Saturday 28 January 2006

Strange, but true: Email supplements social networks

I haven't had a lot of time so far this year for blogging, or even keeping up with what else is happening out there. However, a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project did grab my attention today - one of its conclusions about the impact of the Internet on society is that "email
supplements, rather than replaces, the communication people have with others in their network.

Have a look - it certainly challenges the assumption that there is nothing that compares to face-to-face communication. But really my take away from this report is that technology augments and expands our abilities to communicate and maintain connections with people.

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Monday 16 January 2006

Inaccurate Web

I've had a bit of Wikipedia moment this last week while trying to research a problem with my Palm TX resetting itself. Of course one of the first things I did was check out the user forums on the topic. But if I had believed all that I read online it really would have been quite misguided.

As it turned out, the Palm TX uses a different type of memory from past models meaning there can be incompatibilities with older software, causing it to reset. And yes, I had simply moved a lot of old software from my old Palm and added some more without appreciating the consequences.

However since resetting the Palm completely (a "hard reset") and being a bit more careful with what I install it has been trouble free so far (fingers crossed).

Unfortunately the message I was getting from the forums was that the TX was a flawed piece of hardware. Eventually I discovered some support advice from Palm, but it was hard to find since I was searching for a solution based on symptons.

On the positive, there is some helpful user generated advice out there, such as some user generated compatibility lists (Palm Focus and Palm Facts) - however, even these should not be take as fact. So, the lesson is clear - social software is great, but when it comes to accurate content it still remains a case of buyer beware.

Wednesday 11 January 2006

Happy new palm!

Happy new year everyone. Despite the apparent silence during my summer break (this is the southern hemisphere remember), I am actually back on the job. However, I've been a little distracted with setting up my new Palm TX.

This Palm is a long way from my first PDA, a Psion Series 3, which was followed by a disappointing experience with a Psion Series 5, and more recently of course a Palm VX. One of the big changes of course is the amount of memory and data storage available that really makes them closer to PC capabilities that an electronic organiser. However, the major change for me is that the Palm TX comes with Wifi built-in.

In theory this means I can connect to any public Wifi hotspots when I'm out and about - in fact this blog post was published via a public Wifi hotspot in Sydney CBD.

Of course theory isn't quite the same as practice... A combination of Wifi hotspot access limitations in Sydney CBD and the Palm's Web browser have a created a few challenges, but I'm getting there!