One of the things I've dearly missed from my Palm Tipsheet days have been the interviews I used to do with regular ol' Palm handheld users from around the world. A few weeks back I had the idea to ask a few friends who run websites in the Palm community to answer a few questions, so that visitors to their sites could get a better idea who they were.
Actually, Shaun McGill at PDA 24/7 had done this before on his site (Shaun, you're next to be interviewed buddy!) but I've not seen one for a while now. Anyway, I really like his approach, and I miss seeing it, so I've decided to do a little interviewing myself.
Update: Looks like I was wrong about Shaun McGill's 24/7 interviews (which I love reading). Shaun mentions on his site today, that his last interview was 11 days ago... oops! Well, I missed that. Sorry Shaun, my apologies. :-)
I chose Sammual McLoughlin of PalmAddict, because he runs one of the sites I visit daily for the latest news in the Palm and PDA industry. We've also shared a few chats and are both Mac fans, so Sammy seemed like the perfect guy to begin with. So, for your reading pleasure, I am happy to present my interview with Sammy:
Sammy, thanks for volunteering to be interviewed. I'm curious to hear how you began the Palm Addict and why. Did you feel a lack of that particular niche being filled in the Palm community, or did your web experiment just happen to grow up into what it is now?
We started the site back in December 1999, it was then called the Online Palm User Club - I am glad to say we have only had two site name's during that time, I was lucky and got the name right. I personally was looking for a site that many users dedicated their time and shared their Palm experiences. I could not find such a site and turned to creating one myself on the same lines as my other site Handheld Addict which again shared the user experiences of those who own a Handheld clamshell PDA. Again running since 1999. The site grew from there.
We changed names in what I think had to be 2002. An Online Palm User Club was what we were, a club to talk daily about what software we all used, what we were finding on the net and also websites that caught our eye. I knew the site was taking off when I had been invited to PCEXPO in New York. I thought, mmm someone is reading my site. I have visited for the last three years.
Can you share a little about how you first came across Palm handhelds and what your experience was? Do you see something now in that first experience that maybe you didn't at the time?
I was always a Psion user. Palm Addict nearly became Psion Addict, however a good friend of mine was using a Palm IIIx and I thought to myself, "Mmm, I like the size, but where is the keyboard?" I had a Psion 5mx and I thought I would be crazy to give it up. I did and I then went for the IIIx and I loved it. I fell in love with the green screen to be honest (especially when backlit). It's amazing and still is. I still have my Palm IIIx to this day. I never get rid of my old Palm devices unless I have two of the same device.
Tell me which handheld you consider your "daily driver" and why you chose this particular model. How does it help you in your daily routine?
My Tungsten C is my favorite device because of the built in keyboard. It allows me to type wherever I am. WiFi access is also a great advantage and because I frequent New York City, there are never a shortage of wireless access hotspots so I can update the sight wherever I am, this is ideal.
Tell me a little about your history with Palm OS devices... Did you have any old favorites? Any flirtations with the "Dark Side" and Pocket PC?
Yes I have tried and tested the Pocket PC and 'wash my mouth out' it's not a bad platform. Regular readers to Palm Addict know that I hate flaming wars on my site. I'm Irish and a man of peace ;-) The Windows Mobile platform has some great potential but I could not get used to the fact that my Pocket PC crashed a number of times and I could not rely on this. I need a sturdy PDA platform with a mass of software titles to suit my needs and the Palm platform never let me down.
I hear you're a Mac guy like me. How did you get involved the Mac world? What machine are you using now, and why did you choose that machine?
Yes it was simply a case of I needed a sturdy OS that was reliable Mike, and the Mac OS was the one. At present I am using a G4 15 inch Powerbook (Aluminum) and it is just divine. I also DJ on a part time basis and use iTunes to combine my music whilst keeping a log of my playlists on my Tungsten C. The Powerbook is a lovely design and the illuminated back lit keyboard is just great especially when I am in poor lighting.
I understand you're Irish. How'd you end up living in Manchester, UK? :-)
It was a case of being the victim of a broken family but we are fine now and I visit home on a more than regular basis.
Tell me something unique about Manchester that someone not living there might not know (like a special shop, club, fact, etc.)
Well everyone knows that Manchester United are the best football club in the world. The city also hosted the Commonwealth Games last year.
You also call New York City a partial home... How did you come to be such a frequent visitor there?
Two things really I have a number of friends who are from the US and I also run a PR firm. We set up clients in NYC and have to visit on a regular basis, the clients I have our clubs and the art scene rather than being large corporations so I have made a lot of friends in NYC and obviously I am over there every three weeks or so.
New York City is my second home, a friend and I have an apartment over there down in Tribeca close to SoHo and it's such a great place. I also think Italian food in New York is the best especially with having Irish and Italian parents. You learn what is good Italian food.
Tell me something unique about NYC that someone not living there might not know (like a special shop, club, fact, etc.)
Gosh we all know about the Shopping, the Apple Store is my favourite store in the world, it's amazing, it's in SoHo. Palm products such as Hardware etc are less expensive in NYC than in the UK. Bus Stop Cafe on the corner of Hudson Street and Bleecker Street is my favorite hang out place.
What you do when not running the Palm Addict? What business are you in and what sorts of things do you do?
I have a PR business which involves the arts and a law consultancy here in the UK. I can update Palm Addict from my office so there is never a big problem and I have a great team of associate writers who spend their free time updating the site. So its updated 18 hours (minimum) a day. My hobbies also include doing part time DJ work for a friends club both in Manchester and in New York.
Can you share your top 5 albums with us?
All of them are burnt on my Mac and they are all in mp3 format from various albums however I will tell you my favorite artists and they are: Coldplay, David Gray, BT, Pet Shop Boys, Madonna, the list goes on and on....
Can you share your top 5 books with us?
To be honest I do not read books (not even ebooks), however I do read books on how to get the most out of my Mac.
[Okay fellow book readers, we have to get on Sammy's case about reading some good books and expanding his horizons! : ) - Mike]
Can you share your top 5 movies with us?
I love the Star Trek Movies, (sad that it may seem), Mission Impossible, The Matrix, I love to watch The West Wing on DVD, although it's not a movie it's just as gripping. Oh yes, The Godfather.
Ok, tell me a funny story related to your Palm handheld... :-)
Today and this is the truth, my Tungsten C nearly fell down the toilet, I caught it in time. At the time it was not funny but I have to laugh now.
Sammual, Thanks for your time and honest answers. Hopefully your fans will have a clearer picture of you, following this interview. If you're not aware of Sammy's website, please visit PalmAddict.