I'm typing this column on my new Treo 700p smartphone.
I'm doing so, in part, because I want to prove that I can.
Mostly, however, it's to illustrate just how hooked I am on my pocket-sized, portable office.
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I admit it: I used to laugh at the thumb jockeys curled over their BlackBerrys like cavemen trying to protect a dying fire.
Now, I'm one of those misshapen souls — and I'm kind of proud of it, too.
My new, slavish devotion to this über-smart device is actually scaring some of my coworkers. One looked at me in the hall the other day with pure bewilderment.
"How? Why did you e-mail me from your Treo?" he asked, because I was standing outside my office — a mere 8 feet from my PC.
"There was no wireless in the meeting room. I couldn't use my laptop," I answered plainly.
Yet the subtext was clear: Because I can.
Ever since I got my Treo, I've been sending e-mail 24/7. People warned me about this, but I never believed it would be true.
So what if I am? Others are sending me e-mail at all hours. Clearly, they want a response, so I give it to them — instantly.
Thanks to my new toy, I am developing some disturbing habits.
I find myself checking e-mail at home on the brief trip from the living room to the kitchen.
I'm taking the phone out so often that my wife has begun to notice. She'll see me thumb-typing away, with my back half turned to her to try to hide what I'm doing.
"What," she'll say to me with a hint of sarcasm bleeding into her tone, "you think you're important now?"
I have no clever retort, so I just smile back at her like an idiot.
The Benefits of Addiction
There have been some obvious benefits, though.
Another coworker asked me the other day if I could make a meeting the following Tuesday. I was nowhere near my PC, so I tried to recall my upcoming schedule.
Then I remembered my Treo and that it's loaded with my entire world of Microsoft Outlook information.
I was able to commit to the meeting and schedule it on my calendar right there, knowing that it would be magically synched with my PC.
I also can't say enough about the Palm platform. It's light, efficient, and responsive in every way that Windows Mobile is cluttered, overwhelming, and sometimes undependable.
A while back I used a Windows smartphone as an in-car GPS device, and I can't tell you how many times it ran out of memory. My Treo 700p runs for days on end without a hiccup.
Now that I have my pocket-sized office, complete with e-mail, scheduling, contacts, phone, camera, Web browsing, and even Documents To Go Word, which I'm using to compose this column, I can leave my nearly 4.5-pound laptop in the office.
Now there's a real weight off my back.
Okay, yes, there are small annoyances. My Treo's battery life, for instance, has been a somewhat unpleasant surprise.
I don't make any more calls with this phone than I did with my crummy, old, dumb Samsung phone. But I get about one-quarter as much battery life. If I don't remember to charge it every night, it invariably runs out of power by midday the next day.
The phone is also a good bit larger and heavier than my old cell phone, but I've gotten used to this, too. Such is the price I must pay for an office device that can fit in the palm of my hand.
All in all, is the experience has been good. Hey, I'm even getting the hang of thumb-typing, a skill I once truly believed only the young could master.
I'm also becoming expert at leaving the stylus in its hole and using my once-clumsy thumbs to navigate the touch-sensitive screen. I'm even figuring out shortcuts to enhance my smartphone productivity.
So if you see me curled over my Treo, don't bother me. I'm living the dream — keeping my digital flame alive.
Copyright © 2007 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Ziff Davis Media Inc. is prohibited.