Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Oct 21, 2010

201020102010 On-the-Dot Facebook

The photo above is the Treo 680 Smartphone launched by Singtel in Dec 2006.

This used set was sold to me a Singapore Palm User Group (SPUG) member at $150 in late 2009. Reason for selling: Bought an iPhone.

This Treo 680 is outdated and slow with 2GB limited storage, but still in good working condition. Everyone in the world is asking me to get an iPhone...but I'm stuck with Palm. Please find out why at the last part of this blog. The Treo 680 is only a component (albeit an important one) of the blog and had moved it to the end.

The main blog topic (or appropriately referred to as "faceblog") focused here is about Facebook and the "202020202020 On-the Dot" Group on Facebook as a testbed of my learning experience.

The series of 12 digits ( 2010 x 3 ) appears to be a puzzling mathematical formula for this blog topic.

This represents the special date/month/year/hour/minute meaning 20th October, 2010 at 20 hour 10 minute. Interesting, isn't it?

This date/time for a special day in a once-in-a-lifetime moment this century.

The Facebook message photo seen above is the result of the experimental project.

Start Date: 17 November, 2009 at 6:26 am.
End Date : 20 October, 2010 at 8:10 pm.

This mission accomplished when the message was transmitted via Facebook for Palm.

Thanks to 40 members of the "201020102010 On-the-Dot" Group on Facebook.

The following photo is a screen capture of the Facebook group with Basic Information . Please click on the photo to enlarge the image.

My blogger friend Yew Ghee pointed out his Facebook comment below:

YG reminded me that I had a window of just one minute or less to complete the task to hit the dot at 201020102010 and the next moment would be past in a split of seconds. I felt pressured as it could be done only during my work break to use the mobile Facebook. Phew...

Another blogger friend Chun See tagged me a Facebook photo with the date taken on 20 October, 2010 with the message:

"Do you think this is the sun or moon? What time do you think this photo was taken?

Ans. Around 8 am in the morning. The haze was terrible this morning".

Thanks Chun See for his quiz contribution and ideas@work !!!

Thanks to my Norwegian friends Matias Johannessen and Jan-Petter Janssen for helping out a creative and unique way with the following photos with this Facebook experiment. Thanks for a great help guys!

Matias hitting the dot on time with his mobile phone.

Peter here with just as fast...just a moment to get it!

The following is an extract of an obsolete article about an "outdated" Palm user:
Palm user James Seah shares his experiences using a venerable Palm IIIxe in Singapore.

Mike Rohde, Editor of the now defunct Palm Tipsheet.

By late 2002, Mike needed to expand his writing horizons to more than handhelds. He sold the Palm Tipsheet.

ROHDESIGN is the website of designer Mike Rohde, who writes about design, sketchnotes, sketching, mobile computing, technology, travel, cycling, books, music, film and more

The archived article from Palm Tipsheet 34 - September 2002 below:

Tipsheet Interview: James Seah

This month's Tipsheet interview features Singaporean Palm user James Seah and his workhorse Palm IIIxe.

James uses his Palm to manage his work schedule as a finance supervisor, sync and read his outlook email and daily news each morning on the train and to capture his thoughts and ideas throughout the day.

*PT: James, thanks for taking the time to share your Palm experience with the Palm Tipsheet.

It's a pleasure. Thank you for granting me the interview, Mike.

*PT: You live in Singapore -- I'm curious to know how popular Palm handhelds are there. Have they been gaining popularity recently, or have you noticed them being used by people for a long time?

Singapore is a cosmopolitan city and well-linked to the global e-community. All sorts of electronic gadgets sold elsewhere will eventually find a market in Singapore, sometimes within days of the product launch in other parts of the world. Singaporeans are among the top early adopters of the latest trendy gadgets, including Palm-branded and Palm-powered devices.

The current craze in Singapore is the mobile-phone, not PDAs.

The earlier Palm III models were pricey and there were few users -- among them techies and marketing executives -- busy people who need an effective and reliable electronic device to help them keep their day organized.

Lately, there's a visible increase in the number of Palm handheld users since the launch of the IIIx, Vx and IIIc. With fierce competition from other Palm-powered devices like the Sony Clié, it's a buyers' market and customers are spoilt for choice on which brand and model suits their needs. With the release of the M515, a 16MB color device with expansion slot for stamp-sized MultiMedia Cards and SD Cards, Palm Inc. is indeed giving the Pocket PC device manufacturers a run for their money.

*PT: Which language is the OS on your Palm? Is there a version of Graffiti which allows you to write special characters on your Palm, or must you use other methods to enter them?

Singapore is a multi-racial, multi-lingual society -- with English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil as the four official languages. Most Singaporeans are bi-lingual (i.e English and their Mother-tongue).

I use the CHOS (Chinese OS) from Waterworld in Hong Kong, for reading my emails from Taiwan friends and for Chinese input. The 'Simplified Chinese' or 'Hanyu Pinyin' is commonly used in Mainland China and Singapore, while the "Traditional Chinese" or 'Fanti' is the Taiwanese native version.

I am also a pioneer user of the Fitaly Stamp which is a great alternative Palm input system compared to Graffiti. A review I wrote on the Fitaly Stamp is located at PDABuzz:

*PT: When you are using your Palm, what kinds of reactions do you see from people? Are they intrigued by your Palm? Do you have opportunities to 'evangelize' the Palm with them?

I have become immune to the stares of curious onlookers in public places where I use the Palm. I am no longer shy or self-conscious because its kinda like using the Filofax to jot down something whenever it strikes your mind and you want to note it down before the thought slips away.

With the increasing number of Palm handheld users, the novelty of the Palm 'toy' will gradually wear off. It will become as commonplace as the mobile phone. Among the youngsters who play with 'Game Boy' wherever they go, they will grow up to become Palm handheld users... it's a natural progression!

I do not consciously go overboard to 'evangelise' the Palm handheld. I have made a few friends among strangers who also use the Palm though. We chat up, exchange notes and share our 'palming' experiences or beam business cards.

Once there was this schoolboy I met on the train who wanted me to recommend some Palm-related websites to him. I happen to have a list of these sites in my Memo record and just beamed it to him. He emailed me an acknowledgement of thanks to say that the list had saved him the amount of time he would otherwise have to spend searching for the sites on the Internet.

*PT: How does the Palm help you in your everyday life?

In many ways. The Palm has become an appendix to my everyday life, whether it's for work or recreation. It has replaced my Filofax organizer and the scraps of paper I used to jot down things I need to remember.

*PT: Are there any programs which you use daily and couldn't live without?

*Password Store:
*MultiMail Pro:

[NOTE: The application software of Palm Operating System listed above are out of production. The websites are no longer linked.]

Games are not my forte, but the following Palm games are my favorites to kill time while waiting in queues for buses to arrive or when I am attending Chinese dinners, (which seldom start on time as a traditional practice) and those sitting at the same table are people I do not know. ;)

*Pocket Chess:


*PT: Are there any hardware or software items that you plan to buy in the near future? What functions will you use these for?

I am basically a practical, down-to-earth guy who hardly go for things just because they are new or in fashion. (You guessed it... I am old-fashioned)... rarely an early adopter for stuff which are trendy. So I think my IIIxe would be able to serve my needs for quite a while.

I plan to buy a Handspring Treo 180g which will replace both my IIIxe and Nokia 7110 mobile-phone.

*PT: Would you share a funny story that relates to your Palm with us? :-)

When attending a training workshop with about 20 people, I was seated at the back of the classroom. Suddenly my Palm alarm (with phone ringing tone) went off rather loudly. The lecturer, who was right in front of the classroom shouted, "Hey there, whose hand-phone is that? Don't you know you're supposed to switch your hand-phone to silent or vibration mode when you're in the class? It's highlighted in your
instruction handouts!"

I held up my Palm handheld and explained, "Sir, it's not my hand-phone. It's my Palm!"

Thinking that I was trying to be funny, he retorted "I don't care whether its a hand-phone or palm-phone, just switch off the damn thing! (He probably could not see the Palm clearly from a distance, and some mobilephones are about the same size). The class burst into laughter when they heard his remarks. :)

*PT: Thank you for taking time to share your Palm using experience in Singapore with the Palm Tipsheet. Are there any final comments you'd like to share with the readers?

Thank you, Mike, for offering me this opportunity to share my thoughts with fellow readers and join the international contributors for the Palm Tipsheet interview series.

Yes, I would like to encourage Palm handheld users to join the vibrant virtual community in newsgroups such as alt.comp.sys.palmtops.pilot or on mailing lists such as as well as the Palm Tipsheet. All of these provide an excellent platform for interaction among Palm handheld users allowing them to keep in touch and share their valuable experiences and knowledge.

Many newbies became gurus in this way; and the gurus will then pass on their knowledge to the newbies who came after them. Thus the learning cycle evolves and new things are learnt everyday because the Palm OS is a dynamic platform. New versions of Palm application software are frequently updated... so are the more innovative hardware with multi-purpose features.



Blogger Lam Chun See said...

James. You shouldn't put up the answer. Let them guess mah! I didn't do that at my Facebook becos I know very few readers.

Quick. Remove it and maybe still can test some of the late-comers.

October 22, 2010 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

James, so great to see that old article again! :-)

October 22, 2010 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Sorry its too late, my dear Quiz Master friend Chun See. The quiz was on-the-dot for one minute. Once past, it was game over...hahaha :)

It was fun while the suspense last though. Thanks everyone for your active participation.


October 23, 2010 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

So nice to hear from you Mike.

That was 8 years ago when you interviewed me and published on Palm Tipsheet. Thanks for the memories, Mike.

My best regards to you, Gail and the family. Cheers!

October 23, 2010 at 9:29 AM  

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