Personal computing discussed

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Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Minnesota

Fri Dec 28, 2001 2:19 pm

I'm not very knowledgable about Pocket PC's or Palms so some good info would be nice. What is your opinion?
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Mars orbit

Fri Dec 28, 2001 2:32 pm

Well, it depends on 2 things: what you want a PDA for and how much you have to spend.

If you are budget constrained, forget a PocketPC device. They tend to run in the $500US + range. They are also a passable substitution for a laptop, provided your intended use is email, light .doc/.xls viewing/editing, MP3 playback, contact/scheduling, etc.

If you want a replacement for your Franklin Planner, go with a Palm. They'll do all the other stuff too, with the right app and/or widget add-on. The pricy ones are in the $250-$350 range, and the inexpensive ones are sub-$120, iirc.

The best way to figure out which is for you is to nab your tech-toy buddy and goof with his. Barring that, head down to CompUSA/Staples/OfficeMax/Wherever and futz with their display models. That way you can check out how they feel and fit your hand along with their capabilities.

Hope this helps!
"That which does not kill me, makes me stronger." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
"That which does not kill me, missed." -- Anonymous war gamer
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Fri Dec 28, 2001 5:58 pm

Here are things as I see them.

If you're strapped for cash, PocketPC simply isn't an option. There really aren't any cheap ones out there.

PocketPCs are more powerful, have much better gaming and multimedia, and better integration with Outlook, Word, and Excel. They're freaking expensive, bulky, and battery life is pathetic (less than a full day's heavy use on one charge according to my iPaq buddy.)

Palms are light, small, inexpensive, and have phenomenal battery life. Forget multimedia, though, and gaming is a lot less exciting. With extra software, the integration with Outlook, Excel, and Word is good enough for most peoples' needs.

Different strokes for different folks. If you want a PDA, get a Palm. If you want a full fledged pseudo pocket-sized computer, go for a PocketPC.
Geoff Gasior
The Tech Report
Gerbil First Class
Posts: 112
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Location: pimpin the ATL

Fri Jan 04, 2002 12:15 pm

I find the palm platform to be much more elegant and suited to the task of handheld computing. If you want a computer to travel with you, buy a laptop, er pocket PC, but if you want a hand held get a Palm OS device. It's just the right widget for the job.
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The place with all the trees and stuff.

Sat Jan 26, 2002 5:22 pm

You can't play Quake I or Quake II on a Palm.
Gerbil XP
Posts: 447
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Location: PA

Sat Jan 26, 2002 10:12 pm

You should look into the Sharp Zaurus also, give the embedded Linux crowd some support.
Gerbil Jedi
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Location: Bloomington, IL

Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:31 pm

I've have an old Palm V and now an iPaq H3835.

If you want a basic unit to keep your appointments, read your email on the go, or use as a rolodex, the Palm is the way to go. It does the basics better than any device. If you need color, go with the Clie 760. The Palm color devices look horrible in comparison. If you want a low end one, the Mseries is hard to beat. Handspring makes some good units too.

The iPaq is more a mini-laptop than a PDA. It does everything. As for multimedia, it is a great MP3 player. Video kind of sucks on it though because it tends to drop frames. Palm used to have a huge advantage on PocketPC in the software arena, but that is rapidly becoming a non-issue. They are also very expandable. I have a sleeve for mine that lets me use PCMCIA cards and has another battery in it. With it, I can use CF cards (with and adapter), a LAN card, as well as my wireless LAN card. The SD slot is nice, but SD is kind of expensive right now.

It all depends on your needs. The Palm is dead simple to use. The PocketPC devices take a bit of getting used to. It's hard to screw up a Palm device, fairly easy to screw up a PocketPC.
Gerbil First Class
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Sun Mar 03, 2002 1:28 am

Not all PocketPC devices are expensive as hell. I just bought a Cassiopeia E-125 for 233 bucks. It has a color screen, 32 mb of memory, a built in mp3 player, and a slot for compact flash memory. I was going to buy a palm-based PDA before but I just couldn't turn this one down. You really can't really beat the price on this one.
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: frigid NE

Sun Mar 03, 2002 2:22 am

I picked myself up a Palm m125...has a great back-lit screen when you need it, expandable via memory cards, and is just awesome.

Go with this Palm if you are deciding on a Palm instead of a PPC.
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Sun Mar 03, 2002 2:23 am

With low end Palm-based PDAs under $100, that's still pretty expensive. Sure, it had a lot more in terms of functionality and features, but for those wanting a PDA rather than portable computer, $99 is significantly cheaper.
Gerbil In Training
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 7:00 pm

Tue Mar 26, 2002 12:25 pm

Mine is a palm m505 ..
Its nice and I really get some work done with it. But I heard PocketPC looks better. I would of got one but I just dont like compaq which is the only thing i see around now.
Gerbil In Training
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Ohio

Tue Mar 26, 2002 12:52 pm

I have a palm type device. Its a Kyocera Smartphone which uses the palm os. I have had a pocket pc before and I prefer the palm devices better. They have much better software support.
Gerbil Team Leader
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2002 7:00 pm

Wed Mar 27, 2002 7:14 am

I am needing a PDA now. But I have a difficult task to do with it, and then I must buy the one that does it, and well.

I need a norwegian-english (and nice if it has more options like spanish) dictionary.

If any of you know about a software that can do this in one of the pda platforms please post here. I have look for it but I don't have too much experience in looking for software to pdas.

Gerbil Elite
Posts: 702
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Chicago, IL USA

Wed Mar 27, 2002 8:13 am

thorz, can't you get one of those Franklin translators? That would be cheaper than a PDA and dictionary software, wouldn't it?
You are false data.
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Sat Mar 30, 2002 9:19 pm

Try, they have listings for all sorts of software.

Palm, by virtue of its age, has much more available software so I'm guessing you'll have better luck there.
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2002 7:00 pm

Fri Apr 05, 2002 12:38 pm

The only thing I'd add is about wireless - which both platforms are capable of and which can be a very rewarding use for such a device, depending on how and where you use it etc.. If you want wireless, right now, you have a few options, although fewer if you want "always-on" type access. There are quite a number of choices in the hybrid phone/Palm and wireless modem add-on (for both Palm and PocketPC), but if you want something that's always on (which personally I've found much more useful) then there are really only a couple of choices that come to mind and are actually available right now:
- Blackberry (very nice but limited application support for the PDA aspects of it)
- Palm i705

Those two both use the same network, but are quite different... the Blackberry using a keyboard and the Palm depending on Graffiti for input (although add-on keyboards are available), with the vast software library of the Palm making it the obvious choice for the most "typical" PDA-ish device of the two. I've owned both and currently prefer the Palm. I've owned many PDA's over the years, and at this point I personally wouldn't spend much money on anything that lacked wireless capabilities.... it's just too addictive once you have it, especially if you have any sort of daily transportation commute like a train or ferry or even a bus.
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Thu Apr 11, 2002 3:37 am

Handspring's Treo is out, and covers wireless quite nicely with a built in cell phone.

What really needs to happen is a cheap network to piggyback these devices onto.
Gerbil In Training
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2002 7:59 am

Sat Jun 22, 2002 8:43 am

I have owned just about every Palm verion out there at one time or another and my last Palm unit was the M505, which when it was launched was simply awesome. But the battery still only lasted 1 day due to the backlight color screen. Nowhere near what my old Palm V lasted, 1 week or more. But it was setting the expectation of the exsisting crop of color screens, One day only with heavy usage. You will eventually want some form of rechargable batteries, color and expandable memory.

I switched to the HP568 Pocket PC for the document storage and viewing of Word , Excel, PDF's, and JPG images. Expandable Replaceable Rechargeable Batteries. Now that that is discontinued with the merger of Compaq, I am looking at the Toshiba e570 for the internal WIFI, XScale 400mhz Processor (which has it's own issues)CF2, SD slots. As much as I loved my 505, the palm cant even come close to the continuity between Pocket PC, my laptop and my many PC's as well as Mac's. Sony definatly has some really cool stuff going on but they change models every three months and the expansion is proprietary memory sticks.

Palm just recently released the M130 with a 2" screen and color. If I was beggining again, I would skip all the other steps and start there. It is the beginning but hey you gotta start somewhere.

I did like the available software developers had come up with for the palm, but in reality most of it was below average in quality and you still paid for the good ones. This is very similar for the Pocket PC.

The Toshiba e310 Pocket PC has some very cool features but starts around $299.

Good luck in your venture, it is a long and exciting path of knowledge!

Ok, you just get to play with electronic stuff but we wont tell our wifes that.
Gerbil First Class
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 7:00 pm

Tue Nov 19, 2002 5:29 pm

I use a Palm III, as old as they come, but it pretty much does the trick for me. As has been indicated above, it's all you really need for replacing a traditional datebook / address book / pen-and-paper organizer, the battery life is phenomenal (2 AAA batteries, non-rechargable, last a month or more with my light use). With the number of palm-OS users out there, I can typically beam my info / other files to most of the PDA users I interact with, although a few pocket PC users have started to crop up. And people write some cool software that works even on a weak Palm III - I used my PDA to count meteors from last night's meteor shower with a NASA-written program.

If you want all the other fancy stuff, consider the new Dell X5, a pocket-PC PDA with comparible hardware to the iPaqs / etc, but is only $200-$300 right now.

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