Tag palm (25)
FlightPredictor: a postmortem
Posted on 2014-06-06 23:32:00
Tags: palm essay palmpre projects
Two weeks ago I noticed that FlightCaster, the backend service that FlightPredictor uses for all its data, had disappeared. The API wasn't responding and the website was down. FlightCaster had been acquired by NextJump in January 2011, so the writing had been on the wall for a while.
I started working on the first version of FlightPredictor for webOS in March 2010. I like traveling and planes, and the fact that FlightCaster used machine learning to predict when flights would be late sounded both cool and useful. When I saw their API was free to use that cinched the deal. I'm still not sure what the business plan was for a free API (this is why I'm bad at business!), but many thanks to Jason Freedman for making that possible. Jonathan Chase was also very helpful in answering my API questions and helping me with problems.
I sold a decent number of copies, but that aside, FlightPredictor opened a lot of doors for me. It was featured on the Palm homepage (well, its icon was :-) ), it won in the Palm Hot Apps competition (which came with $1000), Palm gave away 5000 copies for the TouchPad (and paid me for them!), and it was featured in the short-lived webOS Pivot magazine. I also got to travel to Palm HQ in 2010, where webOS 2.0 was introduced (day 1, day 2, day 3) and 2011, to get engineering assistance for my TouchPad apps. (recap) And you can draw a pretty straight line to my involvement in the webOS community to my Nokia Developer Ambassador position after webOS was killed.
Back in 2011 I wrote about what I want to get out of app development, and that still rings true.
Unfortunately some of the webOS numbers are lost to the Palm reporting system change in 2012, but:
FlightPredictor for webOS Phones:
4.29 stars (24 ratings)
released May 2010 (started March 2010)
total copies sold: not sure, but probably in the 1000-2000 range
101 sold in 2011
28 sold in 2012
9 sold in 2013
1 sold in 2014
FlightPredictor HD (for the HP TouchPad):
3.22 stars (59 ratings)
- this had a lot of 0 star ratings - I wonder if this was from people who got the app for free and then didn't like it or something?
released July 2011 (started April 2011)
total copies sold: probably around 1000? plus 5000 that Palm gave away. See here and here for some raw numbers
16 sold in 2012
13 sold in 2013
0 sold in 2014
FlightPredictor for Android:
4.92 stars (13 ratings)
released November 2011 (started September 2011)
total copies sold: 466
FlightPredictor for Windows Phone:
4.0 stars (38 ratings)
released March 2012 (started December 2011)
total copies sold: 139
84 sold in 2012
44 sold in 2013
11 sold in 2014
FlightPredictor for Windows 8:
4.5 stars (4 ratings)
released August 2012 (started April 2012)
total copies sold: 201
24 sold in 2014 (can't get data for other years :-( )
Well, I have this nice shell of a flight tracking app, and I would love to integrate it with Cortana on Windows Phone. It will be a fair amount of work, though, and I'm somewhat actively working on two other apps right now, and it looks like it's going to be a busy rest of 2014. So: we'll see!
Posted on 2011-12-09 16:52:00
webOS will be open-sourced (including the awesome Enyo framework), and HP says they'll make webOS tablets again at some point. I'm very surprised they committed to that, but it seems like webOS's future is a bit more stable now.
Best of all, the webOS employees still have jobs! Hooray!
mobile OS's and updates
Posted on 2011-10-28 10:42:00
Tags: palm links
The impression is that Apple is very good about updating older phones to newer versions of iOS, while manufacturers that make Android phones are not as good. Michael DeGusta did some research and produced this lovely chart that absolutely confirms that theory. Although it looks like HTC is a little better than average, while Motorola is worse than average (although hopefully that will change since they're owned by Google now).
Happily, the Windows Phone update will be delivered to all (or nearly all?) phones.
In the increasingly sad webOS world, some people are still "all in", although sadly that group does not include HP which will make a decision on webOS...in the coming months. I hope it finds a nice home somewhere, but I will be very surprised if it ends up on phones in the future. Sigh.
Unrelated: I am instinctually a bit skeptical when I hear about teaching kids to be entrepreneurs (probably because of Rich Dad, Poor Dad), but this story of learning about cash flow through running a vending machine is kind of awesome. I want to own a vending machine!
Nokia Lumia 800 - probably my next phone
Posted on 2011-10-26 13:48:00
Nokia announced the Lumia 800, their new flagship Windows Phone, and it looks pretty sweet. Unfortunately it's not coming to the US until "early next year", but I think I can wait that long.
Why Nokia? Well, they make nice phones, and I have a soft spot for formerly big mobile companies (my first phone was a Nokia!) who have fallen a long way but are now starting over with a new mobile OS. (or: Nokia's Palm moment has arrived)
FlightPredictor HD in the latest webOS app pack!
Posted on 2011-08-29 13:52:00
Tags: palm palmpre projects
There's a new pack of free webOS apps, and I was pleasantly elated to find that FlightPredictor HD is one of them!
I somewhat jokingly suggested it after the last pack of free apps, but I had no idea they'd consider it and it would make the cut! happy happy happy
webOS app sales: after the TouchPad firesale
Posted on 2011-08-23 13:15:00
Tags: palm essay palmpre projects
Well, the last time I did one of these they announced no more webOS hardware from HP, so maybe if I do another one something really really good will happen?
Anyway, the fire sale basically started on Friday. Here are daily numbers for my most popular apps since then - two free, two paid:
webOS: the day after - on to anger!
Posted on 2011-08-19 09:55:00
Tags: palm essay palmpre
I think I'm working my way through the five stages of grief here. Today I'm angry at HP for repeatedly saying that it was a marathon not a sprint, etc., and then deciding to kill the TouchPad less than 50 days after it launched. And the Pre3 launched like two days ago in Europe!
(to be clear, no anger at Palm GBU employees - they've been great and it sounds like everyone was blindsided yesterday...and obviously there's a lot of uncertainty for them. Good luck, guys and gals!)
My plans for now are this: keep working on apps, because it sounds like they really do want to license webOS even though the rational thing to do would be to line up a suitor before announcing they're shutting down webOS hardware. This is not rocket science. I'm guessing Apotheker wanted to announce the shutdown during the conference call to convince shareholders things will get better, but man, talk about the worst thing possible for the platform.
So I'll keep at it, with a bit less fervor than before. If I look at mobile OS's that I would want to develop for and can on a Linux machine, that narrows it down to...Android and QNX as far as I can tell. QNX seems to have very little future, and Android doesn't really excite me that much. So, who knows!
I'm not sure what to do about my next phone, given that I don't know what's going to happen with the Pre3.
Posted on 2011-08-18 17:03:00
Tags: palm essay palmpre
So! HP just announced they're not making any more webOS devices. Maybe webOS will be licensed, maybe not. Signs from inside indicate webOS isn't dead and might be licensed out to other hardware manufacturers, but clearly no such deal is in place yet.
I am: sad (and not sure what to get for my next phone - had my Sprint Pre for over two years and it's not gonna last too much longer), but hopeful that webOS isn't going away for good. I'll probably take a few days off, try not to read too much news, and come back and decide how much effort to spend developing apps. I still enjoy writing apps, and enjoy using them myself, so I'll keep doing that at least...
webOS app sales: how are my apps doing?
Posted on 2011-08-17 20:30:00
Tags: palm essay palmpre projects
After seeing this post about webOS app sales on PreCentral, I thought it would be a good time to look back at my apps' sales. And in this post, you get real numbers, because...why not? :-)
Summary: App sales since the TouchPad release have been impressive. My numbers are a little weird because my paid apps have separate versions for phones (i.e. Mojo) and the TouchPad (i.e. Enyo).
I have four paid apps for the TouchPad, and here are their approximate sales (by number - all apps are 99 cents except FlightPredictor HD, which is $1.99) in July and August:
|July||August (as of today)|
|We the People HD||85||65|
|Private Browser HD||55||35|
webOS developer situation: unacceptable
Posted on 2011-07-23 16:57:00
Tags: palm rant palmpre
I develop software for a living, so I tend to be more tolerant of bugs, realizing that even though it seems simple to fix, that isn't necessarily the case. And I've cut HP/Palm a lot of slack in the past from a developer standpoint, but things have recently gotten to a ridiculous point and I have to throw up my hands and rant about it.
Since the TouchPad launched on July 1, the sales numbers for apps have been wrong. And not even wrong in an obvious way - one app has gotten exactly 2 sales per day, while every other (paid) app has gotten zero. There's no notice on the page that things are messed up, although there is a thread on the developer forums. Yesterday, after we were told they had identified the problem and a fix was in the works, the sales numbers dropped dramatically, and now we're told not to trust the numbers until we hear otherwise. And last week, the June app payments were sent out, but for the wrong amount.
I've cut Palm developer relations a lot of slack, since the people are very friendly, their policies are much nicer than Apple's (no fee to join the program or submit apps, no arbitrary rules for rejection, quick turnaround times on reviewing apps), and they seem to realize that the webOS platform needs as many good apps as possible and as such, treat us pretty well. But when I say things like it seems they're chronically understaffed, this is the sort of thing that I'm talking about. And I haven't even touched on the tiny screenshots in the App Catalog and the inconsistent "For TouchPad" labels on apps.
Palm has been a part of HP for over a year now, and I know they've been in a mad frenzy to get the TouchPad out, but the time for excuses is over. I'm not leaving the platform anytime soon but things like this sap my will to work on apps. Please get this taken care of soon!
FlightPredictor featured in webOS developer newsletter!
Posted on 2011-05-31 17:46:00
Here's a screenshot:
Palm developer session
Posted on 2011-05-03 11:12:00
Tags: pictures palm travel
I just got back from a Palm developer session and had a blast! Details below...
Pictures from the trip and from Easter are here:
I arrived Wednesday night late and took a cab to the hotel (the Best Western Silicon Valley) which was a little plain but comfortable enough. Except they had a coffee maker in the room with no tea bags! Should have brought along my own like David suggested...
The hotel was under a mile from Palm HQ, so the next morning I packed up my laptop (which has since died - thank goodness it survived the trip!) and walked. The morning was a few sessions and the afternoon was just a time to work on your app with a bunch of Palm people around and available to help. Oh, and I got to play with a TouchPad, which (I believe this is all I can say) is awesome!
As with last year I forced myself to be sociable and was pretty successful - met a few folks I had only chatted with online and some other fellow developers. Going from the outside world to a place where everyone is excited about webOS feels like culture shock, and there's a real sense of camaraderie among we developers.
Thursday afternoon and Friday was all coding time, so I got a lot of stuff done. I also learned about censored, and I might be censored and censored!
Saturday I decided to find a better way back to the airport, which meant walking 1.3 miles (with luggage) to the Sunnyvale Caltrain station. Had some extra time so I walked around the Sunnyvale farmer's market and bought a book (since the trip cost to the airport was $4.50 vs. $40 for the cab, I felt I had earned it!) I stopped in two shops and both people asked about my Scottish Rite shirt, leading me to conclude that residents of Sunnyvale (Sunnyvalians?) are big fans of children's theatre!
Made it to the airport way early and walked around a lot. The airport is big, but my reward was a neat gizmo-like machine at the end of Terminal A:
Also got a blueberry muffin (at Pai's recommendation) and finally got to try airport sushi, which was actually in this case quite good! I also stopped in a store, idly looking for headphones, which ranged in price from $15 to (I kid you not) $500!
Palm TouchPad conference!
Posted on 2011-04-25 14:00:00
Tags: palm palmpre
"Time… is what keeps everything from happening at once" - Ray Cummings
Time is falling down on the job for me. But, later this week I'm going to Sunnyvale for a HP/Palm TouchPad developer session! Very excited to get to try out my apps on the TouchPad and see how it feels.
The webOS team will be there as well and I'll have a chance to ask them questions. So - anything people want me to ask? (please only questions they can answer, i.e. not "Will the Pre3 be on Sprint?")
I get spotlighted! (spotlit?)
Posted on 2011-04-12 09:52:00
webOSroundup did a developer spotlight with me! It's a great kickoff to my "webOS awareness tour", wherein I'll be driving, busing, and taking the train around the country to spread the good word about webOS!
(one of those sentences is not intended to be a factual statement)
Answered: why did HP (i.e. @palm) announce new #webOS products so early?
Posted on 2011-03-03 10:31:00
Tags: palm essay palmpre
I've seen a lot of speculation (especially now that Apple's announced the iPad 2, which will ship next week) as to why HP/Palm announced their slate of new products so early. So let's take it from the top:
(this is all speculation, of course)
So why did they announce in February when the Pre3 and TouchPad aren't releasing until "summer"?: The Pre3 and TouchPad won't be ready until summer. If HP could release either early they absolutely would.
Well, obviously, but why didn't they wait to announce until shortly before they released? Well, for one thing, the Veer is releasing in "spring". Surely HP wouldn't want to have one event for the Veer and another for the Pre3 and TouchPad.
Also, I think HP is in a tough spot. Palm hasn't had a new phone announced since last October...and that was the Pre 2, which looks exactly like the Pre/Pre Plus with better specs. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but that's not exactly new and exciting. A lot of people were saying that if Palm didn't announce anything new and exciting by CES (later modified to Feb. 9), they'd leave for an Android phone.
But HP CEO Leo Apotheker said they'd ship products within weeks of announcing them! What gives? My guess is that he said this in frustration after learning that the products they were announcing on Feb. 9 weren't going to ship for months.
Why are the Pre3 and TouchPad taking so long, anyway? What about HP's scale and billions of dollars? The Palm acquisition wasn't finalized until July 31. That's just 6 months ago...and you have to imagine that at least the first few months was HP looking at the insides of Palm and figuring out what they wanted to do. That leaves very little time for HP to get more people working on Palm stuff. And usually adding more people slows things down in the short term!
Plus, there are some serious technical challenges here. In addition to working on webOS 2.0/2.1/whatever, for the Pre3 they have to deal with the fact that this is the first webOS device that doesn't have 320px width, not to mention it has a new processor and HSPA+ support. And the TouchPad is all new hardware and the OS looks substantially different. Apple worked on the iPad for a long time before it released.
Bonus question: Will the TouchPad be cheaper than the iPad? No. Apple has the advantage here of huge economies of scale, plus an iteration under their belt to lower costs. I guess it's vaguely possible that HP will lower their usual profit margins or even take a loss, but this isn't a "razor/blades" type model - I can't imagine HP's making any money on app sales, so where would they make money? If HP is willing to take the very-long-term view about increasing webOS adoption, maaaaybe. But I doubt it. My guess for the 16GB WiFi model: $599 ($100 more than the equivalent iPad).
Sprint and @palm: I get a phone call
Posted on 2011-02-16 14:34:00
Tags: activism palm palmpre
After emailing the CEO of Sprint about carrying the new webOS phones, I got an email from Vanessa, a woman in his office who wanted to give me a call to address my concerns. I hesitated but figured sure, what the heck?
Vanessa called this morning and we had a pleasant but short chat. Basically, the message was the same as I had read on webOSroundup - no plans to announce right now, but she emphasized that that doesn't mean they won't end up carrying them at release. So basically it sounded like nothing more than "yup, we haven't said anything publicly". I asked how soon before launch they know that they're going to carry a phone and she said usually very close to the launch, which was a little confusing since clearly they'd have to do testing, etc.
Interestingly, she said she had used a webOS phone but just recently switched to Android. Hopefully that's not a bad sign!
Anyway, I was impressed that someone bothered to call, even if there was really nothing to report. Makes me hope even harder that Sprint ends up with the Pre3...
Happy @TheAtlantic day! and more links
Posted on 2011-02-15 15:13:00
Tags: palm links
It started out a little slow, but there are a lot of good articles in this month's issue. Like:
- Mind vs. Machine, an article about the Loebner Prize (i.e. Turing Test) written by one of the people trying to convince the judges he was human. Particularly topical now that Watson is playing Jeopardy...
- How Skyscrapers Can Save the City. High density development=good in my book!
- Inside the Secret Service - unprecedented access gives a good view how the Secret Service protects people. Also: I forgot President Bush had a live grenade thrown at him in 2005, and Clinton may have been almost assassinated in 1996. Scary stuff!
- When Freedom Is Bad for Business - remember when President Bush said that invading Iraq would help them rebuild their economy? Yeah...not so much. Iraq is currently 174th out of 183 countries for "ease in starting a business".
- The Moral Crusade Against Foodies - pretty hard hitting piece.
On to non-Atlantic links!
* Apparently Palm is giving away Pre 2's to "all qualified developers". They're certainly supporting their developers, almost to a comical extent at this point :-)
* A fancy treemap view of Obama's 2012 budget proposal. Always good to remember where we spend most of our money, and why cutting earmarks to balance the budget is patently absurd.
* Speaking of Iraq, remember "Curveball", the source who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons program? He now admits that he made it all up. Whee!
* Neil deGrasse Tyson on why science should invest for the long-term and not just on practical problems: basically, because we've gotten a lot of practical use out of long-term ideas.
My email to Sprint re the Veer/Pre3
Posted on 2011-02-13 02:07:00
Tags: activism palm palmpre
(sent to Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint, at email@example.com)
Mr. Hesse -
My name is Greg Stoll, and I'm a happy Sprint customer. I joined the Sprint family in 2009 with the introduction of the Palm Pre, which I purchased in August, shortly after its introduction. The reason I switched to Sprint from T-Mobile was the availability of the Palm Pre - the webOS operating system was compelling enough for me to switch to a new network.
But, once I joined, I was pleasantly surprised - the Sprint coverage in my area has been great, and the customer service I got has been superb. I have sadly had to deal with this more than most as the first-generation Palm Pre's had some hardware difficulties, but every time I came back to the store I was helped by friendly and knowledgeable people who dealt with my problems quickly and fairly. For this reason, I recommended Sprint to my partner, who switched from AT&T just a few months ago to get a Samsung Epic 4G.
I'm sure you've seen the presentation by HP about their new smartphones Veer and Pre3, which are scheduled to come out this spring and summer. I am writing you to ask you to please seriously consider making these devices available on Sprint at launch. I know that Palm had some rough times with the Pre and Pixi, but more experience with similar form factors with the vast resources and marketing of a company like HP will make the Veer and Pre3 much more likely to succeed in the market.
It seems like HP is gearing up big time to promote these phones as well as webOS, and I think Sprint would be a great fit for their reintroduction after the absence of the Pre/Pixi Plus and the Pre 2. I know that personally I will be getting a Pre3, and while I'd like to stay with Sprint given my good experience with y'all, if it's not available I'll be forced to switch to a competitor.
Thank you for your time!
Big HP/Palm announcement day: recap
Posted on 2011-02-09 17:46:00
Tags: palm essay palmpre
So...quite a mixed bag!
They announced two new phones: one is the Veer, which is a tiny phone (the size of a credit card), and the Pre 3, which is like the Pre but bigger. I want the Pre 3, but it's not coming out until summer. Which would normally be a bad thing, except that odds are it won't be on Sprint, and my contract isn't up until August anyway. But, we'll see!
They also announced a tablet called the TouchPad, which looks pretty sweet but again isn't coming out until August.
So my plan is to probably get a Pre 3 and a Touchpad, but they didn't announce any pricing, carriers, or release dates (other than "summer"). This is a little frustrating, and I'm willing to bet that if they're not saying now we're not going to be happily surprised later. Or maybe it's just because the release is so far off there's still time for the price to bounce around. (or maybe they're waiting on the price of the iPad 2?)
Other not-as-terrible-as-the-internet-says-but-kind-of-annoying news: there will be no over the air update to webOS 2.0 for current phones other than the Pre 2. Hopefully there will be doctors available for all phone/carrier combinations so you can manually upgrade the OS, but this means a lot of people probably won't do it since it's much less convenient. And then it makes targeting particular versions of the OS hard for developers.
So, overall the stuff still looks good, but the wait is gonna kill me!
A few external links:
- Engadget compares the TouchPad to the iPad and other tablets and it holds up well...for now.
- Here's a good hands-on video of the TouchPad.
- John Gruber seems to like the looks of the TouchPad.
- Kindle app for the Touchpad - yay! (but it's unclear whether it's coming to the phones or not)
- Pre 3 hands-on with video
- There's this neato Touch to Share feature that lets you touch the TouchPad and Pre3 together to pass a URL (demo video).
things that inspire emotions in me
Posted on 2011-01-17 13:16:00
Tags: palm work links
(yes I am terrible at subjects)
First up, anger: Vaccines do not cause autism, and the original study (based on 12(!) children) done by Andrew Wakefield in 1998 appears to be fraudulent. No one's been able to reproduce the study, and Wakefield was paid by a law firm that intended to sue vaccine manufacturers. Meanwhile vaccination rates are down, and more kids are getting measles, seemingly because people like Jenny McCarthy keeps pushing the connection even though there is none. I hope Wakefield is prosecuted - he's already lost his medical license...
Surprised: The Austin MetroRail now runs during the day, starting tomorrow! I'm surprised because it sounded like this would be impossible because of contracts with freight rail companies that use the same track, but apparently they worked something out. It's still only on weekdays (and only every 45 mins-1 hour), but this seems like a big step forward.
Excited: HP/Palm is having a "special event" February 9 to announce presumably new hardware, and they invited developers for a small event after the official announcement. Sounds like a good time, but vacation/plane tickets/hotels are expensive. I will be eagerly following from here, though, and desperately hoping for a new Sprint device!
Intrigued: More details on Stuxnet, the virus that set back Iran's nuclear efforts by years have emerged. It's looking increasingly likely that either the US or Israel or both were involved.
Inquisitive: NI is hiring software engineers, so if you're interested in a job in Austin, drop me a line! (working here is generally awesome) Vaguely related: Advice to a college sophomore programmer.
bridge it is!
Posted on 2010-09-07 15:10:00
Tags: palm projects programming
After some thought and some more research about what webOS app to work on next, it looks like the mystery option is going to be somewhere between difficult and impossible, and it's going to be a while before I can tell which.
So, bridge it is! It's going to be pretty tough, but a few people have volunteered to help, and it's better to aim high, right? So far it can deal out hands and count points...
I can't decide whether the hardest part will be the AI for bidding, playing, or just making the graphics look nice (with pictures of cards, etc). I guess we'll see!
What webOS app to work on next?
Posted on 2010-09-02 22:51:00
Tags: palm projects proandcon poll
Having finished We the People and done some small changes to earlier apps, I'm raring to work on a new webOS app for my Palm Pre. (partially feeling invigorated by the announced webOS 2.0 features)
So here are my ideas:
A client to easily browse Reddit.
- Pro: I've played around with it a little and gotten some stuff to work, which is promising.
- Pro: There's a real API which looks pretty easy to interact with.
- Pro/Con: There are already a few existing Reddit clients, although none of them are in the full App Catalog (one's in beta, I believe?)
- Con: It would be a lot of work to make pages look attractive, especially since I suck at it.
- Con: I'm not sure how much more useful it is than just going to the Reddit site in the browser.
- Con: I couldn't see charging more than $1.99 for it, and I'm not sure how many people would be interested in buying it.
A bridge game (probably single-player only, at least at first)
- Pro: There are no existing bridge games in the Catalog. Even in Apple's I only see two.
- Con: That's probably because it's a huge pain to write AI that bids well. And if it doesn't bid well, it's almost useless.
- Pro: I could see charging $5-$10 for it if I spent the time to do it well.
- Con: Bidding aside, it's still a lot of work to put in correct play, proper scoring, fancy card graphics, etc. I'm not convinced I won't give up or lose interest before I'm done.
Mystery option #3, which I just thought of
- Pro: Uses some exciting new features in webOS 2.0, like <redacted>!
- Con: It's not a very original idea, and I bet someone can beat me to it.
- Pro: But it would be kinda fun to write and play around with...and I would use it...
- Con: But I can't start working on it until webOS 2.0 releases, whenever that is.
- Pro/Con: Probably a 99 cent app, although a fairly wide audience.
What do you think? (open to other ideas!)
Palm Developer Day trip: Day 3
Posted on 2010-04-27 22:53:00
Tags: pictures palm travel
The plan was to wake up at 8:15, which would give me enough time to get ready, check out, eat breakfast, and walk the .8 miles to the Caltrain station to catch the 9:34 to San Jose.
Everything was going well - I was out the door at 9, which should have been just enough time. I took a few wrong turns but still manager to arrive at around 9:31, figured out how to buy a ticket, and then saw there were two tracks. I saw a sign that seemed to imply the first set was for express trains, so I crossed to the other side behind some other people and looked around a little. Just then a train started to arrive, and the little pedestrian gates closed so I couldn't get back to the other side, and lo and behold I was on the wrong side. (later confirmed by an actual sign) So I had to wait an hour for the next one. And just a few minutes later the limo from my hotel pulled up and (presumably) dropped someone off. That would have saved a lot of walking.
Caught the next Caltrain (which was very loud and big) to San Jose, and then had to wait for the light rain to downtown, which wasn't too far but I wasn't sure I could walk under the freeway. The Caltrain runs every hour on weekends and the light rain runs every half hour, so I had a lot less time than I planned in the city.
Which turned out OK because I was tired of walking around. I checked out the Tech Museum of Innovation (pretty neat museum, especially for kids) and had a nice lunch at a local cafe, with tea even! It was still an hour until I had to catch the light rain but I convinced myself to at least walk along an island to the art museum, which was nice. It was still early but I didn't want to tire myself out before having to walk back to the hotel, so I went to the light rail station and promptly got on the wrong train. Easy enough to get off and take one the other direction, but I just missed the real train so I had to burn another half an hour sitting and reading. Arrived back at the hotel uneventfully but thirstily (was a little chilly in the morning with no sweatshirt, was a little warm in the afternoon) - and what kind of hotel doesn't have a water fountain in the lobby? The desk clerk helpfully informed me that there were water bottles in the minibars.
Thus ends the trip wrapup; pictures are all up now:
Palm Developer Day trip: Day 2
Posted on 2010-04-27 21:48:00
Tags: pictures palm travel
I woke up excited and nervous about interacting with people. After getting ready and seeing a few fellow attendees eating breakfast downstairs, I got in the hotel limo with two other people to go to Palm HQ. Chatted with them a bit about the kind of stuff they worked on. When we arrived Palm had breakfast available in their cafe - I grabbed some fruit and sat down with some people and joined their conversation. (Hooray for being somewhat sociable!) Even got one guy interested in FlightPredictor (coming very very soon!)
The keynote started at 9 and talked about a new things coming to WebOS in the fall timeframe - access to the microphone and camera, better file I/O access (yay!), a new database system, etc. After that the company store was open (all items 30% off!) so I got a nice Moleskine notebook with the Palm logo and a new headset. The rest of the day was a blur of sessions - interestingly they had both hour long and 30 minute sessions, but generally the hour long ones were good and the 30 minute ones were less so. I was proud of myself for asking a few questions and going to the Apps Lab to report a bug which we spent 20 minutes examining. Later I got a picture taken with my app (link coming soon!)
After all the sessions were done, Palm had an offsite mixer with free beer and food, so I took the shuttle they provided there. I was feeling pretty socialized out, though, so I joined a group talking with a Palm guy for a bit, got a beer and food from the buffet and then sat alone, thinking someone might join me, and they might not. As it turned out, no one did, and after a while I pulled out my book and read for a while, then just felt like going home.
This was a little tricky logistically - one option was to wait for the Palm shuttle to take me back to Palm and then call the hotel and wait for them, but I wasn't sure if the Palm shuttle was even running since I was leaving so early. The other option was to walk the 3.1 miles back to the hotel, which I decided to do. It worked out OK, but it was a long walk and I took a few wrong turns. Hooray for Google Maps with walking directions on my Palm Pre, though!
When I finally made it back to the hotel, I collapsed for a bit, then ordered a dessert as a reward, and prepared my plan for the next day. My flight wasn't until 5:50 PM so I was planning on taking the Caltrain to San Jose to explore the city...
Here are the pictures (more being posted as I type!):
Palm Developer Day trip: Day 1
Posted on 2010-04-23 21:01:00
Tags: palm travel
I'm in Sunnyvale, CA for the Palm Developer Day. The story thus far:
When I booked my Alaska Airlines flight on Orbitz, there were only like 2 seats available, so I reluctantly took a middle seat. This morning, I checked in online, and there were suddenly more seats available, so I chose 6F, the only window seat.
Andrew graciously drove me to the airport, and I had grabbed lunch (tacos!) and was sitting by the gate when I heard the gate agent mention to someone else that row 6 was right against the bulkhead. This meant that I wouldn't be able to put my backpack in front of me (since there was no seat), so after a little deliberation, I decided to switch, even if it meant no window seat. So I went up to the agent, and she moved me to 7C, an aisle seat. As I was leaving, she said "Thank you, Mr. Johnson". I paused, but didn't see anything on my new ticket that said "Johnson", so I didn't say anything.
Anyway, we boarded, and two people were assigned seat 6D (aisle seat), one of whom was named Johnson. So the gate agent came on and said that Johnson was supposed to be in 7C, so I got up and sat in first class with another displaced passenger while the gate agent went back to the terminal to try to sort things out. Finally after another 10 minutes she said we could just stay in first class!
I felt a little bad that the whole situation seemed to be my fault, but first class is pretty sweet - cushier seats with more legroom and horizontal room, complementary food and drinks (even alcohol! Shoulda taken advantage...) and a personal entertainment system on which I watched an Arrested Development and a Simpsons, and started The Fantastic Mr. Fox before changing my mind and reading.
Continuing the theme of "Greg makes mistakes at other people's expense", upon arriving in San Jose I called the hotel about their shuttle, and after a moment the clerk told me to just take a cab and they'd reimburse me. Pretty sure I was supposed to schedule the shuttle in advance. Oh well.
After arriving and relaxing a bit, I went out walking in search of dinner and something to take notes in at tomorrow's sessions. Dinner was easy to find (an Afghani place right next to the hotel), but finding a place with a notebook took an hour of walking.
Tomorrow should be fun! I just read on Twitter (search for #palmdev for the latest info) that attendees today got a Palm Pre Plus developer phone, so I'm hopeful I will too :-) The hotel loses points for no WiFi in the rooms (cabled only) but gets some of them back for providing tea bags...
Apologies for the length - maybe I should add support for lj-cuts to LJ for WebOS :-)
Posted via LJ for WebOS.
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