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Handhelds Hardware

PalmOne Releases 4GB PDA [updated] 279

Posted by timothy
from the smallish-biggish dept.
davidconger writes "PalmOne has introduced the first device in their new line of Mobile Manager handheld devices. The LifeDrive includes an embedded 4GB Hitachi Microdrive and additional software for file/folder synchronization. The device includes both WiFi and Bluetooth. Price tag on the device $499. PocketFactory has done a complete review of the LifeDrive." Reader gandell adds a link to Brighthand's review. Update: 05/18 18:08 GMT by T : An anonymous reader corrects this story's original headline, writing "Despite rumors the LifeDrive would run Linux, it runs PalmOS 5 (Garnet). However, the device seems to have a Linux-friendly design, and is likely to run Linux soon, whether supplied by PalmOne's sister company PalmSource, or by Linux hobbyists. PalmSource is likely to offer a Linux OS upgrade for the LifeDrive, once it is ready to support the huge variety of legacy Palm apps under Linux." Update: 05/18 18:44 GMT by T : One more review, this one at MobileTechReview.
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PalmOne Releases 4GB PDA [updated]

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  • Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @10:39AM (#12566489)
    It runs PalmOS so where's the Linux part come in?
    • Re:Linux (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ssj_195 (827847)
      I'm a little unclear on this also; I think what happened at Palm is that PalmOS became the Palm API built upon a Linux core, or somesuch. Anyone more knowledgeable than me care to chime in? :)
      • Re:Linux (Score:5, Informative)

        by spotter (5662) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @10:54AM (#12566638)
        future versions of Palm OS 6 (Cobalt) is supposed to be built around a linux core. Current versions of Cobalt aren't.

        But that's totally a different point, as the life drive (According to the review) is built w/ Garnet (PalmOS 5.4) which has more in common w/ PalmOS 3/2/1 than Linux.
      • Although, this runs Palmos 5.4 whic isn't based on Linux at all..
        • The new marketing strategy: Put "Linux" in the tag line to attract more attention.

          Examples:
          * "Now with more Linux!"

          * "Ten percent real Linux!"

          * "With multiple Linux kernels!"

          * "With ten essential Linux distros!"

          Or add "Linux" to the name:
          * Instead of "Turbo", use "BMW Linux"

          * Instead of "Luxury", use simply "Lexus LX" (ok, not much change, but it should work)

          * Instead of "Professional", use "Linux Grade Drill Bits".

          See?
    • Re:Linux (Score:2, Funny)

      by Timesprout (579035)
      You sir fail to respect the right of this PDA to run Linux if it wants to. Ya bloody splitter
    • Re:Linux (Score:3, Funny)

      by jayhawk88 (160512)
      The part where you have to mention Linux in the title to get your article posted to the front page.
    • It runs PalmOS so where's the Linux part come in?

      this is where the article poster confused palmone's future plans with their existing plans. the lifedrive runs garnet, which is palmos 5.4. this is the palm proprietary format; no different to what is on the tungsten t5 and treo 650.

      palmone has announced they will be providing an alternative kernel (linux based) in their future cobalt devices. currently, cobalt has a different kernal than the garnet devices; which has been headed up by a lot of old-beos de
      • currently, cobalt has a different kernal than the garnet devices; which has been headed up by a lot of old-beos developers. (remember, they purchased em).

        yes, I remember that it was ~2-3 years ago IIRC. I still can't believe they don't have a shipping product yet. When I talked with the Palm engineers working on the OS and bringing in BeOS, they said they were keeping the work they had already done and were bringing in pieces of BeOS. It was obvious that they thought their work was better than BeOS... NOW

    • Well, they had to use the magic 'L word' to get everyone to read. :)
    • Re:Linux (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @06:45PM (#12571841)
      It runs PalmOS so where's the Linux part come in?

      I develop third-party apps for Palm OS, so let me explain this. It's a bit complicated.

      Palm applications are built against a set of application level APIs. Through the history of Palm OS, they have changed the kernel underneath the APIs without changing the APIs appreciably. At first, they used a licensed kernel from a third party. Then, I believe they switched to their own kernel. I'm not sure, but I think this was at the time they switch from Motorola 68000 processors to ARM (RISC) processors, which was the time of the switch from OS 4.x to OS 5.x.

      A few years ago, PalmSource (the software people -- PalmOne are the hardware people) decided the non-multitasking nature of the OS wasn't that hot, and it was time for an update. So, they wrote OS 6. OS 6 has, I believe, yet another completely new kernel. This makes sense because it has a much more complicated task: to provide preemptive multitasking and better security. To date, neither PalmOne nor any other hardware manufacturer has actually released a device that runs OS 6.

      Now, the complicated part: Palm OS is an embedded OS, and they do a new build of it for each new type of hardware that is made. It is not an OS that you install from CD-ROM onto any old hardware. Unfortunately, the process of bringing it up on new hardware seems to be quite painful and difficult, probably involving writing new device drivers just about every time you make a new device.

      Meanwhile, Linux has taken the embedded world by storm. Virtually any embedded device that comes out now comes "for free" with Linux drivers already available for it. So, why is PalmSource switching to Linux? Pretty simple: (1) they've already proven they can switch kernels and maintain application compatibility no problem in the past (two or three times, even), and (2) they want free drivers because that'll make bringing up new devices dramatically easier.

      As you may have guessed by now, if they ever do release a Linux Palm OS device, it's probably going to be just the Linux kernel and not any of (or not much of) the Linux userland stuff. That is to say, it'll be Linux, but it won't be GNU/Linux. The user will probably be totally unaware that it has Linux behind the scenes, as will the application programmer as well (most likely).

      Furthermore, it's my prediction that until this Linux-based Palm OS transition is complete, no hardware devices will be released that run OS 6. Since Linux promises to make it that much easier to bring up the hardware, and since OS 5.x is still selling fine, there isn't a big motivation to do the extra work if it's all about to become lots easier later on (in months or hopefully not a whole year) anyway.

  • It's not a Linux PDA (Score:4, Informative)

    by ArsEric (780868) * <eric@arstechnica.com> on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @10:40AM (#12566499) Homepage
    It actually runs PalmOS 5.4, not Linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    in this age where my celphone has as much capability as a PDA (including 4gb of storage)
    why would anyone want a bulky pda anymore ?
    • by Harbinjer (260165) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @10:45AM (#12566550) Journal
      Better input capabilities, and a much larger screen. So you can watch movies, and do some work perhaps?

      I think Cell phones are too small for many pda-ish things, currently.

      Unless someone comes up with a better display method, perhaps holographic, they are limited. Oh, and they need a better input interface
      • a better display method, perhaps holographic

        I'm still holding out for a Microvision [microvision.com] PDA/cell phone. Alas, it may be a few years more.
      • I think Cell phones are too small for many pda-ish things, currently.

        What about the Treo650 [palmone.com]? I used to have a Handspring. I carried it in my backpack and only ocassionally used it to retrieve an odd bit of information. I never used it for things like "todo" or calendar management, since I never carried it with me. However, with the Treo, I always have it. I can jot something down. I keep a full calendar. I immediately saw a spike in productivity and fewer missed appointments.

      • I think Cell phones are too small for many pda-ish things, currently.

        Unless someone comes up with a better display method, perhaps holographic, they are limited. Oh, and they need a better input interface

        Personally, since no one can make a good all-in-one device, I'd like to see a real separation into two devices-- one that does phone, calendar, address book, bluetooth, whatever. Make that your PDA/cell-phone/communications-device. Let that have the complicated interface and everything. Then, separa

      • Yup, true, and I would like one battery for each as well. One that has a long lifetime and one to deliver the power needed for a common PDA (especially with a hard drive embedded in it).

        But this was already mentioned in an earlier post by someone else as well. Oh well, mod me redundant :)
    • Why would anyone want a PDA?
      • Can you input data into your cell phone as quickly as a screen keyboard or graffiti?
      • Can you run word-processors and spreadsheets on your cell phone?
      • Does your cell-phone have a decent-sized display?
      • Is there a vast library of both free and commercial software for your cell phone? Including e-books and document readers, dictionaries, map software, etc?
      • Can you connect to a GPS via bluetooth with your cellphone, have it display real-time maps, such that you can navigate your
      • I do hope that within the next few years we'll see a merging of phones and PDA's

        You mean like this [blackberry.com]

      • * There are a growing number of phones that have full keyboard pads on them and that number looks only to increase.

        * Why would you run a word processor or spreadsheet on your PDA, much less your phone. They are useful for showing things off to folks (at which point there are some J2ME midlets that can do this), but PDAs are VERY poor content creation devices.

        * Depends on your definition of decent and what its being used for. Many cellphones have the same resolution of the Treo 600.

        * Yes yes oh goodness y
  • Linux? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by timdorr (213400) *
    The LifeDrive runs Palm OS Garnet on a 416 MHz XScale processor.

    Last I checked, Palm OS wasn't Linux...
  • One thing I found really interesting on my Treo 650 is a decent (but mono) loudspeaker built right in. May seem like a throwback to gathering around the AM radio, but it's a real hoot with other people.
  • That thing is clunky! For a little bit more, I'd rather get one of these [asus.com] and put in one of these [hitachigst.com]. It would be thinner, have 6gb (removable, too), a more powerful processor, and a VGA screen.
    • For a little bit more, I'd rather get [an ASUS MyPal] and put in [a 6GB microdrive].

      I just priced that out, and I have to say, $800 is not "a little bit more" than $500.
      • Ok, so it's a little more than just a little more expensive. But let's do it with the 65MB RAM model of the MyPal and the 4GB Microdrive:

        ASUS MyPal A730 - $480.00 [newegg.com]
        Hitachi 4GB Microdrive - $174.00 [newegg.com]

        Having something way better than a "LifeDrive" (VGA, 1.3 MP camera, voice recording, CF slot)- Priceless
  • Best application--toss a huge text file into a text-to-speech app and have it spit up a low-quality mp3. One step closer to transhumanism (while looking a bit like the borg). Only problem is treo 650 only transmits phone audio. I'm assuming this one will use the bluetooth for this.
  • by PenguinBoyDave (806137) <david@daCHEETAHvidmeyer.org minus cat> on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @11:01AM (#12566702)
    I had a palm, a handspring and a Zarus. As I travel on business a lot I thought I would use it. What I discovered that that when I lost my palm, I didn't really loose anything...it was in my laptop. When my handspring got crushed by a taxi in New York, I didn't loose anything...it was in my laptop. When my Zarus was next to useless because it didn't really work all that well with my company-standard Windoze laptop, I sold it...and didn't miss anything because it never got off my laptop.

    People I work with use their iPAQ's for watching movies ripped down to fit on their screens and listen to music. However, that is about it.

    I don't miss my PDA, and I know more and more business travelers who have stopped carrying theirs as well.
    • First they came for the Palm
      and I did not care
      because I had my handspring, zaurus and laptop.
      Then they came for the Handspring
      and I did not care
      because I had my zaurus and my laptop.
      Then they came for the zaurus
      and I did not care
      because I still had my laptop.
      Then they came for my laptop
      and there was nothing left
      for me to use.
    • by utexaspunk (527541) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @11:20AM (#12566866)
      I have an iPaq h6315 that I use all the time, and I don't think I'd find a Palm all that handy (I know, terrible pun). I think the PocketPC's more powerful processors make them a lot more useful- as you mentioned, they can be used for music and movies, but I also use mine for games (I'm addicted to snood [snood.com]), for checking the bus schedules (I've got the PDF's saved on my phone. They're not really very PDA-friendly, but they certainly suffice and are frequently useful), I keep mine synched with Money on my PC (which is great since I'm terrible about keeping a checkbook register), and I surf the web (and not just the limited stuff you get thru a cell phone) and check my e-mail with it as well.

      Sure, some of those things I could do with a laptop, but a laptop has a shorter battery life, won't connect to GPRS by itself, doesn't fit in my pocket and I wouldn't want to carry one around all the time.
      • by sremick (91371) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @01:25PM (#12568364)
        This is not a flame, but...

        I do all that with my Palm. And you don't need a LifeDrive for it... I do it with my Tungsten T3, which has been around for a long time now.

        So I don't get why you say you wouldn't find a Palm useful and then list all those things as reasons why...?

        • can you do all those things simultaneously? i've heard of issues with the palms being underpowered. but what do i know? perhaps you're right. I do like having the wifi built in, and having my phone integrated with it, though.
          • Well you wouldn't logically be doing all those things simultaneously. Sort of like parachuting, reading a book, watching TV, and playing piano all the same time. Heh.

            My T3 is something like 400MHz and seems wicked fast to me. I can quickly jump from one application to another and there are utilities (which I don't use) available to give you shortcuts to do so even faster. Apps, games, etc remain where I left them and those things that I DO want to multitask do so just fine. Granted it doesn't have built-in
  • Why the microdrive? Ok, I know that they are significantly cheaper than flash, but they are so much slower and they need much more power.
  • Yawn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KFW (3689) * on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @11:04AM (#12566722)

    I'm really disappointed by this. I've been holding off on a new PDA, but I don't think I'll be getting this one.

    The good:

    • Built-in WiFi (with web browser)
    • Nice screen
    • 4 GB drive
    • Nice photo viewing
    • Multimedia features (although I doubt I'll use them)

    The bad:

    • inadequate cache RAM (read the review [pocketfactory.com] that was linked to [and is probably now Slashdotted]). There is now a noticeable lag when starting applications. Thrashing the drive will probably impare battery life as well.
    • Still running PalmOS 5. C'mon, where's the innovation? What did they do with BeOS?
    • No camera

    Personally, I'm glad it's not part of a phone. I want a seperate phone and PDA. I carry a thumbdrive in my pocket for toting files, which is very convenient because I don't have to mess with cables if I need to transfer files to another PC. If it's done well, I suppose the ability to carry along, edit, and then synch MS Word, etc., files could be handy. The music features aren't something I'll use. I'll stick with my iPod (which has way more than 4 GB of songs on it). Now an iPod with better PDA features--there's something I'd like to see.

    /K

    • sounds like you need what I posted earlier [slashdot.org]
    • by hey! (33014)
      I think it's better off without a camera. PDA and cell phone cameras don't have much practical value, and their novelty value is limited. Speaking from experience. Their optics are too crappy to provide much amusement.

      If you read the article, the device does handle SD cards from digital cameras automatically. Combine this with a real digital camera, and it becomes a useful accessory.
    • Re:Yawn (Score:3, Insightful)

      by myowntrueself (607117)
      "I'm really disappointed by this. I've been holding off on a new PDA, but I don't think I'll be getting this one."

      I'm holding off until I can get one with USB host.

      I mean how freaking hard can it be? Am I missing something?

      Example; the ipaq advertises as *having* USB. But the word from HP when I pressed them on the issue is that it cannot and will never be a USB host.

      I would really appreciate some links, if anyone has any suggestions.

      I just want to connect to USB hard drive or flash disk. Other gadgets
      • Re:Yawn (Score:3, Informative)

        by binarytoaster (174681)
        The Zaurus SL-C1000/3000 has USB host. The 3000 is identical to the 1000 except it has a 4gb microdrive internal (which you could replace with a regular flash card and make it run a bit faster)

        It also, in fact, runs Linux, unlike any Palm.
  • The LifeDrive runs Garnet [palmsource.com], the latest multimedia SDK of Palm OS 5 [palmsource.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @11:11AM (#12566803)
    Not sure why the LifeDrive is getting all the press. Existing PDAs can get multi-GB HD using their SD cards.

    The real news item is the huge number of improvements PalmOne made to their best-selling Tungsten E (top-selling PDA across all OS last year). Although the E2 has a slower cpu than T5, the E2 is reportedly even faster for many common tasks! Some changes from E to E2 include (cut/paste from palmone.com):

    1. about 30% brighter than the Tungsten E display and with 40% better color saturation.

    2. data is safe even when the battery is completely drained--if you recharge it a year later, all your data is still there.

    3. built-in Bluetooth

    4. Much better battery life. About 12 hours of continous MP3 playing according to one review.

    5. compatible with wifi sd card.

    6. Much-improved bundled software: NEW Documents To Go® 7.0 and VersaMail® 2.7.1 email client. The new versamail can finally be used with Google.

    7. Improved processor. The faster Intel 200MHz XScale processor. Not the speediest but reviews indicate that for many common tasks, the E2 easily outperforms the T5 which has a much faster CPU.

    8. Multi-connector port. I don't care about this feature but you might.

    The E2 is about $100 cheaper than last year's average selling price of PDAs in the USA.

    What is missing:

    1. voice recorder. Sometimes, we don't want to pull out the pen and write. As a PDA targeting business users, the lack of voice recording is not good.

    2. extra SD slot. Having only 1 SD slot and no built-in wifi means forcing the user to choose between extra storage and wifi. Not good. Provide at least 2 SD slots unless wifi is built-in.

    3. >=64MB RAM. Since it only has 1 SD slot, it should provide at least 64MB RAM. At least provide a more expensive version of the PDA with this option. Yes, I know 64MB RAM in Palm device is more than 64MB RAM in PocketPC but still...

    On the bright side, I've seen some multi-function SD cards hitting the market. Like wifi + storage combo SD card.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Linux PDA with a 4GB drive
    mysql + apache
    2GB en.wikipedia databse

    Hello never being bored on the train again
  • by gearmonger (672422) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @11:18AM (#12566846)
    Just like you don't call your laptop a word processor, despite it being able to do word processing, or a gaming device (despite it being able to play games), the LifeDrive's PDA (addressbook, schedule, etc.) functionality is just one part of what it can do. Calling it a PDA just glosses over all its *other* capabilities (2X wireless, high-res screen, voice recording, A/V playback, camera buddy, etc.), the sum of which really haven't been seen before.
  • by el_womble (779715) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @11:25AM (#12566920) Homepage
    I used to love the concept of PDAs. When I was at uni I used one to take notes and keep track of lectures, but I was fully aware that it was a toy more than a tool. As important as I like to think I am I don't need to put my shopping list, occasional creative thoughts on a PDA. I even sampled 'surfing' the web on it, but to be useful you had to do it through a mobile phone and that was less than useful. I still used it over my laptop because it was lighter and powered on imediately.

    Then I bought a Powerbook and a T610 and most importantly of all - a pencil and notebook. I use my laptop for real computing and my phone holds and synchronises all of my PIM data so much more efficiently than my old PDA that I simply don't need a PDA, with one exception: taking notes. For that I find the notepad invaluable. The data is difficult to copy as I use a unique encryption system that only I can decipher (my handwriting), the power consumption is incredible, I haven't had to replace the battery once! It's instant on, the stylus can be replaced for pence and are universally availble and best of all you can use it to annotate the notes they give you when you go to meetings without any previous training. The price is good too, I'm not a rich man by any stretch of the imagination, but I can easily afford to have a notepad and pen in a selection of my pockets at all times, and if I want to share my data I can simply give the whole pad to that person! I've also noticed that I can freely mix drawings, and text in the same area and it doesn't constantly tell me how bad my handwriting is.

    I'm sure there must be a situations where PDAs using current technology must be useful, I'll even hazard a guess: mobile, local database access for doctors, engineers and stock controllers, but really that's an industrial application for a consumer product.


    • Dear; there's nothing revolutionary about pen and paper; that's exactly how I had managed most of my life before I got a PDA last century! I think things such as "'surfing' the web" are, for the most part, far from useful as far as a PDA's primary functions originally were. I'd agree that would mostly be using it as a toy. I started using PDAs in their early days and then watched them in horror being morphed from what they were, personal digital assistants, to gimmicky toys thanks to the section of consumer
  • No, im serious. I have never been fond of palm OS, but they do normally make decent hardware.

    Some of the older models do run other OS's, and putting something like opie on it would be nice.

  • Is this the best that Palm can do? The PDA market is going away and everyone knows it already except for Palm. Many players have been fleeing the PDA space in favor of the much more interesting (and useful) smartphone space. Only Palm would slap in additional storage in a device and assume that they had pushed the market forward. Its like they are stuck in 90's limbo world and can't get out of it.
  • by rho (6063) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @11:37AM (#12567073) Homepage Journal
    This is a nice device, to be sure, but I'm not sure why I should be excited about it.

    1) The main factor for making something "seem small" is to make it thin. The 15" Powerbook is actually quite large, but because it's thin it seems small. This thing is 3/4" thick.

    2) Brighthand seemed to indicate that it would make a good portable storage device for your digital camera. I don't get that either. The casual photographer who might want to offload vacation pictures isn't likely to buy a $500 device to do so. You can buy a lot of huge SD cards for $500. The professional photographer, who WOULD find this device useful, all use cameras that use CompactFlash. If this USB-thing Brighthand mentions actually works, then maybe--but the idea of having a seperate device is to pull out the card, put it in the device, replace the card with another card, and keep shooting. Also less than 4GB isn't much when you're dealing with 4-7MB RAW files (which I guarantee the LifeDrive app won't be able to read, although it may be able to pull out the JPEG preview). This may be quite the swell device for a Brighthand reviewer, but that's a terribly small niche market.

    3) What is the deal with WiFi on PDAs? People are obsessive about this, just as they all clamor for megapixel cameras on their cell phones. WiFi is a power hog. If I wanted to use WiFi on a Palm, I'd go for one of the Enfora [enfora.com] portfolios where I don't have to use my Palm's battery. Battery life is king on a PDA. At some point you would do better to simply go with a 12" Powerbook or iBook, and a 3/4" thick device with WiFi but no keyboard is probably that point. (And getting a megapixel camera on your phone is stupid so long as the image is taken through a shitty, fixed focus plastic lens. You get more blurry pixels--that's a Big Win there, chief.)

    4) Too expensive. I understand that in order to offer all these goodies, you have to charge for them, but if you drop this thing on the ground, or into the toilet, you've just ruined a $500 device. Everybody's tolerance is different, but for me, $200-ish dollars is that cutoff where I feel like I can replace 2 or 3 devices a year and not feel royally screwed. If I have a $500 device, I'm less likely to take it somewhere out of fear of busting it.

    5) Related to 4), but unrelated to the LifeDrive; professional reviewers suck for this reason: they didn't have to buy the damn thing with their money, so they aren't interacting with the device like other people would. If a professional reviewer accidentally sits on the fucking thing, they just phone up Palm and say, "Oopsie, send me another please." They also tend to parrot specs and press release material, and are pathologically uncritical. I've hardly ever seen a review where the reviewer revisits the device after using it for a few months--mostly because after the initial review, the reviewer has moved on to using whatever the next latest-and-greatest toy is, because, you know, everybody has endless time and money to constantly upgrade. Jesus Christ, I'm still using a IIIxe because it works, it's reliable, and I'm not swimming in free time and cash. (The best reviewer in the world is probably Dan [dansdata.com] even though he does have goodies provided to him on occasion.)

    6) No poofters.

  • "Linux PDA"? Is PalmOS 5.4 based on Linux? (I don't know, I'm still a happy m515 user :D)...
  • The photography on that review is appalling. Images are out of focus and too much flash is used.

    Did the guy even look at the images he was putting in the article?
  • i'm waiting for my cellphone attachment/todo list/calender upgrade for my PSP
  • by singularity (2031) * <nowalmart AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @12:38PM (#12567765) Homepage Journal
    I cling to my Sony Clie T665C. I keep thinking about going with one of the current Palms, but they offer so little beyond what my Sony does that there seems to be no reason to pay money for basically the same device.

    What do I use my Clie for?
    1) Keeping my calendar on me at all times. I do find that I am using it less now that I also have my iPod set up to keep sync'd with iCal. It is nice to be able to add appointments while on the go, though.

    2) Keeping the local bus schedules on me at all times. Without a car in a major metropolitan area, the ability to see when the next bus is coming is extremely handy.

    3) Being able to read the New York Times and Rueters on the bus on the way to work.

    4) Being able to get maps, walking directions, and local restaurants/bars/shops when I go out [vindigo.com].

    My friends used to laugh at me when I would stick my Sony in my jacket pocket before we would go out for a night on the town. The first few times I pulled it out and said "ok, there is an all-night eatery with good reviews about six blocks from here. Go three blocks in this direction and then turn left", though, they stopped making fun of it.

    In addition to everything listed above, I keep a few photos on it, a couple hundred addresses, and a couple thousand datebook entries. Even with this, I am barely breaking 8 megabytes of the 16 megabytes storage on the device.

    Sure, my 12" PowerBook could do most of what I have listed above. When I go out for a night, though, I cannot slip my laptop into my jacket pocket.

    All this desire for gigabytes of storage, hundreds of megahertz of performance, and wireless make little sense to me.

    This entire idea of convergence, with PDA/game device/cell phone/MP3 player/camera seems to be getting ridiculous. Palm seems to have completely ignored innovation on the low end of their devices.

    What ever happened to the idea of a simple device that did its job and did it well?
  • by foo fighter (151863) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @12:38PM (#12567766) Homepage
    I have a Tungsten T3 that I really love and that is practically glued to my back pocket.

    I love having a PDA for several reasons.
    * I have a complicated schedule that often changes and a poor memory. The Calendar on the T3 is great and a real life saver for me. Color-labeled calendars are awesome. Vibrating alarms are a must have feature for me. I hate cell phone rings, I hate pda alarm rings, I hate any stupid noise like that. Plus it's fun to legitemately have buzzing things in your pants pocket.
    * Having my next-tasks list on the same screen as that day's appointments - on the Agenda view - is great, a real productivity boost for me.
    * Having my entire address book in the T3 is also fantastic. My wife keeps her addresses in a traditional paper book and it is a mess of crossed out entries, personal contacts next to business contacts, etc. With the T3 I can easily enter, edit, categorize, and look up phone numbers and addresses (real and e).
    * I have a ton of lists: next actions, projects, waiting for, follow ups, someday, DVDs/Books/CDs/Websites to buy/rent/borrow/bookmark, Wine & Beer I like, etc. Between Tasks (which should be called Lists), Notes, and Memos it's easy to keep these things always at hand, categorized and easily editable. I could keep these in a paper notebook, but I again run into the problem of the notebook becoming a mess of crossed out items where I can't easily find what I'm looking for and that has to be manually copied when I fill up one book and get another.

    Bluetooth is nice to wirelessly sync the T3 to my PowerBook. It's cool to have family pictures and a pr0n stash readily viewable on a very nice display. The slider keeps the T3 nice and small in my pocket and nice and big in my hand.

    The lack of wi-fi isn't too big of a deal. It would be nice for email, but web surfing on that tiny screen is a bit masochistic. Also, the pathetic battery life would be worse with wi-fi. That's the biggest problem with the T3. A hard day's use makes it worthless that evening until you've charged it up again.

    Yes, my cell phone (Motorola V265) can do most of that stuff, but entering and editing the information is a *huge* pain in the ass. The tiny screen is also annoying and I basically just use the thing to hold other people's phone numbers, which aren't too bad to enter.

    I was looking to the Lifedrive to be a replacement for my aging T3. What I really want from my next PDA is a T3 with better battery life, a more modern operating system (ie Palm OS 6) for better multitasking and network connectivity, and wi-fi.

    OK, I got the wi-fi. But battery life doesn't look to be any better even though the Lifedrive has a bigger battery than the T3. Also, the included web browser looks to be almost useless to actually surf the web.

    I guess the brilliant slider is gone forever, which is really a crying shame. The Lifedrive is huge and heavy and not suitable for back pocket glueing. And no vibrating alarms! Ack! It still uses OS 5. Blech!

    I have no idea why anyone wants 4GB of storage in their PDA. From the reviews it seems all it does is slow down app loading times and suck battery life. I have a 1GB iPod flash that I use to listen to music and carry files. I have several .5GB SD cards scattered around for carrying files.

    I guess the "killer feature" of 4GB of storage is handheld video. Personally I think handheld video is completely braindead, as is anyone who seriously thinks it is a good idea. The Lifedrive can't even play standard TV resolution without dropping tons of frames. Why would you want to look at that? I doubt you could watch a feature length movie before the battery died. If I had very long commutes on public transportation I'd pull out my Powerbook or just a book.

    Oh, and having to pay extra for decent Mac connectivity is just assinine. (Palm Desktop is a dead horse. The Missing Sync from Markspace is necessary for proper T3-OS X interaction and costs $40.) I think the people who actually like
  • When are PDA manufacturers going to stop making gimmicks for playing games and videos and start making PDAs that you can actually use for work again? I must be really weird. Am I the only person in the world who misses the old clamshell design? I'd still be using my Psion 3 if it hadn't been stolen. Hell, I'm thinking of getting my Psion II back out in protest against he toys that PDA manufacturers are currently releasing. In fact, I would if I could get hold of a serial cable for it at a reasonable price.
  • From the Palmone web site:

    With new LifeDrive(TM) technology, you can quickly drag and drop thousands of files from your PC onto your LifeDrive mobile manager with the folder structure intact.

    It's called LifeDrive(TM) technology? I call that "having a file system". Have I accidentally fallen through a time warp. I mean we are half a decade into the 21st century aren't we?

    Of course what that paragraph reveals is that file support on the Palm has always been dreadful. The Palm has always had a flat fil

  • What I need to know from the reviews:

    - How much noise can it make? It lacks a vibration mode, ok, but my current PDA (Zire 31) never has a chance to wake me up.

    - How fast is the synchronization mode? It hurts when you have to install an application to use it as a drive. But if I can live with that (can I?) then how fast will it synchronize. Again, with the Zire31 this is a pain, especially if you see the speed difference with just putting something on an SD card.

    I cannot see how I could use it to play mo
  • Wonderful... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by absurdist (758409) on Wednesday May 18, 2005 @04:32PM (#12570648)
    However, the device seems to have a Linux-friendly design, and is likely to run Linux soon, whether supplied by PalmOne's sister company PalmSource, or by Linux hobbyists.

    Oh, goody.

    You mean like Open Zaurus? Which after HOW many years of development is still worthless as a PDA and somewhat less useless, but still extremely marginal as a Linux system? This isn't a flame, but a statement from someone who tried to get several revisions crufted into a working system on a SL-5500, and eventually gave up and went back to a Palm in frustration.

    If Palm actually comes out with a reasonably debugged, usable version of Linux running their existing UI, I'm all over it. Clean, simple, and elegant. If I have to wait for what passes for the Linux PDA community to come up with something usable, I might as well get a paper notebook and pencil.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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