Looking for a smart phone? Consider the Palm Pre 2. Seriously.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been checking out the Palm Pre 2 — the next generation keyboard / touch screen dataphone from HP. Previously I’d not considered a webOS phone much of a contender against the traditional leaders (Blackberry and iPhone), but this little unit changed my mind.

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In this review, I’ll touch on the things that appealed (or didn’t) to me about the unit. I won’t be going into a long description about each and every feature though, so if you’re interested in that, you can read more here.

For a $99 phone (with 3 year contract) there’s a lot going on inside this little black box. Continue reading “Looking for a smart phone? Consider the Palm Pre 2. Seriously.”

DOS on the iPad? There’s an app for that.

5374144373_36b6e593f5_m.jpg[UPDATE – looks like Apple has pulled it from the app store again]

I’ve got a rather strange, yet family friendly habit — I tend to collect computer emulators; software written for hardware, that acts like older hardware in order to run older software.

With me so far?

Over the last few years, Apple has been slowly relaxing the emulation standards in the iTunes App store for emulator apps, witness the Commodore 64 and rumored
Amiga emulators — though sadly, I doubt we’ll ever see one for the Apple ][

In the last 6 months, a DOS emulator has appeared, disappeared, and now reappeared in the store. And it’s a pretty solid app. Continue reading “DOS on the iPad? There’s an app for that.”

My device isn’t what it was yesterday.

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One of the neatest things about computers, and now portable computing devices (like my iPad) is that with a quick download, the unit’s function changes. If the promise of portable tablet computing plays out, mobile technology will be the next big wave in the tech biz. And why not, we’re only limited by the imagination of the application
developers.

I was reminded of this most recently when I noticed and explored variety of music synthesizers and ‘instruments’ for the iPad.

Some of these synth apps replicate oldschool electronic sound engines of the ‘80s, and other incorporate new thinking and technology.

Continue reading “My device isn’t what it was yesterday.”

How has the Logitech G15 (v2) fared after 6 months?

You may remember that I went through a rather interesting guarantee replacement with Logitech over the wearing paint on my original G15 keyboard. The short version is that they happily replaced it with a new, Version 2 G15.

I thought I’d take a moment and update my thoughts about it.

  1. I miss the three-key wide layout of the original G15. for online gaming, the bank of keys laid out three wide were much better than the existing single bank vertically aligned.
  2. I miss the blue key lighting. Amber is neat, but I still like the blue.
  3. The LCD display is a bit smaller. I may have to get reading glasses (not yet) to read my custom LCD Studio display…and that’s a neat thing.
  4. LCD Studio works fine with it. This allows for custom displays that you can configure for anything from in-game messages to current ammunition levels.
  5. USB Ports seem more stable. On the original G15 the keyboard seemed to draw more power, causing my computer to give me issue. With this the V2 G15, they’ve all gone away.

And as for the key paint? I’m getting a bit of shine on the space-bar and other commonly use keys, but the paint isn’t wearing through. I’m keeping my fingers crossed (which makes typing darned difficult!).

Logitech G15 Keyboard upgrade (v1 – v2)

Logitech G15 Keyboard (version 1) After a lengthy email exchange with Logitech customer support (started October 22, 2007), I’ve just received my replacement Logitech G15 keyboard (affiliate link).

The key problem (pardon the pun) was that the black paint on a few of the keys was wearing off, allowing the backlighting to shine through obscuring any key lettering. This keyboard was around a year old..maybe less.

Now, since I’d started the process, Logitech updated and revised the G15 with:

  • Logitech G15 Keyboard (version 2)Reportedly improved keyboard paint
  • Orange backlit keyboard (the first one was blue)
  • Reduced the number of programmable Gkeys from 18 to 6(!)
  • Reduced the size of the LCD display by appx. 40% though keeping the number of pixels HxW
  • Removed the ability of the LDC display to swivel
  • Removed the volume control wheel

Frankly, I was hoping for them to send me another v1 G15. I was comfortable with the desktop footprint it had (huge), I liked the availability of all those programmable keys, and I liked the size of the LCD display.

But now I’ve got a v2, and here are my initial impressions:

  • Key depress feel is soft…maybe mushy?
  • Keyboard sits differently on my desktop…I have to hunt initially to place my fingers on the home row properly
  • Keyboard footprint is smaller. I like this. I now have more desktop space for my mouse and Wacom Bamboo tablet.
  • LCD Display is very slightly out of alignment in it’s housing. Not too noticeable, but when I do it’s a minor annoyance.
  • The keyboard drivers and software were easy to install and setup
  • Logitech maintained compatibility with LCDStudio, so my custom displays run properly
  • Not sure I like the smaller LCD display…we’ll see how it goes.
  • I *think* I’ll like the orange backlight. It seems to glare less.
  • The volume buttons work ‘ok’, but the wheel seemed nicer — like the wheel on an iPod. Upside is I can still use the wheel/spot on the Wacom Bamboo 🙂
  • Marketing: the Box and some online literature do NOT mention that the keyboard has 2 USB ports. I was worried because the v1 G15 does have these, and I didn’t want to lose the ability to plug in thumb drives..etc.
  • Am I missing the extra 12 macro keys? I’m not sure yet. The keyboard layout is different, but since I also have a Nostromo n52 keyboard, I’m sure I can map any missing functionality over to it.

Conclusion: For now I’d say I’m satisfied. The process took a while, I’m not convinced the paint on this keyboard will last better than the last. The reduced LCD display size could be an issue…but I’ll reserve judgement on it for now…and I think I like the orange backlight.