2 May 2007

Silly idea of the week: Sony Vaio keyboards

Sony Vaio notebooks have traditionally been stylish, highly specced machines, but one has to wonder what Sony were thinking with their current keyboard design. All current models seem to have very square keys. They look neat and have a reasonable feel, but they are quite awful to type on. If you’re one of those typists who cleanly hits the middle of the keys each time, then you’ll probably not mind them, but the rest of us will be constantly catching the edges of other keys until the backspace key becomes well worn.

The three most important aspects of a laptop are, to my mind, the things one actually interacts with — screen, keyboard and pointing device. Most trackpads are abominations, the new shiny screens are great to watch movies on (for which you have a TV), but awful for working in almost any kind of lighting, and now Sony are trying to neuter the keyboard as well. Is this progress?

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1 May 2007

My new Samsung Blackjack has arrived!

A week ago I took possession of a shiny new Samsung Blackjack on Telstra's NextG network. I love it, and it's the best set of compromises I can find at the moment, but it's far from perfect. My full review will follow in the next few days, as well as extensive tips on what add-on software to try and what cases to use to protect your investment. If you're thinking about investing in a Blackjack, Treo, MotoQ or phone enabled PDA, and let's face it, who isn't, stay tuned!

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Escalator Etiquette

Mahatma Gandhi suggested that you could tell a lot about a society from the way it used escalators. That's a slight paraphrasal—I think his original statement mentioned animals rather that escalators, but the idea, I'm sure you'll agree, remains the same.

By that criteria, my hometown of Adelaide is in a sorry state. Unlike London, or Sydney, or any other major city in the civilised world, people do not stand to one side to allow faster moving traffic clear thoroughfare. Instead, they just stand there like zombies on a day trip to the big smoke. And unlike many cities, there are no helpful signs here to dissuade people from this behaviour.

Surely this is a little thing, I hear you say. You may well be right, but because I have little else to gripe about today, I prefer to see it as emphatic evidence of a far deeper societal malaise. Have these people no manners or common sense? Are they utterly oblivious to the needs of others and to the world about them? Is it selfishness, lack of education, drugs or just simple stupidity?

And is this an Adelaide thing, or does it happen in your city too? Ben Harris at Metroblogging Bangkok bemoans the cummulative time lost in his life waiting for people while they prepare to mount escalators. What is your escalator experience?

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