OK, I’m late to the party, but only because I’m picky about what I put in my pocket. I finally got a smartphone.

I got the Palm Centro (in black, not red). And I must say, it is suh, uh, weet. I’m glad I waited until the point where the UI and form factor are where they are in this device, because it made for a very nice inaugural geekend.

I’m still waiting for Android phones, because that sounds like a great platform, but only ‘on paper’ at this point; I’m a bit skeptical that the real things will be as open and easy to develop for as stated. In the meantime, I hadda get something, and PalmOS is the most open and livable smartphone OS out there (for US/Sprint people, at least).

Actually, the development situation for PalmOS has improved markedly since last time I looked (when I bought my second Sony Clie, which is gathering dust at the same rate as the first). It seems that Access has reached a pretty good level of “All applications are equal”, and getting from zero to developing full applications, with a good IDE, documentation, and simulators, is a free registration and a free (and partly open source) single download. OK, PalmOS may be old and a tad wheezy, but it’s still looking fairly vibrant from my look around, and Access may take it places in the future.

I got an unlimited data, unlimited phone-as-modem plan for a decent $40 add-on to my voice plan, so the next time I’m at Borders and can’t remember which Simpsons writer wrote a few books including some sort of sci-fi one, I can whip out my little pocket web-browser-matic and get the answer. Hope that happens again to justify the hundreds of dollars of total outlay…

It’s John Swartzwelder, who wrote “The Time Machine Did It”, among others.

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