I’m a forgetful son-of-a-gun most of the time. I end up making lists like something out of Memento. I’ve taken to clipping my business cards to my notebook with a binder clip (though I never got around to building a Hipster PDA).
To sum up: I’m the guy who usually says “I’ll email you my contact info” after you give me your card.
So, of course, last March at SXSW, I ran out of business cards before the final day. I only brought 75 (my mistake) when I could have easily brought 200 (about the number I came home with).
The inimitable (and very helpful) Amanda Lauter told me I should use contxts (though I didn’t sign up until yesterday).
A lot of folks have suggested Bump, but I only downloaded that back in October (and, at the time, I had biz cards at my disposal).
So now that I’m everywhere all at once, which system will win? I’m betting on good, old fashioned cards (if & when I have them).
I can’t see myself bumping phones too often or touching Pokens (assuming other folks have them). Maybe the most useful of the three is contxts.
Easy to remember. Easy to share (via txt or a little note). Easy to import into your phone upon receipt.
The one additional thing I’d like to try would potentially be a custom QR code stored on my phone (Like this one that points to contxts or that one). It would have the same potential hurdles as Bump, but any phone that could snap/scan my iPhone screen could get the embedded information. Like CardStar for contact info. Or something.
I don’t know what I’m getting at, since I still use a glommed-together “system” of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & a big stash of cards in my office drawer to keep up with folks, but at least the transfer of contact data should be better.
Of course, you could also peruse Mashable’s post on the same subject if you’re so inclined.
I am a tinkerer. I can’t leave well enough alone, especially where technology is involved.
I’m the guy who just had to spend a week getting the wireless sharing working on the TiVos (TiVoes?) only to discover I’d broken the ability to upload DivX from PC.
I’m also the guy who just had to show the whole family how to get their iPhones to auto-download photos pre-synch.
And lastly, I’m the guy who has to try and run Linux at every opportunity. As true in 2009 (Jolicloud Pre-Beta) as it was in 1998 (Suse).
So it was that with a light heart and a devilish grin that I decided to take my perfectly functioning Dell Mini 9 (running a Dell-specific Ubuntu 8.0.4) and try to install Jolicloud. I say “perfectly” but honestly part of my desire to try something new came from the slowness of Firefox when running more than 3 tabs. And seeing as the machine only has a 4GB hard drive, the only use case I have for the thing is surfing while watching TV, so being limited to Gmail, CoTweet and one “” tab is pretty limiting.
My father-in-law had been pushing Kubuntu on me, but I found the USB creation a little wonky and I wasn’t sold on the interface. I wanted to move away from KDE (and GNOME) and focus on something truly unique for the Netbook form factor. I looked at Moblin, but the track record for supporting my Dell Mini 9 just didn’t seem quite there. I even briefly considered Ubuntu Netbook Remix but couldn’t justify staying with a Canonical project given the bugginess of Dell’s default Ubuntu distro.
finally installing @jolicloud on my dell mini! oh im so geekily happy right now!
And I knew I had to check it out.
For those of you who don’t know @drew, he’s the Philadelphia blogger (I know him from my previous Metroblogs days) who has been very publicly battling cancer, working with LiveStrong, Lance Armstrong and using the Twitter hashtag #blamedrewscancer. He’s a hell of a guy and an avowed Mimobot fan to boot. I had no choice but to follow him down the Dell/Jolicloud rabbit hole.
I know enough shell commands from my regional ISP stint to be really dangerous, so it took me about 2 hours of fiddling to make the install USB using the Python script. I’m an idiot and a poor typist (especially on a tiny keyboard), hence the need for a distro that didn’t require me to know how to use a Terminal app or Synaptic. I don’t do dependencies: software, chemical or interpersonal.
After my brief wrestling match with install USB creation I rebooted and went through about 30 minutes of blissfully non-technical screens to install an operating system. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before. Easier and breezier than any Windows or Mac OS install I can remember (though, to be fair, I’ve only upgraded Mac OS’s on work laptops).
I jettisoned the old OS and filled up the hard drive with Jolicloud and got a sizable space savings (around 700 MB on a 4 GB disk) and was greeted with happy sounds, floating heart clouds and full screen optimization (through Mozilla, I believe) for all the “apps”. Plus, it’ll install & run Linux apps (like Boxee or Seesmic Desktop [which is Adobe Air]) as well.
I’m no (true) technical guy (obviously) but the one-click install of web apps and utilization of the full 9-inch screen are home runs. The user experience – which doesn’t look like Windows through a fishbowl anymore – is more touchscreen smart phone than laptop and I love it.
I’m confident that if I were sneaky enough I could get it on my in-laws’ Acer Aspire to run alongside Windows and they’d have no trouble accessing their files OR using the internet – checking email/Facebook and uploading their pictures.
I’m certainly not pushing the boundaries of computing with my own netbook usage, I just wanted to feel happier about having a barebones computing device on my lap most evenings. I wanted faster performance, I wanted easier (installs, updates & mousing around) and I wanted something a little tinier (since my HD space is *so* limited).
Christmas came early. I got everything I wanted.
The only remaining issue is that Jolicloud keeps reminding me that the driver for wireless on the Dell Mini 9 is proprietary, but I guess that was the sticking point for Moblin users too. I honestly don’t care about open source or not so long as I didn’t have to jump through hoops on installation, which I didn’t.
As an initial caveat, I’d like to start off by saying that I am not an “Agent” of Ford’s Fiesta Movement, I’m just someone who has seen the promotion/activation/campaign and been pretty impressed by the use of social media.
Here’s the second caveat: I’m an avowed Mimobot nut. Check the archives. Ever since I got my first Mimobot at SXSW earlier this year I’ve been obsessed with amassing a larger collection.
Enter eBay and the very nice (and prompt) Rigel Celeste. She runs a tight ship: courteous, friendly and quick to mail items once the PayPal went through. I gave her five-star feedback for the sale and a follow on Twitter, since she seems so cool.
Of course, I was helped out in the process by clusterflock. Great eBay buying advice.
Here’s what I got for my efforts:
Cute, isn’t it?
It came loaded with four pictures of the Ford Fiesta but was otherwise empty. I believe it was given to Rigel at a Fiesta Movement event, but she already had one.
Still, as a giveaway it’s pretty clever, especially since the Fiesta has a USB port. You should check out Stammy’s extensive Fiesta coverage, from an agent’s perspective if that’s your bag. He’s a local Atlantan and technology blogger.
I had my first run-in with a Mimobot and the fine folks at Mimoco during SXSW back in March. I loved the concept and the execution so much I got one for myself and one for Jenn and even contemplated them as “toys” for Rae & Owen.
Hey, Rae needed a flash drive for school. It might’ve worked.