Less is More: Palm's New Foleo

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I was really excited to see the new Foleo from Palm, yet the Intarweb consensus is that it is DOA, underpowered and overpriced and why bother when you can buy a laptop? A typical comment on Gizmodo is "If you buy one of these its like carrying a big I'm an idiot sign" but as someone who still has a Palm Pilot 5000 on my bookshelf and can't go out the door without my Treo 650, I am going to say why I think this is big, perhaps the ultimate lean green machine.

Anyone who is interested in green computing is trying to get as much as they can out of as little as possible, the least power consumed, the least hardware on their desk, the most flexibility from their components.

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I have been trying for years to turn my Handspring Visor and then my Treo into a notebook replacement. The handspring had a fabulous ThinkOutside external keyboard that never missed a key; the Treo infrared ThinkOutside version is sticky, sloppy and awful, if you are a touch typist and are not looking at the screen you go nuts because you do not know what letters have not registered. Nonetheless I can do interviews, type like mad with Wordsmith, take lousy pictures (give me a Hasselblad and I will take lousy pictures) watch movies, take dictation with Audacity, listen to books with Audible and read books with Peanut Press or e-reader or whatever it is called now.

My job now is writing, and I do that using Google Documents as my word processor, so I can work on any computer anywhere, or directly into movable type, the internet is my computer. Computer speed and power are now mostly irrelevant to my life and work; internet access and portability are.

So here is a machine that will let me connect to the internet either on wifi or through my Treo, let me work on a decent keyboard and screen, is all flash memory so it will suck very little power and run for a long time on batteries, for only five hundred bucks? Where do I line up?

All of the Gizmodo and Engadget geeks trashing this thing don't understand that we are entering an era where low power, long life and no moving parts are going to be huge advantages. I will wait to learn how it is made and what their environmental policies are, but this could be the greenest of computer systems. ::Palm Foleo

Tags: Less Is More | Living With Less

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