muscadine: (Me 2005)
The way this meme works is as follows: I commented on [livejournal.com profile] bdouville's post, and he gave me the age 14. If you request in the comments, I'll assign you an age, and so the chain of memes can continue. Or not. So, here goes.

At 14 (for reference, we're talking June 1990-91.) )
muscadine: (Default)
So my mom has expressed interest in having some sort of portable/mobile device that she can carry around with her with the following needed functions:
* Ability to read (& preferably edit) notes/lists/small spreadsheets
* Address book
* Calendar
* Some capability to move/sync notes, spreadsheets, and perhaps address book/calendar (with her desktop/laptop and/or the internet)
* Bonus: Wifi for at home, as well as ability to check email, etc when a wifi network is available while traveling

A laptop is too bulky and has a relatively short battery life.

My mind immediately jumped to an iPhone or other smartphone but their home does not get wireless signal and they have to drive a couple of miles to get a signal, so their current cell phone is a pay-as-you-go plan and they only use about 1000 minutes a year (mostly while traveling/vacationing). So, since iPhone would require a plan I didn't think that was a good option for them.

The next thing I jumped to was an iPod Touch. It has apps and capabilities that allow for all of her requirements (at least with the help of Google Docs), plus lots of bonus features including media capabilities along with other available apps. One possible downside is that the screen may be a bit small for her to read off of and if she does need to type something in the small onscreen touchpad may not be the best interface for her (these are, of course, also downsides to the iPhone).

Then of course the iPad has just come out. It's somewhat less portable and more expensive than an IPhone/IPod, but it would fit easily in a purse, does have a long battery life, has a similar selection of apps and capabilities (the ereader might be a particularly appealing bonus feature for my mom), and has a much better typing interface (including ability to link a keyboard) and larger screen. Since she would probably just get the most basic model of whatever she bought, the iPad is quite a bit more than the iPod Touch. Also, being a new technology, I'd probably recommend she wait til the next generation comes out if possible.

A netbook might also work but they generally seem to be heavier and more bulky, and to have a significantly shorter battery life, compared to the iPad.

An old-fashioned PDA might also work, but I don't see the advantage over an iPod Touch.

Is there an option I'm missing?
Are there downsides (or upsides) to any of these options that I'm missing?
Is there something around the corner I should encourage her to wait for (like a Droid-based analogue to the Touch or iPad that's worth considering)?
muscadine: (Comfort/Grief/Rain)
My Papa's cancer recurred...again. Last time was about a year ago. He went for testing a few days ago. The results are not good:
[T]he doctor says the cancer can not be cured but they have offered him two chemo treatments to try slowing it down. There is a one in four chance the chemo will be effective.

So, this will be the last Christmas with Papa. He has a chemo treatment on the 27th. This will be my first biological grandparent to depart. So it's going to be tough. My mother and her sisters are not dealing with it well at all. Haven't since he first got cancer. This won't be a cheery Christmas.

I knew when I decided to move out here that the odds were I would not finish before at least one grandparent died. That in fact they might all die before I finished my PhD. But they would be the first to say how proud they are, and that this is what they wanted for me: to go out and see the world, to do something I love, etc. That doesn't make it any easier.

Safe

Sep. 1st, 2005 08:10 am
muscadine: (Comfort/Grief/Rain)
An email recieved around 2:45 this morning:

By a miracle Uncle David and Bob are safe. By a miracle David was able to get a call out from a DEAD cell phone 3 a.m. Thurs 9/1/05. They need food and gas to run a generator. Both houses totally destroyed "nothing but new carport left standing". They had left and gone inland a few miles to back part of Long Beach. Uncle David H*****, Cheryl maybe Buck heading out on "rescue" mission. Pray that they can get through--the roads are blocked and martial law iS prohibiting entering the area even if road is open.


Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers (looks like some are still needed), and let us hope for similar good news for other worried families everywhere.

Katrina

Aug. 30th, 2005 12:21 pm
muscadine: (Embarrassed/Frightened Angel)
My uncle was in Gulfport, MS. Sunday morning he had not left yet, but was thinking about it since the Weather Channel reporter was right down the street. The family has not heard anything from my uncle. If he left the coast before the hurricane hit, he did not make it to NE MS/Memphis area (where most of the family is). It appears the area around his neighborhood was heavily damaged and perhaps totally destroyed.

The only means of communication along that part of the coast right now is satellite phone so we wouldn't expect to have heard anything yet even if he is fine. Parents are keeping their eyes out on all the Internet pictures coming out of the area, and family members have added his name to disaster relief agency lists. If we haven't heard anything by the end of the week one of my uncles in Memphis is planning to take his 4x4 down to see if he can get in and find anything out.

From the Biloxi newspaper:
In Gulfport, water washed over the CSX railroad tracks, a line old-timers say Camille did not cross.

The tracks run parallel to the coast, about a block or two in from the beach. My uncle's house is between the tracks and the beach. When Camille hit and the water started to rise, they had to make a run for the tracks, and (as this report says) the water didn't go over. Crap.

Misc

Aug. 4th, 2005 12:27 pm
muscadine: (Default)
The niece is back with her grandparents after a month here. Was loads of fun!

Also, lookie what we got! It's a Tessa! Tessa is a rescue miniature dachshund, about 4 yrs old. Very cute, very sweet, very tiny. She only weighs 9 lbs and she's overweight.

I don't believe in a vengeful God, but this whole thing with the Boy Scouts sorely tempts me.

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