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03/08/2004: "what to do?"


I think it was four years ago that my wife decided that she'd heard enough whining and surprised me with a Palm PDA at Christmas. That original one broke, but was replaced with a brand-new m100, which I've had ever since.

Unfortunately, almost two years ago it started having issues with battery replacements. Sometimes it would simply lose all data for no reason. Now, it fairly reliably loses all information when I replace the batteries. Argh.

I've found a Canadian PDA repair service that also deals in new and used parts. I could, for a moderate sum, buy a used motherboard (and upgrade to 8MB) that will work with my existing shell and screen. I was going to do that a while ago, but at the time it was behaving fairly well.

Just today, however, I changed the batteries and once again was greeted with "Erase all data?" Argh. I hit "another key", and it went into Spirit mode, rebooting itself over and over, which even hard resetting didn't cure. I had to take the batteries out, and put them back in before it behaved.

I've also realized that despite holding all my contact info, I rarely use it for anything more than playing Solitaire in the bathroom (better than reading material), and occassionally use it to actually find contact information for someone. For something used so little, it sure takes up a whack of space in my pocket. I hate to think it, but I wonder if it's time I simply did away with it, and got something else?

I recently saw Palm IIIxes advertised for $80. That could be an option. At the same time, I really don't need the "power" that a Palm has. Perhaps just a simple organizer - with a smaller pocket footprint - would be in order. Or perhaps there is software I can install on my USB pen drive that will be just as useful, save for when I'm away from a computer.

As it is, I don't have a lot of discretionary income to throw at what amounts to a toy right now. At the same time, I don't want to give up both a fun gadget and a present from my wife. I need options, but first I need to really decide what I need in terms of personal electronics - if anything at all.

Replies: 2 Comments

on Monday, March 8th, Hat Daddy said

You said: "...but first I need to really decide what I need..."

unfortunately, we, your loyal fans, can't really be of much help to you until you decide on that one issue.

But if you're looking for ideas, I have a couple, based on my list-o-things I'd do if I scored a PDA.

1) E-book reader. There are thousands of ebooks available for free online. There's also an Acrobat PDF viewer for Palm units (don't know if it'll work for your unit, though)

2) Personal wiki for content generation. http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?PalmWiki links to a page describing a hack you can use for that. Combined with a decent input device, you should be o-ok for writing stuff from the Palm.

3) Reference tool. This is a specialization of 1 and 2. What you could do is some research to put together a set of tools to help you look up or study various subjects - a bible reference tool might have 1 or two translations of the bible, plus an app to help you take notes (if Notes doesn't cut it). Or, you could create a set of linked HTML pages that you can refer to for work-related information (nod to the PalmWiki as a means to help you create that content)

But personally, I think you much prefer to read stuff off of it than input stuff into it. Sell what you've got, and get an iPod mini. That's the clear, and trendy choice to make. :)

on Tuesday, March 9th, mr.ska said

Although your ideas have merit, the point has been missed. I'm not even sure I need a PDA, let alone the additional functionality that you're talking about. Do I get my Palm fixed, or sell it? If I sell it, do I replace it with something lower-tech, or with pen and paper?

Although a mini iPod sounds nice, it's still way too much to spend. The last thing I need is an MP3 player.

Maybe it's time to peruse ThinkGeek.com and see what they have. Heck, maybe RadioShack.ca will do me.

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