Tuesday, June 4, 2002

You're looking a little blue in the tooth...

[Posted by Kevin:]

Ever get that sinking feeling you may have jumped on the wrong bandwagon?

When I purchased my IPAQ 3870 PDA, I was hedging my bets by shelling out the extra $110 or so for the built in Bluetooth transceiver. I figured that if it ever got big (more than two devices big) that I would have regretted not getting the extra. However, more and more I'm feeling like the only guy on the block with a videophone. Sure it's got Bluetooth, but no one else does. Let me rephrase that, no one in the US does.

In digging on sites looking for available products, I've stumbled across stores like expansys which carry boatloads of Bluetooth products... for Europe. It seems that our neighbors in the Pithy hats can get tons of Bluetooth products while our scrapings are much more... well let's just say, meager.

On a related, belated subject, the practice of announcing availability in grand press-releases for products that are 6 months away strikes the vaporware chord. SanDisk announced in January that they have available a 256mb sd card - the memchip desire for my IPAQ. In typical, coming soon fashion, this announcement was made 6 months before they even intended to release the product. Its still not available.

Now, I'm not berating the early announcement aspect of all of this, but the "check's in the mail" is getting a little old. The Bluetooth availability is a tech issue and I bought on the leading edge of the bell curve. But I didn't realize the curve was so flat in the US. All I want is a Bluetooth phone, to go with my Bluetooth PDA. As for the sd card. If you are going to sell it, sell it. Don't dangle products on a string and ask consumers to jump.

Anybody want to call me on my videophone?


  1. The Palm m505 finally has a bluetooth card available. Plus you could wait to buy it until it was good for something :-P
    A lot of the bluetooth stuff has turned out to be much harder to build than expected by the engineers (or more often, marketing folks) making the original estimates. That's because the spec wasn't even solid when a lot of those estimates were made.
    Palms will send files hither and yon over Bluetooth. I don't know whether it's overall preferable to IR beaming, though they hope to make it so if it isn't already. Given the whole Peacemaker requirement to get a PocketPC to speak standard IR protocols, that probably doesn't help you. I don't know of any Bluetooth equivalent. Plus I don't know offhand if Palm is using standard file-transfer protocols, though we tend to.
    I speak as though I were still at Palm -- that stopped being true a couple of months ago. I doubt the Bluetooth situation has much changed since then in any case.

  2. Wow. What's a Pithy hat? Do I want one?
    From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913):
    Pith, v. t. (Physiol.)
    To destroy the central nervous system of (an animal, as a
    frog), as by passing a stout wire or needle up and down the
    vertebral canal.
    Eww. Big in Europe, are they?

  3. I couldn't figure out if he meant a pith helmet, those dorky hats you see English people exploring Egypt wearing in old movies. But I don't think those are popular in Europe proper.

  4. Wow, that's great....I didn't even know there were alternate definitions for pith. I'd love a hat that destroyed the central nervous system of a frog, although I'm not sure why.
    I was referring to the SpaceBalls type Darth Vader Pith Helmets of Legionnaire days, although I concede that few Brits still wear them. I'd be a bit cooler if they did though.