Thursday, 01 November, 2001

Playing with the Palm Phone

After four days of playing with my new phone, I'm impressed and slightly disappointed.  I like the phone features (voice dial--how cool is that?), and I especially like the battery life.  Up to 5 hours continuous talk time and up to 130 hours continuous standby time on a single charge is, to me, amazing.  My old phone wouldn't even last two hours talking, and I had to charge it every other day even if I didn't actually talk on it.  I spent several hours working with the PDA today, and the battery still reads fully charged.

So why am I disappointed?  Well, I thought I'd be able to use the Graffiti writing interface to get real work done.  It's possible, but very slow.  I've never been much on writing--my chicken scratches are hard even for me to read--but scribbling in a notebook is much faster and easier than writing with a stylus on that little pad.  I can actually "hunt and peck" on the displayed keyboard faster than I can write Graffiti.  The only problem there is that the keyboard overlays half of the useable screen space.

I found a utility called FItalyStamp out on PalmGear.com that overlays the Graffiti area and apparently will enable an experienced user to exceed 50 wpm.  There's even avideo of somebody doing 82 wpm on the darned thing.  I'll definitely have to look into this one.