Toddy Smart Cloth

Toddy Gear LogoSince the finger became the input device of choice, I’ve spent more time polishing my smartphone and tablet than I care to admit. I usually use whatever is handy but I know that this isn’t always a good idea – cotton can be more abrasive than you think and there’s nothing worse than a grain of sand caught in the weave. Toddy Gear have the solution to this problem with microfibre smart-cloths designed to keep your gadgets smudge free without liquids and in dozens of brilliant patterns. And they are brilliant patterns.

Toddy Cloths

They’re also reasonably priced with most single cloths at $10 and there’s currently a “3-for-2″ offer on in the on-line store. Toddy Cloths available from Best Buy and Target retail stores. Regrettably, it doesn’t look like the Toddy Cloth is currently available in the UK, otherwise I’d be popping out to get one.

Our Todd will be chatting with their Todd at next month’s CES in Las Vegas. Watch this space.

Palm, Windows, Slate and HP’s Revitalized Future in Mobile.

Toward the end week, HP made some major moves. First, they bought Palm for 1.2 Billion. HP then mentioned that the Slate tablet will be put on hiatus (first thought cancelled). Now there are reports that a “Web OS” will most likely be put on the Slate. Wait a minute – wouldn’t that be “Palm”?

Of course, earlier in the week, we heard that Palm OS was purchased by HP for 1.2 billion. While some say it cost too much, there may be some good reasons why it happened this way. One big reason: HP might have been in a bidding war. Still, Palm OS could become the mobile OS HP has been looking for and that 1.2 billion might net them 20 times that amount.

HP Owns 20th Century PDA

I know that doesn’t like much, but think of it this way – HP Jornada, Compaq iPaq, Handspring Visor, Palm OS. That is what HP owns now. The only early PDA assets HP doesn’t own is those from  Apple (Newton), Casio (Cassiopeia), Sony (Clie) or RIM (Blackberry) – Casio ended their PDA run and Sony changed focus to mobile gaming. So HP now has the majority of technology for early PDA and the patents within. While this won’t be a shield to any patent infringement lawsuit, one would definitely need a good iron clad case for legal action.

Slate

We are entering into the “Keyboardless” era – where you don’t need any peripheral attached to use a machine. iPad shows we can have a decent computing experience without keyboard or mouse. iPad also feels that you don’t need to connect USB devices, so they left all those items off their tablet.

In the meantime, what was first thought as full cancellation, turned out to be more of a “restart” for the Slate tablet. Windows is out, that is for sure. The obvious reality was that Palm OS is in. A good move for HP, but why not have 2 versions?

An engineer at HP was overheard saying Windows 7 was a powerhog. That may be true, nonetheless, are people going to see Palm OS as a good alternative OS? I suppose only time will tell.

Palm’s future: Where else will we see the OS?

With the idea that iPad runs a mobile OS, some are starting to realize the versatility. One OS for your phone, tablet, TV,  car, etc.

Last month I went out to HP to talk about Converged infrastructure. In layman’s terms: a fancy way to say “Server administration”. The idea that you can set up a server room and have anyone administer from anywhere on the planet. However, as I was interviewing presenters, one mentioned something I hadn’t thought about:

… there is no good way to administer a printer….

Most printer problems require physical attention: replace a cartridge, fix a paper jam, etc. But beyond the web page administration of a printer, there has not been much innovation to printer OS technology. What if something like Palm OS was ported to a printer?

Let’s take another approach. HP has another OS called HP-UX; It’s their Unix solution. In a “Converged Infrastructure” world, connecting to servers like the HP-UX is important. So why not have a moble OS solution that can really integrate with this idea?

Consumer Level OS

HP has really pushed their lines of consumer products in the last couple years. From netbooks to touchscreen machines, they have brought a lot of innovation to the machine. But they still rely on other Operating systems to really power the experience.

With a mobile OS solution, they can bring an experience to all these devices, some with option to have both on the computer. If you need Windows or just a device that can access the internet to make a Skype call or send an email.

So there are a lot of places Palm could become integrated. Items that HP could have implemented already with other Operating Systems, but they would still be other companies OS’s. This Palm acquisition can give the mobility HP is looking for in more than one way. That, might be worth the 1.2 billion.

HP Buys Palm, Buys Me

The news that Hewlett-Packard has bought Palm has rocked the tech world and has even been covered by some of the mainstream media (BBC).  It’s possibly second only to the next-gen iPhone debacle.  But all of this has been adequately covered elsewhere.

I’m a long-time Palm owner.  I started out with a Palm III, buying it in Heathrow’s duty-free shop out of my first pay packet as a business consultant.  I think that was back in February 1999.  Since then I’ve had a further three PDAs (defecting to Sony Palms for awhile), before getting into smartphones with the Treo 650.  I’m now on the Pre, which I like.

This isn’t meant to be a demonstration of fanboy-ism, but rather a reflection that for over ten years, I’ve probably had a Palm device in my hand almost every single day of the year.  It’s become integrated into my life in a way that no other device, website or even person has. It knows what I’m doing, when I’m doing it and who with.  It knows what I’m reading, what I’m playing, what I’m watching, what I’m listening.  It’s my bank balance, my stocks, my shares, my Christmas wishlist.

It’s me.

So while HP might have been buying Palm, it’s also bought me and thousands of other Palm owners whose devices are a daily part of their lives.  Welcome to the family, HP.

My New “PDA”

My New PDA
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by technology and need to unplug yourself? I know I do. I have stuff stored in my cell phone, on my laptop, in an online calendar, and on a clipboard. The bad thing is I have a hard time finding what I need when I need it. It seems like I have all the tools to be organized but the tools themselves become clutter. An example is a simple list of oil & fuel filters I use for all our vehicles. I have it on a piece of paper (somewhere), in my phone (when I can find it), & on my email application. But when it is time to buy the filters I have a hard time getting to the information I need. So last week I de cluttered a lot of stuff. Some crap went on ebay but more went in the trash. Then I went to the Dollar General store in town & picked up my new PDA….. a 3×5 inch spiral note pad (Personal Declutter Assistant). Everything that I need to schedule immediately or remember I write down in this little book and I keep it with me all the time. I also use a pencil with an eraser to write with, something I never used to use except in school. I can hear the giggles coming across the bandwidth as you read this. I used to make fun of older guys carrying notepads with 3 inch pencils but you know what they had very organized & “clean” lives. I am not getting rid of my gadgets or downing technology. I am just cleaning up the life a bit.

The greatest example of this simple lifestyle was when I was right out of high school in 1992 -1993. I was working at a automobile distribution center. We had to purchase our own tools so two different tool companies came around weekly, a Mac Tools guy & the Snap On guy. The Snap On guy was younger with a computer on the truck and some kind of hand held device to enter information. This was the early nineties so high tech is a relative term! The Mac Tool guy was an older gentleman with …… a small notepad and a pencil. Can you guess which one was more successful (at least in my workplace)? The Snap On guy was not there some weeks and rarely had the tool you needed and you had to wait longer to get it. The Mac man was always there every week & usually had what you needed and if not he would get it the very next week. Now if we reversed the guys & tools I think the older guy would have still been more organized. So it really is an attitude & life philosophy more than a tech or non tech thing. I think that we just let our brains get scattered with too many devices to store too much information.
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