All Geek to Me

January 24, 2008

iPhone Review Part 4 (iPhone as a PDA)

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 7:07 pm

I don’t often admit that I am wrong. There are three possible reasons for this; either I am rarely wrong, I am too stubborn to admit my errors, or I have a very selective memory. I would like to think that it is the first reason, but suspect that it is one of the others. This post will be an exception. I admit to being wrong. I have on several occasions stated that single purpose devices were the way forward; the conflicting needs of a phone, PDA, and mp3 player meant that it was not possible to create one device that performed all three functions. The iPhone has changed my mind. It is a single device that does all three functions.

In this fourth part of my on going review of the iPhone, I shall look at it the weakest of its four functions (The fourth function is as an Internet Access Device, which I will cover in a future post). I have had a PDA since the first Palm models. I view the chief purpose of a PDA is to have my contacts, calenders, tasks, and miscellaneous information to hand and synced with my PC. The syncing is important as I manage my calendar and contacts from Outlook and do want to maintain the data separately. I also like to have my contacts safely backed up.

The iPhone syncs with Outlook via iTunes. Fortunately, my company allows installing software. The iPhone does a good job with syncing the calendar. It understands recurring appointments, alarms, and offers several views over appointment data. The contact process is ok, but I wish it would sync the category of contacts, but at least it is not disturb the existing categories in Outlook.

The downside is that the notes that you write on the iPhone are not synced, so there is no backup and no way to write notes in Outlook and have them on the iPhone. This is not a major drawback for me as I do not often use this functionality.

The more serious drawback is the lack of a Task Manager. I use tasks in Outlook and on my Palm extensively to manage projects and keep track of individual elements. It would be helpful to have this data when I am away from my desk.

Since the iPhone does not currently allow installing third party software, there is no password manager. The most useful non-standard software for my Palm is Splash-Id. There is a clever workaround available, but it requires a mac and my game playing habits prevent me from drinking the final gulp of Steve Jobs’ Kool-Aid and switching.

As a PDA, the iPhone gets a passing grade of C.

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January 19, 2008

Pandora

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 7:56 pm

I made an entry a few months ago about a website (LAST.FM) that played songs similar to music that you already like. I have found a similar site, but with a better interface. The site is called Pandora.

Edit: I have just found that due to rights issues, the service is only available in the US. This is a shame as it works so much better than LAST.FM, allowing you to specify a number of bands or even a handful of songs to use as a base. Oh well, I guess those in the UK get the BBC iPlayer, so win some lose some.

Geek Poetry

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 3:04 am

My wife described a colleague as a Geek with a Poets soul.  That remark started a discussion about the idea of Geek Poetry. I offer an example of the form here, which may be a reason why Poetry should stay in the soul of Geeks and not move to their fingers:

Some people call me a foolish dreamer
But I want a perfect database schema
With every table in third normal form
And proper documentation as the norm
No file with all values for the domain
For that makes my SQL look quite insane
I surely should not need to pray to God
To get a database that pleases Boyce-Codd

Well it made me laugh….

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 2:14 am

I apologize in advance for the double tautology in the following sentence.

What do you get if you cross cute kitten pictures with bad internet spelling and grammer?

The answer is LolCats
Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures

Is that your phone Blinging

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 2:07 am

For most people, the purpose of purchasing a case for an iPod, iPhone, or cell phone is to protect their delicate and expensive piece of electronics. It is a little strange, therefore, to have a case that costs more than an iPhone, over $19,000 more in fact. Follow this link to find the perfect case for a geek with way more cash than taste.

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