Sunday, February 10, 2008

My New Centro

I have to thank my husband for convincing me to finally upgrade my old Treo 650 to a new Centro. Some of you know I'd kept waiting for the 650 to finally break--I'd even started doing dangerous things with it, like going jogging with it or taking it with me on a roller coaster (if the Cyclone won't break it, I guess nothing will).

That Treo 650 served me well though, and it was a good piece of hardware. But I'd had it since the release date--that was over three years ago. The internet connection was so slow and the web browser so old and clunky, I stopped even trying to surf the web. The camera was a cruddy VGA camera--might as well draw a picture. I had a long list of complaints about syncing with the campus Exchange server but I'd just grown used to the quirks.

So I finally broke down and upgraded.

Wow. What a sexy little device. It's small and sleek and shiny. I can surf the web with Sprint's EVDO speed. I can get my mail via Exchange Direct Push. All the quirks I'd grown accustomed to with the 650--bad camera, slow response time, low speaker volume, less than two months of calendar data, no support for viewing PDFs, no access to the campus global address list, and more--are gone.

You may be wondering--why Palm? Windows Mobile devices can do all of that and much more. Why make things more difficult and stick with a dying operating system? Heck, at UK, we are even breaking new ground with an alerts system for Windows Mobile. Why not take full advantage of that? And so on and so on. I can hear my IT colleagues now.

It's not that I'm misinformed. I did head up library desktop support for several years. My reasons why I went Palm one more (likely last) time:
  • Easy to use. The Palm OS and the Treo/Centro smartphone design work well together. I can easily one-hand it and do most things. The menus are easy to access. It's rare for me to grab the stylus, though I could pick it up now and still Graffiti like nobody's business if that were feasible (I've seen software for installing Graffiti on a Treo-like device, but that just seems silly when you have the keyboard).
  • Cheap or free software. Need a diet calculator? Or a travel guide? Or yet another version of Sudoku? During the short period I used a Windows Mobile device, anything I wanted to download always cost something. With Palm, I've always found it easier to get a free or cheap download for whatever I need.
  • It's comfortable--it's what I like. I've been using a Palm OS device since my first Handspring Visor in 1999. None of my Palms have ever failed me. They are easy to use and do the job. That's what I need, so that's why the Centro is for me.
  • And finally, it's cheap. Who can complain at $99 for a full-featured smartphone. Plus if you squint enough, from the back it almost looks like I'm using an iPhone (next gen, I'm waiting for you).

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