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April 20, 2008

Going Topless At MVP Summit

Find the mobile guy in the room. C''s not a trick question.

Last week at MVP Summit, I went totally topless the entire time.

Now, before anyone within arm’s length of me decides to commit justifiable homicide, here’s what I mean by that.

I had seen something about companies issuing dictates against takign laptops into meetings. That they were too distracting. I thought that was a pretty good idea, but for a different reason. I simply hate lugging all that weight around with me all the time. So, thanks to some recent additions to my trusty utility belt, I pulled off a feat that some folks might think impossible.

I didn’t take my laptop out of the hotel room AT ALL! That’s right, (lap)topless baby!

Now, think about that for a minute. Being at an intensive, uber-deep-diving tech conference for a full week, and never dragging a laptop around with you even once.

This mission was a super-secret skunkworks experiment I codenamed  More Mobile Than Mobile AKA MMTM.

And it was a resounding success! As in…

Hoo-RAH! Who’s your mobile daddy NOW?

Here’s a list of stuff that made MMTM possible:

I also had the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 with me for capturing all the images and video I wanted. That camera is playing at a whole other level of awesome, but was ancillary to MMTM, really.

There was really only thing that truly SUCKED about MMTM.

I didn’t have anything to use to carry the A/C cable and the headphones around. So my pockets were about to burst from all the junk crammed into them.

Obviously, cargo pants coming back into style would fix that, at least for a while. But a longer term solution would be some sort of small case.

Kinda like the one being given at the Mobile MVP dives, for which I was fortunate enough to receive an invite to attend. But as a guest, I didn’t think it would have been proper of me to receive one, instead of someone who was a Mobile or Mobile Dev MVP.

Even with that one little issue, everything else about More Mobile Than Mobile was AWESOME! I didn’t have to worry about where I was gonna stash my stuff. No bootup/shut down stuff to deal with. I could setup in even the tiniest of spaces. Just plug in for a little bit of juice here and there.

Well maybe moreoften than that. Battery life with Windows Mobile is beyond atrocious, and needs to be on the planning doc for the next version.

The part of MMTM that ROCKED? Nearly everyone who saw it wanted to know how well the keyboard worked. Once I showed them how fast and awesome it types and controls the Treo, I saw quite a few raised eyebrows.

I did notice some difficulty using the Bluetooth keyboard to type while simltaneously using the Bluetooth headphones to play music. Typing responsiveness would slow until it was basically unusable. I chalked that up to bandwidth limitations of the Bluetooth receiver on the Treo. As soon as I paused the music playback, the typing returned to normal.

Also, I found that changing the screen orientation to Landscape (right-handed) allowed the Treo to sit comfortable on the keyboard pop-up stand, while still being connected to whatever type of charging cable I happened to have at the moment, and without blocking or otherwise impeding access to the side volume and action button. A faster (as in one-tap) way to do that screen re-orientation would be nice, however.

All in all, a smash success. More Mobile Than Mobile is now my new standard way of attending conferences.

As soon as I find a decent mini-case, that is.

|| posted by chris under hardware, mobility, more cowbell, rx, thumbs up, travel, utility belt || comments (5) || ||


  1. Now that’s Mobility!!!!!!!!!!!!
    new MVP status for you :-)

    comment by Liz — April 20, 2008 @ 1:05 pm

  2. Big whoop. I did that at the SMB Nation 2005 (not the exact same setup, my keyboard used the infrared dongle to communicate with the device)

    The part where it all falls apart is the carrying of crap. Headphones, charger (though a much smaller charger can now be purchased with just the plug and the USB connector on it), styus, pens, etc. The sad thing about these conferences is that you are nearly ALWAYS lugging around junk and everyone wants to give you something, so it makes sense to just have a bag and full functionality.

    The only thing gained with your setup is not having to lug around a 5lb laptop, girly man.


    comment by Vlad Mazek — April 20, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

  3. @ V…

    The swagless nature of Summit this year simply meant there wasn’t much of anything to accept or decline. A more tradeshow-y show like Xchange or WWPC would be much different.

    As for the only thing gained…made all the diff when I was hoofing it between buildings.

    IR is teh suck compared to BT. I was able to leave my device in the room, and step out to take a call using the BT headset. And I’d rather only have one transceiver active at a time, to save some juice.

    comment by chris — April 20, 2008 @ 1:57 pm

  4. Chris, have you checked out the Black & Decker “PocketPower” CPI20B at Amazon for under $30? They provide up to 4 hours of USB power and have an AC adapter for charging the pack or running a USB device without a computer. I snagged a pair of them on Woot. Nice for those cross-country flights when you have USB devices that won’t make the trip before running out. They’re too heavy for pockets, but portable and super handy.

    comment by Tim Barrett — April 21, 2008 @ 10:53 am

  5. [...] here I thought I had found the answer to my More Mobile Than Mobile quandary…namely, the problem of carrying all the associated [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » So Close… — April 24, 2008 @ 1:43 am

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