Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath


The Sidekick is here! I thought it would take another week or more, but it showed up during lunch, and I plugged it into the charger right away. My old SIM card from my VisorPhone fit right in, and when I fired it up, it asked me to set up an email account right away. I got the name jkonrath (at the host tmail.com – feel free to drop a line) and everything worked right away! So I am very happy about it.

Everything about the Sidekick is pretty cool. The display flips open in a very cool way, and the LCD is very crisp and easy to read. The whole thing is very compact, and small – like the size of one of those hard-wired pocket videogames or something. The keyboard isn’t too bad to type with, although it takes some getting used to using the edges of your fingers as opposed to a full-size keyboard. The whole design in general feels more like an appliance, a usable tool than something like a pager or Palm pilot. It’s some pretty Star Trek bullshit.

The OS and applications are the icing on the cake, though. There’s a good email program that operates about like Eurodra or Outlook, and it’s integrated into an address book that also feeds into the portable phone application. AOL IM is built-in, as well as a calendar, notes, todo list, and a handful of games. The Web browser is pretty cool – unlike WAP phones, this goes through a proxy that crunches down sites and graphics so they are easily viewed and so you don’t download as much. You still get graphics though, enough to make it much more rich than a WAP phone. And there’s a detachable camera, about as big as a small keychain, so you can snap a photo (color, but very small) and then mail it as an attachment or access it on the web aside all of your mail and other stuff in their secure portal site.

The coolest part – UNLIMITED DATA FOR ONE PRICE! You only get 200/1000 minutes for $39 a month, but you get all the data you can download. Pretty cool.

By the way, I have a small web log that I can update on the go that is located at http://hiptop.com/hiplog/read/4/292/. I don’t know if I will actually update it regularly, but it lets me send in pictures I take, so it’s pretty cool to mess with.

I booked a vacation to Hawaii today. I am going in the second week of May, to Oahu. I got the airfare and four nights in a hotel right on the beach for $900. Now I need to do some research and actually figure out what to do there.

Gotta go watch wrestling and play the games on the Sidekick…