It's no secret that I'm a slow adopter of mobile technology. It comes down to one reason: IBM spoiled me with the Meta Pad. This little gem debuted out of IBM Research in 2002. That's right, nearly 10 years ago IBM was touting a mobile computer you could carry with you and connect to various docks for different purposes. Antelope Technology licensed the Meta Pad and sold it as the Mobile Computer Core. People stayed away in droves. It was incredibly expensive, heavy, bulky and slow. Antelope Tech closed its doors within a couple of years.
IBM's idea of carrying your computer with you and just plugging it in to different form factors has stuck with me for the last decade. I knew what was possible and I wouldn't settle for anything else. I never bought a smartphone because I didn't want a phone. I wanted a mobile device that was a lot more flexible.
Other devices entered this space, most notably the Oqo and FlipStart. To me they were awkward compromises, and they're still prohibitively expensive. The closest I have found to meet my wish list was the SmartBook from Always Innovating. The only problem with that is it's only WiFi. I wanted something I could use as a phone, but since the SmartBook was so close I was seriously considering purchasing it. I never expected any manufacturer to build what I wanted.
Then Motorola announced the Atrix. I read a review of it and I was stunned how closely this mirrored IBM's goals from a decade ago. It's a phone. Dock it and you can play music and videos to your home entertainment system, using a remote. Connect a keyboard and fire up a full version of Firefox. Insert into a laptop chassis and enjoy a larger screen while traveling. And it's not insanely expensive.
Thank you, IBM, for showing the world what was possible. You're often ahead of your time, but I'm glad in this case it has come full circle.
In Memoriam - John Earl Robinson - 4/14/1934 - 7/10/2014
Fri, Jul 11th 2014 5:30p Charles Robinson My father died on July 10th, 2014. He was 80 years, 2 months, and 26 days old, approximately half the age I am now. I am told he spent the last year or so of his life living with a female friend in a backwater town near where he grew up, my mother having died in 2010. If you read that post you will see some amount of yearning tenderness toward my mother. I'm less conflicted about my father. Our relationship was fractured from the start. My earliest memory of him is when I was six years old and [read] Keywords:
The care and feeding of simple syrup
Tue, Apr 29th 2014 2:30p Charles Robinson It's almost 80°F here today, so I'm calling it summer already. Along with summer comes icy drinks that you can never sweeten with granulated sugar because it doesn't dissolve. The solution is to make a solution: simple syrup. The Solution1 part sugar1 part water Combine both ingredients in a potBring to a boilCoolAdd to any beverage you want to sweeten It really is simple to make. Keeping it, however, is a different matter. Crystals Love CompanyOne thing you might run into is that the sugar [read] Keywords:
Wed, Apr 16th 2014 6:00a Charles Robinson The following will only be news to anyone who isn't my Facebook friend. On a Friday in June 2012 I was fired by courier. It boiled down to a pissing contest with a newly hired VP. He told me to pull a network cable between two buildings during a thunderstorm. I refused, citing the absurdity of being 30 feet off the ground in a metal scissor lift during a lightning storm, and offered to do it the following day. His reply: "Put on your man pants and do it." I pointed out my lack of such a thin [read] Keywords: facebook
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Tue, Apr 15th 2014 12:00p Charles Robinson For my final in my Introduction To Baking class we had to make strawberry rhubarb pie. Here is the recipe we used. Note that this makes one 5" mini-pie tin. Double the pie dough and filling recipe for a regular 10" pie, and increase the streusel topping by a third. Also note that the filling has two separate water measurements, and they are used separately. Don't do as someone in class did and guesstimate how much 2 oz is and mess up your filling. Pie dough 2.65 oz all purpose flour, plus [read] Keywords:
Mon, Jun 17th 2013 1:10p Charles Robinson We've having a dinner party tonight and I want to serve a refreshing summer drink. I have made cucumber lemonade before by purchasing lemonade and pureeing it with cucumbers. This time I decided to make it all from scratch. The following recipe yields a gallon of cucumber lemonade. Equipment 2 quart saucepan blender 1 gallon pitcher small sieve optional - permanent coffee filter Ingredients 2 C water 2 C sugar 2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice 6 C water 2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and c [read] Keywords:
Charleston Restaurant Week - September 2012 Winners
Sun, Sep 16th 2012 10:00p Charles Robinson Charleston Restaurant Week just wrapped up twelve crazy nights from September 5th through 16th. We had plans to be out of town for the closing weekend so we went out nine nights in a row, breaking our long-standing trend of going out every night. While it's not a competition there are clearly some winners and some losers. The competition was fierce and this time Circa 1886 and Tristan tied for our favorites. Honorable mentions go to Husk and Il Cortile del Rey, which were both good but not at [read] Keywords: blogger
how not to compete with free
Tue, Mar 27th 2012 6:30a Charles Robinson A while back I got an e-mail from Adam Osborne asking me to delete this blog post. [Note that the Adam I reference there is not Adam Osborne.] His primary bone of contention was that when people search for Defrag.NSF, a product he created and sells, my post is the third listed in Google. I'm sympathetic to his plight, but frankly that's not my problem. Adam went on to say my post referenced DominoDefrag, and he objected to that because: History shows that DominoDefrag has systematically imple [read] Keywords: blogger
How to connect a new user to an existing mailbox in Exchange 2003
Tue, Mar 20th 2012 2:50p Charles Robinson We hired a new PC Tech and today he was fixing one of his mistakes. He sent a laptop to a user after having Ghosted it but without running Sysprep on the computer before he created the image. It caused all sorts of annoyances. In the process of fixing this mistake he made another. Instead of deleting the computer account from Active Directory he deleted the user's account. He didn't even think it odd or say anything when it prompted him to delete the user's mail. It took a while but I finally [read] Keywords: blogger
Tue, Jan 3rd 2012 6:40a Charles Robinson It's a new year so it's time for some resolutions. I resolve to make commitments, not resolutions.That was easy. The difference between a commitment and a resolution is the former is a plan, the latter a promise. Last year I picked three words as promises and I didn't keep any of them. This year I'm turning those three into commitments. Do - This has started already. I have a plan for getting my environment to be one that energizes rather than drains me. It includes a lot of change and dip [read] Keywords: blogger