Posts Tagged ‘bluetooth’

Try Again

7 September 2011

Dear J-

The few small successes I’ve had with backing devices are usually undone by something as simple as an upgrade or bugfix that requires me to go through an endless cycle of hacking and rehacking without an end in sight. I rooted my phone so that I could run a custom ROM and connect to a Bluetooth HID keyboard which worked great yesterday yet today requires an endless dance of pairing, unpairing, connecting and not connecting. This in turn leads me to think that maybe there’s a fix for this or a hack and please say that it’s not going to require me to re-load the ROM because then I lose all my settings and applications and …

You know, there’s just not enough time in the day to deal with all of that. I’ve been using a bluetooth keyboard (to be precise: the SAME bluetooth keyboard) for years now with several different devices, from a Treo 650 to Nokia N800 and now to this Android phone. A good keyboard is worth its weight in gold; devices, not so much. Given that time spent fiddling is not time spent using, there’s something inherently wrong with any device that requires you to spend more time setting up than using. The measure of success should be how quickly you’re able to get it working, and at the moment, iOS is winning that race. Note that it’s probably ludicrous to carry around a keyboard that’s larger than your phone in order to type efficiently, but we won’t get into that.

I remember this with the PSP, which sounded great at the time, promising emulation action — finally, here you could have a portable 16-bit Final Fantasy. The problem was two things happened: Square started going crazy with SNES/SFC remakes on the DS, and Sony started waging war with the hackers by forcing firmware upgrade after upgrade to play the latest games (and you could count a third cause, too: the PSP hardware was a battery-sucking hog on the order of the Nomad or Game Gear) and you had to choose: legitimate games or retain the hack? I eventually chose neither and the PSP has been sitting in a box somewhere for years now. It is why I’ve been so hesitant to root the phone: I’m sure it can be done. I just don’t have the time to deal with it.



State of the Art

19 February 2010

Dear J-

I was in a thrift store this morning poking through discarded technology (as an aside, the pickings were slim indeed and possibly reflective of the economy — no one’s upgrading so there was nothing that wasn’t totally beat) and came across an INFOCOM game — Sherlock Holmes for the Amiga; I’ve always liked the pack-ins with those games, so I poked through the map and manual, but it was the floppy disk that gave me the biggest double-take. It’s been at least five years since we had a computer that can read a floppy.

It’s also been a hard week for technology here in the household; yesterday the Wi-Fi radio on my iPhone failed (as it’s something I use without a SIM card, it’s strictly a iPod Touch with a camera), rendering it essentially useless except as a media player; today half the screen on theVet’s Kindle went unresponsive. Funny how quickly we’ve moved from networking as a nice option to an essential; both devices are useless without talking to their respective motherships. For my part, I actually prefer consuming e-mail on the iPhone to the computer.

Given the assumption that iPad features will trickle down to other versions of the iPhone OS, that means that there’s a Bluetooth HID stack coming, and all the different mobile devices I’ve used to compose may fall by the wayside. It’s another piecemeal cost; I could have afforded a nice netbook with all the junk that’s passed through my hands, and I’ve actually had a laptop to work off of for a couple of weeks — but at the end, I actually prefer working on the small screen, and it’s far more portable too.