The working tools of an [occasional] overworked travelling bibliophile.

15 12 2007

Book reviews will hopefully resume after the 26th.  Until then, some random thoughts on an icy morning.

I’ve never had a cellphone, and have never made use of one until last month.  This unprecedented cellphone use on my part occurred when I was on an extended road trip, versus the day trips I periodically make to Boston or Springfield.

I am slowly starting to understand the practical applications of gadgets such as these phones, even for these short day trips, and to get a glimmer of gadget lust.  On my last trip to Boston, I held an iPhone in my hand for the first time, and its sleek functionality had great appeal.

However, while I’ve gained appreciation for the techno-nifty in other people, at heart  I’m personally a very simple creature.  I have always been able to firmly enforce my iron will to erect a solid wall between what I *want* and what I *need*.

What I found I *needed* on my last trip to NYC was:

* the ability to make and receive phone calls
* the ability to retrieve and write e-mail

What I found that I *wanted* was:

* the ability to surf the Net
* the ability to access a word-processing program to make notes, from which to write sales reports, travel reports and blog entries
* the ability to take pictures

What would have been truly nice, and would satisfy something in my overworked and underpaid soul, but not strictly necessary:

* the ability to play music

What I don’t really know that I need or want, but sometimes one doesn’t know what one needs or wants until it’s put in front of one:

*the ability to text-message

What I had no need for then and see no need for now:

*the ability to play games or watch video content

I’m utterly ignorant of these things, and I balk at the idea of having to spend money each month [for the phone plan] for something I’d use only a few days each month.  But investing in what would essentially be a mobile office might have a frugal appeal to frugal little me.

Speak to me of ECONOMICAL gadgets *AND* cellphone plans that would be serviceable and fill my requirement for said mobile office, Gentle Readers. 





6 responses

16 12 2007
the angry black woman

#1 – since when does have the nifty LiveJournal crossposter? Inquiring minds and all that.

#2 – You may be able to get what you need without getting an actual phone, but it depends on some factors. Like, when you travel to places where you might need to make a call, are they usually urban places like NYC/Boston? If so, you may be able to get away with buying a PDA with wireless internet capability and a Skype account, which is way cheaper than a phone. The catch is, you’d need to find someplace with free wireless in order to make OR receive calls, which cuts down on the “mobile” part of it.

However, you then do a body swerve around the great evil of cell phone madness: paying too much to access the internet even though it’s completely simple for a phone to do. If you have a PDA with wireless, you just hook in to a wireless network and check email; and there’s no cost. A cell phone provider will charge out the bunghole for this task and force you to scream “yes sir, may I have another!” about it. In NYC it’s not too difficult to find free wireless depending on the neighborhood.

#3 You could get phone that connects to the internet via wifi AND is also a cell phone. So you can make calls, but then find a wireless network and get your email, too. This is what I currently have and I quite like it. My smartphone can play music, though I don’t ever call on it to. (I have an MP3 Player) It’s a PocketPC-based phone, so I have word and excel and a PDF reader and other such things. Other smartphones are based on the Palm platform (I’m thinking of the Treo in particular) and have similar accouterments. You DO NOT want the iPhone. besides being seriously overpriced, it’s first gen and those are never as good.

All of the major carriers have smartphones, but not all of those phones can connect via wifi, so when you research you should ask.


16 12 2007

Regarding #2 and #3 – THANK YOU, Tempest! That’s exactly the kind of information I need and that my little Luddite mind can grasp.

As far as point #1, so far I’ve been transferring my posts from LJ to WordPress by hand, but a few people have suggested this…

Unfortunately, I have no clue what they mean by this paragraph.

“To install, copy the file lj_crosspost.php into the wp-content/plugins/ folder. Then, go to Plugins in the WordPress administrative interface and activate the LiveJournal Crossposter. Activating the plugin creates a page under Options entitled “LiveJournal.” Fill out this page and submit. That’s it! There is no more configuration, and the plugin does not depend on any external libraries that are not included with WordPress.”

I’m still learning the ins and outs of WordPress. I’ve hunted and hunted, and cannot find this mythical “plug-ins” folder. It makes me feel more techno-stupid than usual.

Again, Tempest, thank you for the phone information. That makes my search easier and more understandable.


17 12 2007
the angry black woman

Yay! I’m glad that was helpful.

On the crossposting, now I understand. The thing you linked to is a plugin that people can install if they’re hosting wordpress on their own server, like I do at There I have FTP access and can put things in the plugins folder. At, we don’t have access tot he plugins folder and thus cannot put ones in that we like. boo.

17 12 2007

That actually makes me feel better – knowing that I’m not missing something in WordPress itself.

My own domain and server are at least a few months out of reach at the moment, sadly.

But yes, your advice was quite helpful.

21 12 2007
the angry black woman

by the way, this device looks like it would serve your needs: Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. And yes, $229 is a VERY good price for hardware like this 🙂

21 12 2007

Even more to thank you for. I’ll have to buy you a beverage of your choice at Lunacon [fingers crossed].

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