Sunday, March 30, 2008

Geeky Sunday

This morning, I tried to roust my husband from slumber with a smart *thwack* of a down-like pillow. Resulting only in scowls and the turning of his back, I recognized that this is one Sunday AM I'm to spend with just the girls. Cool---because that means no television competition; music only and the kids will hang with me anyhow.

So in preparing to leave my budoir for a languid morning, I collected all the things I might need: my blackberry, my Kindle (to read the paper, natch), my Gameboy DS (for Sudoku; gotta have the Sudoku), and my iPod in case I decided to roost in the family room rather than the living room. And my knitting. So it was a little ridiculous tottering downstairs with better than a thousand dollars of technology in my arms and five needles each having two pretty pointy ends...

But here I am. Haley and Anna each have their gameboys, I've all my devices PLUS a laptop and we've settled in the living room where I have my wireless network music player and little stereo. Can you imagine who WOULDN'T be thinking of the ways that technology is changing our world? I can't. Well, except for my kids who blink not at a single gadget.

In the last couple of days, I've been doing some reading on some of the "hidden features" of the Kindle and that's been enlightening to some degree, if not earth-shattering. What I've run across is this euphemism of "convergence devices"---essentially those smartphones and other devices that allow multiple ways of communicating and finding information, using diverse media files--blackberrys, iPhones, and yes, the Kindle. Since I have two of those things plus and iPod and have a minor lust going for the iPhone, I have given some thought about taking it to the next level and reducing the number of gadgets I might have to wag downstairs or out for my daily Mommy excursions.

Today, I dug deeper than I had previously into Google's current buzz-project, Android. Android is a software development kit (SDK, yo) developed by those Google-guys for programming applications for smart phones. If you have even a minor affinity for things-techy, check out that link. It looks AMAAAAZING. It looks like an iPhone but the possibilities are essentially limitless given that the SDK is completely open-source so once you have it and a device to run on, you can do what you want. The Google demonstration of a prototype showed breathtaking graphics, excellent utilization of Google's current offerings (like, the map stuff was KILLER), integration of applications and, best, 3G wireless broadband offerings. What I'd have liked to have seen would be a demo of some developer's digital music player which I'm sure is already out there. In short, this could be anything you want it to be, like an iPhone but with a much more diverse set of options. Keep your ears open: this is being called a g-Phone but Google is not here offering phones---they're offering a development platform for phones to utilize free of the encumberances Apple places on the iPhones.

With such a device, I could get rid of the gameboy, the Blackberry, the iPod. Not bad.

Kindle
I'm still too infatuated with my Kindle to suppose that any other convergence device could take its place and I'm also smart enough to know it won't ever be the device to handle telephoning, gaming, etc; its just too big and the biggest attraction of the device itself is its e-Ink which just wouldn't cut it for gaming, browsing, etc. But its good; the Kindle is very very good. I have some design issues with it but they're very minor and I'm sure Amazon can't wait to hear what they are...

Wishing you all a very happy, if not geeky, Sunday.

5 comments:

Don said...

I have said it before and I will say it again, I truly am a dinosaur. Reading your blog today is like reading a George Will piece. His I need a dictionary to read, yours I had to keep google open. I had no idea what an Android, Kindle or G3 was. I don't have a Gameboy, iPod, Blackberry or an mp3 player and I have never played Sudoku, although I at least knew what you were referring to.

Kathy said...

Heee Hee.

Once upon a time, Rob and I were dining in a Vietnamese restaurant in Georgetown. I couldn't imagine why Rob was so adamant we be re-seated until I recognized George Will sitting at the table adjacent to our original seating. Didn't want to ruin our appetite....

Special K said...

Now I'm the one on the outs because I don't know who George Will is.

Kathy said...

Long time conservative opinion writer for the Washington Post, Will is a poli sci scholar with quite a pedigree. Although he's recently become a bit more likeable in my book for his criticism of GWB, he has faced a fair amount of scandal for mixing political advising kinds of activities with his role as journalist. I'm thinking it was Reagan that he helped with some speech writing and other stuff...?

Don said...

I believe Will is one of the fairest commentators out there. He doesn't hesitate to beat on both sides of the aisle.