got a Verizon phone with the (expensive) tethering plan and an N800 (BT tethering to the phone), and I'm pretty happy.
Ycros said…
A decently open e-paper device? Try the Iliad, it's been around for a while now - http://www.irextechnologies.com/products/iliad
It runs Linux, and they provide an SDK if you want to easily write your own apps for it.

The big problem I have with it (and probably the only reason I don't have one yet) is its price.

Popular posts from this blog

CARDIAC: The Cardboard Computer

I am just so excited about this. CARDIAC. The Cardboard Computer. How cool is that? This piece of history is amazing and better than that: it is extremely accessible. This fantastic design was built in 1969 by David Hagelbarger at Bell Labs to explain what computers were to those who would otherwise have no exposure to them. Miraculously, the CARDIAC (CARDboard Interactive Aid to Computation) was able to actually function as a slow and rudimentary computer.  One of the most fascinating aspects of this gem is that at the time of its publication the scope it was able to demonstrate was actually useful in explaining what a computer was. Could you imagine trying to explain computers today with anything close to the CARDIAC? It had 100 memory locations and only ten instructions. The memory held signed 3-digit numbers (-999 through 999) and instructions could be encoded such that the first digit was the instruction and the second two digits were the address of memory to operate on

Statement Functions

At a small suggestion in #python, I wrote up a simple module that allows the use of many python statements in places requiring statements. This post serves as the announcement and documentation. You can find the release here . The pattern is the statement's keyword appended with a single underscore, so the first, of course, is print_. The example writes 'some+text' to an IOString for a URL query string. This mostly follows what it seems the print function will be in py3k. print_("some", "text", outfile=query_iostring, sep="+", end="") An obvious second choice was to wrap if statements. They take a condition value, and expect a truth value or callback an an optional else value or callback. Values and callbacks are named if_true, cb_true, if_false, and cb_false. if_(raw_input("Continue?")=="Y", cb_true=play_game, cb_false=quit) Of course, often your else might be an error case, so raising an exception could be u

How To use Sphinx Autodoc on ReadTheDocs with a Django application

Sphinx is awesome for writing documentation. ReadTheDocs is awesome for hosting it. Autodocs are great for covering your entire API easily. Django is a great framework that makes my job easier. Between these four things is an interaction that only brought me pain, however. I'm here to help the next dev avoid this. Autodocs works by importing your modules and walking over the classes and functions to build documentation out of the existing docstrings. It can be used to generate complete API docs quickly and keep them in sync with the libraries existing docstrings, so you won't get conflicts between your docs and your code. Fantastic. This creates a problem when used with Django applications, where many things cannot be imported unless a valid settings module can be found. This can prevent a hurdle in some situations, and requires a little boilerplate to get working properly with Sphinx. It require a little extra to get working on ReadTheDocs. What makes this particularly h