The PDA of my desiring
I've been looking for a car phone to replace the antique I have
because the phone companies claim that it won't work properly with
their networks. As it happens that isn't true; what they're really
concerned about is bringing all of their installed base to the same
technology as a way of reducing their costs. Nevertheless, I'm stuck with
their attitudes - remember, I'm in Canada: telecom is a regulated
industry here and the only real competition is among the people who
design the ads for their marketing programs.
In looking at what's available, however, I keep running into two
kinds of problems: first the things are simply too small. I'm 6'4", 220 pounds, and
I have fingers to match - meaning that the nail end of my typing finger ;-) covers
about 50% of the keyboard on many of the more advanced models.
Second, most of these things don't do most of the things I want a combined
PDA/Cell phone to do. Specifically there are none which:
- contain a high res projector capable of putting a web page or other image
on a wall or other handy screen so I can actually see it in its entirity;
- have software to eliminate typing - i.e. something that does voice to text conversion
and has a mechanism to distingish things intended as commands to the local
device from things intended to be stored or sent as text.
- have software that effectively converts both ends of a conversation to text transferable to
a workstation or other full size computer;
- have software to remotely look up phone numbers and other contact information;
- is either big enough so I can have a conversation without feeling that I'm talking
to my pinky or small enough that it functionally consists only of a throat mike, an earpiece,
and something that fits easily into a pocket.
- and, most oddly, I want one that contains a printer you can use to fill in other
people's forms: like sign-in sheets or other nuisances where my horrible handwriting
amounts to a handicap. Specifically, I'd like something that prints dictated text
or programmable messages at the touch of a button -e.g. put the thing down on the sign-in form, tell it to
sign, and it prints "Paul Murphy, EDMS, 7:23 AM oct 28 2006" with the name part done
as a signature image.
I mean, really what's so hard about that? All of these technologies exist, more or less - so why
isn't anybody packaging them?
Probably because no one's asking for it right? so lets start that ball rolling: what's wrong with
my list? and how would you amend it?
Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration.
Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related