Or at least, that's what it feels like around here. I recently splurged and got myself a Nokia 770 Internet Tablet.
Why? Because it's neat, that's why. Do I need another reason?
Actually, I rationalized it to myself as an ebook reader. I've got 95MB worth of crypto and IA papers backlogged because they're all in PDF format and it's not practical to drag the laptop into the john with me. I've tried the PDA thing, but the screen is too damn small, and converting from PDF to whatever format is generally useless (especially equation-heavy research publications). So what I went looking for was something to read PDFs on.
I really want a PDF viewer with an eInk screen. But I got tired of waiting for Sony to shit or get off the pot on the subject of native PDF viewing (every month or so they change the specs; and we all know Sony has a crappy reputation when it comes to support for open formats anyway). [I seem to be on a toilet metaphor spree here.] iRex Technologies is looking like an exercise in vaporware--months behind, and now only to be limited release to B2B channels in Europe until September at the earliest--and it'll sell for nearly US$850.
I read up on the Nokia 770 and its mixed reviews with some interest, and it comes with a PDF reader installed. So I hauled myself down to CompUSA to see one in the flesh, so to speak.
I like it.
I can link to the web, sign into Google Talk (and with a combo of gtalk2voip and ipkall, I've got PSTN calling on the thing) and read my PDFs. And my mail. And nearly anything else I can do on the web. And it connects to WPA2 networks. And it supports X.509 and EAP-TLS authentication...
But it is not a PDA. And that's a good thing, IMHO. Years ago when I had my first disillusionment with PDAs I swore that all I really wanted was a node in my hand--just something to run a browser on, and that's it.
And now I have it. I suppose I should have patented the idea. :)
It's not really stable at the moment, but then data is stored on non-volatile memory so who really cares? The new beta is better than the original release, but there are still issues. The device is Debian Linux underneath (a pseudo-distribution called Maemo) and Nokia is doing nearly all development in the open.
Now I need a 1GB RS-MMC card.