Sunday at the Shops

Lots of shopping today. Among the places I went to was Fry’s Electronics. The particular one I went to is always fun since it has an aliens theme. They don’t do the theme in a subtle way…. it is all over the shop…. it starts with the big alien spaceship that has crashed into the front:

fry's electronics

fry's electronics …and all through the shop there are little aliens in the rafters, and on the ground you have members of the military shooting up at them….it is the middle of a big battle you see (the military jeep has been cut in half by a ray gun of some sort – was not able to get pictures without risking my place in the 45 minute-long (!) checkout line….).

I go to Fry’s Electonics for actual electronic components. It is in fact quite good for that sort of thing, and is a welcome break from the Radio Shacks of this world, which used to be my source for that sort of thing long ago in my youth, but now seem to be just selling phones, batteries, and video gaming stuff. And the people (often small children) working in them now often don’t know a thing about anything they sell at all. So to stop myself gtting annoyed, I tend to avoid Radio Shack as much as possible, even when there is a chance that they might have some of the simpler things I seek.

Such an occasion happened today. What did I go to get? Not resistors, capacitors, cables, or microchips, but a foldable external keyboard for my Palm. I suspect you can get one in a Radio Shack, with some effort, but I did not want to raise my blood pressure, so I went to Fry’s. The idea is to allow me to expand what I can do on the Palm, bringing it closer to being a tiny laptop on the continuum between PDA and laptop. I found one, and I am testing it now by typing this blog post on it. It works rather well. It comes as a small package when folded, nice for the pocket or handbag. You just fold it out in one movement. It also has a little stand for the Palm (or other IR enabled PDA) and voila!

pda keyboard  pda keyboard  pda keyboard  pda keyboard

In seconds you are ready to rock and roll:

pda keyboard

It probably will not be as quick to type on it as on a larger board, but it means I can walk into a cafe (or onto a plane, train, or whatever), sit at a table and reach into my pocket or handbag and unfold a keyboard and my Palm, letting me do more intensive work – particularly text entry – without having to carry a laptop around with me. All in the interests of getting more work done. Excellent!

-cvj

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