Mon 18 Jul
Notwithstanding the fact that I’ve been publicly dismissive of both PDAs and data services over wireless phones, I somehow successfully convinced myself that I need a Treo 650 and ordered one last week from Verizon Wireless. I’ve had it only a handful of days and haven’t yet tapped its full potential, but already I’m pretty happy with it. At the very least, it’s an improvement in speed and responsiveness over my Sony Ericsson T608 which was pretty much a piece of crap. Also, the change in carriers has finally, after some five years or so, brought me back to Verizon — I have no particular affection for the company as a whole, but their customer service is leagues above that of Sprint PCS, and they also really do have the cleanest voice signal of all the wireless carriers operating in the New York area.
It’s also nice to be back on the Palm OS — well, kind of. I bought my last Palm OS device in 2000, I believe, so it’s distressing to see how little it’s really changed in that time — where once it was black and white, now I have it in full color. Big deal. It’s still intuitive and responsive, but it’s no longer a model of elegance, by any means.
What makes it worse is a confusion of interface styles, at least in the Treo models. The phone application, which looks vaguely three-dimensional (in a CD-ROM ca. 1993 kind of way) bears little resemblance to the address book with which it’s integrated. The changes I’ve noticed since 2000 largely look like hacks and accretion. Somewhere along the way, between mergers and countless name changes riffing on the original Palm brand, the master plan for the operating system’s user interface has been lost. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the OS’s long-promised major upgrade to Cobalt to reclaim some of that original coherence.