Russell is SSSSOOOO right about mobile usage

Having a great cell phone with a nice screen changes your life. And your usage habits. Most of what I use my data plan is data too. Why? Getting nice RSS aggregators for phones isn’t easy and they aren’t well known yet. Plus, there aren’t enough apps like Microsoft Research’s traffic application (that, I learned tonight, shows you live traffic camera pictures, that is so awesome!)

Anyway, all this is to point to Russell Beattie’s post about a Nokia presentation about how people use new cell phones. Russ is so right and we are so clueless about the usage that’s changing.

The great “pull the laptop off of a table by its power cord” contest

Steve Jobs says that the world needs a new kind of power cable. That sounds really cool. But I wanted to try to replicate the ability for a laptop to be pulled off of a table by its power cord. I’d never seen this kind of damage before. Remember, I answered all the phones and email for NEC’s mobile solutions group. I’ve seen some strange things done to laptops and Tablet PCs over the years, but usually damage comes from liquids. I even had one guy who ran over his with his car. You’d think that if anyone would have seen or heard about this kind of drop damage it’d be me.

So, anyway, I have a few laptops here. An old IBM that has a broken screen (it wasn’t dropped, either, but I won’t tell the story of this laptop to protect the guilty. Heheh). A Toshiba M200. A Toshiba M4. And a new Lenovo T41.

I’ve been trying this on a few different surfaces. A glass table. A kitchen counter. A work desk that we used to use at UserLand. A dining table with a smooth surface. And the same table with a table cloth on it.

I’ve done hundreds of yanks and I can’t get my laptop to fall. Slow yanks. Fast yanks. Yanks from the side. Yanks straight on. Nothing gets my computers to budge more than a centimeter or two.

The cord keeps popping out of its socket. I should do video. Or we’ll replicate this Friday when we’re hanging out with Chris Pirillo and Dave Winer at MacWorld.

We could call it “the great cable pull contest.”

Has anyone pulled a laptop off of a countertop by its powercord? I’d like to hear about how you do that cause it’s not working here.

OK, I found one way. Put the T41 on a top of a paper towel on a glass surface and yank to the side slowly. If you do it fast, like if you accidentally tripped on the cord, even then the cord pulls out of its socket and doesn’t pull the laptop off of the table.

Things I don’t do

I don’t do Plaxo.
I don’t do LinkedIn.
I don’t answer Flickr messages.
I don’t grant Orkut requests.


Why not? I’m simply overwhelmed and am not paying attention to things that force me to go somewhere other than my email client or my blog tool.

Emails left to catch up on: 59.

Anything you won’t do?