Our favorite PDAs...

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CDG
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Our favorite PDAs...

Unread postby CDG » Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:13 pm

To be honest, I have not posted here in a long time, not for any other reason than the fact that I no longer own an IRIX SGI, and I simply don't have as much time off in college.

I thought it would be fun, however to pop in here once again and maybe start an interesting discussion, before hitting up the Getting Started board in regards to getting my SGI 320 up and running with 2 processors.

Well, I am typing this post from an NEC MobilePro 800. Google that up if you don't know what it is. I remember I was a little boy when the MobilePro series unveiled. I can rembmer playing on one of the 640x240 screen models one evening in CompUSA.

So, what is your favorite PDA or mobile gadget that you just love? I will start with mine:

My MobilePro 800 was procured off the Agora forum of arsTechnica, from a local person for less than $20, under the belief that the battery didn't work and the serial 232 sync cable was missing. Well, I still never did buy that serial cable- I sync with my laptop via IRDA. Lucky for me the Dell Latitudes still ship with an IR port... One night I was using the PDA and I fell asleep with it on my lap. Woke up the next morning and found it was charged. The battery definately did not work for the first month I had it, but it's been working about a year now and giving me 4-8 hours depending. A Linux project a while back made me trade out my wifi card to DLink DWL-650 or something like that with a Prism 2.5 chipset. PCMCIA of course. But alas, I got rid of that laptop and hung onto the wireless card. A google search on a whim one day lead to me discovering wifi drivers for Windows CE (Compaq WL100 drivers work great with this card). Now I am insepreable from my 800 when I'm home. It has also typed many reports for me on the run for college- either saving to the Compact Flash slot, or syncing to my laptop and then printing. It's slow and old, but it's great for MS Word just the same as anything else. I make a few more typos on this little unit, but the keyboard is nice to have. It gets about 3 or 4 hours battery with the wireless card, and about 6 hours without wireless. Not really impressive, but it works, and that big 640x480 touch screen and keyboard make it nice to work with overall, even if it's only very slightly smaller than a new tablet PC. But at only 20 bucks, I don't have to worry about it much, plus it is a MIPS R4000 series processor (133 mhz if memory serves), so it can make a good stable mate to my future SGI collection. :)

Then recently I got hooked up with a $10 Toshiba e330 without a charger. Got me a charger for like $15. No wifi available for SDIO on this model, so another 20 bucks on a USB wifi adapter and a Toshiba USB dongle, some Prism USB drivers, and a minor registry edit, and my e330 is also wifi. Its 300 mhz Xscale processor is a lot faster than the MobilePro. When it isn't wirleless, it gets about 8 to 10 hours of battery life. When it is wireless, it gets between 1 and 2 hours of battery life. I use wifi sparingly, and only for checking email when I'm expecting something important from the university. It doesn't type my reports, but it reminds me when everything is due. Pocket IE is vastly superior in Pocket PC 2002 compared to HPC Pro, so I like to surf with it from time to time when I can keep it plugged in.

Anyway that's my story. I like both of my PDAs very much, and find that each has its own application. I did briefly own an Apple Newton 100, but the Newton OS 1.3 was too old to make it very useful. Someday I want to track down a Newton MP2000 or 2100 and see what they're like. The 100 had a lot of potential I thought...

Anybody's thoughts are welcome. :)

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Unread postby kshuff » Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:21 pm

I've got two Casio Cassiopeia's, both E-125's, that I don't use much anymore. Pretty nice, but vintage by now :)
-ks

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hamei
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Re: Our favorite PDAs...

Unread postby hamei » Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:52 pm

CDG wrote: Anybody's thoughts are welcome. :)

I like my Samsung i519 pretty much. It's been reliable, the display is big, battery life is okay and it runs Linux so time and talent permitting, customizing is possible. Samsung quality is good. Phone performance is all right but CDMA, pfft :-( PDA performance is about as good as my old overclocked, Cyrix-upped Vectra RS but quite a bit smaller !

My needs for a laptop are minimal so I'd hoped that this would be sufficient but PDA's aren't really convenient enough to compute on except for emergencies .... good for mail checking and very light text processing but that's about it. Maybe the keyboard accessory would be an improvement, but then you can't stick it in your pocket. Wish it had a terminal program, that'd make butchering it a lot easier :P The camera can be handy. Wish it had an RPN calculator. Why aren't there any good rpn calculators available for Unix ? The chinese-english dictionary really sucks !

All in all, I'm happy with this pda-phone.

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Unread postby MisterDNA » Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:25 pm

Treo 650. It's got its quirks, but it has made me money so it's an asset, rather than a liability.
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Unread postby 87Porsche » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:20 pm

Garmin iQue 3600. It's not cutting edge but it gets the job done.

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Unread postby josehill » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:46 pm

I have a Newton MessagePad 130, although it's now used more for fun than for work. The MP 130 is the one where Apple first got the handwriting recognition working well, and it is still surprisingly capable.

I tend towards Palm units, and I am eyeing the Treo 700p for my next one. On the other hand, I was playing around with some Blackberries recently, and I was impressed with the web browser's ability to render challenging pages, so maybe it's time for a switch.

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Unread postby pentium » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:48 pm

I also have a 130.
It's on it's second screen but I just love the thing so much that money is no problem. Too bad I'm missing the cover flap.
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Unread postby digitalpioneer » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:09 pm

Great topic to bring up, CDG.

Let's see, my first PDA was an Amstrad PenPad...
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followed by the Palm Pilot Professional...
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then a Palm Pilot III SE with its groovy clear case (almost went with a Handspring visor)...
ImageImage

next came a Sharp Mobilon Tripad ...
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then a Compaq Ipaq 3800...
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now on to phone-based stuff, an Audiovox SMT5600 Smartphone...
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followed by a Palm Treo 650 ...
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recently replaced the Treo 650 with a Treo 700p...
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and hoping for one of these next...

the HTC MTeoR 3G Smartphone
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or the HTC P4350 ...
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or maybe I'll just upgrade my Audiovox SMT5600 to Windows Mobile 5.0 !! :twisted:

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Unread postby josehill » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:44 pm

digitalpioneer wrote:Palm Pilot III SE with its groovy clear case

I still have mine...I couldn't part with the clear case geekiness. :lol:

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Unread postby jan-jaap » Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:36 am

Just received a Nokia 770 "Internet tablet" the other day. Seems like a cool gadget...
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Unread postby Oskar45 » Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:14 am

I have a Tungsten ("Palm powered") but I still prefer my HP 200LX Palmtop PC [which has DOS 5 and I can run APL2, Scheme and Epsilon on it] - does that count?
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CDG
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Unread postby CDG » Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:41 pm

If I might get a little controversial, it seems that the mobile market, while cutting edge on the corporate level, tends to lose that edge on the consumer level. Specifically, it seems like there is less incentive to instantly upgrade to the next model PDA (unless you get one from your company). A lot of guys are still using older Palms, Newtons, Visors, and older PPC versions. I think that while the newer PDAs always have improvements, they're usually not substantial enough to provide compelling reason to blow another $300 every other year.

hamei: A lot of people don't like CDMA, even increasingly so in the USA. Despite this, Verizon remains one of the best networks for extremely rural areas. Wickenburg (my town) has good coverage since about 1.5 years ago when a new tower was erected from Cingular, but you head out to Tonopaugh/Arlington area, or towards Aguila or Salome, and you've got nothing if you don't have a Verizon CDMA phone. Even still, if you're in a particularly mountainous stretch, you'll get nothing.

I'm sure China has similar problems towards the west and away from the more densely populated coast? :)

Also I must agree that PDAs aren't such great laptop substitutes. They're capable of basic computing tasks when the situation demands. My MobilePro 800 can do some pretty heavy word processing, but it can hardly be seen as a PDA were it not for the HPC Pro operating system. Still having 20 minutes to kill in the university library can make PDAs fun instruments of connectivity (i.e. internet surfboards). :)

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MisterDNA
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Unread postby MisterDNA » Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:28 pm

CDG wrote:...(i.e. internet surfboards). :)


Maybe for some of the newer ones. Blazer on my Treo is a piece of superchilled rockhammershit. I can't even hit PayPal with it or check my bank account.
-- I'm a PeeCee and I can kick your ass. --
Slow PeeCee - i7 940 OC 4.1GHz, 20GB DDR3 OC 1.8GHz, 2x1TB WD RAID0, ATI 5870 1GB, 3008WFP
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Slow PeeCee Cluster - 30x Opteron 275, 60.5GB RAM, 2.2TB, 2x1.5TB
Octane 2xR12K-300, 1.5GB, 36GB 10K, 73GB 10K, V8
Indigo2 195MHz, 1GB, 36GB, SI

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Unread postby josehill » Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:19 pm

CDG wrote:If I might get a little controversial, it seems that the mobile market, while cutting edge on the corporate level, tends to lose that edge on the consumer level. Specifically, it seems like there is less incentive to instantly upgrade to the next model PDA (unless you get one from your company). A lot of guys are still using older Palms, Newtons, Visors, and older PPC versions. I think that while the newer PDAs always have improvements, they're usually not substantial enough to provide compelling reason to blow another $300 every other year.

I dunno. In my little part of large multinational world, there is a lot of incentive not to be on the bleeding edge. When you have to support (potentially) hundreds or thousands of users using custom software, etc., there's a lot of overhead needed to verify that the latest PDA (or OS, or browser, etc.) will still be usable with key apps. We have a lot of Palm IIIs and even a handful of original Palm Pilots still in use. Heck, we only finished switching our PCs from W2k/Office 97 :!: to WinXP/OfficeXP in the last year (100k+ employees), and it will be a *long* time before Vista shows up...

CDG
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Unread postby CDG » Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:28 pm

I can see that too for the corporate world. :)

As for surfboards, the Pocket IE on CE 2.11 core has stinky support for most web pages (although nekochan loads almost perfectly). The Pocket IE contained in PPC 2002, however (CE 3.0 core I think), is leaps and bounds better. Still no Java or Flash (I think there are some things available, but I haven't looked into them). PDAs are still limited in usefulness as internet surboards, but you can still cruise headlines and certain forums on anything CE 2.11 or newer...

I can't really speak for other PDA devices, as my experience has been almost entirely M$ Windows CE related. My brother is still using his Handspring Visor, mostly to track the fuel mileage in his vehicles... :roll: And they say I have OCD because my motorcycle is clean.


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