Monday, March 17, 2008

Smart Phones? iPhone? iPod Touch? Goodbye Hipster PDA!

I've been lusting after an iPhone for a while now, and had some money socked away for it but I just couldn't justify the extra $ per month for a data plan. One weekend I had the brilliant idea that I could save a lot of money by cutting down or eliminating espresso drinks -- that resolution lasted until exactly 10:00 a.m. Monday.

When I was initially researching iPhones, smart phones, PDAs, etc., there were a couple of features I didn't care for on the iPod Touch. This weekend, I realized that I couldn't remember what my objections were, so I decided to get one and use it for a while. Certainly any inconveniences, problems, or gripes would appear within a short time, and if I decided I couldn't live with them, I would give the Touch to Scott, and get something better suited to my needs.

There were a couple of things about the iPod/iTouches that wouldn't work well with my University & College. One was that they don't support 802.1x authentication, which is what is used here; however, that problem should be taken care of with the updates coming in June. I was able to use the "guest" wifi access today at work, but I had to get special permission (easy to do) to use that and not the restricted access -- and I'll have to log in again after 11 hours.

The other problem was that our College uses Meeting Maker™, so I couldn't easily sync my calendar -- there are ways around that but they're a bit kludgy and involve syncing Meeting Maker ™ to iCal (or vice versa?) I asked our IT guy (who rarely, rarely has to make an appearance in our office suite other than to bring us our new Macs every few years) if there is any possiblility we could get the web based version of Meeting Maker™, or any version that could be used with the iPhone/Touch or any other smart phone or PDA, and he said, "No, we'll never get that, and our College doesn't support any calendars for any PDAs/smart phones."

This conversation was the same week that Abilene Christian University and a Christian U. in Oklahoma announced that they were GIVING all incoming students an iPhone or iPod Touch! You would think our major university could keep up with the church college world, but apparently not. (To be fair, our Communications College uses a scheduling system that syncs well with most smartphones, Blackberries, PDAs, etc.) If our college doesn't want to support my calendaring needs, they'd better stop scheduling all these fracking meetings! I need to get some of our science faculty to push for more support!

Perhaps I'd better dig the ol' Hipster PDA outta the recycling bin!

(Postscript -- the Blogger spell checker suggests I replace "iTouches" with "douches"!!!)


Mikael Behrens said...

Keep us posted about the iPod Touch. I'm very curious how handy it will become. And what's this about the Hipster PDA, are you a Merlin Mann reader?

gl. said...

yes, that's my problem, too: i can pay for the brick, but being shackled to a monthly cell phone plan simply chafes me. if the ipod touch is all that and a bag of fries, then it will be even more difficult for me to resist...