Well, I decided that since yesterdays entry was so small that I should make a really long entry today. I have a really good outline made for today that I am trying to keep organized… Some stuff here may have been said before, either here or elsewhere…
First up is the whole one laptop per child thing. I think that it is a pretty good idea. We need to bring technology to everyone! Having a laptop is a really good idea since a lot of kids do not have access to a computer let alone a laptop. There are a lot of kids who do not have access to the Internet. Of course, where there is a good idea, there tends to be problems… One of these problems is that they will not be for the American children. This is for the poorer countries. Now yes it is nice to think of others, but giving computers to these people is, in my opinion, the wrong approach! We should be focusing on what is really important for them. Sorry Nick, but your plan is flawed! People in America may have more money but that doesn’t mean that everyone can afford a computer and Internet access! Now I am not saying the computer has to cost $100 like the poorer nations can get… The $100 price tag is due the minimum order being a million. Why not make a somewhat decent computer and Sell it for maybe 250. I think the people in these poorer nations would much rather food and money then buying 1 million minimum of these computers! People are starving, the last thing these kids need is a crappy computer!
There is going to be a special offer on these for the Americans however… For $400, you can get one for yourself. The reason is that you also send one to a needy child. So its like buying 2 but giving away 1 to a random person. The concept is great but the question remains… Will anyone actually buy one of these? I for one don’t want one! They are ugly and look way to toy like for me to want to use one. The colors are just plainly put, nasty as Hello Kitty in a blender! They also have quite a limited use to me. Since they were designed for children, they are small. Small size means a small keyboard! My NEC keyboard was small enough thank you! The operating system is also a crippled version of Linux… Though I am sure there will be hacks eventually. But I for one am not willing to wait for them… Needless to say, I will NOT be buying this one!
Laptops have been getting cheaper, but they are not cheap enough yet to me. There is no reason that they can’t make cheaper complete computers! They could sell them for about 250 bucks. Its not really that hard.
There is one way to lower costs by a lot. Using lower end hardware, with an optimized operating system. This could be a low powered Linux distribution! This could let you get away with a slower processor speed. You can also save money since Linux is freely available. Since its open source, you are free to edit the code to satisfy the needs of the computers. Not to mention all that free software that is available. Lets look at some of this free software…
OpenOffice.org is a very popular freely available office suite. One of the things that makes it such a good choice is all of the formats it supports. It supports Microsoft’s Word formats for example. This is really good since there are so things that Word can work on. This is including PDA’s and smart phones. It also can run on Linux and Windows machines. It does not need much to run good either. This makes it perfect for this solution. The only problem is the load time. Also, though not necessarily a problem, it takes up about 300MB. This is very small compared to Office 2007 though.
Linux as previously stated
There are some really good freeware programs that I love for Windows also however. I am considering a Freeware page for the site. This would for sure contain these following programs.
Firefox This is the one program I think should be standard on all computers. It is such a better browser. One thing that makes it better is that its safer then Internet Explorer. My parents have to run the spyware programs like Adaware quite often. I never have to since I don’t get that junk with Firefox. Not to mention all the plug ins that are available. One of my favorites is the AdBlock Plus plug in. Yes this is bad since it blocks the ads on websites, and the ads make people money. But you know what? I don’t care! It gets rid of the annoying ads on pages. This not only makes my web experience better but pages load faster. Why? You don’t have to wait for the ads to load!Why is Firefox Blocked? is a site that I hate. If a site blocked me from using either Adblock Plus or Firefox, I just won’t go to that site. Simple as that. You lose out on a reader of your site, good job! As much as I hate Internet Explorer, I won’t block users from this site. Why? I believe that if you block a browser, you deserve to be shut down. Thats Internet HATE!
I usually use Thunderbird for email since I do not like the Microsoft Outlook Express. I use it on my T20 but not on the Acer. I use Outlook 2002 on my Acer since that is what came with my iPAQ. I use this to sync to. I like using Thunderbird since its made by the same people as Firefox, Mozilla.
I also use Pidgin for instant messages. Why? The simple answer is that its the new GAIM. But what is GAIM you ask? Thats the open source multiple protocol messenger of course! I started using it on Linux and it stuck for Windows use. Now if they would only make one for my PDA! Well at least there is IM+ for my iPAQ!!!
Of course since I am back to XP, I need to have anti virus software. I hate Norton so I decided to try Avast. I must say, for free, this is the best program ever coded. They have you register once a year for a free serial code. There is one very cool feature I like: There is a pop up that talks saying the virus definitions have been updated. And this is also done automatically!
CCleaner is a perfect program for people who are obsessed with saving every last bit of space on the hard drive. This will rid your computer of a lot of junk. One of the thing it does, besides free space, is clean out your registry. I am not sure how much it helps but I guess every bit counts really. I tend to run the space cleaner part more, for the cache of Firefox.
What is up with this whole Microsoft Office thing anyway. I mean, they have how many versions of this thing? The one version costs more then my Acer! Ultimate is 680 bucks. What the hell! OpenOffice is free and does a lot. Why can’t Microsoft give you at least a basic version? I don’t mean word pad either.
See, in my opinion, Office should be a core part of the operating system, even if its really basic. That is one reason I will never buy Office, no matter how cheap it is. I would rather use OpenOffice for free. Not to mention there is also Abiword.
There is one reason I think that Office should be on EVERY computer though… When you are working on a file on a different computer. If Office was a core part of the operating system, this would be no problem. That is one reason I love a 4GB flash drive. They have portable OpenOffice and Abiword.<
Also, OpenOffice has a weird thing with it in my opinion. When you save as a .DOC file, versus a .ODT file. The DOC file is much bigger then if you had just used something else. Like say I save this entry as a .DOC as I am now. It will be smaller if I used the PDA to save the same document.
ODT files are great but I use DOC when I need to transport the files. I have decided to use only DOC files anymore since I store all my files on a flash drive since I can not really trust the T20 hard drive now.
I have been thinking about the ASUS Eee PC lately. This makes me wonder one thig firstly… When will it come out? It was suppose to be out in August! There was a Russian site that did a review of it. Since I don’t know Russian, I did what most people do: looked at the pictures.
This brings up an interesting point: The bottom is not flat. This interesting flaw can present some problems to me. It can be a pain to use on a lap or desk. Since its not flat, that could mean it will wobble. The thing is also small so lap use can become very awkward also.
Now, the most annoying thing on it is that bezel around the screen. There is suppose to be 2 versions. The 701 and the 1001. You can guess what the main difference will be: screen size. The 701 is a 7 inch screen, but the same size as the 10 inch model. This makes for a pretty big bezel around the screen.
There is also the problem with the price. They decided to play “change the prices” now. The cheapest model, which was previously stated to be 512MB of RAM and a 4GB SSD (solid state disk) and priced at 200 dollars is now 250 and is also now only 256MB of RAM and 2GB SSD.
Why am I mad over this? Simple! They stated a price of 200! I wouldn’t care if this base model was 200 bucks, as I don’t need that much space as they have USB and SD card slots on them, but its 50 bucks more! That may not seem like a lot but for what this thing is, 50 bucks is a big difference to me. They sell a 4GB SD card (not SDHC too!) for about 60 bucks, so why is the drop in memory costing an extra 50?
This PDA is starting to get on my nerves lately. For example, I get an error with ActiveSync, that is just the most generic thing an error can say! I don’t remember the text exactly but I believe it was similar to this. “An error occurred.” That really tells me soooo much!
The next thing pissing me off is the 7 item limit on the start menu. Okay, they can have space for 5 “recent items” but I can only have 7 programs? What if I wanted to have 12 instead? Nope cant do that! Also, unless you can navigate the file system and manually copy the shortcuts to the start menu folder, they will not be listed under programs. That means that if you use the menu setting, they will only be in one place! I like having them on both…
Also, I hate that recent programs thing. It really makes the menu long. I don’t care about my recently used programs! All I really want is Today Programs Settings. Thats it! I could do with a few applications I use a lot but its not really needed. I would also like the shortcuts to the programs I do want there to be icons, 5 per row, so I can keep it small.
Also, why is that when you remove a program from the device using the remove programs thing, it sometimes leaves behind the icon? I have having to delete them, whether it be by hand or by a programs doing. Its just a pain that I don’t think should be there.
Now this is one thing that I wish WM5 and 6 lacked… The whole soft key thing. They are nice if the device, like the phones tend to have now, when there is a hard key for them. They are a pain to use the device one handed if there isn’t! I liked the 2003SE bottom bar much better.
Also, why can’t I seem to find a setting to tell Pocket Internet Explorer how to handle the up and down buttons. I would rather see it be able to navigate by link only when I use the left and right keys. Would much rather up and down scroll by the page. If there is a setting for this, I sure haven’t found it!
Also, I would like to flip the bottom bar and start menu around to look more like Windows. I would also like to see themes for the actual operating system too. Not just the today screen and the bar colors. I would love to make mine look just like Windows 2000. There may be a third party application but I think it should be a core feature.
Also, speaking of core features, I thin we should be able to edit what we want installed in the ROM. This would mean more memory, which devices definitely could use more of. I do not use, for example on my iPAQ, the download agent. Nor do I use terminal server. I would much prefer the extra memory.
Of course. The need for third party applications annoys me too. Why should we need to fix what Microsoft didn’t do right? A good example is the close button. Why can’t it be more like SPB Pocket Plus where you can set it to be close or minimize on tap, tap and hold or gesture. Also, you can even have a context menu! The menu will have all the running tasks with close buttons and whatever menu item you have chosen.
There is also the junk that builds up from Pocket Internet Explorer. You can either clear this manually or with programs. Hey heres an idea, why not have an option to disable that junk? The cache is the worst waste of space on the device.
Now, if we can have storage cards that hold 4GB be the size of my finger nail, why can’t you just put that much space inside the device for the same price? Sure, I have a 4GB SD card for my iPAQ and a open compact flash slot, but why should I need to use them?
The PDA is good to keep organized though. I have been trying to use my iPAQ more and more. I have decided that the task program is good for setting up a basic outline for a blog entry. I can toss down what I want to cover as a task with a note. Then when all done, I can just check it off after I post the entry.
Of course, I was expecting to need to change that Boxwave screen protector sooner or later. This was a Boxwave Clear Touch that was on it when I got the 3 week old iPAQ… That makes it about half a year old. Not to bad I guess. But thats not the worst part…
I would have ordered my self some but I had already bought the HP branded ones before I got the iPAQ in the mail. This makes me annoyed as they are the worst things I have ever seen. They are thin and are really easy to scratch. In fact, I scratched it as soon as I took the stylus to the screen! So now I have 11 more of these things left!
I decided to try some Belkin ones I had purchased for my Axim before it did the Dell thing… I don’t know why but these also scratched incredibly easy. Maybe its because they were old but I am really annoyed. This means that I have to order the good ones before I can really use my PDA. That also means I have like 22 of these things! UGH! I guess I can use them for crappy devices that do not have a touch screen, like cameras.
Truth be told, I kind of miss my Axim now. Why? The thing was designed well. Too bad it wasn’t made that well! The thing has some features I miss terribly. Like one thing it had was a big battery that I got for it. That made WiFi use fun! But there was something else that made it good:
I had a clip on keyboard for it. It wasn’t a great keyboard as it didn’t light up and the buttons were rubber, but it was easier then using on screen data entry! This is of course the thumboard they sold for it. That was by far the best 20 bucks I ever spent on it.
The stylus wasn’t have bad either! It was weird as it was flat though. Everyone called it the fish. The truth was that made it quite nice to hold. Too bad the tip broke off my one and the one I was given fell out! The thing had some nice weight as it was all metal except the tip.
Of course, the best thing was the buttons. The jog dial on the side was much better then the ones from Clies. They were spring loaded so all you had to do was hold it down. The side buttons were also very handy. I had the record button mapped to rotate the screen and the wireless button hacked for WiFi only. Unlike the iPAQ, I didn’t need to hold them down for that!
On my iPAQ, the button mapping is a little weird really. I have the record button mapped to PocketPlayer and PocketPlayer maps that to the screen toggle. Then the Calendar does double duty with the hold function as rotate screen. The Address button hold function is the start menu. The messages button is held for iPAQ Wireless. The old iTask button is now the context menu of SPB PocketPlus and held for the today screen.
The return of using Windows and my iPAQ brought back something very annoying! USB! I hate USB since my Acer only has 2 ports you can use since the third is on the front of the casing. This requires me to use a hub.
You can say I hate hubs really. Why? They get in the way for one thing! I can never find a good place to put it! Then there is the mess of cables everywhere on the desk. There is however, one hub I will use. That would be the Targus ChillHub I have. Its the one with the 2 fans. The new one that blows air UP.
What makes this one so different? Well one thing is that it fits UNDER the laptop. The second is that all the ports go off to the back of the desk. I use it to keep the Acer cooler too. Always good for the processor!
There is also too many connectors anymore. We have B, mini, micro, and everyones favorite: the one device only dock connectors. I hate the dock connectors so much! Why can’t everything just use a standard? Please, will you companies just chose a single connector as standard?
There is also the fact that not many devices have a host port. This is not really needed on stuff like MP3 players but it could be very terrifically useful to use a PDA user. This means that you can easily transfer a file from your PDA to your laptop without a card reader, sync cable, or anything else. Just a USB flash drive.
Also, why can’t we settle on a stanard card for storage? Here is a plan… How bout a small card, the size of maybe Mini SD that is also a USB connector? ITS THE PERFECT MEMORY FORMAT! Its not only a card for your phone or camera but a USB flash drive! If I can think of this…
We are seeing a surge in mobile devices lately such as PDA phones and the…iPhone… Yuck! But with this surge in devices, you would think they would have more mobile sites. I am not as concerned with formating of the site as I am with the speed of loading.
When I go to a mobile weather site, I want my forecast FAST. I know they have some mobile news websites but there is a definitive lack of mobile forums and chats. I know that it is possible to have mobile versions as several ones I check have a mobile version.
I hope this made up for the short entries I have made in the past! I was going to make this longer but I got stuff to do!