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Thursday
Oct302003

Mac & PDA Tidbits

Happy Thursday! For your blog-reading pleasure, I have a bunch of smaller tidbits to mention on both Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, Mac G5s and PDAs. Enjoy! :-)

First, Panther. Today, I came across a very nicely done eleven page report, called What's New in Mac OS X 10.3 Panther over at divintoosx.org. The report by Mark Pilgrim, offers a comprehensive overview of what's new in the latest OS release from Apple, complete with screen snapshots. Not only do you get concise descriptions with small mini-screenshots in context to the descriptions, you can click individual mini-screenshots to see them at 100%. This might be helpful for anyone curious about OS X Panther who lives far away from an Apple Store. Very well done Mark!

At MacDailyNews.com, I just read that Michael Hanscom, a temp worker at Microsoft got fired for taking a picture and blogging about Apple G5s on a shipping palette at Microsoft HQ. Apparently he breached 'security' measures and was let go, after someone came across his weblog post. Good to see Microsoft haven't lost their gentle touch.

Gizmodo has a post on a prototype Sharp 300 pixel per inch screen for PDAs that was mentioned at Yahoo news today. My friend Andy, who loves super hi-res screens and can actually read incredibly tiny, nearly-unreadable-to-the-human-eye typography, should be very, very happy about this news. ;-)

On a related note, my friend Lorenz alerted me to a PDAGeek blurb on Microsoft adopting 640 x 480 as a new resolution for Windows Mobile, (a.k.a Pocket PC), shortly after a new Toshiba Pocket PC was released with a new high resolution 640 x 480 screen. Pocket PC will finally have an option for higher res screens, which is good, since it will make Pocket PC fans less grumpy and will help keep PalmSource and its licensees on their toes.

Last week iSilo and iSiloX were updated to version 4.0, offering many new features, most notably, new font options. Personally, I'm still quite pleased with version 3.35 and will stick with it for a while yet, rather than do the $10 upgrade. It should be mentioned that iSilo 3.X can read the new 4.X document format, as it just ignores added file data that the new 4.X format added. So, you can still even format iSilo documents with iSiloX 4.0 and read these documents using iSilo 3.X on the Palm side.

Further, Lorenz (my handy iSilo fanatic) let me know that iSilo can read raw text files right from an SD card or Memory Stick. He says he just dumped a big pile of plain text files on the card and is able to read them with no conversion whatsoever. Might be a handy feature for anyone who has to carry loads of plain text reference documents with them.

BargainPDA has a nice "short" review of the new Sony TJ35, which is the chief competitor to palmOne's new Tungsten E (the device I'm switching to shortly). It seems like a decent device and should stack up pretty well against the TE. However, that extra $20 over the TE's price of $199, an odd front mounted Jog Dial and less generally popular Memory Stick format, might be a tipping point for someone who's not already a Sony Clie user. Heck, I'm a Clie user and I chose the TE, so it can happen. What I'd really like to see is a shot of the TJ35 next to the TE... I'm curious to see how they compare in appearance and size.

And to wrap up, palmOne and Handspring are now officially one company, and PalmSource is officially a separate entity. Weird to think that Handspring is now back as part of its originating company, Jeff Hawkins and all. But as I ponder this, it seems a very good move right now: the Treo 600 is getting excellent reviews, as are the T3 and TE. It seems like everything is aligning for palmOne at just the right time. Good to see this after the years of drought we've just come through. It should be an interesting few years ahead. :-)

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