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Perfect Handheld? Not Yet

06/01/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Mobile and Wireless, Living

Dan Gillmor and I started a discussion in email back in 2000 about our various ways of staying connected when out of the office. Back then, I was using a PalmVx with a Novatel wireless modem and the Omnisky service. Now Dan talks about his ideal handheld in "Perfect Handheld? Not Yet".

I've always tended towards "best-of-breed" rather than accepting the compromises associated with squeezing everyhting into one box. This is true of Business Intelligence systems, integrating Open Source projects, stereo systems, even take out food [don't ask, don't tell]. It is especially true of my PDA.

I have a fierce brand loyalty to Palm [er, PalmOne, PalmSource, oh, yes, Palm is fine] and I'm very attached to open source.

I've been back-of-the-envelop designing a wireless network hub that would take care of that part of the system, until small-enough processors and wiki(software radio) catch up to each other in terms of specifications provided and required. OLED screens that can pull oull out of a rod like a scroll will make life better in this area too. I think I would rather carry a few small devices, than one clunky, compromised device. But ignoring packaging for a moment, here's a list of funtions, features and standards that I want with me all the time:

  • Open Source OS
  • Lot's of third-party apps
  • Synchronization capabilities, wired & wireless
  • wireless PAN, LAN, MAN & WAN - whatever the latest protocols are
  • Voice and Data
  • eBooks
  • calendar, text processing, word processing, contacts
  • graphics rendering [data visualization, games, and more]
  • SD storage, maybe two slots, maybe even one CF
  • email
  • attachments
  • web & wap
  • feed syndication reader
  • cookies & javascript enabled
  • SSL & other encryption

Several small devices easily distributed in various pockets would suit me just fine. I do want to get rid of the leather pouch I always have attached to my belt. Right now the leading contenders that could be mixed and matched to get some of these, if not all, are

If I had a convenient user interface, processing power, the OS and software and storage to do it all, the headset, the various connectivity capabilities, and Bluetooth tying it all together, I wouldn't need or want a "cell phone" per se. With what's available right now, it really is hard to put together a working system - and of course, coverage in CDMA, GSM or 802.11[whatever] is spotty at best, though iPass does have a good solution for worldwide accounts.

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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

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