teaching and technology

Leave your laptop or netbook home

The Psion handhelds (the 5mx and the Revo) gave me the inspiration to leave my laptop at home. These were stand-alone devices and I did most of my papers in graduate school on these much-missed foreparents of today’s Symbian smartphones. Then I tried the Palm devices and the excellent folding keyboard from ThinkOutside. After that period, I had a pair of Jornadas: one had a bolt-in device that allowed me to go online; while the other had a bolt-on thumb keyboard.

But the Palm and Windows CE devices were not stand-alone units. I missed my Psions terribly until I was introduced to the Nokia 6600. Yes, it was wide, it was thick, it looked like a hand grenade but it was a pocket rocket. The 6600, although it lacked a qwerty keyboard, offered me the “pocket office” which the Psions did. It was, of course, more than a pocket office. It was my first connected pocket office.

These past few years, as those who read this blog know already, I have been well served by Nokia’s E-series monoblock qwerty phones. Today, I pack an E6.

What do these connected pocket office devices need in order for me to leave my laptop or netbook at home? First, they should allow me to work (read, write, edit, check grades, do email anywhere, take pictures and videos, record meetings and conferences). Physical keyboards are a must for me. Second, they should allow me to go online (for research, for podcasts, for news, for RSS feeds, for updating my blogs, for social networking, for entertainment). Third, they should keep me connected (via calling, SMS, skype, chat).

You can do all these and more on your laptop or netbook. But I chose to do these and more on my Nokia E6.

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