Results of the Trip – How Does the Treo Stack up as a Laptop Replacement for Travel?

Overall, amazingly well.

There are some details I discovered during my trip and a few things I’ll need to address before flying with just the Treo again. Some I addressed in my preliminary report, but I’ll go into more detail today. Others are new.

Before my next trip out, I’ll find…

[more]A way to view PDF files. I need to be able to receive PDF files via email and open them as native documents.

I have seen a couple programs that claim to do this, but I’ve not tried them yet. I’ll have to have that before my next voyage away from a PC.

I didn’t realize how often my clients and peers use that format. I know I use it all the time, but having them fly at me when I can’t open them was a new experience.

This must be fixed.

Second –

I’ll not leave again without a miniature “briefcase” for all the Treo stuff. I had a couple bad incidents with the Treo and several instances of frustration because I was trying to tuck my charger cords, expansion card, extra battery, etc here or there in my backpack.

Yes, I like traveling with just a backpack. I think it’s a real accomplishment, but between now and the next big trip, I’ll find an organizer/travelbag that will meet my needs.

The need was so great that I actually spent a couple hours designing a prototype of the perfect Treo bag in my sketchbook. Perhaps, if I can find a leathersmith, I’ll get a copy made up for my own use. I’m sure it would cost a fortune to get a custom bag, but my goodness it would save me alot of time and headaches.

In the meantime, I’ve ordered a bag that might work. It should be here in a couple days. If it’s the answer, I’ll share the details and the brand and the cost information.

Third –

I’ll need to get a good security program for the Treo. A near-loss situation taught me not only that I needed to have “one place” for everything, including the Treo, but it also taught me that I need to step up my search for the best security for my device.

The thought of losing my data is horrible, but the though of someone else finding it is worse. I, of course, have some individual programs locked down — my eWallet, for example — but I need a good overall security system.

I liked picture password early on with the Treo 600, but it seemed to burp alot on the 650. The last thing I wanted was a “burping” security program. I’ll take wide open over a false sense of security anyday.

I’ll let you know if I find one I like.

Fourth –

As I said before, I’m going to have to find a new Treo case. I love the one I have, but heavy use means it no longer fits snugly. Maybe I should just get another Piel Frama, but I hate to think that it will just stretch out again and leave me with a flying Treo a second time.

I think I’m back to the drawing board there.

Fifth, and finally,

My desire to be able to use photos directly from my Treo to my GeekLog blogs led me to some experimentation.

Since there is a size limit on the GeekLog system that doesn’t meet the same size specs as my Treo’s camera, this one may be a bit difficult. I’m sure there’s a work around, but I’m not sure what it is yet.

On the topic of picture taking with the Treo, I did discover some interesting effects and some definition options when spending an afternoon taking pictures. There’s a black and white photo option, a sepia photo option, and an increased resolution option on both the still photos and the “video” format for the Treo.

I did notice that with the increased resolution on the video, that I had pixelation whenever I moved the device to “track” what I wanted to see. That didn’t seem to be a problem when I was holding the Treo still and action was happening where I had it pointed.

At this point, I still need to re-size and upload some of the photos I took with the Treo on the trip. If only there were more hours in the day!

Overall, I found the Treo met 98% of my needs while traveling. Will I rely on it again? Absolutely.

Will I leave my laptop at home next time? Yup, probably.

If I am going for an extended time and must have all options, I’ll carry a laptop. If I’m going for under three weeks, and don’t plan to work my usual extended hours and don’t need to manipulate graphics (newsletters, logos, photos, website layout work, etc) then I’ll leave the laptop at home.

For a first trip out, a “fact finding” mission, if you will, this trip was a resounding success. I learned alot about what does work, what doesn’t work, and what research I now need to do to make my next experience — and yours — a bit better!