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Tip o' the Week: Always Camera Ready!

Wed Jul 16, 2008 - 3:42 PM EDT - By Brian Hart

No Camera Phone??

My sister killed her cell phone last week. I don't think she meant to. One moment she was talking on her phone, laughing and generally in a good mood. Then inexplicably her phone went !splat! on the ground, with no malice aforethought. She grew very quiet. Resuscitative measures were taken, but her phone was a goner. Flatlined.

I got excited for her when she bought a 'new' phone on eBay and decided to go with a Treo 650. Being her very first smartphone/pda, I was more than happy to show her the ropes and properly introduce her to the world I've spent so many years enjoying -- smartphone with the ability to load a ton of 3rd party apps! But then, my excitement was tempered just a bit. Examining her new Treo, I quickly noted the lack of a camera. She didn't realize it when she ordered it, but this Treo 650 was definitely a business model with corporate privacy in mind -- no camera, no chance of snapping pics of sensitive proprietary things. It didn't seem to bother her because she said things like "oh well, I never really used the camera on my old phone anyway, so I won't miss it." Uhhh. What?!? It was at this point I wondered if she was adopted. Hardly remembering what it was like BEFORE I had a camera phone, I could scarcely imagine NOT having one these days. It got me thinking about how much I use the camera on my two Treos and inspired me make this week's Tip about those nifty Treo cameras!

As you are likely aware, the overall quality of pictures on your Treo camera are minimal, at best. They remind me of the fuzzy, grainy resolution of the old film (yes, that would be 'celluloid' for those youngsters out there) cameras that I used on high school trips, family vacations, etc. Although the pictures from your Treo are a far cry from the 10 megapixel wonders you can crank out from your Nikon or Canon SLR (Single-lens Reflex camera), they work extremely well in a pinch when you might find yourself saying, "I sooooo wish I had my camera right now!" It's a remarkable convenience to have a camera squished inside that tiny Treo in your pocket!

I've included some pictures I've taken with my Treos when a camera wasn't handy. At the last minute, I got to see The Fixx (80s band, still breathing, still rockin') in Phoenix at a small club. No camera on me except my Treo, but I was so glad to have that!

This next pic is from the Griffith Park Observatory up in the Hollywood Hills. The L.A. smog looks lovely in the late morning.

I absolutely love sunsets (and long walks on the beach, just like my Facebook profile says), so I couldn't resist snapping this sunset pic from my backyard balcony.

Finally, and certainly anticlimactic, is another picture illustrating some real utility in using your Treo's camera. I was at the office and needed to remember some information jotted down on a whiteboard. Saving myself a bunch of writing and thinking myself to be quite clever, I snapped a pic of the whiteboard with my Treo. What a great way to impress your co-workers (or, more likely, truly establish yourself as "Top Geek" among your peers).

Among the many advantages of having a Treo at your side (or in your pocket or purse), the tiny camera can be very useful in capturing the moment, making memories, or even just helping you remember what's on the whiteboard.

That's it for this week's Tip. If you are a developer with some helpful and/or fun software or if you have a Tip that you wish to pass on to the rest of the community, just email me at: [email protected]. Tune in next week for another Tip!

Disclaimer: Tip o' the Week makes no guarantee, express or implied, that any tip found herein will be new or particularly useful to the reader (and please don't turn into a Treo Paparazzi and stalk your unwary co-workers).

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