HP is buying Palm

HP has been on a buying spree.  They bought 3Com, and now they have just purchased a former 3Com company, Palm Corp. for $1.2 billion.

The article I linked talks about what HP could do with Palm’s webOS for mobile devices, including using it in netbooks and tablet devices.

What it doesn’t talk about is Palm’s patent portfolio, which could be worth the price of the sale alone.

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I’ve taken the Windows 7 plunge

I’ve got Windows 7 Professional 64 bit on my desktop and copy of Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit on my laptop.  I’m pretty happy so far, the plug and play works quite well, with a couple of noticable exceptions.

First off is my Wireless Laser Desktop 3000 keyboard, which I’m not using to type this because the damn thing is missing keystrokes, which it never did when I was running XP.  Top that off with none of the fancy extra keys work running under Windows 7.  Yes, I did to Microsoft and downloaded the latest drivers, which are listed as Windows 7 compatible.  Annoyance factor is high here, even more so because it is bloody Microsoft hardware.

The second is my Microtek scanner.  It’s a few years old and is still in great shape.  Microtek support claims it will work if you jump though the right hoops in the right order during install.  I haven’ t tried their latest series of hoops yet.

Third is my Bose Companion 5 speakers.  I love these things.  Great sound, but every time Windows 7 finds something it doesn’t like and asks me if it’s OK to run, not only does the screen dim, but it kills the sound! I have to power cycle the Bose system to get my sound back. My work around has to been to hook my iPhone up to the speakers and play the music loaded on that.  A bit of bummer since it is a subset of the music loaded on my desktop.

I’ve got a few old games that won’t run under Window 7 (64 bit) either, but I don’t play them that often anyway.   I’ve got an old desktop that was running a RC version of Win7 that I should scrub and load XP on to deal with stray stuff like that.

Abandoned technology

As my readers know, I was a big PDA user. Mostly Palm devices, several of which I still have in good working order, including a Palm i705 and a Palm LifeDrive.  The LifeDrive was a really slick bit of technology with a three Gig hard drive, a SD slot, and both WiFi and Bluetooth support.   I still use it now and then and have a lot of legacy data still stored on it.   All that data is synced to my desktop running XP, and I have some desktop apps to get at the data stored in third party software.  BrainForest for example, a good data organizational tool that was developed for the Palm platform.

Recently I upgraded my laptop to Window 7 (32bit).  This was full, format the drive install. So I started the process of installing the applications on the freshly wiped and loaded system.  Everything went fine until I loaded the Palm Desktop software and tried to synch the LifeDrive.

Windows 7, has been really good at recognizing stuff that gets plugged into it, turned up its nose at my LifeDrive.  I visited the Palm site and it’s seems that they have written off their PDA line.  Not a bad business decision, since the future is in Smart Phones, but I need to get that data exported and accessible before I upgrade my desktop to Windows 7.

Palm’s story is that the software for the desktop and the PDA drivers are now owned by a separate company and it up to them to provide support for Windows 7.   Next step would be to try synching with my LINUX system.  I know there is Palm PDA support in multiple LINUX apps.

The Droid

Verizon has finally gotten what could a be a viable iPhone replacement.  A phone running the latest version of Google’s Andorid OS and a growing supply of applitions.

I haven’t got my hands on one yet, but I’ve read a few reviews that state it stands up quite well in head to head comparisons with the iPhone.  The biggest complaint I’ve heard is that the iPhone has a much deeper pool of applications available.  Not suprising, but I expect the number of Android apps to grow quickly.

Verizon is also pushing its much wider 3G coverage heavily, but it’s still not a GSM network.  That topic has been discussed here, and I’m sure it will again, but I’m still a fan of GSM networks.  It is my opinion that Verizon is going to have to bite that bullet sooner or later.

The Droid phone and its OS have another advantage, open source.  The iPhone is locked down tight by Apple.  It controls your apps, what they can do, and how much data you can transfer over the cell phone network.  An Android based phone, with a SIM slot, is much more flexible.

New toys

I recently got my nerdy paws a pair of Asus Eee PC netbooks. (Thanks John!)  These are the ones running LINUX off solid state drives.

I’ve got one updating, but the 4 Gig system drive on the other is full, and I’m going to have to find a way to clean that up.

Cleaning up after the “pros”

The PC the dojo I train/teach at caught a nasty virus.  I cleaned it up, but the owner “knew this guy” who would “clean up” the system fairly cheap.   “This guy” logged in remotely, and “cleaned up” the system until it would only boot to the “Blue Screen of Death.”

I’m talking serious “BSoD” here. That is what you got if you tried to boot in safe mode, even command mode safe mode.  The Windows recovery mode won’t even recognize the Windows XP install after this guy got through with his “professional” cleanup.

So, I had to clean up after the “professional.” I managed to recover all the data off the drive, in addition to get the data they had backed up on Carbonite.

Once the apps & data are back and running on another system, I’ll rebuild the system the “professiona” trashed.

I called the Chrome OS back in October

Google announced an OS based on Chrome, this is supposed be a seperate OS than Android, which is already shipping on smartphones and has been ported to netbooks.

The Chrome OS is based on open source LINUX code, and Google plans on freely distributing the OS. This can’t make Microsoft very happy.

Back in October 2008, I noticed that Chrome had the potential to be a thin layer OS.

One of the exisiting theories is that Chrome is the first componet of a Google OS.  Chrome is supposed to be the interface to the applications.  If you look under the hood of Chrome, it is built more like an OS than a browser.

All it will need is a thin layer to access the hardware (boot, and then interface with video/storage/audio/periferal I/O(USB for a start)/network interfaces)  and it’s pretty much good to go.

This would a thin client model with most of the applications out in the cloud, and as much of the data. as well.