iPod Touch: gateway drug?

I love my blackberry. I got one of the first set of blackberry’s ever release when RIM turned them loose at JavaOne in 1999. I left for a while, but eventually gave up on my Treo and came back home to my Blackberry.

Lately, I have been looking at it a little differently. I got an iPod Touch about two months ago. I got it as a gaming platform. As a gaming platform, it seriously rocks. ( more on that in another post) I also got it because it has the same interface as the iPhone, so I can develop apps without sinking for an iPhone…) Over time, I have been adding some other little apps. First, just utlities ( calculator, converter, etc..). Then things that allowed me to take advantage of the wifi connection at home- facebook, gmail, tweetie2 (very sweet little app). I get so used to using them when there is a wifi connection that I sometimes find myself itching for them when I am off the network as well.

it is starting to feel like my touch is a gateway drug to the iPhone. There are still serious problems that will keep me from switching to the iPhone ( lack of multi-tasking is the biggest).. but there are also some really cool apps that take advantage of the camera the touch does not have that I would love to play with. An iPhone is starting to smell good…

This is the lesson that platform makers forget… it is often not about the platform at all– it is all about the apps.

The treo to blackberry transition

I recently had to switch from my beloved Treo 700p to a blackberry when the much used and abused Treo gave up the ghost in the middle of the MESA conference. I was amongst the very first group of Blackberry users ever, when RIM first sold them at a JavaOne conference before releasing them to the general public about 10 years ago. I was more than sold and the blackberry saved my life and got me business more than once. But I am all about the rates, and when I switched carriers for a significantly lower rate, they did not yet support the blackberry and I had to switch phones. I tried to get by on a “regular” cell phone for a while but that did not last long and I soon found my way to a Treo 700p. I was once again in smart phone heaven, but I have to admit there was some glee in being able to return to the Blackberry after all of these years. Even though it is a happy return, no transition is without a little pain and adjustment, and there are a handful of features from my Treo that I will always miss and pine for. The rest are things that I have just not figured out how to do yet, so maybe you can help me with your favorite hack or hidden shortcut.

High on the list of “things the Blackberry was not built to do” is switching SD cards easily. All of my devices use SD cards.. by design. With my old Treo, I could esaily pop out an SD card and insert a new one. This meant that audio recordings or pictures shot with other cameras could still be easily uploaded to flickr or my blog by simply switching around the SD cards and using the Treo to send. The Blackberry not only uses microSD cards ( ugh), but also requires you to pop out the battery to switch cards around. Not exactly an easy or convenient card change method. One of the best Treo features was the sound on/off switch at the top of the phone. Yes, it is easy enough to switch phone profiles on the blackberry to put it into silent or vibrate only mode.. but nothing, absolutely nothing is easier than a physical switch located at the top of your phone. I could reach blindly into a pocket or a purse and turn it off in seconds flat without ever taking it out- a great feature in any crowded place when you suddenly realize that is your phone going off- not some idiot who did not mute their phone. on the side of small, silly but significant, I loved that the video and still picture functions were accessed on the Treo via the same application. This meant that it was very easy to switch back and forth between shooting video and shooting stills. On my Blackberry, I have to switch back and forth between applications, meaning time and shooting opportunities are sometimes lost. Honestly, considering the things I can not imagine how I lived without that my Blackberry does that the Treo could not, this is not such a long or painful list.

Then there are the things that make me scratch my head and think “I know there has to be a way to do this, but I will be DAMNED if I can figure out how…”. Now I am no slouch with gadgets, but either through years of habit or lack of free time to play, I can not figure these out to save my life. The first and biggest on my “how to” wish list is being able to select multiple emails at once in the built in email software and or messaging. I have my emails forwarded from several accounts to my blackberry, which is very handy, but sometimes need to go through, clean it up and delete a bunch at once. Having to click messages one at a time and select delete for each is thumb wearying. Then there is the ability to send photos via the messaging application. I have figured out how to open the media application and send as an email to someone.. but this does not give me the phone to phone photo capabilities that I used to have on my treo. Help?!

All in all, I am settling comfortably back into being a crackberry addict.. and loving most every moment of it.

Cell phone desperation

Well, I have reached a crash point now in my tech reality– my cell phone has well and truly died. It is an old treo 700p which I much much loved and ( apparently) used to death. It has, of course decided to die while I am traveling and at a conference. But that is beside the point. I need to figure out a replacement and Fast. Prefer something I can call and order tonight and get it delivered to the house ASAP. My current carrier is Sprint, but I am not locked into them. My contract is expired, so I have the option of switching carriers if there is a better deal out there.
Here is what we need:

Phone on a network with a fast data connection.
Decent sized screen display for google map usage, web browsing, etc
text
camera
ability to add an application to ssh
good calendar system and able to synchronize with google calendars through some add on
I type on this a lot, so a good keypad for input ( not a number pad mapping and NOT an onscreen simulated keypad, real keys please)
ability to expand storage via SD or mini SD card

carrier need to have a plan where I can put two or more ( by christmas it may be 6) phones on a single plan to share minutes. The first two phones need unlimited text and unlimited data.

suggestions? recommendations? please respond here as my phone is dead and twitter is unreliable. I am hoping to order something tonight.

Strange, mind numbing cell phone withdraw symptoms already setting in….. waiting for the twitching to start…