[Originally posted Nov. 29, 2006]
A while ago my gainful employer sent me
some gift certificates to Best Buy. They sent them to the
but due to mrwise's
resourcefulness I got them anyway.
In any case, I used them to buy a DS Lite. I must say, I'm
impressed with it. It's beautifully simple, suspends and
so you can play for a few minutes on the subway and then
slip it in your
pocket, and the variety of games is great. The wireless
gaming works flawlessly
too, and the fact that you can play games you don't own is
really cool. I
really like Nintendo's
sticking to what they do best: gaming. I feel like with all
the other systems
out there, they just try to be too many things, and end up
getting them all
I've gone from loving mine to hating it. When I liked it, I
have data at all, since Fido charges ridiculously for data.
of my main reasons for getting a Tréo as opposed to
cheap and crappy was that I'd be able to read email on it,
Maps, etc. So after
to NYC, where T-mobile has a reasonable-ish unlimited data
went for it, and promptly discovered that doing anything
on the Tréo sucks.
The non-data stuff, like the phone, contacts and calendar,
so if you just want a fancy phone that you can also run Palm
on, I'd still say it's a good machine, but if you want to do
web, etc. I would recommend strongly against it:
- Their built-in web browser, Blazer, has about the worse
design I can imagine. The entire UI blocks all the
can't scroll a loading page until it's completely loaded.
scroll the current page as soon as you click something.
no tabs. This makes my usual latency-hiding techniques, of
stuff in another tab while I read current stuff, and (b)
clicking a link
and then reading the current page until it loads, useless.
- You can get Opera for it, but only the non-native Java
not a Tréo-specific version. It's somewhat better
in that it's faster and blocks less, but since it's Java, it
left and right, and sometimes locks up the machine
completely, to the
point where you have to hit the hardware reset button.
- The built-in mail program, VersaMail, is also a complete
junk. It completely fails to handle non-7bit-ASCII
decides to re-download your entire mailbox, blocks while
crashes often, etc.
- The new Gmail phone app is Java-only right now, meaning
it runs, it exhibits all the crashing and lock-up problems
has. Using Gmail in a web browser is also a no-go due to the
The one bright light is the Google Maps for Mobile app, which is
Palm native and rocks my socks off. But I went to the tech talk,
and believe you me it was no easy task writing that sucker.
modern Palms run PalmOS on an Xscale processor which is
some old 16-bit Motorola CPU or something? Sounds godawful.
I suspect the next PalmOS with Linux and GTK will be
a lot better. Hopefully it will also come with tinymail, which is all kinds of
Anyway, one of the reasons I went Palm instead of Crackberry
is that I
thought Palm had a larger software library. This is true, but
it seems that most new mobile apps are Java, because it's a lot
heasier to support a bunch of phones at once that way. All of Google's mobile apps supported
Crackberry right away or soon after launching, because
does Java, for example.
So, dear LazyWeb, how are Crackberries for non-data stuff?
phone, contacts and calendar work well? Are there 3rd-party
stuff like reading ebooks? How well does the email work with
I'm unlikely to want to pay for the special Crackberry
unless I can con Google into paying for it :)