5 tools, one job and a Thursday afternoon (windows phone 7)



Sometime in the mid 1970’s my father attended an NSTA conference somewhere in the US. He brought me back a circular slide rule, that was my go to device for nearly 5 years. I have sought a replacement for that device for more than 30 years. I still haven’t found it (it had an insert with a star chart, periodic table of the elements on the back and a slide rule on the front. The insert had all sorts of interesting additions and it acted as both a ruler and a protractor. Somewhere or sometime after I moved out of my parents house I lost it.

Yes I know there are devices that do so much more than that device did. I also realize that as a human I was the input, energy and battery solution for that device which in reality was more of a tool than a device. But it is that device that created my love of gadgets. It seems funny now that a tool has drive my desire to have a single device that gets me what I need.

Which brings up the device that most intrigues me right now. Windows phone 7 which launches here in the US in about 12 days. Shortly after the launch of Kinect (which is the other technology I am watching right now). It seems to me that technology is catching up with the vision we all had more than 30 years ago (personal productivity tools) from the phone to the game system. I have a laptop (netbook) that is small enough to carry with me pretty much everywhere and it allows me (affords me) the luxury of long battery life, tablet computer and touch screen device. But the phone remains the device that most will drive change.

I watched the iPhone folks scurry to their devices (and heard them complain about horrible phone service) talking about everything you could do on an iPhone (or for that matter the newer entity the Android phone. I wanted to tell each and every one of them about my circular slide rule and what that meant, but they wouldn’t listen. They had the shiny new rock that would change the world. They had poor service and dropped calls, but they changed the world. Ask AT&T about the Iphone (and now Ipad) impact on their network. It increased the traffic (data) on their cellular network a lot!

Windows mobile 6.5 was a step in the right direction. It gave me a lot of the things I was looking for.

Windows phone 7 will be the game changer. Out of the box I will be able to connect to my Zune Pass and use the phone for streaming music. I will be able to use the phone to play on Xbox live and will have access to all the games on a real gaming platform (Xbox). I will be able to being the process of integrating my life with my internet life (see my blog here, for thoughts on syncing everything). It (the Windows Phone 7) gets me close to one device that will keep me synced between where I am and the virtual me that lives on the internet.

5 killer Windows phone 7 features

  • Mix and match calendars (works and Hotmail) so you can always have family and work events side by side
  • Facebook integration
  • Voicemail visible on launch screen if you have one
  • emails visible on launch screen if you have some
  • tiles

I have the launch countdown timer on my desktop (I haven’t had that since the countdown timer for Windows XP). The world is about to change, and I am excited to be in the mix!


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