When It Works, It Works

On my travels last week four technological items (and one program) worked so flawlessly, so perfectly, that I thought I should mention them. Instead of complaints, time to give some kudos to items and programs that actually do what they are supposed to do, and do it well.
   
First, the Palm Tungsten T5. I read my opening statement on it. I used it as my Bible. I used it as my Greek text (at one point checking a claim by Dr. Crossan and finding him in error on the term used, though, of course, he wasn’t looking at the text himself). I used a great program on it to store quotes and my cross-examination questions, a program that is easy to use and is simply perfect for storing data in a form that you can access quickly and easily. It is called Note Studio. It isn’t cheap. But it works, and works well. Best organization/note card program I’ve ever encountered. Highly recommended.
   
Now, let me warn you about something…if you have used the earlier Tungsten Palm devices (Tungsten, T3), and liked, as I did, the aluminum hard case Palm sells (I noted Tom Ascol had a T3 with a hard case with him on the cruise), whatever you do, do not get the T5 hard case. It is worthless. Talk about missing the point! The earlier hard case made sense: it was easy to get the unit in and out of it; you could turn it on, beam with it, plug in a headphone jack, etc., all while it was still in the case. But the genius who designed the new hard case for the T5 obviously has never actually used the T5, or any other Palm device. Getting the unit in and out of the new case is a chore, but more importantly, once it is in the case, you cannot beam; you cannot plug anything in; you cannot even get the stylus out or even turn it on and off without having to try to pull the device up and out of the portion it lies in (which isn’t easy either). A complete example of how to take a good idea and make it stupid in one fell swoop. Thankfully, Vaja makes a gorgeous case for the T5 that is functional and oh so wonderful (especially if you love the smell of Argentinian leather).
   
Next, I have had the Dell Inspiron 8600 for about a year now. Aside from the touch pad, which simply does not like my attempts at double tapping, this laptop is the best I’ve ever owned (and I’ve owned quite a few). Bullet proof. Gorgeous display, excellent battery life, accessories work well…it just does what it is supposed to do. Dell gets blasted a lot, but I have never had a problem at all, and this one has proven a real workhorse, traveling all over the US, England, Scotland, and Italy, without a single problem.
   
Next, I love my digital camera. It is the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W1 5.1 Mega Pixel unit (looks like mine is gone, but this is the current version). Again, it simply works, and what I love about it is that it has a very large screen that actually allows you to see the picture you have just taken with some meaningful level of resolution. Again, a unit that does what it claims to do. The gorgeous Alaska pictures I’ve posted came from that camera. A great investment.
   
Finally, one more piece of technology I took with me that I can very, very highly recommend: the Canon iP90 portable printer. We bought this little unit for me when I was in St. Louis back in February. It is very portable (fits in one of my Oakley backpacks along with our digital projector with room to spare), produces gorgeous, high-quality documents, even after being lugged around and shoved under airplane seats and run through security-point screening machines, and rolling down the rollers and running into other luggage—you get the idea—and that on the first sheet of paper. This crazy little unit also prints color, vibrant, high-quality color pictures, at like 1400 dpi or something along those lines. And it communicates with my laptop via the infrared port (i.e., I don’t have to carry yet another proprietary USB cable around). Talk about a blessing in a hotel room, where I can print out my boarding pass for the early, early flight in the morning, or a copy of my sermon notes or debate notes (always good to have a back up should my Palm take a dive). I have been tremendously pleased with the quality of this printer, and couldn’t recommend it more highly.
   
So, there’s your tech fix for the…month, or something. 🙂