Category Archives: Road Warrior

Celio’s Redfly Mobile Companion

I recently acquired a Redfly Mobile Companion from Celio. This device provides much (but not all) of the functionality previously promised by Palm for its never-released FOLIO. The Redfly, the size of a very small laptop, provides a larger screen and keyboard for using a mobile phone. It is ideal for taking advantage of unlimited on-device data plans. Since the Redfly does not contain any memory and all processing is done right on the phone, if the Redfly is stolen or lost, the data remains secure (so long as the phone is not lost). Battery life seems very decent (and can even be used to recharge or continue powering a depleted cellphone).

My big disappointment is that the device is not compatible with cellphone sold by Canadian carriers, particularly Rogers. Hopefully this is a short term issue and Celio will update the device in the near future.
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Palm Foleo still not shipping

I was eagerly awaiting the release of the new Palm Foleo. While only hoping it would be mid June, I never imagined it would be delayed until the end of the summer. I dropped by Palm’s store at Century City Shopping Centre just over a week ago and every window display was empty. What a waste. Some of the most expensive window display space in Los Angeles and its just sitting there empty.

Intel’s Metro Mobile Notebook

Intel recently worked with a design firm to develop a concept notebook, codenamed the Intel Mobile Metro Notebook. It is ultra-thin (.7 inches), one of the lightest notebooks around (2.25 pounds), has a long battery life (14 hours) due to use of flash memory rather than a hard drive and a host of connectivity options (cellular, wifi and wimax). Smart-array microphones reduce background noise and enhanced security (finger print reader and a remote “kill” feature) round off the features. Of couse, not all of these are likely to make it into any commercial units since manufacturers will have to take cost into consideration.

From Business Week.

Laptop Searches

Recently, a client who came to Canada from the US in order to assist in the negotiation of an outsourcing contract had his laptop examined by Canada customs agents while clearing customs at the border. While nothing incriminating was found and he was quickly on his way, the incident highlights the increased risk of international travelers having their laptops searched or detained by Canadian and/or US border agents.
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hField Technologies’ Wi-Fire

Road warriors may be interested in hField Technologies’ Wi-Fire – a USB wi-fi client with a built-in directional antenna designed to provide enhanced performance over longer distances. Similar features are promised by the Hawking Techbnologies HWU8DD Hi-Powered USB Wireless-G Adapter. Unfortunately, neither company is clear about how much RF power their devices put out.

Wireless Data Comparison

Since I last surveyed Canadian options for high speed wireless data:

– Rogers has raised the cap on its top EDGE plan (C$100) from 100 MB to 200 MB
– Bell and Telus have imposed caps (250 MB) on their EVDO 1x plans (C$100) which can be expected to provide better performance than currently available EDGE technology

Meanwhile, the US cellular carriers continue to offer uncapped high speed data plans at lower rates than their Canadian counterparts:

– T-mobile EDGE (US$49.99)
– Cingular EDGE (US$60 with voice plan, $80 without)
– Verizon EVDO 1x (US$60 with voice plan)