It’s been a while since I was a true gadgeteer. I shelved my trusty Newton MessagePad 2000 (upgraded) about 18 months after Newton Inc closed it’s doors and was re-absorbed into the Mothership. For a while I used a very functional Palm Vx which gave me a lot of joy and I spent the next few years being mostly resistant to gadget-lust with the various smartphones and whatnot that were making the rounds.
Gordon Murray from eWrite brought along his Nokia 770 Internet Tablet to Open Coffee Cork. A quick showing around and with a pricetag of â‚¬100 ex VAT and Walter decided to buy two, Rory bought one and Diarmuid bought four apparently. Walterâ€™s Twitter evangelising of it then got Conor, myself, Niall and Elly to buy one. So 24 hours later and 11 have been purchased, all as a result of one person at an event yesterday.
By the time I got wind of this deal, there was a 15 day wait on the devices and I’m nothing if not incredibly impatient so I went ahead and read up on the more expensive but more capable successor, the n800. And just before I went on holidays (the first real holiday in 5 years), I snagged one and downloaded some movies and media for it.
As a geek toy it’s pretty good. Opera seems compatible with just about every web site out there which is better than I can say for Safari and Internet Explorer. And while Firefox renders most sites fine, it doesn’t do my router config page at home, which Opera on the n800 manages with aplomb.
Suffice to say this little device has all but replaced my laptop with the aid of a 4 GB SD card from Maplin (for Â£29). When I run out of space I’ll plonk down another Â£29 and get another 4 GB card for the second slot (yes, it has two).
My next purchases are probably going to be the Nokia SU-8W bluetooth keyboard and I’m seriously considering the Navigator GPS gear too.
Wifi range on this doohickey is excellent but shows that freely available wifi in Belfast (and, for that matter Stranraer and Skegness) is woefully inadequate for the worker on the move. I’ve spent a fortune on Orange GSM Data over the last 10 days (which also goes to show how Orange’s GPRS service is utterly pants).
Did I mention the n800 runs Debian? This thing is like the anti-iPhone. Sure, it doesn’t actually have a phone in there but it’s as open as can be. And it’ll do til Apple get their finger out and release iPhone in the UK…
All you have to do now is walk into any phone dealership and ask for a blank stare. Cos that’s what you’ll get if you mention the n800 and accessories for same anywhere…