Little Computers

The OES Network Administrator and I have carried Treo smartphones for several years. We started with the gray Treo 270, then the 300, then the 600 and 650. Tip: never take on a $400 phone without the hardware replacement policy.

Motorola QSo, we like these phones, primarily for the Palm OS calendar that we sync with our Outlook calendars. Last week I got lost on the way to an off-campus appointment, so I pulled over, Googled the web site of the organization and called them for directions help.

I’ve also noticed that doing SSL Outlook Web Access on my Treo 650 is a bit better than before, as well as checking some of the bulletin boards I frequent. Pictures downsize pretty well. Even reading this blog is doable.

Of course, at $400 a phone, and the Internet service contract, the entry price is pretty steep. Now, of course, there’s a new Blackjack phone for about $200, and a Motorola Q phone for about $100. They both have thumb keyboards (like I must have), and they have Windows Mobile 5.0 operating systems that promise Outlook, PDF reading and other niceties.

Recently, Bill Gates said that kids in developing countries didn’t need $100 laptops. Instead, they need smartphones that can use keyboards and TVs for monitors, while connected to the Internet via the cell networks and being a phone. It is an interesting counter-proposal.

The other thing I find interesting is that we’re likely to see more and more $100 smartphones on campus, and gradually more of them will have direct Internet access that bypasses our content filters and other safeguards. Again, it brings to light the need for students to self-limit and self-protect themselves. The future is more open than closed.

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