July 07, 2004
Stylus Warrior

Back in action after a few days of being exceptionally busy - so apologies if I haven’t been so responsive to comments etc.

Commuting into Central London this morning (took the Met Line down to the City) a man got on the train at Baker Street - and immediately started using his PDA. I think it was a Palm Tungsten model. The train on this stretch of line isn’t a particularly bumpy ride - but in my own experience of living with a PDA even small slight multiple-plane, variations in the velocity of the train make using a stylus-operated PDA very difficult to use on the move.

Stylus warrior

Throughout the rest of my journey I observed the man using his PDA - and sure enough - only once or twice in a ten-minute period did he tap his stylus on the screen. This is in contrast to people I have observed using Blackberry (which has a a mini-keyboard) - who have a propensity to spend their entire journey vigorously using the keyboard to reply to emails etc.

My theory is that the “keyboard warriors” spend a lot of their mobile time “writing” - whereas the stylus warriors spend most of their time “reading”.

Posted by jag at July 07, 2004 10:35 AM

Hieee Jag - Good to c 1 more journal of urs. Does this mean that ur no longer in that “exceptionally busy” state ? ( I hope so). Is this the same Baker Street, where Mr.Sherlock Holmes was supposed to have lived?

Posted by: Mini on July 7, 2004 04:56 PM

So which one are you?
Dont some PDA’s allow you to attach an optional foldable keyboard or something, so you can get the best of both worlds?

Posted by: sat on July 7, 2004 06:41 PM

I use a Tungsten T and travel on the Met line and I can agree with the difficulty of using the stylus on that stretch of track!

I’m getting better though, as I have finally managed to master the art of writing with the stylus whilst stading on the Jubilee line - takes an almost Zen like sense of balance :-)

To use a folding keyboard one really needs to have a flat surface to rest on. The thumb boards are a bit better but I find them hard to use with my sausage-like fingers…

Posted by: James on July 7, 2004 10:44 PM

Hi Mini - well always busy - but sometimes I get phases where it’s really very difficult to even get a few minutes online. Right now I’m back in a the routine! And yes - it’s the same Baker Street of Sherlock Holmes fame!

Sat: I’m a keyboard warrior! Yes - but as James said - it’s really hard to use fold-able keyboard when mobile unless you are sat at a table of some sort. the Blackberry style devices have a keyboard on the device itself - which is usable if you have slim thumbs.

James: standing on the Jubilee with a PDA can be really challenging on some stretches! I’m impressed!

Posted by: Jag on July 8, 2004 07:20 AM

really? on train journeys i usually find tapping away on my visor easier than writing in a notebook which is impossible - I mainly use the on-screen keyboard to tap away on using the stylus.

Posted by: groc on July 8, 2004 04:08 PM

I know its a far cry, but what about a good voice recognition system. Its a bit too much to ask for so much processing power on a handheld when the main aim is to save on the battery, but its just a try…
It would save you from all the hassles, but then other problems do creep up - background noise being the main culprit.

Posted by: sat on July 8, 2004 06:16 PM

Groc: I think the difficulty I have with the on-screen keyboard on my PDA - which is Pocket PC - the screen resolution is VGA - which means that the virtual keys are tiny!

Sat: Actually - my Pocket PC comes with Voice Recognition - and it is rather good - i.e. it works well - even with background noise. However, it’s limited to a few commands - e.g. to launch applications etc. And you’re right about the battery life issue - I’m hoping that fuel cell technologies will result in weeks or months of battery life.

Posted by: Jag on July 9, 2004 09:05 AM
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