Back from Baltimore, and a Dubious Honour

Wel­come to 2008!

We’re back from an extend­ed Hol­i­day Sea­son vis­it to my broth­er and his fam­i­ly, my par­ents, and some social calls on both sides of the con­ti­nent. High­lights includ­ed see­ing my niece dance in the Seat­tle Bal­let’s Nut­crack­er for the sec­ond year, and a Roast Goose New Year’s Day din­ner with my par­ents in Bal­ti­more (includ­ing Spaet­zle, Green Beans, and Red Cab­bage — the theme was clear­ly Ger­man Cui­sine). I’d not had roast goose before, and it is a treat, par­tic­u­lar­ly if you like ‘dark’ meat. Even the breast meat on this bird is dark!

Pam was able to swing north to Mass­a­chu­setts for a few days to vis­it with her broth­er and his fam­i­ly, while I helped my Dad upgrade to Leop­ard. A good thing, too, as his upgrade was just as dif­fi­cult as mine (once again tak­ing 3 attempts, and end­ing up with a call that went to 2 Apple Tech Sup­port Reps and ulti­mate­ly required a clean install, as well as us man­u­al­ly installing all appli­ca­tions and mov­ing all of his email accounts, doc­u­ments, cal­en­dars and address book entries — just as I had to).

The trip to the States was not with­out some cul­ture shock (it always hits me, despite my best efforts to pre­pare for the dif­fer­ences). On our flights there, my seat com­pan­ions were con­stant­ly read­ing Bibles. On the way back (with a stop in Cincin­nati, where I was able to get some Cincin­nati Chili at the food court, a del­i­ca­cy of my under­grad years), we were amazed at the throngs of sol­diers every­where, with make-shift lounges set up in all of the air­ports we were in. Reli­gion and the Mil­i­tary: not a great com­bi­na­tion for me.

I’m still recov­er­ing from a nasty cold that I caught while away (which unfor­tu­nate­ly, my father also caught and in his case it has since turned into Flu). Work starts up, but for me it’s just a week as the fol­low­ing week I’ll be in San Fran­cis­co for Mac­World Expo.

Speak­ing of things in Tech, my broth­er alert­ed me to a some­what puz­zling hon­our for our family:

Druck­er : next gen Win­dows Mobile smart­phone from Palm
Jan­u­ary 6, 2008 – 11:22 am 

Now that all of Palm’s flag­ship Treo 750 smart­phones have been upgrad­ed to Win­dows Mobile 6, it’s now time to look for­ward to 6.1. Engad­get reports that the next high end Win­dows Mobile phone from Palm is code-named “Drucker”. Here’s what we know so far about Drucker:

  • runs Win­dows Mobile 6.1
  • 2 Megapix­el camera
  • 1500mAh bat­tery
  • 320×320 screen
  • Blue­tooth

Druck­er, which will be a replace­ment for the Treo 750v, will be the first smart­phone from Palm that sup­ports WiFi. It’s also the first to match cur­rent Palm OS-based smart­phones in terms of screen res­o­lu­tion. Druck­er is expect­ed to have a retail price of £270 (about US$534), and will prob­a­bly be avail­able first for Vodafone.

I have noth­ing to do with this phone, and frankly, I’d prob­a­bly nev­er buy a phone using Win­dows Mobile. I wish they had at least code-named the Palm OS phone with our last name, but then again, these days, if it’s not an iPhone, I’m not all that inter­est­ed. I’m less and less sat­is­fied with my fre­quent­ly-crash­ing Treo, and I doubt if a new one is in my future. I’ve been a Palm user for per­haps 12–15 years but it’s clear­ly time to move on if the best they can do is to use Win­dows and code-name the device after our clan. (Heh).

3 Replies to “Back from Baltimore, and a Dubious Honour”

  1. Reli­gion and the Mil­i­tary: not a great com­bi­na­tion for me.

    Amen to that, David! 🙂

    Since you’re going to be at the Mac­World Expo, will you dis­cuss the Leop­ard prob­lems you’ve had? I’ve been sug­gest­ing to my David that when our main PC gets replaced, per­haps we should go Apple as they look so cool and the rep as being a sim­ple O/S. What I’m read­ing about Leop­ard has me a bit leery, however .…

  2. Hi Bob -
    In the cas­es of both my father and myself, we were on our 3rd (or per­haps even 4th!) upgrade of our sys­tem, on an old­er com­put­er (G5s, in our case). In the oth­er upgrades I’ve done for Leop­ard on more recent machines (and espe­cial­ly the new­er ones run­ning on Intel chips), the prob­lems we had were non-exis­tent. In fact, Pam was up and run­ning with no prob­lems save a minor email annoyance.

    Leop­ard did get a lot more ambi­tious (and is hence, a big­ger upgrade for those with old­er com­put­ers), but it has a bunch of superb new fea­tures and tools: con­tin­u­al back­up with a unique user inter­face, far bet­ter tools for email, built-in on-the-fly file-view­ing (with no need to launch the appli­ca­tion in many cas­es) a faster brows­er and bet­ter video­con­fer­enc­ing and screen-shar­ing tools.

    In my case, I’d hate to have missed out just because I was run­ning on a sys­tem with a lot of cruft (accu­mu­lat­ed garbage). With the new sys­tem installed, my com­put­er is faster and can do a lot of things bet­ter. I only wish that I had been bet­ter pre­pared for this upgrade.

    If you are get­ting a new sys­tem with Leop­ard pre-installed, there’s noth­ing at all to fear. In fact, there’s less to fear in terms of lost data due to a disk crash (or even you mis­tak­en­ly delet­ing a file); Time Machine helps you recap­ture a lost file faster and eas­i­er than any back­up soft­ware I’ve ever seen to date; you just have to be sure you have an extra hard dri­ve to ded­i­cate to the back­up, and those are get­ting cheap­er every day. Yes­ter­day I saw a Terrabyte hard dri­ve for about $350, and that’s a Cana­di­an price!

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