iPhone as computer

Patrick Rhone writes about his experience writing with the iPhone and a keyboard. I’m with him to a point. The iPhone 4 is my favorite computer ever. But there’s no way I could spend any amount of time writing on that tiny screen.

Years ago, I bought a foldaway keyboard to use with my Palm IIIe. After half a dozen attempts, I had to abandon it. The whole experience was too cramped.

If Patrick can pull it off, more power to him. He’s a better man than me.

Keeping it Straight by Patrick Rhone

My friend Patrick Rhone has released his first book, Keeping It Straight – You, Me and Everything Else. I’m a few chapters in and thoroughly enjoying it. Why am I not done reading? Because each chapter invites contemplation. I find myself spending a few days mulling over the thoughts and ideas Patrick presents.

With that in mind I can say that Patrick has achieved any writer’s goal — to evoke a meaningful response from his/her readers — in spades. I fully recommend Keeping It Straight.

RSS hierarchy

I’m following Patrick’s RSS hierarchy, in an attempt to make triage easier. I scan or read thousands of posts across hundreds of feeds every day, and need some organization. Here’s the system of folders I’ve adopted:

  1. A-List: Daily must-reads
  2. B-List: High value yet not daily reads
  3. C-List: Visit weekly
  4. Probation: Feeds moved to this folder must earn their way back out. Those that remain will be purged weekly.

It’s a good system and I thank Patrick for sharing.

Defining the other game

In episode 27 of The Bro Show, Myke, Terry and Patrick discuss the tablets and phones that mean to compete with Apple, including Windows Phone 7. Patrick:

“I don’t think Microsoft is going to be able to…sell Windows Phone 7 to the typical BlackBerry user…those are the people who are constantly looking at their devices. So they’re not going to switch the BlackBerry folks.

They’re not in the iPhone’s game. Apple has written its own game and it’s busy playing it while everyone else is busy trying to figure  out which game they’re playing. The opportunity here [for Microsoft] is to…define a game that competes with Apple’s game.”

I believe that’s precisely what they’ve done. Forget the BlackBerry users. With the current campaign, Microsoft is after the people who loathe smartphone users. The current ads are purely an appeal to emotion; we dislike the drones who are distracted to the point of their own detriment and feel a connection with the possible solution. The “how” doesn’t matter.

Microsoft’s “game” is to offer refuge to those who would use a smartphone but dislike how it supposedly changes one’s behavior. And there are a lot of them.