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What kind of PDAs you use?

I am just curious to find out what kind of PDAs people here(in this forum) use? And for what kind of functions? This is just out of personal curiosity and not for any kind of market research or financial gains :)
I use Palm m505 for Calendar, To Dos, Addresses, AvantGo for reading news in the restroom and some gaming.
I would appreciate your inputs. Thanks.

Yaniv
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

i carry a spiral-bound flip notepad in my back pocket.  83 cents at target, with a nifty red cover. 

nathan
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Bic pen... I just can't get used to electronic gizmos :[

Dan
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I use a Palm V for reading the news, and for calendar, memos and phone list (in that order of importance).

I highly recommend a perl package called sitescooper for downloading web pages for offline viewing. You might need to customize a config file for you favorite site, but it does a great job of only getting relevant text.

My only problem with my Palm is how often I need to perform the "digitizer". It's now gotten to the point where I need to do it pretty much every time I turn on the device -- and that is a real pain. (I probably would not be able to use it at all today if I hadn't tied one of the keys to a nice little app called ScnCalibrate, that allows me to run the digitizer whenever it is needed). I am thinking about replacing it for a newer model Palm just because of this problem.

For document viewing I use iSiloX.

David Resnick
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I like the Palm better, because it's as simple as it should be (and not simpler), and the batteries on the B&W models last longer than PocketPC models.

One problem I found, is that the Palm Desktop application is not as rich as I like because the Document section only allows docs to be up to 64KB. The only usable alternative I found is Lotus Organizer, but the EasySync utility is a bit buggy (needs to be resinstalled every once in a while for syncing to resume.) Otherwise, Palm + LO seems a good solution.

As for users here saying that they don't see the point of PDAs in the first place, I beg to disagree : We all need to make changes, and doing so on an electronic device is easier than on paper. Besides, my handwriting sucks :-)

For those interested in PIMs, I made a list while I was looking for a replacement for Palm Desktop:

http://perso.club-internet.fr/ffaure/pim.html

HTH
Fred.

Frederic Faure
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

No electronic gizmos here. Never had a PDA, not even in the late 90's :-)

Patrik
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Pad of post-it notes and an ink pen

Troy King
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I use a HP-Jornada 548, pretty old PDA (3 years?), but it does everything I need, I rely a lot on the Task and Calendar functionality provided by Outlook (I've got dementia) and sometimes use MS Word for typing stuff on it when I'm away (I've got a keyboard for it) and don't want to carry my laptop just to type. Then when I get home from the weekend I just copy ot all over to PC and 'fix it up'. Also I can get my email via my cell phone which has been a real bonus more than once.

Sometimes I use my crayons and paper as well :-)

Alberto
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I use a Compaq iPAQ with Pocket PC 2000 software.  I mostly use it for maps (in Pocket Streets),  news and eBooks and to take quick notes when I don't have my laptop around.

After lots of practice, I can use the JOT recognizer at about 80% of my speed with regular pen and paper.  I used only the iPAQ to take all my notes at the last Microsoft PDC without any inconvenience.

Craig
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I take down my stuff I need to remember on a small whiteboard I have here. In meetings I usually scribble down stuff on paper, and then takes it down using notepad or such, and mail it to myself. I can then reach email from home / on the road.

Patrik
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Palm Vx, although I am looking into the new all in one pda/mobile phone devices that they are now rolling out in the UK.

I know someone who has one, an HP I think, and they love it.

tapiwa
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Compaq Ipaq. listen to mp3's, use outlook, etc.

since i have a horrible memory, anything i need to note, i just record:-)

Prakash S
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

i use my cell phone (its an LG I believe). with t9 I write all kinds of reminders to myself.  For notes, i'll use the mini pads of yellow paper. 

Vince
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Sony Clie

Great for remote data input as well as pictures of plant incidents or meter readings.  Don't use much else on it.

Brad Siemens
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I have an Agenda PDA, developer edition. The company is out of business, the battery life stinks, but it runs Linux.
The only problem I have is not enough time to mess with it (wife, life, etc.).
I am hoping the Linux PDA gets me points toward being the alpha geek.

Doug Withau
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I don't.  I'm not the most organised person in the world, and a PDA would just make me a disorganised bastard with an expensive toy.

My wife uses a Palm because she values ease of use and battery life over eye candy (she doesn't like the colour Palms any more than the PocketPC).  She also swears by the fold-out keyboard.

Rodger Donaldson
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I use a Palm m105. I really only use it for to-do's and the calendar, which synchronizes with the calendar software we use here at work.

I get invited to too many meetings which aren't held at consistent times to keep track of them otherwise.

And I always have my grocery list with me, which is a plus.

I'm not too happy with the durability of this particular model, but it sure is convenient. Next time, I'll just buy the cheapest Palm-compatible I can find, and treat it as a disposable item.

-Mark

Mark Bessey
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I use a palm right now. (on my 2nd gen model now). I will most likely purchase a new Sony nx70V for Christmas.

I have used a PDA for 10 years.

My current palm keeps track of all my friends birthdays. Just set the reminder to 3 days in advance, and with no ending date. I now never forget my friends birthdays. With a paper daytimer, you have to re-write it at the start of the year.

Same goes for friends wedding anniversary. Etc. I read lots of news clips with Avant go (c/net news clippings).

I do all my clients billing on the pda. A few pen taps, the name, task and start time is set. When I leave the clients location, another pen tap sets the out time, and calculates the billing. No paper work at the end of the day for me!! When I sync, I can now produce a very nice invoice, and I did not even have to write the date or time down once. (I did purchase the billing software, but wrote the invoice software myself on the pc side).

I also use the folding keyboard for writing a lot of project notes.

PDA’s  are a marvel, and they really do get rid of tons of little pieces paper and notes. I never have to search for that phone number, the reminders for birthdays etc. are just fab. Throw in a loan calculator, sunrise/sun set time, and also a spelling dictionary (I use those all the time).

I also have a good bunch of games on my PDA, but I never play them, as I believe that a PDA is a work aid, and not a play aid.

The new Sony Clie due out in just a week or two also has a built in voice memo recorder. It also has a digital camera built in (640x480 res). It also has the ability to record mpeg4 movies with sound via the built in camera and mike. It will also double as a mpeg music player. It also has software built in to turn it into a universal remote control (that way I don’t have reach over to the coffee table to find a remote). For some strange reason, a GPS navigation system is not built in, but I believe a memory stick GPS will be available soon anyway. 

So, while I do want more features, the pda’s are much better then my first little Casio from 10 years ago. For sure, the next PDA after that will have a cell phone built in, but I not going to wait and will go with the Sony.

Perhaps the next one will have all the features I want in a pda, but the new Sony does come close. Check it out at

http://www.sonystyle.com/images/tour/computing/nx70v/tour_frame.shtml

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Kallal@msn.com

Albert D. Kallal
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Palms really are over-kill for what they are used for. It's easily arguable and demonstrable they they are actually worse than paper and certainly a lot more expensive.

Blackberry's are quite a bit better primarily because they are tuned for email access, have a keyboard and a wheel for scrolling.

I predict colntinued failure of the hybrid PDAs and mobile phones since the benefits of convergence are over-whelmed by the disadvantages (i.e., they make for bad PDAs and worse phones and neither is replaceable without throwing out both).

pb
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

pb, on the contrary.... I think with increasingly better ui, battery and public awareness, combos will win the battle.

who needs numbers on a phone, more numbers on the pda, music on the mp3 player, net access on the laptop, email on outlook if you can have just one device.

Admittedly, the early hybrids were not that good, but they are getting better. I remember the early phones weighed half a ton, and were just that.

Now you have tiny things with better interfaces, color screens, and some calendering, some digital photography and some mp3 capability. Give it a bit more time.

tapiwa
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Thank you all for your inputs. I beleive PDAs great! I can't live without mine! For those who are still with paper and pen, just give it a try! You don't know what you are missing :)

Yaniv
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Tapiwa, we hear the same thing each time a new hybrid comes out and it fails.  What  everyone seems to miss is that hybrids invariably fail simply because, out of necessity, they are inferior to the focused products they attempt to replace.

pb
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

>>>>>>>>>>
For some strange reason, a GPS navigation system is not built in, but I believe a memory stick GPS will be available soon anyway.
>>>>>>>>>>

Well, integrating GPS in a PDA (noise factors, for example) ain't that easy.  Are there any PDA's with integrated GPS?  I've seen quite a few companies contact my company when they realized this. :)

As for the GPS memory stick for Sony Clie's, I have one! hehe :)

They are only made in Japan.  I work for a company that develops GPS/GIS solutions for handhelds.  We wanted our consumer app (www.starcaddy.com) to work with a potential GPS unit for the Clie (thus, the reason we went to the trouble of getting the GPS for Sony Clie).

===

I have a question.

Can someone please explain to me the "I have an 83cent notebook" or the "I have a pen and paper" comments?

What is it that causes the TECH COMMUNITY to shun PDA's?  Most "geeks" love to play around with mostly anything computer related...but for some reason PDA's get shunned by a lot of people in the tech community (I don't need no PDA!)  I'm really puzzled when I see comments like that.

Software maybe?  Is it going to take the "killer app" for people to finally accept it?

William C
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Let me be accurate in my statements. :)

Trimble (runs PocketPC) makes a PDA with an integrated GPS

Of course, all PDA's will finally get to the point of having an integrated gps...because the chips are finally getting small enough and there are imorovements in the use of power (GPS will drain the heck out of your battery!!)

William C
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

One other thought about the Japanese GPS memory stick.

The reason that it isn't released in the US, I blieve, is because standard GPS software won't work with it.

We had to write a whole new protocol and special Clie code.  Sony has their own binary protocol.

But, you were saying you were interested in the new Clie.  I think that the new Sony's will come with a CF slot.  I believe the CF slots exist in Japan now.

William C
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

I'm waiting for a decent sized GSM/PDA combo that I like, and that is >150 Euro. Main reasons not to get a PDA now are cost and pocket space.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, October 24, 2002

william c -

i use an 83 cent notebook from target because i wanted something i could jot down my thoughts in quickly and with ease, no matter where i was.  a notepad is very conducive to this, and it allows me to transcribe things exactly as i see them in my head.  i like to draw lines between stuff, and think in a very non-linear way.  i have yet to find a quick simple app that allows me to do this.

another big thing in keeping me from getting a pda is the whole moore's law thing.  everything is getting smaller, more powerful, & cheaper.  i can't bring myself to spend a good chunk of money on something that will be outdated in a year or so.  i know this might sound anti-geek, but not all of us are financially independent.

and lastly, did i mention the nifty red cover?

nathan
Thursday, October 24, 2002

I use a 2+ year old Handspring Visor (I went Handspring because I like rooting for the underdog, and because it's orange).  I keep wanting to replace it with a newer/faster one, but I can't justify it.  They blew it -- they got it right the first time! 

I still see PocketPCs as flashy toys but Palms are great tools.  And unlike PocketPCs, PalmOS has a zen-y design philosophy that I respect: do what you need to do, do it simply, and do no more.  The nice effect this has is that they <i>don't</i> become obsolete after a year or two.  A phone book is a phone book is a phone book.  The unfortunate aspect is that consumers (and companies) can't accept the zen thing... they always want a new thing.  So Sony's doing things like adding digital cameras and whatnot.  Anyway.

I still use a notebook too.  When I want to scribble notes, when I want to draw diagrams, whatever, I use pen and paper.  In fact, my PDA really ends up mostly as a read-only device; thanks to Palm Desktop I do 99% of my data entry on my work and home PCs, which I hotsync with the Palm.  The Palm then mostly ends up as portable storage to bring my todo list and address book back and forth from home to work.  This works great, and I *love* always having a current phone book with me whereever I am.  Used to be that I'd have a file at home, a file on the work machine, some stuff scribbled in my dayplanner, etc. 

Anyway.  I thought I'd hate my Palm, bought it expecting to return it, and now I can't live without it.  $200 very well spent.

Scott Evans
Thursday, October 24, 2002

I think it's refreshing that there are at least a few people who think $300 address books are lame. Palm investors should take note.

pb
Thursday, October 24, 2002

I use a Palm IIIc, because I won it :)

I don't like it as much as my old PDA (an original Palm), because the handwriting recognition is slower.

Huh? They say.  Slower?  Trust me.  I used my old Palm so much that I wore through 3 pieces of tape (placed over the writing area to protect it from wear and tear).  I took *all* of my university notes on it - including math and science (engineering) - and this was *before* you could get math programs and fancy fonts (I wrote out all the characters, and drew pictures, and then had a fancy Word macro to convert it all).  I could write on that thing faster than I could write on paper (25 wpm!!).

But when I upgraded to OS 3 - I noticed that there is an almost imperceptible delay after writing every letter.  And it's enough to drop my wpm to ~17.  Which is still pretty good (and way easier on the thumbs than the Blackberries...).  It just takes practice. 

I agree that having email would be cool though.

Can't wait for the new faster Palms.
Thursday, October 24, 2002

A keyboard is infinitely better than hadnwriting recognition for entering data, imo.

The battery life is a key point with the hybrids. My Blackberry can go two weeks or more on one charge whereas my phone goes out in 3 days.

This is yet another reason why the hybrids are ill-conceived and will not find a wide audience.

pb
Friday, October 25, 2002

I use a Sony Clie T615C and I think it's great! I'll be the first to admit that I love gadgets, but not the kind that are gadgets just for the sake of being a gadget. I have two sons, a husband, a career, and a generally busy life. I use my PDA for everything from appointments, to addresses, to personal info that I'm always needing for one reason or another, a few games for those boring moments when you're waiting for something... like a dentist appointment, and I also use my diet tracking software extensively. Believe it or not, I've lost 18 pounds so far thanks to my PDA and add-on software.

Susi Sloan
Friday, October 25, 2002

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