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Archive for September, 2005

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Computing on the Road 5: Palm Patches

Friday, September 30th, 2005

The m125 may actually be a really bad idea… Is it the last model Palm released with AAA batteries? If so, we’re stuck with a bad thing. I have never patched so much, and I haven’t even used my device for anything yet.

The m125 (and I think I may have said this before) is skeletal. It (at least mine) runs OS 4.0.1 which is 0.0.9 points behind version 4.1 which you need if you actually want to use those cards that fit in the slot. I have already pointed out that the device can’t read cards >64 MB (Palm coyly claim 128MB on the download site, but they mention 64MB, and even 32 MB on one of their FAQ(you) pages—so what is it?). Even worse, Palm states that inserting such cards which have not been formated on a Palm device can lead to data loss. Cheers. I suppose I should be grateful that I did not pay full price for my 64MB Proporta ProBackup card. Of course, Palm will not take the blame—read the small print (even if you have to dig deep to find it)! You need:
[read on]

US shipping

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

BTW, having a really ancient, out-dated PDA such as the Palm m125 can have its advantages.

I just saw the PalmPak ebook series SciFi edition on offer at for a mere 88 cents (and that is for a pre-loaded SD card). Even if shipping is going to be about 12 bucks, that is definitely worth it. This little beauty contains the Peter F. Hamiltorn trilogy: ‘The Reality Dysfunction’, ‘The Neutronium Alchemist’ and ‘The Naked God’ (each of which are longer than ‘War and Peace’) plus ‘Second Chance at Eden’. In short: enough reading material for an entire RTW trip.

But guess what? ‘Geographical restrictions apply’. Amazon will ship to prisons, but not to the colonies (in case the SD card gets subverted by fundamentalist terrorists, no doubt). So no ebook for me, unless I come and get it myself 🙁

I rather go to Thailand any day.

PS I’m about to book my flights: SE Asia here we come! After a few days on the tourist trail to sort out visas, meds etc, I hope to aim straight for the Moluccas and Sulawesi. Wheeee!

PPS The postman just rung (again). He handed me a box which contained an empty 6 pint milk container, 2 bath sponges, a sawn-off fruit carton, a crunched-up plastic bag and, nestled securely among it all, my Dell Latitude C 600 laptop with floppy drive and wireless LAN card! Ebay rocks!

Computing on the Road 4: Backup

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

This entry has been edited 29/09. The Palm manual is a mere 2MB (and 200 pges) long and I’m studying it today :}

Christmas arrived early 😉

The chaps at Ebay are speedy, most of the time. Except for the guy whose laptop I bought—he seems to have gone into hibernation. I know, he’s a small-scale private seller with a dayjob and little time, but I’m paranoid because it’s the most expensive thing I have ever ordered online and my experience with still gives me the jitters. However, Ebay sellers take their feedback-ratings rather more seriously. But I digress. The postman rang the bell this morning with no fewer than 3 envelpes for me: 32MB SD card, all the way from Hongkong: check. Kingston Travellite USB card reader (backwards compatible with USB 1.1): check. Proporta Probackup 64MB MultiMedia Card: check.
[read on]

Will it ever end? (Computing on the Road 3)

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

Now here’s a surprise: There is currently no reliable Open Source word processing software for Palm <OS 4.0 (but check out the exellent Tejpwriter (from Swedish for ‘tape’) for OS 5.0).

And here are the problems I have with what else is on offer (also see thePalm Writing site):
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Computing on the Road (2): the Saga Continues.

Monday, September 26th, 2005

No matter what people say (and I know there are many cultist devotees), the Palm (any Palm as far as I’m concerned) is a pile of shit. Sure, it was never designed to work as an independent unit which will talk to any old computer in any old internet café, but this thing amounts to less than even the minimum bare bones I would expect to see bundled with an old Amstrad or whatever.
[read on]

Getting ready: Computing on the Road (1)

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

My Palm m125 arrived last week. For those scratching their heads: the Palm m125 is a PDA which was state-of-the-art Anno 2000 with 8 Megs Ram (yeah, that’s right, 8 Megs and a monochrome screen. But it has an SD card slot and, more importantly, it runs on a twin-set of AAA batteries.

What, I hear you whisper, is that all about?
[read on]

Poule au Pot (Summer’s Last Stand)

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

September leaves little to smile about. The sunny days of summer have been replaced by the leaden skies of autum and as the chill draws in, the clammy air creeps up my skin. It is now just above the temperature where heating is justified. Outside, I can see the first leaves being shed in the breeze like dandruff being shaken from the trees. Very occasionaly the sun breaks through, revealing glistening spider webs the size of large dinner plates and the dancing dots of daddy longlegs which mean that I’ll keep the windows firmly shut. Even then the latter sometimes get inside. There are thousands of them—clinging to the last of the warm days—and they have a penchant to descend from nowhere and sweep across my face or get entangled in my hair. As if that wasn’t enough, my hair is now mottled with grey. It is truly the season of age and decay, or as the Americans named it so much more pertinenly: Fall.

Time for Summer’s last stand.
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The Beginning of Autum…

Sunday, September 18th, 2005

Today I finally relented and fired up the gas fire in the lounge. The light outside is grey and although the leaves are still green, autum started last weekend when the first trees in the woods began to turn yellow and red.
[read on]

Time of Reckoning

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

Confidence is supposed to increase with age and experience, but this is just not true.

I have received a letter inviting me to speak [against] the planned developments at our Friendly Neighbourhood Atomic Weapons Establishment which has applied to build a couple of sheds (and—hush!—associated facilities for which it has just received funding to the tune of a few billion quid). Any building work on the AWE site is a matter of local concern, so I duly cribbed a letter from a template supplied by the peace movement and sent it off . The council considered my concerns about the potential noise impact and defilement of the landscape (sadly they can’t take into consideration that Britain, along with the USA, intends to contravene the Nonproliferation Treaty by developing new nuclear weapons) and now I have the opportunity to speak out at the next Public Meeting in Newbury on the 21st of September.
[read on]

Thunderbolts and lightning…

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

…very, very frightening!
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