Palm Foleo – my initial reaction

Palm Foleo
 
Ok, I really don’t get this device – the way I see it, it’s Palm OS ALP with a giant screen and a keyboard (no touch screen and mouse – I know there is a "mouse", but come-on, no tracker-pad!?).
 
I mean, I love the Palm OS on a small device for the convenience of the form factor, but if I’m to go for something this large, I might as well spend more money and get myself a full-featured convertible tablet with a SSD… (alright, I’ll have to spend a lot more money for that…).  Also (as I mentioned before) what’s up with the lack of touch screen!?  That’s the thing I love most about PDAs!
 
I thought Palm is trying to reduce the number of devices we carry?  And not to have us lugging around an extra laptop-sized device – won’t most (if not all) of the targeted user group (which I’d image be business execs.) already have a laptop / tablet anyway?
 
I just don’t think spending $500 on this product (on top of which you’ll probably need a smart phone) is a good idea – you are probably better off spending $300 for the TX and pocketing the $200 change – I just think it’s too much a price to pay to read emails on the go…  Especially when you have a laptop with you…
 
Actually this brings me onto my next point – where the hell are you going to use such a device?  It’s not like a PDA where you can get it out just about anywhere, this device is like a UMPC (at least the current generation anyway) – you can use it on a long trip but not on a half-hour train ride – and for long trips, a laptop / tablet would probably be a better choice anyway.
 
Arh well… I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up for this mysterious device in the first place, I guess I’m just disappointed…
 
I guess I’ll still be using my Zire 72s for a long time to come…
 
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Mozilla Thunderbird migration (from Outlook + SharpReader) – well… almost…

Thunderbird logo
 
I was looking to migrate both Outlook and SharpReader (link) to Thunderbird 2.0, but having played around with it for the afternoon in VMware, it looks like the migration will have to wait…
 
Why wait until later?  Let’s start by looking at my migration reasons:
 
Outlook:
• It’s bloated – it uses about 100 MB with 1000+ handles
• It hangs after failing to connect to IMAP servers because of authentication problems / just because the server can’t be reached, and I have to kill the app…
• I can’t find text within a message easily – i.e. no in-line searching, hell, any searching for a string within a message, as a matter of fact…
 
SharpReader – as much as I love the app…. (link):
• It’s bloated – RAM it’s tolerable (just about…) but it uses waaay to many handles (again about 1000)…
 
So basically I’m looking for something that addresses those issues – Thunderbird looks to be a good candidate, as it does email and also RSS.
 
 
However, having played with it for the afternoon, despite it fitting my resource requirements (it uses about 40 MB / 250 handles), there are 2 main features that I need but isn’t yet implemented / working as I’d like it to:
 
—- Update (2010-03-03 @ 01:16:14) —-
1 – Compatibility with MS Outlook’s MSG files – Unfortunately, Thunderbird doesn’t open MSG files at all, and since most corporate email system uses MS Exchange with Outlook (including for me at work), all those exported email are almost always stored as MSG files…  (From what I’ve gathered, the MSG format is MS’s own proprietary binary format (don’t you just love the word "proprietary"  …), and so I don’t expect to see Thunderbird supporting that anytime soon…).

This is now achievable by using the MSG to EML conversion script!

(Actually, whilst we’re on the subject of MS Exchange, I don’t think Thunderbird supports Exchange server either – you’d have to use IMAP / SMTP – though I’m not too bothered about that at the moment.)
 
—- Update (2010-03-03 @ 01:16:14) —-
2 – Opening RSS item in external browser via hotkey – I almost got that to work with keyconfig (link) and functions for keyconfig (link) but whether it works or not depends on where you have focus on – for example, pressing my customized key [Ctrl]+[Enter] whilst focused on the message list will open the RSS item in both a message viewer window and also the external browser.  Yes I know I can probably get it to work properly if I do some more tweaking and JS hacking but it’s just too much effort – SharpReader just works with minimal fuss (mostly…).

Frankly, there are better RSS readers out there – Liferea being one of them (and is my reader of choice). Yes, I’m now on Linux!

—- Update (2010-03-03 @ 01:16:14) —-
And for those to-be Outlook converts – you’ll need the keyconfig extension add-on (link) – the default key bindings isn’t obvious until you looked at this page (link) – and even after that I find it awkward to use (for instance the "F" and "B" for next / previous message – I’d much prefer something logical like [Ctrl]+[Up] / [Ctrl]+[Down].)

No you won’t – really, it’s not that big a deal – Up and Down arrow key works fine ;-)!

However there are things I like in TB that aren’t in Outlook – for example, in-line search, edit a message’s HTML source (though you sort of can in Outlook – but it involves export and import as HTML…) and the whole add-ons business.  But I guess those 2 issues are just too big to ignore / workaround for now…
 
Watch this space for my review of the next version.
 

I’m on Facebook as well

What the heck – I’m on Facebook as well (like 90% of my friends…), if anyone’s interested…
 
I don’t really have a use for it yet – but let’s see what becomes of that.
 

Notepad++ or EditPlus

I’ve spent most of Saturday looking at Notepad++ (link) as a potential replacement for EditPlus (link) (well… I was actually looking to put Notepad++ on my machine at work so I can actually view text / binary files bigger than 20 MB), and I have to say, there are some neat feature that Notepad++ has over EditPlus.
 
For example, Notepad++:
• Can be used as a hex editor (via plugin)
• It allows the ordering of tabs
• Allows collapse of elements in code – even though that’s nothing new in IDEs…
• The "Find all" feature – it displays all the matches in the bottom panel.
• Text highlighting.
• Allows developers to write plugins for it.
 
However, saying that, there are things I would like to see an improvement in Notepad++, mainly:
• Regular expression search and replace – for example, it doesn’t work quite right if you try and replace all with just "^" – but works if you replace it entry by entry…
• Spell checker – I’d love to see that gets integrated.
• The lack of a ruler (though there seems to be quite a lot of requests in the forum about this)
• Settings aren’t in one place – plugins has their own place for options (alright, that probably can’t be avoided), shortcut keys have its own dialogue to configure with, the same goes for style and general program options.  I find EditPlus’ preferences much easier to use and configure, as it’s logically laid out.
 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing Notepad++ (hell I’m going to use it at work!) but I’m just pointing out the features I would like to see improved.
 
Don’t believe me?  Give Notepad++ a try – it’s free and GPL-ed!.
 
 
Have you got a text editor you’d recommend?  Drop me a comment.