Treo 650, month one

I'm still pretty happy with this phone; it's certainly the best phone I've used to date. But since it's been a month, here are the things about it that still bug me:

<LJ-CUT text=" --More--( 6%) ">

  • I wish both the ringer and the vibrator had more oomph. I often don't notice it going off when it's in my pocket.

  • Every now and then it locks up and I have to pop the battery to reset it. This has only happened to me maybe 6 times, but it happened twice today. (Possibly this is the fault of VersaMail or VeriChat, I don't know.)

  • Until you get used to it, it's really easy to call people by mistake. I have my "front page" set to display a list of "favorites" instead of the on-screen keypad. This means that what happens is, I say "goodbye" and reach for the "hang up" button, but the other person hangs up first, and I end up calling whoever's quick-dial is now in that spot on the screen instead. This seems like a pretty rookie UI design blunder, but the solution is to never use the on screen "hang up" button, but always use the hard button on the keypad.

  • When you get a call from someone not in your address book, at the end of the call it asks whether to add them, which is nice. But if you hesitate for more than ~2 seconds when deciding whether you want to do that, the phone turns off and you can't get back there again. At that point, you pretty much have to go into call history, remember the number, go to address book, and re-enter it manually. Wow, awesome.

  • Mashing the side volume buttons makes the ringer stop if it's a voice call, but not if it's a text message.

  • I found out the hard way that, though both iCal and the PalmOS calendar have a field for "location", the iSync/Palm Desktop conduit doesn't sync that! So there I was on my way somewhere, sure that the address was in my phone's calendar, only it wasn't. Does Missing Sync solve this? I couldn't find anywhere a description of what exactly that improves, aside from a lot of crap I don't need, like iPhoto integration. That list doesn't answer questions like "will the location field sync", "will the address book userpics sync", etc.

  • There's an AIM feature you can turn on where, when you're "away", AOL will forward messages as text-messages to your phone. That sounds perfect, but when I try to set that up, the confirmation text message from AOL to my phone never arrives. It appears that AOL can't get text messages to my (Sprint) phone at all, though plenty of other people can. AOL tech support says "yes, it should definitely work with Sprint". I haven't called Sprint yet, because I can't imagine getting a satisfying answer from them, but has anyone else experienced this sort of thing?

  • Since that doesn't work, I have VeriChat set up with a different AIM login ("jwz phone") that I told it to keep online all the time, but it doesn't. It seems like after about half a day, it goes offline and never auto-reconnects until I go into VeriChat manually. Since I want this more for incoming messages than outgoing, that makes it pretty useless.

  • I have VersaMail set up to talk to my home mail server over POP3S (it makes me feel good that my mail only passes through Sprint's network in encrypted form). My desktop mail reader keeps mail on the server for 24 hours, which gives me a second copy of the mail on the phone. Except that it doesn't work for shit, because VersaMail can never maintain a connection to the damned server! Typically I'll hit "get mail" and have ~200 messages that I need to download, and it'll download 10 and stall out. Then another 12 and stall out. Then 4 and stall out, and so on. And of course the phone is locked up solid while it's waiting to time out: you can't even power it off. I don't have these problems browsing web pages, so it doesn't seem like this is just a "network is down" issue.

  • The filters in VersaMail don't work. I just wanted to filter personal, work, cron, and LJ messages into different folders, and auto-junk certain obvious spam (ebay, etc.) First problem: you can only have 9 filter rules total! Second problem: if you have more than ~3 filter rules, it randomly ignores half of them, and dumps all of those messages into Inbox anyway. So I just turn off filtering entirely and wade through a raw inbox when I want to read my mail remotely.

    Is there a PalmOS mail reader that sucks less than VersaMail?

  • I used LEDoff to make the phone not blink the LED incessantly to indicate "we get signal", but regardless of settings, it still does not turn on the LED when I have messages. Maybe this is a Sprint thing, since other people report having that work.

  • KMaps (the interface to Google Maps) kinda works, but is sloooow and a total pig (in that you have to install an entire Java runtime first). And it doesn't behave like a Palm application (e.g., no menus). It's a cute hack, but useless in the real world.

    Is there an interactive map browser that works well on small devices like this? Meaning: no Javascript perversions; pages without baroque guilding around the maps; and basic N/S/E/W/zoom links? Yahoo Maps doesn't load, and MapQuest is just totally unusable.

Tags: , , , ,

latest feel-good news

  • Black people "loot", white people "find"?

  • Economics of disaster:

    "The poorest 20% of the city was left behind to drown. This was the plan. Forget the sanctimonious bullshit about the bullheaded people who wouldn't leave. The evacuation plan was strictly laissez-faire. It depended on privately owned vehicles, and on having ready cash to fund an evacuation. The planners knew full well that the poor, who in new orleans are overwhelmingly black, wouldn't be able to get out. The resources -- meaning, the political will -- weren't there to get them out."
  • Nero:

    "Was this a moment unfairly captured? No. Experts had forecast an imminent possible disaster days ago. And from the start, other elected officials -- Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, for example -- began urgently working to save American lives. Bush chose instead to continue making public speeches before hand-picked audiences pushing his political agenda for Medicare and trying to spin his unpopular war in Iraq."
  • Chris Randall asks:

    "The first thing I don't understand is why there isn't a line of Chinooks and Sea Kings bringing food to that god-damned dome, and taking people away. The sky should be black with them. There should be a line of helicopters from Atlanta to New Orleans. [...] Why are the national guards of, say, North Dakota and Utah still sitting in their houses watching CNN? [...] The second that hurricane passed by, the Atlantic Fleet should have been parked offshore with water making ships and hospital ships and helicopters and amphibious vehicles. This whole operation has gone to hell in a handbasket. Actually, it didn't go anywhere. It started there."
  • Children's Hospital under seige:

    "Bottcher said the director of the hospital fears for the safety of the staff and the 100 kids inside the hospital. The director said the hospital is locked, but that the looters were trying to break in and had gathered outside the facility. The director has sought help from the police, but, due to rising flood waters, police have not been able to respond. The National Guard has also been unable to respond."

    Update: Times-Picayune now says this story was bullshit.
  • Extensive, but difficult-to-navigate, gallery of recent images on (also home of the feed from Times-Picayune-in-exile).

Tags: , ,