It's been an Everest like adventure but my EO is finally here. FedEx arrived at approximately 11:48 & 53secs on May 7th 2006, but who's counting? I, performing tasks for the CeBIT Australia Blog, was unable to sign for the device. Instead my wife, now three-months pregnant with twins, phones me up yelling down the phone: "it's beautiful!" "For God's sake what is Beautiful?" I retorted. The EO, it’s here, the EO, it’s here!
It seems my entire household was anticipating the arrival of the Ultra Mobile PC. When I made my way home, at around 3pm, and in time to pickup my son from school, all I had to do was whisper, "hey mate, you know the UMPC we were waiting for? It's here." My son, uberly passionate about technology, quickly climbed down from the monkey bars and raced me to the car to see it. As we entered the back door and into my office we noticed that Mum had cleverly left it on charge, mostly in fear of any backlash.
I let Leon, of four years old, have first turn. As he grabbed the orange joystick and navigates the "Application Launcher" he quickly realizes the screen is resistive touch. He then proceeds to navigate using touch only; he journeys to Solitaire and has a brief game, then the default My Pictures, and back to Solitaire again. As he grasps the push buttons, and jog dials, it becomes very evident that Daddy's toy has met the much anticipated fanfare.
Later, once I pried it from my son's fingers, I managed to have a play. As I made my way through the Touch Pack and Application Launcher I realized that the UMPC is an addictive experience. Where my finger became too substantial (fat) I just grabbed the joystick, and when the joystick got cumbersome, I reached for the pen. Was there anything this couldn't do? I went onto install Skype 2.0, Messenger 8.0 BETA and Adobe Acrobat Reader. We connected to our favorite 802.11g network via WPA-PSK (with WPA Encryption set as TKIP), and all worked seamlessly.
The EO has been online now for the last 6 hours andpassed through several pairs of hands. We've charged it on occasions but all in all its battery life has been manageable. One important note to remember about battery life is that all devices have a threshold; when that threshold is met, by any device, we feel the same burden and level of frustration. If it's 4 hours of 2.5 hours the time fly's too fast anyway. A friend once told me that if you look up and the clock strikes midnight, and you realize you haven't even had lunch yet, only then can you truly call yourself a geek. With the EO I think lunchtime, dinnertime and perhaps breakfast may keel-over and I might not even flinch.
This EO, I’m humbled to say, is the only EO to touch Australasian soil. The reason it’s here, while so many wait for delivery, is that CeBIT Australia and all their Media has write ups, and potential Television spots for this little device. It will be treated like Royalty and therefore never leave my line of sight.
All this week I'm on CeBIT duties, but stay tuned for a VideoCast of my life with EO.