reading your phone

“Ulysses” not likely to be a first choice, but some are reading ebooks on their cell phones.

I heard a report today on the Marketplace Morning Report that cell phone users in Japan are using their phones to read ebooks. The reporter also spoke with an American author who is tailoring his writing to the length of what users are willing to read on a small screen.

I would prefer to read on my PDA, since the screen is larger and I’d have it with me on my hypothetical commutes to and from work, anyway.

oqo

Have you heard of the OQO computer?

There’s already been several years of buzz about OQO, but I somehow missed it until yesterday, when our systems administrator told me about it and directed me to the website. For those like me who have been out of the loop, this is a full-fledged PC that can fit in your pocket. It’s more than the Pocket PCs currently on the market (full Windows XP and Office programs), and it comes with a built-in keyboard. It has WiFi and Bluetooth built in, 1GHz processor, 20GB hard drive, and 256MB DDR RAM. You can easily hook it up to a full-size keyboard and monitor to simulate a desktop experience. I’m impressed! For those who just can’t wait to get their hands on one of these, they’ll be available in the web store this fall. No price is given at this point, but I’m guessing they’ll be several thousand dollars. Considering that it would replace your desktop, laptop, and PDA, the price might actually be reasonable.

TechTV’s Best of CES 2004: Mobile Computing
CNET | Transmeta: Time for PCs to get personal

using my PDA

I have found a use for my Toshiba e355 beyond games of Solitare and a portable digital calendar.

Despite having my Toshiba e355 for over five months, I haven’t found many uses for it beyond the portable digital calendar that syncs with my desktop calendar. I have occasionally used AvantGo to download driving directions, and I’ve played many rounds of Solitaire, but neither of these things was enhanced by the electronic experience.

Recently, I began playing with my new Magellan SporTrack GPSr (thanks Anna!). It didn’t take long for me to become a geocaching addict. Now I’m spending the precious minutes after work on sunny days hunting around the area for hidden treasures. When I first started geocaching, I printed out the cache information on the backs of scrap paper. Then I read about different ways to go paperless. I was excited! Finally, I had found a use for my Toshiba that actually enhanced my experience. I downloaded GPXSonar to my Toshiba, grabbed some gpx files of local geocaches, and off I went.

Last Saturday, I started my day of cache hunting by picking one from the list I had downloaded and going from there. Everything I needed to find the cache was right there in my Toshiba — no wasting paper printing out a stack of cache details. I found three out of the four I went looking for and returned home satisfied with my hunt. I was able to use the program to make field notes right when I found the cache, which came in handy later when I went online to log my finds.

I still haven’t found many library-related uses for my PDA, but I suspect that they will emerge with time. Probably, I will get more use out of my Toshiba when I get a Bluetooth card and/or additional memory storage.

handheld librarian

Now that I’ve joined the ranks of PDA-toting librarians, I want to learn more about how to make use of this tool in the library (besides the obvious schedule organization uses). Since my job is shifting from serials & database cataloger to serials & electronic resources librarian, I thought it would be good to become more aware of emerging end-user technologies. I went searching around to see if I could find a relevant weblog or other online source, and I imediately came upon the Handheld Librarian! I was thrilled until I noticed the blog had not been updated since the end of July, and it appears that the editor has become too busy to maintain it and is looking for someone else to take over. The Shifted Librarian has a PDA category, as well as a related eBook category, but neither look like they are frequently updated. After a bit of digging around in Google, I discovered a YahooGroup for handheld librarians, which might offer some information, if not leads to other sources. If anyone has any suggestions of other places to look for information and dialog, please let me know.

Continue reading “handheld librarian”

pda

I had a lovely birthday (thanks for asking) with family and friends over the weekend, and I took off work for most of this week. It’s been a nice vacation at home, but I think I’m actually ready to go back to work.

Dad & I went hunting for the PalmPilot on Saturday. CompUSA had it on sale for $199, but they were out of stock. The woman at the counter said she has been having trouble getting it re-stocked. A trip to Best Buy enlightened us as to why that might be. Apparently, Palm discontinued the m505 and m515 last year when they came out with the Tungsten models. While at Best Buy, we took a look at the other PDAs they had in stock, and that is where I discovered the Toshiba e355. It’s priced the same as the m515, which was what first caught my eye. I also like the styling, and it fit nicely in my hand. The other good features all add up to a much more robust PDA than what I had originally been looking for, but all for the same amount of money that my Dad was willing to spend on me. So, we went for it. I haven’t had time to really play with it (other than a few rounds of Jawbreaker and Solitare), but I’ll be sure to comment on it as I get more familiar with it. So far, I’m very pleased. Thanks Dad!

e-books

I’m going to be getting a Palm Pilot for my birthday, and one reason why I wanted it (beyond all of the obvious function and use for work) is because of an article I read about someone using it to read their e-book while on a camping trip (they had left their print book at home by accident). The idea of that intrigued me so much that I wanted to try it out myself. I haven’t been a big fan of the e-book craze, and buying an expensive piece of technology just to read a book never appealed to me, but if I can read it on my PDA, then why not? Unfortunately, it looks like e-books might have a bit of a setback. Barnes & Noble has announced that it is no longer going to sell them, and if the other major online book sellers decide not to fuss with e-books anymore, then the publishers may decide to drop the format altogether.

Continue reading “e-books”