Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Mostly good tech

I wrote this posting on the road yesterday and failed to get it onto the blog because I didn't know how to paste text into the e-mail program of my PDA.

Sending a newly completed translation by email from an X2000 fast train was a moment of technological zen for me.

After taking my daughter to daycare by bike through the snow this morning, I returned to my desk and did my e-mail. Then I worked for a while, translating into English a great magazine article I received via e-mail from Jenny, lady of many talents. I think she got the idea to ask me after reading my blog.

Went to town on the commute train reading a library book I ordered on the net, collected the train tickets I ordered on the net, had noodles, rode the fast train Stockholm – Linköping while finishing the translation on my laptop. Then I put it on my PDA and sent it to Jenny as the snow-covered countryside zoomed past outside. Sheer techie bliss.

In Linköping I got out my GPS navigator and nabbed the first of the day's geocaches on my way to the county museum. It was a film canister fastened with a magnet behind a sheet metal connection box on a street corner.

Tea with colleagues at the museum, meeting scheduled by e-mail with the county archaeologist about permits for this year's fieldwork, good people. I'm one of a very few archaeologists doing fieldwork unconnected to land development in Östergötland right now, and I'm also in the unusual situation of having a bit of research funding but no employer. Excavation permits are given only to organisations, not to individuals. This means that my activities don't fit the system, and that I can get things done at all only because everyone down here is so supportive and constructive about it.

After the meeting, a brief visit to the candle-scented interior of the Gothic cathedral, spire half lost in the icy haze of winter twilight. Shot the structure with the PDA's camera. Then two more caches, one of them another film canister, the other a tupperware box under a little bridge in a snow-covered park. Dinner at an empty cowboy-themed restaurant in the town square, checked my e-mail on the PDA, then back to the museum to give a talk.

The A/V technician was a mild-mannered Iranian named Mehdi. The audience was interested and active but tiny. Apparently, some old guy had upstaged me by exhausting the town's intellectually inclined retirees with a good talk yesterday evening.

I talked over a presentation beamed from the laptop, did Q&A, it all took an hour and a half, received a coffee table photography book by the excellent Göran Billeson, went out into the dark again. Logged a fourth cache, film canister with magnet under a staircase, went to the railway station, and here I am pecking away at the laptop. There's wifi here, but 70 SEK an hour is a joke and a bad one. And it's too cold to war walk the town's park benches in search of an open access point.

Dear Reader, I sign off at 21:33 GMT+1, and will now shoot this blog post onto Salto sobrius. Oh connectivity!

Update on pasting problem: Vitnir helpfully suggested that I try CTRL-V. Good idea if the Qtek had only had a CTRL key. And it turns out it sort of has! But only on the virtual on-screen keyboard.

So there is actually a way to paste text into e-mail on the Qtek 9100. I tried it and it works. But you have to use the virtual-keyboard shortcut CTL-V. The paste option steadfastly remains greyed-out on the menu that appears when you click-and-hold in the e-mail editing window.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was hard to see on the low-res pictures whether there was a ctrl-key or not but I was rather confident there would be some sort alternative key in that case. Btw the biggest reason for not getting a new PDA when the Psion broke down was that those PDA doesnt come with national keyboards making it essentialy useless unless you write in English.

09 February, 2006 15:44  
Blogger Martin said...

The Qtek 9100 has Scandinavian characters in roughly the right region of the qwerty keyboard, but you have to use an Alt Gr key to get them.

09 February, 2006 20:38  

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