I’ve had a fascination with mobile computing for a while now. It started when I first got wind of the homebrew software scene surrounding the Nintendo DS. I loved the idea of playing old ZX Spectrum classics on a haldheld, as well as being able to surf the net, and do other bits and pieces. But I had very little interest in the machine as a modern games platform. It occurred to me that what I should really be on the lookout for was a Pocket PC with a decent spec. For a while now, I’ve had my heart set on the Dell Axim X51v. It has a 624 Mhz processor, which by modern desktop PC standards is poor, but puts it on par with a mid-range PC from around the year 2000, which is pretty amazing for something so small. The TFT is 480×640 pixels, just like an old-school monitor. Video looks beautiful on those tiny pixels, as you can sort of see from the photo. It’s not my intention to watch videos on the TFT too often (maybe on sleepless nights), but the unit can accomodate a VGA cable for attachment to monitors or projectors.
There’s no shortage of software for the Dell Axim (which uses Windows Mobile 5 as its operating system), even a BitTorrent client. But the real beauty of the device is the built in 802.11b wi-fi internet. Although I don’t have the internet at home, I had a wander through the neighbourhood yesterday evening, and occasionally I heard a bleep in my headphones, indicating that the device had picked up an open wi-fi network (i.e. a home internet connection belonging to somebody who hasn’t bothered to switch on encryption). It was rather amusing being able to check my email and RSS feeds whilst on the move.
I’m not sure what additional uses I’ll have for the Dell Axim yet. Skype is something I want to get working on it (Chris, are you listening?). I may also use Pocket Word to edit my fiction (although certainly not to write it).
My friends Chris and Andy are shaking their heads in despair at this point: “Another Sloan whimsical purchase.” Did I need to buy this? No. I concede, it’s a toy. But heck, I’m having fun.
On Chion: it’s 2.00 p.m. and the courier hasn’t showed up yet with the proof copy. Assuming it arrives today, I’ll be back on the blog later.