DIY

Today was spent working on replacing the fence between the garage and the house with a sturdy gate with the help of my Dad.

Well, we managed to get a very strudy gate and reused the planking from the fence on it. However, due to a minor mis-calculation about the thickness of the gate and the distance of the hinges from the wall (which can’t be increased without adding a second post) the gate won’t open fully. It opens wide enough for most tasks, so that’s OK.

When I say sturdy, the frame of the gate is made from 3″x2″ timber and has wrought iron hinges designed for garage doors. Add to this a nice big bolt and the fact that the door only opens outwards and can only be opened from the inside, it should be reasonably secure.

Treo update.

Well, it’s been 5 days since I got my Handspring Treo 600 and I’ve been using it quite a bit since then. I’ve not really used the phone other than to contact Orange for some help setting up their e-mail system. Anyway, here are the good and the bad points so far:-

Good points

  1. After getting used to it, the keyboard is pretty easy and quick to use. I can type on it about a third to a half of the speed of a normal keyboard now. This is far faster and more accurately than ever I could with Grafitti.
  2. The screen is bright and easy to read. Some would not think that the 160×160 pixel screen was good enough, but I prefer the long battery life to a higher resolution one. It is easily ample for what I need.
  3. The device is small and light. It’s small enough to fit in the trouser pocket.

Niggles.

  1. The built-in midi player only handles files up to 64K and they can only be put onto the machine via e-mail. They can’t be transfered via HotSync!
  2. The e-mail client, although pretty decent in most ways only allows messages up to 100K to be downloaded. This can be a little annoying.
  3. You can’t play MP3’s on the supplied handsfree earphone.

As a Palm device with a phone attached, it works well overall. Only a few niggles. I’m definitely looking forward to the day I can buy a belt-clip case and a HoySync cradle. The supplied HotSync cable isn’t really up to the job.

Erm.. thingies.

Events since my last real update..

My parents arrived for a week and a half’s visit on Thursday. On Saturday afternoon and evening my Uncle and Aunt from Enfield arrived for a family meeting, seeing as my parents are pretty rarely up this way. Lots of family gossip ensued.

Sunday was mostly spent working out how to convert the fence which joins my garage to my house into a secure gate. As part of this we visited a number of DIY stores to review the matterials available. Whilst out I popped into PC World and picked up a multi-format memory card reader so I don’t have to connect my camera or handspring to the computer to transfer files.

Today’s been a pretty non-descript day, really. I’m now having to write down how long I’m spending on non-general items at work. ie. any work which is specific to a certain group within the department I have to note down. This is going to be initially for a month so as to gauge how much time each group is using as a way to determine a charging structure for the research groups. For doing this, my new Handspring has been very useful, just as my Palm Pilot would have been, but the keyboard does seem easier to use.

Tomorrow’s going to be a very boring day. The morning’s going to be taken up with writing reports followed by an afternoon of meetings. Oh well. Such is life.

OK, OK.. it arrived, OK.

I now have the Treo 600. It arrived at lunchtime and it’s all nice and registered with Orange.

My first thoughts after using it are:-

Thank goodness! Orange haven’t diddled with the software much.. one splash screen when you turn the phone part on or off, some set-up options for e-mail and that seems to be it.

The keyboard is a little fiddly to use but OK for me. I doubt someone with larger fingers would be able to use it easily, however.

Although the machine doesn’t have graffiti entry for text it does for menu options! :-/

It’s smaller and lighter than my Palm Pilot Pro except for the protruding aerial. The screen is crisp and bright and can be seen well at high angles. I don’t mind the relative low resolution of 160×160 as this is the same as the Pilot Pro I’m replacing.

Oh, and the camera takes OK pictures and Orange supply a 32MB SD/MMC card which is a pleasant surprise as it doesn’t mention this in the package contents when you buy the machine.

Methinks Handspring are getting Motorola to build the machines for them. Not that there’s any give away’s to this relationship other than the power-pack is a Motorola one and the device is manufactured in Mexico. Oh no, no evidence at all.

Perfect timing?

My Palm Pilot Pro just upped and died. :-/

I was about to check something I’d put on my Pilot before I went home and found that it wouldn’t switch on. “OK,” I thought. The batteries were down to about 50% a few days ago so they may have just run out.

However, when I got home and swapped out the batteries there was no change. I tried hitting the reset button.. nothing different except the backlight came on and stayed on. And that’s as far as it went.

Let’s hope the Handspring arrives tomorrow so I have a working Palm device again.