A strange little idea I had on the way home today: Movable Type on a Sharp Zaurus equipped with wireless ethernet? Or maybe Bloxsom if/when it has static publishing? Just use rsync to publish whenever the thing finds itself on a network, wireless or otherwise. Maybe that happens while you're out Warwalking - better yet, maybe that wireless network detector you cobbled together autoblogs what it finds while in your pocket.

But, beyond that, I wonder what else having your blog in your pocket might give you? Toss in a GPS unit somehow, maybe some other things like a thermometer device? A compass? Thinking about ways to automatically capture metadata about your present environment. Why? Why not, I'm sure if I thought longer, that stuff would seem useful.

And then there's the non-automatic writing you might do: jot down thoughts occuring on the spur of the moment; capture the scene as you sit in the park; report on the scene of an accident - or a disaster? If you have a digital camera, and if both the PDA and camera had bluetooth, integrate the two so that you can easily combine the picture and 1000 words while they're fresh in your mind.

But what about the other end of things - aggregation and reading? Install AmphetaDesk along with, maybe, a web cache and spider that proactively slurps down new news items when it's near a firehose net connection. If you're in a town with frequent dips into the bandwidth pool as you wander around, maybe you'll catch another BlogWalker in your referrers, linking to what you just posted. Meet up and have some coffee. Hell, become a smart mob with a few other BlogWalkers.

Eh, I think I'm starting to ramble and get carried away, but in between reading VernorVinge and RayKurzweil books lately, I'm in a mood to immanentize the eschaton and tinker my way on into the Singularity.

(And, oh yeah, I'm in a pretentiously linky mood. (And could that be a valid mood in these days?))


Archived Comments

  • Careful, or you might find yourself turning into a gargoyle from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. -spc (Thinking of becoming a stringer for the CIC, eh?)
  • You sound like you'd be interested in UCSD's ActiveCampus project. ActiveCampus was posted on Slashdot a while back with a 'stalking your buddies' focus, but the kind of online commenting and serendipitous meetings are in fact exactly the focus of the project. An attempt to use technology to bring us together. Your post reminds me directly of conversations I've had with Bill Griswold, a PI on the project, after he noticed on the ActiveCampus system that I was working nearby, so he dropped in. Cool stuff.
  • Blogwalking... I smell a meme. Back in March I wrote a longish piece titled Blogging Anywhere that briefly described how I was using PDAs to weblog wirelessly back in Y2K and went on to discuss modern options, including the idea of running weblog software directly on the Zaurus. I've not actually tried to do so yet, but it's been on my mind lately as I consider switching from Radio to Movable Type. I'm already using MT under a Linux VMware guest installation to maintain a private weblog, with FTP pushing the static pages to my web host. Doing the same thing on the Zaurus doesn't seem challenging, but I'm not sure that using a PDA as the primary repository for weblog data is desirable. If there was a way to keep two Movable Type installations synchronized... I think the best solution is to have weblog clients for PDAs that are designed to work offline and take advantage of network connections when they are available. I wrote such a client for Pocket PCs, check out Pocket Blog. It has some problems, but mostly it works ;-) AvantBlog is a Blogger API client that works with AvantGo. It's not as rich as Pocket Blog but can work on any platform with an AvantGo client supporting offline forms (Palm OS, CE, Pocket PC). handX weblog is another option for Palm OS users, but it is very limited and doesn't integrate with other weblog software. On the aggregation front, PocketRSS and Pocket Feed are available now for Pocket PCs. I'm not aware of any Palm OS or Zaurus-specific aggregators, but AvantGo and Mazingo achieve similar ends.
  • One more thing, now is a great time to be thinking about location-based services. US cellular carriers will be required to provide location data to E-911 centers soon. Most are looking to GPS as the ultimate solution, which means that in a few years most cellular phones will have "free" GPS functionality. I'd offer some links but this isn't something I've been tracking and I need to get to sleep...
  • If typing in real-time is more important than publishing in real-time, then of course things get simpler. I often write stuff in my PalmV, then synch, copy/paste/etc to take it live later. Not super-clean, of course. (And aided by my use of a tool which takes StructuredText instead of HTML, so I don't have to worry about silly tags.) I'm definitely intrigued by the open-ness of the Zaurus, though. I wonder how much it can really run at one time before hitting memory constraints? (Python? Medusa? MetaKit?).
  • If you want blosxom-style static publishing over rsync, check out Burger, written in Ruby. It's very experimental right now, but it's stable and it does what blosxom pre 0+5i did. See here.