Conabree On Gear – Being an “Early Adopter”

Ahh spring, the time of the year when gadget fever gets the best of me and I lament the utter lack of the ultimate toy.

As I write this, I sit in the little tech shop I call my office. On my desk lies my every attempt at having it all. At present, it is furnished with a Blackberry 957 with Go.Web, JVC Digital Camcorder, Neo25 12 gig MP3 player, Nokia 9820 digital cell phone, an MP Trip MP3 CD player, Jornada 820 Handheld, Handspring Visor Deluxe and Minijam, Sony Digital recorder and Canon Elph Digital camera. Not even glancing at my PC setup, I have a pretty good haul. Yet, despite it all, I still haven’t found nirvana.

Perhaps my PDA saga will help to illustrate. Back when the Palm and WindowsCE fight was heating up, I bought one of each. I loved the Palm III for it’s utter simplicity and ease of use for organizing my daily life. I then of course wanted e-mail and websurfing on it so I bought a GoType keyboard and snap on modem. For a while there, I seemed fulfilled. It wasn’t long before CE caught my eye. Slow and overly complex, the Jornada 820 did fulfill most of my old laptop needs with 6 times the battery usage, color, CF storage, office apps, e-mail and surfing at 56K for less than half the weight and profile. Life was good. Once again it wasn’t long before my addiction took hold. The 820 was too big to carry around in my pocket and I had recently become so dependant on my e-mail that I was asking bars if they’d let me plug in to check it. Friends got scarce. But then, like mana from heaven, came the Blackberry 950. Slightly bigger than my old pager, it gave me the ability to check and answer my e-mails from damned near anywhere. Oh, it was glorious. It was not long before my thumb tapping began to exceed my Jedi-like three finger typing speed on the desktop. I was free.

Then came the Blackberry 957. I hadn’t realized how much I missed the screen real estate. An extra meg of memory! Yahoo! This would be great. So, the kind folks at Pagenet had me moved up to the new toy. Once I got Go.web, and later, the ability to clip and paste, I was a one man office on the move. I still am. I’m actually typing this on my back deck now. You’d think I had finally found the ultimate toy for the unwired addict.

Well…not quite. I’ve been testing all the various PocketPC models and have found myself longing again. I could have a touchscreen, color, my MP3′s, even video, along with my PDA AND edit pictures from my camera AND e-mail them. Wouldn’t that be perfect? I’m afraid not. I’ve now become too addicted to “always on e-mail”. They don’t call this toy “The Crackberry” for nothing.

Maybe someone will build me a PocketPC with the same ability. Maybe someone will snap a cell phone and decent digital camera to it and package it all in a sleek awe-inspring package that I’ll be willing to give up beer, chicken wings and hot water for. Yeah, and when they do, you can bet there will be an ad in my e-mail for it and I’ll be there in 10 minutes to pick it up.

I guess that in the end, I’ll always be looking for something newer and better. It’s an addiction just like any other. Hopefully, I won’t end up living in the most technically advanced cardboard box ever to grace a downtown park.


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