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My New Assistant

I’ve been tasked with more responsibility lately, because as my boss told me on Thursday he’s leaving the team. He’s been tremendous in not only turning our team around, but helping me to achieve that goal as well. He was even crucial in helping further my career, not so much technically but with interpersonal skills. You can’t get very far as a developer if you don’t have both.
So while I’ll greatly miss him, I like the added responsibility of attending triage meetings and helping plan for current and future projects. Unfortunately, since another key member – and friend – recently left our team I’ve also had even more on my plate. So, I figured it was time to get myself an assistant…
…a digital assistant. My old Compaq iPAQ 3835 died at least a couple of years ago and getting it repaired would’ve cost about the same as getting a new one since prices continue to fall. Since Tracy and I had also gotten mobile phones around the same time, I didn’t want to invest in another handheld PC (HPC) because then I’d have to invest in a utility belt and would feel like Batman in that regard. Verizon at the time had poor choices (like, 1 or 2 devices) for Smartphones or Pocket PCs so I waited.
I was considering getting a Samsung i730. Another co-worker had one of these but without the upgrade pricing (since I don’t qualify until the end of July 2006) it was too expensive to justify. But then on our corporate intranet I saw another deal on a different phone – the Palm Treo 700w. Even though I wasn’t in an upgrade plan, I could still get a little discount on the hardware and unlimited data for less than half of what most people pay.
Now, I once had a Palm – way before my iPAQ. I won it as part of some technology contest. While I hated the operating system (OS; to this day Palm OS still has its quirks, I think) the hardware was nice. Palm has been doing this longer than most – if not all others – in the industry. I was excited to hear that the Palm Treo 700w would run Windows Mobile 5.0 – a great OS. It has all the great pocket versions of Office applications that everyone knows and loves, and has the great user interface consistency and application interaction one comes to expect with Windows (something that, at least to the same degree, many other OS’s and window managers lack).
So while our phone plan will go up a little, the Verizon customer service guy I worked with saved us a little money in another way when I had to modify our plan a little. So the increase won’t be too much and this will me stay organized both at work and with tasks otherwise. While I’m not crazy on the quality of phones’ cameras, either, this also gives Tracy and I an "emergency camera" – a small camera that’s readily accessible in case we see something that warrants a photograph – either funny or not.
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