Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Palm LifeDrive

Just in case you subscribe to this feed without subscribing to the TinyScreenfuls feed, you should hop on over there and read a little about my impressions of the Palm LifeDrive. Here is the direct link to the post.

Staples EasyRebate

I just got done filing an "Easyrebate" for an item I purchased at Staples last night. For those who have never used this new offering, instead of having to mail copies of the rebate form, receipt, and UPC to the retailer, you just log into a web page and enter the unique numbers on your receipt. Voila...no stamps, no copies, no hastle!

What an interesting process. Instead of having paying an army of data entry personnel somewhere, why not let the customer enter the data for you? I think that Staples might be on to something here. It saves them money and it was easier for me than having to snail mail a hard copy of everything to them. I like the concept if it can simplify the process of getting a rebate. I'll post something here when I actually see the cash.

BTW, I bought a SanDisk Cruzer Micro and I'll write up my impressions at another time.

Friday, May 20, 2005

I Think I’ll Write My Congressman :^)

I think I’m a pretty even-keeled person in general. There are not that many things that I get terribly passionate about – well, outside of the world of technology, that’s true anyway. This morning it happened though.

I opened a reference document from a company that my employer does tens of millions of dollars worth of business with every year. That document was hands down the ugliest professional literature I have ever seen. There was no attempt at formatting of any kind and the sections of the document all ran together into one nasty stream of literary trash. But to rub salt into the wound, the entire document was written in Times New Roman – undeniably the world’s ugliest font (courier comes in a close second).

It is really time to move beyond that ugly typeface! Why do word processing developers still make that the default font for all new documents? It gives rise to ugly documents from people who are too lazy to change the font to something that is actually pleasant to read. Since I don’t think I can convince Microsoft or Word Perfect to change the default, I’ve decided to write to my congressman and ask him to sponsor a bill to outlaw Times New Roman. What do you think, would you vote for it if it came up on the November ballot?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Loving My Creative Zen Micro

A little over a week ago, I made a post over on Tinyscreenfuls.com about my "new" Creative Zen Micro. My comments at the time were positive, and I just have to say that I am loving this device! Monday night at Costco I took a few minutes to play with the iPod Photo they had there and it only confirmed my impressions. The interface to the Zen was more intuitive to me than the iPod's.

What prompted this post is that earlier today I was doing a little fumbling around eBay and noticed that you can pick up a 4GB Hitachi microdrive pretty darn cheap. I got to thinking that as much as I love the Creative, that it would be nice if I could eliminate a device from my arsenal. As a test, I dropped a few MP3 files onto my Dell Axim X50v and listened to them while working today. As good as the sound quality is on the Axim, there is a constant hiss in the background when you play media files that I am sure would lead me to an early death. The sound quality of the Creative may have spoiled me for life...as a matter of fact, I might have to invest in a pair or really nice Sennheiser headphones.

My original post over on Tinyscreenfuls was really just a first impressions review. I will have to do a follow-up with more detail some time fairly soon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Addicted to Batteries

Alright, it’s time to come clean: I have an addiction to batteries. I am often completely obsessed with batteries and battery life. The usage model for most gadgets I own is dictated by the battery life of the device. For example, I would love to do more surfing from my Dell Axim X50v, but I don’t because I am afraid of running the battery down. My laptop is often used on A/C power because I don’t want the battery to get too low. I am admittedly a sick man.

You want to know the really sick part? My concern really kicks in if the battery gets below about 60%. Why 60% you might ask? Well, what if I am suddenly called out of the house for a national emergency and don’t have enough battery power on my cell phone to have that 4 hour conference call between me, the President of the U.S. and the Secretary-General of the UN? I can’t explain it, it doesn’t make sense, but for some strange reason, I’m afraid of running out of battery power somewhere.

So, if you know about some 10-step program for batteryaholics, please let me know. Until then, if you’re interested in a cool, free utility your battery power in the forefront of your Pocket PC focus, there’s a great app called Powerstatus that you can get from PocketGear or PocketPCFreewares. :^)

Been Gone For a While

Well, I’ve been out of the loop for a while. I’ve been terribly busy finishing up my graduate degree at the University of Portland and trying to otherwise manage my life. I have been dedicating all of my geek writing to the Tinyscreenfuls blog for the last couple of months (which hasn’t been much - sorry Josh!). Well, now that I have graduated and am trying to get caught back up on other interests in life, I will be writing more here at Random Musings. I am going to continue to keep posting on Tinyscreenfuls, but I’ve got a lot to say that’s not completely consistent with the theme of that site.

So, I’m back in the saddle and will be posting my observations and other “random musings” here and more serious reviews and such over at Tinyscreenfuls.