[NTLK] [OT?] Pismo-love [WAS: "Re: No iNewton announced today"]

From: Lord Groundhog <LordGroundhog_at_gmail.com>
Date: Sun Sep 13 2009 - 12:46:32 EDT

~~~ On 2009/09/12 06:27, James Fraser at
wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk@yahoo.com wrote ~~~

>> Pismos color fades,
> I'll be honest: the color fade is a new one on me. I own more than one Pismo
> and fading isn't a problem with any of them, but then, I can't claim to
> subject them to direct sunlight all that often. They are indoor machines for
> the most part, which may help to explain why I'm not familiar with that
> particular problem.

I have to join James in saying no to this. And having 4 Pismos, I think I
have a little experience. Unlike James, my Pismos, especially my main
Pismo, has spent a lot of time on the road: I'm living in the UK where
Lady Pismo has been a daily companion for work and non-work. The only gizmo
I've carried with me more faithfully than my laptop is my Newton (since I
got it in 2005). Lady Pismo also has been to the States at least once a
year since 2000, as well as on numerous trips to Canada, Denmark, Germany,
and Malta. She's even gone on camping trips with me, and though I don't
beat her up like some people seem to do, I don't baby her either. As of
last September I finally got a MacBook when I realized that having a laptop
I don't particularly love for when I'm doing "rough" travelling would
prolong the life of my Pismo, now that reasonably priced Pismo parts are
getting harder to source in England.

I too have stripped down my 4 machines to replace parts -- far less often
than I would've expected on such an old model, and would gladly buy another
laptop as well made as Pismos. I consider the Pismo a truly road-friendly
hard-core user's laptop: the ease of on-the-go repairs, the hot-swappable
batteries, the hot-swappable peripherals into the 2nd battery bay, the
selection of ports, etc., etc., all in an astonishingly good design, make it
a winner.

As for colour fade on the case? None. Lady Pismo has seen her share of
sunshine, as have the other 3, and I can't say they've faded. (If the
Maltese sun doesn't fade something, it's probably not going to fade.) Two
of my cases do have the tell-tale crack at the touch pad, but Lady P, the
one I've used most and hardest, doesn't. I guess it's just the luck of the

I'm not going to join in casting aspersions on the unibody because for all I
know it will last very well. But I can't see it being *loved* so well or
for so long. And the difference isn't just in the "organic" look and feel
of the Pismo, but most especially (for me) in the fact that the Pismo's
extreme versatility meant that when I had to travel for extended periods, I
didn't have to surrender what I consider the basics of my work-pattern, and
I didn't have to be so worried about battery life since [a] I always had
good battery life from my Pismo batteries -- even better after I moved to
the extra-long life ones, and [b] the 2nd battery bay means I don't even
have to do the shut down/restart jitterbug to swap over. I've been able to
work 11 hours continuously at a pinch, which also is more than enough time
to leave my home for the airport, fly to North America, and get to my
destination, working throughout whenever I could sit down. And with a
reasonably small kit of tools I was able travel anywhere confident that for
a wide variety of possible parts failures (that usually never happened), I
could be up and running again in the time it took to source and acquire
parts. All without an Apple Store or hefty charges.

Now that I travel with a MacBook, I don't have that same independence and
versatility or confidence. Or battery life.

I know all that seems a long way from the Newton and this list, but really,
it isn't. In its way, the Newton is much like the Pismo: its design and
function and serviceability make it user-oriented, not company-oriented,
like the Pismo.

If I had to boil it down, I'd say the Newton is to the iPhone what the Pismo
is to the MacBook. If all I cared about were how modern the tech is in
terms of the latest this-that-and-the-other, that would make the iPhone and
the MacBook the bees' knees, and would make the Newton and the Pismo
interesting but barely relevant museum pieces. I guess by now it's clear
that "the latest tech" isn't my main criterion of excellence. Give me those
older masterpieces of engineering in upgraded form though, and you can have
my arm and my leg. (Sorry, my first-born son isn't mine to give you!)


~~~ ~~~ ~~~

łAny sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from a Newton.˛
            -- what Arthur C. Clarke meant

(With thanks to Chod Lang)

~~~ ~~~ ~~~
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Received on Sun Sep 13 12:48:51 2009

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