Last night was the launch party for the Palm Pre and I was lucky enough to receive an invite. Originally, I was a little perplexed; the invite touted:

  • The launch of the Palm Pre
  • An Interactive Farmer’s Market
  • Support for the Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Jason Alexander as MC, Jerry Seinfeld as entertainment

This mish mash of options seemed a little confused, but the event panned out to be highly cohesive and very enjoyable.

Lisa, Greg and I (preDevCamp organisers) went together and had the opportunity to meet Pam Deziel (Palm) face to face for the first time. We also met some of the developers who’ve been working on the Pre these past months. We also ran across’s very own Dieter Bohn, who was one of the lucky few to get to review the Pre.

The Farmer’s Market turned out to be a very nice way to keep everyone fed as well as raising money for the IAVA. Each stall was giving away food as well as selling wares, with money going to support the veterans of the recent conflicts. You may have seen their advertisements (in the US); they do some great work and I would encourage you to find out more and make a donation.

The reason we were there, however, was the Pre. I finally got to get my hands on one. They had demo stands, with Palm reps showing them off. They were still a little guarded about giving them out, but I was allowed to hold one and have a go on the keyboard and with the touch screen. I think the keys will take a little getting used to, of me. I have big hands, so these micro keys are a little troublesome, but the Pre keys are bigger than my Blackberry’s (in terms of area) but flatter, so less tactilely pleasing; all in all, I’m happy with the keyboard. The phone itself is a great shape and weight. I love the rounded edges and, while they wouldn’t let me put it in my pocket, I think it will fit more comfortably than my past phones.

I didn’t get a chance to really play with the software as there were many clamouring hands. I did get the chance to load up the preDevCamp website, however and it looked HOT! It also loaded up pretty swiftly too, which I found quite impressive.

All in all, a great night; met the other preDevCamp organizers face to face, met some Palm muckamucks, played with the Pre, got free food. I classify this, a WIN.