July. The Heat. The Summer!

Apologies first, I know that this is a stupid title. But as this entry won´t be on any particular topic, I just chose this headline, because the heat is almost annoying. Not that I wouldn´ t like sunny days, I do love them, but whenever the quicksilver shows more than 30 degrees and there is no cooling breeze, i start to wish it was winter: I simply hate sweating.
In fact all this summer wouldn´t be an issue. But at Kiel University (like most german universities) you´re supposed to pass some examinations in July, in the heat. So you have to feed your little clever brain with more or less nice theories, while it is hot outside or outside in the heat, and I have to mention air conditioning is very rare in german houses. Painful summer, painful books, painful heat, painful beach.

Of course, just feeding your brain with theories until you are close to throw them out again doesn´ t make a life. There´s more. While I won´ t start telling the boring stories of my private life, I spare you those, I will write about tech. Long ago I wrote some lines at linmob about notebooks or better that my old HP Compaq nx6325 was aging and that I replaced it with another HP Compaq notebook, its slightly younger sibling 6715b. While I love the screen of this notebook (WSXGA+, 1680*1050px) and its loudspeakers, I don´t quite love the rest of it. The keyboard isn´t great, its fans are loud, and it feels slow, on Linux and on Windows Vista. And 15.4″ is too big. That´ s why I am going to sell it where I got it: At eBay. The replacement will be another HP Compaq notebook. nc6400. Technically: Core2Duo T7600 + ATI X1300.
Old as hell, you may argue. Yes, definitely. But it´ s cheap, offers business quality and is (spec wise) supposed to be faster than my current one.

But this is not the only piece of tech that I am going to sell. Right now I am selling my Openmoko Neo FreeRunner at eBay and my broken digital camera (Kodak Z1085 IS), which was just about one year old when it died unexpectedly. Unfortunately, Kodak only offers 1 year warranty for their products (which is less than some of its competitors, btw). While it makes sense to sell a broken digital camera, you may wonder, why I do sell my FreeRunner. To put it bluntly: I did not use it recently. I never used it as a primary phone. And besides the platforms obvious shortcomings (just have a look at the specs (you just need some knowledge on ARM chips)) development seems to have slowed down – which makes perfect sense, as the FreeRunners successor didn´t make it to the market and the FreeRunner as a platform was technically abandoned by Openmoko (the company), which had to focus on surviving and thus moved on with WikiReader, a simpler product, cheaper to deploy. Did I mention competing platforms yet? Putting it bluntly again: Testing is boring when there is not much to test and there are more interesting platforms. My personal Openmoko era ends. I move on.

Moving on always requires a next waypoint. A target. One of these (the next one) is the iPad. Yes, with doing so I do something that I wouldn´t have expected. I still have my eyes on other tablets, like the Notion Ink Adam tablet which will feature the Tegra 2 chip and PixelQi´s great 3Qi display, but the iPad is the most interesting one right now. First I have a netbook and don´ t need a variety of connective options on a tablet that badly, second it´ s about software. Not that iOS would be so much better than competing solutions, but the pure number of great creative apps (and their usability because of Apple´s superior touchscreen technology) is more than convincing. This means I will abandon more than the Openmoko and my current notebook: I will as well sell this KORG microKORG i bought in 2006 which has been collecting dust most of the time since (it´s a great synthesizer to play, but recording, sampling and such need lots of additional, pricy equipment and rather difficult recording setups) – the iPad is supposed to take over as creative playground.

You may expect some more “First impressions of …” posts in the next months. I will now feed my brain a little bit using the agreeable temperatures of a mild summer night.