If you have been reading my articles for a while, you know that I love to travel. I always try to find unique uses for the Treo, whether it's Skiing or a long trip to Europe, the Treo has always come through for me when I needed it most.
When I first started traveling, I had the "kitchen sink" mentality. Now I take as little as possible to minimize hassles with airport security (grumble) and just to make life easier for me. When I went last week to St. Louis for a financial conference, I only needed the following Treo items:
The retractable cable is a must for any laptop user, and the E&B Copilot Case is one of my favorite cases. A longer-lasting battery is always a good thing whether you're at home or on the road. So now I was ready for my trip.
Text me in St. Louis
I am one of the biggest Houston Astros fans around, and I had the incredible fortune of them being in town to play the St. Louis Cardinals. I made sure I had an early flight and made it out to the game at the beautiful new Busch Stadium.
I have a Canon SD400 digital camera that I used to take pictures of both the stadium and also of the Arch. Sure there are ways of improving pictures taken by the Treo, but I just didn't want the hassle, and who knows when I'd get another opportunity to go to St. Louis.
So I took lots of pictures. As I looked around, one really neat feature of Busch Stadium is its scoreboard. For $2.99, you can send a text message from your phone to a special number and have it displayed on the scoreboard for everyone to see. If you do it before the game, the message is displayed on the main scoreboard, while during the game messages go on one of the smaller side boards.
My message was "James H is here for the Stros!" Most of the other messages I saw were people saying hi to each other or good luck to one of the teams. I thought this was a brilliant use of text messaging and think that more sports stadiums should do this. The game was a blast, and the Astros won 6-3, so I was happy.
A Memory Reader by any other name
I primarily use the Treo for text messaging, browsing the Internet and phone calls, but I found another use for it in St. Louis: SD Card reader. You see, When I got back to the hotel, I really wanted my family to see the pictures, but I had left my memory card reader at home. No problem! I put my camera's SD Card in my Treo 650 and connected it to my PowerBook using The Missing Sync (similar functionality is built into the Windows version of Palm Desktop).
iPhoto treated the card the same way it does when plugging in a normal reader and imported all my pictures without a hitch. A few minutes later, my family and friends had pictures of me at the Arch and at the game.
The Treo's camera is useful... sometimes
Conferences are typically boring, so I left my camera at the hotel. At lunchtime, I walked into the exhibit/dining area and found out that one of the companies had a Cardinal player autographing baseballs. Not just any baseball player — Ozzie Smith, "The Wizard of Oz" — one of the greatest players ever!
Thankfully my Treo came through for me again. I had a colleague take a picture of Ozzie and me, which I then immediately sent via MMS to almost everyone I know. I heard later that my Mom was showing it off to everyone she knew. My one regret is that I wasn't paying attention to the picture dimension settings so my Ozzie picture is only 320x320 in size.
The Treo as everyone knows is perfect in business situations, and at a financial conference, I saw plenty of Treos around, along with competing products such as Blackberries and Windows Mobile devices. But since this has turned into a baseball-themed story, I'll close by pointing out that the Treo 650 is the phone of choice for at least one Astro, Morgan Ensberg, who plays 3rd base for the team.
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Read Merciful by Casey Adolfsson