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Author Topic: Pocket PCs etc. Which do you personally recommend, having used it yourself?  (Read 8074 times)

cranioscopical

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I'd like to ask the collective brain here, at Donation Coder, which devices it recommends.   My hope is to have answers ONLY about devices that the brain has used itself, not about interesting-sounding stuff of which it has no direct experience.

I now use (here comes the collective laugh) a Palm IIIxe.
That's because:
  • I can run it from AAA batteries available at any corner store
  • It lasts for ages without needing to be recharged in any way
  • I have several, so losing one is really no big deal
  • My requirements are fairly minimal

This is a list of all that I must have :
  • A calendar
  • An address book
  • Some kind of note-taking/keeping function
  • A couple of calculators/converters
  • A reminder function
  • Some way to secure sensitive data
  • Small enough size to fit in shirt pocket

Having laboured mightily in my childhood to learn how to do real, joined-up writing I'd also like to deploy this amazing skill and enjoy handwriting recognition that doesn't depend on letter-by-letter entry or a special, esoteric, pseudo alphabet.

Any expert responses will be much appreciated.

Ruffnekk

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I'm using an old Orange SPV M500 with Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition. It suits my needs which are minimal as well. I really only need a calendar to keep track of my appointments. Another feature I use a lot is Notes. The SPV M500 has excellent handwriting recognition and it is not limited to letter-by-letter. You can write a complete note and click 'Recognize' to scan the entire message and convert it. I think 90% is a good estimate of the correctness of this method. There are some letters that get mixed up almost by default, like a 'k' becoming a 'h' and a 'v' becoming a 'u'.

This pocket pc is also a phone, so I naturally can store and retrieve contact information quite easily.

The size of the device is ca. 10.5 x 5.5 cm (4 x 2 inch) which I think is just large enough , but not too large. The only major drawback is the battery, which is exhausted quite fast if you use the device a lot. If I use it only occasionally the battery will last for about 2 days, but if I use it more frequently then it will last for about 4 hours tops.
Regards,
RuffNekk

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tsaint

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I used a palm 3, then handspring visor then a tungsten t1 then finally a th55. The th55 is a joy to use.
Of course sony stopped making them a while back.
Why ...screen, form factor, battery life (drat, no aaa). A bit slow perhaps compared to the last palms, but as I get older, I'm
getting slower anyway.
Has wifi - only wep tho, and I didnt buy the bluetooth which I should have.
tony

rjbull

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  • I can run it from AAA batteries available at any corner store

That's a real plus point, but, does it have non-volatile memory?  If your battery goes flat, do you lose everything?


cranioscopical

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Quote
Ruffnekk: I'm using an old Orange SPV M500 with Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition.
Thanks for the reply!  That all looks good but for the battery life (I'd forget to recharge it).  So, you take a charger along with you if on a trip?  How long to bring it back from the dead?  Is the data still there when you revive it?

Quote
tsaint: The th55 is a joy to use
Thank you, too!  Looks as if you've travelled the road I'm about to walk.  I refer to a Palm on average about every three days.  I know that's not often, but when I need it, I need it. 
If I did this with the th55, and simply looked up, say three contacts and the calendar, what would be your guess about time between recharging?
That the th55 is out of production might be both good and bad.  Bad because I can't walk into a store and pick one up.  Good because I may find one on eBay or some such.

Quote
rjbull: does it have non-volatile memory?  If your battery goes flat, do you lose everything?
Oh, thank you, very good point!  It's amazing how blinkered I can be.  I haven't thought about that at all.  I just made the tacit asumption that everything works as the Palm does.  With the Palm, I can't get any data until I replace the batteries and sync with data elsewhere.  However, if I see that power levels are low, I *can* do something about that no matter where I am.
So, a unit with non-vol memory would give me access to 'lost' data if, say, I returned to my hotel room and recharged the device?  If so, I guess that makes recharging time--from dead to minimal functionality--a big factor in purchase decisions.

Boy, this is a great way to get information, thank you all. And thanks for further anticipated responses!

I ought to be able to recharge a device on a daily basis, but I forget.
The reason I have several of them is that they're scattered around (one in each briefcase, one in each jacket, one in each car...) to save me from my forgetful self.
I can see I'm going to have to modify my behaviour with repect to that.


Ruffnekk

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Thanks for the reply!  That all looks good but for the battery life (I'd forget to recharge it).  So, you take a charger along with you if on a trip?  How long to bring it back from the dead?  Is the data still there when you revive it?

It has a charger that I can plug in my 12V connector in my car and when I'm at home or at work I plug it in to the USB port and it gets charged that way. So basically it's charging all day long.

If for some reason the device is turned off because the battery is exhausted then it still has a volatile memory so I won't have any data loss.
Regards,
RuffNekk

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tsaint

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To answer your battery life question Chris, I'd guess a week if you were doing simple lookups. If you like I could do a trial for you.
I used to charge the th55 from my laptop.
One other thing I neglected to mention was the th55 accepts sony memory sticks, so you can store one or 2 meg of data (non volatile)
Being tied to sony memory of course has a downside too.

cranioscopical

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Thanks again, guys!

I *have* to have the thing in my shirt pocket all the time. 

RuffNek, your sensible habit of constantly charging in different places isn't the best soultion for me. Typically I don't use a laptop, certainly not in meetings where I'm likely to need some info in a hurry, so I haven't an available USB port.  In the car's okay, but when I need info I might be in my workshop, in the garden shed, in a meeting, on a plane, at the shops... so the shirt-pocket solution is best for me.  If I leave the thing charging on my main machine, Il guarantee that I'll need some information when I'm at the other end of the house and three floors down  :)

Tony, don't trouble yourself with a test (but thank you for the offer) your guesstimate is more than enough to give me an idea.  Once a week ought to be manageable, even for me.

Armed with the ideas I've picked up here already I'm going to shop around the next time I'm in an urban centre and see what's readily available locally.  I've retired to a rural area where the local idea of slick communication is to use  a sharp pencil, not a blunt one.

Can I ask you both, if your unit's battery runs down, how long would it take to recharge it to the point where it can once again access it's non-volatile memory?

Ruffnekk

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Armed with the ideas I've picked up here already I'm going to shop around the next time I'm in an urban centre and see what's readily available locally.  I've retired to a rural area where the local idea of slick communication is to use  a sharp pencil, not a blunt one.
*lol*

Can I ask you both, if your unit's battery runs down, how long would it take to recharge it to the point where it can once again access it's non-volatile memory?
About a minute or 10 after I start charging it can be booted and used when it ran totally down, but again that's hardly ever the case with me. I don't travel so much for work so I don't really have to worry a lot about it.
Regards,
RuffNekk

Programming is an art form that fights back.

cranioscopical

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Quote
About a minute or 10 after I start charging it can be booted and used when it ran totally down, but again that's hardly ever the case with me. I don't travel so much for work so I don't really have to worry a lot about it.
Thanks, RuffNek, that's very helpful to know.
I wonder if it can be recharged/run from one of the portable charge/run units that does use batteries?  It'd be easy to keep one of those in a briefcase, for emergencies.
Thanks again for you help, it's much appreciated.

cranioscopical

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Re: Pocket PCs etc. Which do you personally recommend, having used it yourself?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2007, 09:42:38 AM »
tsaint,
Two more questions, in addition to 'how long to recharge from dead',  if you can stand it...
  • Were you able to move your existing Palm databases all the way through to the th55?
  • Does the th55 use the same kind of sync, i.e. through some variant of the Palm Desktop? 
TIA
Chris

tsaint

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Re: Pocket PCs etc. Which do you personally recommend, having used it yourself?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2007, 03:17:31 PM »
tsaint,
Two more questions, in addition to 'how long to recharge from dead',  if you can stand it...
  • Were you able to move your existing Palm databases all the way through to the th55?
  • Does the th55 use the same kind of sync, i.e. through some variant of the Palm Desktop? 
I can't remember having a dead, so can't really answer that question. To the best of my knowledge, from "pretty low" to "pretty full" only seemed like an hour or two.
When I changed from a t1 to the th55, I'm 99% certain I didn't lose anything. It is still a palm os device and still uses the palm desktop.
I think really, you just end up with 2 or 3 more "helper" apps on your pc as well as the desktop - eg, one to facilitate getting jpgs onto your pda, one to allow you to use windows explorer to access the files on your pda (as we've become accustomed to with usb devices these days)

Here's a very good source for all sorts of info on the th55 (including a long thread on battery life btw)
http://www.1src.com/...orumdisplay.php?f=73

tony
Btw, I'm happy to answer your questions  :D

« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 04:24:36 PM by tsaint »

cranioscopical

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Re: Pocket PCs etc. Which do you personally recommend, having used it yourself?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2007, 11:01:09 PM »
Here's a very good source for all sorts of info on the th55 (including a long thread on battery life btw)
http://www.1src.com/...orumdisplay.php?f=73

tony
Btw, I'm happy to answer your questions  :D

Thanks again!  I'll follow up the link you mentioned.  Much appreciated.

bluesear

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Re: Pocket PCs etc. Which do you personally recommend, having used it yourself?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2007, 02:50:44 AM »
This is a list of all that I must have :


A reminder=== when I lost it, I could easily find it back!


A couple of calculators


The safest way to secure sensitive data

Redhat

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Re: Pocket PCs etc. Which do you personally recommend, having used it yourself?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2007, 03:30:59 AM »
dsc_0182.jpg

If Steve says it, it must be true.

Jammo the OrganizedFellow

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Re: Pocket PCs etc. Which do you personally recommend, having used it yourself?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2007, 04:05:01 PM »
My short list of PDA devices:
Sony Clie TJ22 (palm OS)
Palm Zire 72 (palm OS)
Dell Axim X5 (Microsoft Pocket PC 2002)
and currently the Audiovox SMT5600 Smartphone (Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003)

With my first 4 devices, I still owned and regularly used a cell phone. I never really wanted to have the '2 in 1' concept (the smartphone). I didn't really mind carrying two gizmos with me.
Now, I don't think I could ever go back to 2 devices. My smartphone does everything for me.

Outlook sync with the calendar and address book.
For note taking, since it IS a smartphone and not a Pocket PC, it has no touch screen, so I use the voice-recorder extensively. I even have it on speed-dial. I leave myself notes almost daily of things to do, and I review them each night before going to bed.
It has a basic calculator with no other functions, but many freeware apps are available.
For my reminders, I use Outlook. About 15 minutes before a task is due to start, I have my device set to ring. :)
For securing sensitive data, I use Code Wallet Pro. It is available for both PPC and Smartphones at http://developerone.com/

Most other freeware can be found at many locations. One I recently found is: http://www.smartphone-freeware.com/

Best of luck to you in choosing your new productivity tool!

<<OH, before I forget, about battery life? I bought a second battery and take it with me on trips. With regular use, data entry, making calls, playing games, my phone lasts a minimum of 3-4 days with no charging. With bluetooth on, it zaps down to about half that.>>
As an aspiring web developer/designer, it is a constant struggle to cope with my ADHD + Hypomania/Bipolar Disorder.

The slow growth of my web dev projects is eclipsed by my patience, understanding and desire to learn AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE as I slowly progress.

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cranioscopical

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Re: Pocket PCs etc. Which do you personally recommend, having used it yourself?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2007, 08:24:46 PM »
jammo,
Thanks very much for all that information.  There's food for thought in there.  I almost never use a cell phone and when I do it's inevitably to call out from my car.  Only 2 people have *my* number.  There have been times when  the phone has been more useful for short periods (such as when buying a proprty, for example).  An all-in-onemight be a good way to go.

Jammo the OrganizedFellow

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Re: Pocket PCs etc. Which do you personally recommend, having used it yourself?
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2007, 09:35:45 AM »
jammo,
Thanks very much for all that information.  There's food for thought in there. ... An all-in-onemight be a good way to go.
:)
glad to know i helped.

Check out this place: http://www.howardforums.com/
As an aspiring web developer/designer, it is a constant struggle to cope with my ADHD + Hypomania/Bipolar Disorder.

The slow growth of my web dev projects is eclipsed by my patience, understanding and desire to learn AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE as I slowly progress.

X_____jamjammo_____