A quiet blog doesn't mean I'm idle

A minor pre-note… Iignored the comments for a while, but I just moderated them and went and answered any questions in them. If you were waiting for an answer you should find one there now.

I’ve been mulling over stuff to write about, but none of it seems like it is worth of a whole blog entry. This is going to seem like a random mis-mash of stuff. I’ll split it into electronics and bike.


My friends Lee and Andrewspent some time here the last month or so working on some racks. I think they are both very cool. Click the photos to see the whole slideshow (both link to the same thing).

Lee’s rack is built around a Seattle street sign (Seattle sells old ones for $5) and is sized to fit a case of beer or a pile of firewood.

Andrew’s rack is pretty similar to a lot of the ones that I’ve built. I think it came out very nicely.

I like teaching people how tobuild these things. Maybe at a later point in life I’ll be able to teach classes on it or something. For now it remains a hobby.


I’ve been working on the jig for my framebuilding. It’s coming along. I think it’s kind of boring for most readers of my blog, so I haven’t been posting about it here (but I have been posting away on the framebuilders list). Some friends disagree and think I should be posting here anyway. I update this gallery often with new drawings and photos, so just bookmark it if you are interested.


Around the holidays at work we got in a batch of new Windows Mobile phone. I got to play with the HTC Diamond Touch, HTC Touch Pro, HTC Diamond HD, and Palm Pro (I used all of them for at least4 days). All run Windows Mobile 6.1. Here are my brief thoughts:

  • HTC Touch Diamond — This is a primarily touch phone with a couple of hard buttons on the side and bottom. The form factor is really nice, it is exactly the same size as a Motorola RAZR when the RAZR is folded. Sound quality is good. I’m not so good at typing on touch keyboards, but this one wasn’t too bad. TouchFlo 3D is kind of gimmicky and yet kind of nice. If you like Windows Mobile and browse more than writing email then it’s a good option. The HTC Touch Pro is the same phone with a fold out keyboard and twice as thick. That makes it uncomfortably big in my opinion.
  • HTC Touch HD — It’s the same size as an iPhone with a much sharper display (800×480 pixels vs 480×320 pixels). It has almost no hard buttons. The lack of hard buttons is it’s big downside, Windows Mobile just isn’t designed for that. As an example you can’t switch between emails in Pocket Outlook without closing the message, moving to another,and opening that one. In contrast any other Windows Mobile phone lets you move between messages with the left and right buttons. The on-screen keyboard is larger and better than the Touch Diamond.
  • Palm Treo Pro– This is the phone that I originally ordered and the one that I liked the best. It is like the T-Mobile Dash with a touch screen. The phone is pretty small,battery life is great (3 days with constant email syncing), and the touch screen provides a better browsing experience than the T-Mobile Dash. It’s the least sexy of these 4 phones, but also the most usable hardware of any Windows Mobile phone that I’ve used.

At the same time that I was playing with all of these phones I bought a used iPod Touch from a friend. The iPod Touch is an iPhone minus the phone (if that makes sense). It still has wifi and all of the features such as the app store, email access, web browsing, facebook, etc. I still can’t type on it as well as I can on a real keyboard (like the one on the Palm Treo Pro), but it’s not as bad as I expected. The App Store is cool and makes finding apps easy. Framebuilders/gadget freaks note — there are some digital level software packages for the iPod Touch which are accurate to .1 degrees and the best one costs around $3. That almost paid for the phone since I had been considering buying a $100 one from Enco.

If T-Mobile had the iPhone it would be a no brainer and I think I’d just switch to it. As long as they are locked to AT&T (which would make our monthly bill much much higher) I’m going to have to be happy with my Palm Pro.


That’s 5 years of personal and work laptops in a pile. The one on top is the newest, and it’s awesome. It is a Dell E4200, weighs just over 2lbs, is plenty fast, has a sharp screen, and a great keyboard. The one just below it is the previous model, the Dell D430 (that’s been my personal laptop for the last 2 years, and what most of these blog entries have been written on). It is also a nice machine, but a 50% heavier and with less battery life.

It’s so much nicer to commute with a little computer like this than the huge beast at the bottom.


  1. Rory says:

    does the e4200 have solid state drives? is it easy to swap out hard drives to get that?

  2. AlexWetmore says:

    Yes, the E4200 has solid state drives. It isn”t available without them (I don”t think there is space inside for a normal one).

    Rory — It fits perfectly inside a Ravenna bag too.


  3. Mike says:

    Alex, did you make that frame that’’s in the jig or is it just something to help with setting it up? I”ll be following the blog to see how things progress.

  4. AlexWetmore says:

    No, the frame in the jig is a Raleigh. I just used it to see how everything fits up.

    The first use of the jig is replacing the dropouts on my Bike Friday Tikit. I”m working on adapting the jig for that now, and hope to do the surgery this weekend.

  5. Chris Lowe says:

    Go with a Blackberry. I”ve used just about everything T-Mob and AT&T offer since my wife worked in marketing for T-Mob and my best friend works for AT&T. For e-mail and such the Blackberry has been my favorite. Solid keyboard and the trackball is mighty handy. Super battery life.