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Basenoting on a Palm Prē

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Basenoting on a Palm Prē

I wonder if it is simply because this is a fragrance website that somebody with a Palm Prē as their avatar stands out. People use a lot of things as their avatars, but not many cell phones make the grade - especially around here. I was a bit worried about our friend Stereotomy when he began using a Palm Prē as his avatar. I was especially fearful that we might be losing a Basenoter to those evil things called "outside interests".

Well, I worry no more. I may even get a Palm Prē avatar myself. Because, you see, when I finally experienced the Tom-Cruise-in-Minority-Report satisfaction of flinging spam off the edge of my cell phone, into null-space, I became a total convert to the iPhone/HTC/Prē religion of TouchScreen. And when I posted my first BN response from the passenger seat of my wife's car, I knew why Stereotomy does NOT have a bottle pic or a hot chick as an avatar. Nope - there's no need to showcase that "old school" beauty right now. There's a new sexy in the town of Basenotes!

The following pictures are a bit out of focus. The crystal-clear and slightly curved surface of the Prē is a nightmare for digital cameras, and particularly for their focusing mechanisms. You just have to trust me on this - the images on the Prē are flawlessly sharp. Captions are given below each photo.

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This is the basic shot of BN on the Prē. It's encouragingly complete, but almost unreadable, even by my near-sighted eagle eyes - which work on the highest setting of most monitors.

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Here are things zoomed in a bit. You can actually read articles easily at this resolution. Note the shiny curved surface causing headaches for photography of the unit.

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Discussion groups with a zoom. Again, totally readable and crisp, even if it appears to be out-of-focus in this picture. Links are easily clicked on when zoomed, but a bit less so when not. You have to really hit them exactly when they're tiny.

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Here's what it looks like when you click a link. The phone does a little "drop in water" effect (very Matrix-like) when you click something, and then if a link is close enough, it gets activated and highlighted as you see here. Response time is decent, but by no means instantaneous.

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But let's take a look at where the Prē really excels - sideways! Just rotate the phone and the image shifts.

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It also works great under zooming. How did I do that? Easy!

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Take your fingers, or finger and thumb, and touch the screen with both simultaneously. Then move them apart gently.

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Here's what happens! See how it zooms? This action (or "gesture" as they call it) is really, really nice. You can combine it with other gestures, too, like moving things, in an almost seamless motion of fingers across the screen to make it do what you want. For instance...

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...Touch it like this, and then move your finger down gently...

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...and you get this! But if I move my finger down rapidly and lift it off quickly, the screen will just fly by and spin for a while. That's nice, although it's no substitute for more direct ways of moving through lists (like character searches).

What about text entry?

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Just slide out the keypad. Not the best in the world, but it's very accurate. I find myself using my fingernails a lot. On the bright side, the keyboard is slightly modified from QWERTY to support web entry, with things like @ and . being very conveniently located.

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Check out the entry field where I typed something. But if you want REALLY nice input, turn it sideways...

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Don't know if it's easy for others to type sideways, but I can do it OK. Still, sometimes I just get the entry field set up sideways, but rotate it up during typing itself, then rotate sideways again for viewing.

The sideways layout is really the nicest way to view BN. Zooming is also great. In combination, and used with skilled sizing and repositioning with the fingers, it's very easy to read stuff on the Prē.

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Apple fanbois and fangrls should not think I'm mindlessly denying the coolness of their iPhones, which did it first, and possibly best. I will even admit that the flat surface of the iPhone may be a smarter thing than the slightly curved surface of the Prē. I have noticed that if the Prē's surface becomes stressed for any reason, then the tension and torsion across the surface can enhance or diminish the responsiveness to pokes and drags, making it occasionally very frustrating. One can benefit by learning how to wiggle or twist the unit and de-torsion the surface. I suspect that Apple wisely avoided this potential tarpit of user issues by staying flat.

Another cool feature of the Prē - available as an accessory - is the "Touchstone" (TM) charging unit - a magnetic dock that both holds and charges the unit through a magnetic charging surface, via a special back cover which replaces the usual one. Doesn't really affect basenoting, since I'm usually at my computer anyway when I'm using the dock, but it's nice.

So there you have it. BN on your phone. I wouldn't want to do any blog entries that way, but it's really great for discussions, and even better for fragrance lookups when I'm shopping. I used to do those on my Trēo, and that was sufficently lame, that I only did lookups on potential major score blind buys - never anything that I was just browsing. But the new Prē really opens up Basenotes to many more purposes when my computer is not nearby. I can now get on BN pretty much any time. If you're getting a new phone, and you're not in the market for an iPhone (e.g. for carrier reasons, or allergy to Apple's design fetishes), consider this one.

Oh yeah. One last word. Don't Basenote while you drive. The Prē is sexy, but you should keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Wait until you park to get friendly with your phone. Whoops - I mean fragrances.

Updated 3rd May 2018 at 11:45 PM by Redneck Perfumisto (Images uploaded to Basenotes)

Tags: browser, palm, phone, prē, pre
Reviews , Miscellaneous


  1. Amit's Avatar
    Lovely! I'm guilty of excessive Basenoting on my iPhone.


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