Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: Pick Two (aghrivaine) wrote,
Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: Pick Two


I've been in gadget heaven. And it's even justified, not a gadget-for-gadget's-sake, but a gadget that serves a legitimate business purpose.

As part of my job, I support developers, QA testers, and the production site for my company. Because I'm on call about once a month, I have to be in constant contact during that time - the company keeps blackberries, Ev-Do wireless cards, and laptops so what on-call staff can connect and fix stuff at any time, from anywhere. It's pretty serious, too - no foolin' around, if it's broke, you have to drop everything and fix it. So I'm lugging around a laptop, a card, a cell phone, and a blackberry - basically requiring that I have a bag with me at all times during my on-call rotation.

Ride to the rescue T-Mobile's MDA. It's a window's mobile device with a sideways-slide full QWERTY keyboard. It does outlook email, web-browsing, full VPN, instant-messaging, plays MP3's, ssh, a 1.3mp camera for still and video ... it is, in short, a little teeny laptop. It's running Windows Mobile, so it's not actually XP, but for most business applications there are Mob equivalents. It has a mini-SD slot, and a bright, high-res touch-sensitive screen too. Navigating around the features is a little tricky, but I'm getting used to it.

One drawback is that my company uses Goodlink Wireless Email rather than having an Exchange interface ... so my personal contacts don't integrate with Goodlink - but Goodlink hijacks the default contacts. As a result, if someone calls me, I can't automatically add a voicemail tag and have them stored in memory -- I have to copy stuff around by hand. It's not a major hassle, but it's less convenient than real pocket Outlook would be.

On the other hand, i can get my email, receive alerts, take phone calls, and dial in remotely to work to fix or diagnose problems -- all from one device. I also got myself a bluetooth headset (a discreet behind-the-ear model though, not one of the Star Trek antenna-head thingies that makes me want to punch people) which is truly useful - the sound is crystal clear, and I can dial by just speaking a name. In the car, this is simply brilliant. The convenience is staggering - everything I need all in one device just slightly bigger than a regular cell phone. Truly we are approaching gadget apotheosis ... and that day will be reached when, as erythromeister suggests, it runs on fuel cells. Or, as I would suggest, carbon nano-tubes will use friction against themselves to recharge it just from basic movement.

As it is, the charge will last about a day if I'm constantly fiddling with the browser and camera and text-message and email. Which, of course, I am - and it will probably get me killed because I seem to get the urge to check my email when I'm bombing along canyon roads at top speed in the dark. As it is, i can feel a dangerous addiction to always checking my mail developing. I hope it fades, otherwise .. I'm really going to end up as a gargoyle. And no one likes a gargoyle.

I've named this piece of techno-bliss "Mondoshiny". As a funny aside, I bought a 1gb mini-sd card for storage on Mondoshiny - but when I got to Best Buy, the only one they had available was an open-package card. It was marked down, so I got it anyway. A couple of days later I tried to add something to it, and it was rejected, telling me the card was full. What the heck? I hooked Mondoshiny up to my laptop by USB cable and went 'sploring... and found that I had 1gb of hardcore gangsta rap already on the card, presumably put there by the previous purchaser. To add an even weirder element to it - there were three "Lord of the Rings" soundtrack tracks mixed in with the rap (DMX, Jay-Z, Eminem, Geto Boys...), and a few assorted tracks of Arab folk music. I really wonder who owned this card?

Anyway, Mondoshiny is mine. My very own. My precious.

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