minutia press.
Advice needed on PDA

Sorry, this post is not about push-down automata. I am in need of something electronic to manage my calendar and life a little better. I can get by with a paper calendar, but I think things would become easier if I had both home and work stuff on the same pages.

Any advice? If it uses a pen/stylus then it has to be fairly forgiving about bad handwriting. It would be nice if it boots instantaneously and uses almost no power. Bluetooth would be nifty to sync with certain computers at home, as might infrared or other wireless capabilities.

If it can manage a phone book and talk to my cell phone about people I need to call, that wouldn't be so bad either. And if it can convert into a jet pack to propel me out of bad meetings or traffic, I wouldn't complain.

Thanks for your help!


I've been using the Palm Tungsten T3 for about two months now. (Here's a link to the product page: http://www.palmone.com/us/products/handhelds/tungsten-t3/ ) It is, however, a stylus based text entry system. You can buy an external keyboard for it, but then you have an extra accessory to carry around with you. I will say that I do about 90% of the text entry for it on my PC. Then I sync it up and I can consult it to find my next meeting. I do occasionally take notes on it in meetings, and the text-entry is slower than I'd like. (The thing about all these systems is that you can't just write as you normally would. You have to form the letters as defined by palm. Its not a bad system; it just takes some getting used to.) The T3 has most of the other features you'd want, though. It has built-in bluetooth so if your cell phone supports bluetooth (not many nice phones do these days, but there are two or three models about to be introduced that look very promising in this regard) it can talk to it. It also has an IR port. If you want wifi, I believe there is an aftermarket card you can buy for it.

But, if you'd rather have a PDA with a built-in keyboard, check out the palm tungsten c (link: http://www.palmone.com/us/products/handhelds/tungsten-c/ ). Personally, I think I'd be just as fast with the pen-based entry system, but this is an alternative that some people really prefer.

Posted by: david at November 12, 2003 8:57 AM

I second the Palm recommendation -- I've got a Palm m505, and it's the only thing that's ever managed to keep me organized. The text entry system is kind of a pain to learn, but IMHO it's a bit better than Pocket PC's. The battery life on my m505 is really good, too. (I usually get at least a couple of weeks' light use on one charge.)

If you want to play around with the OS a bit, download the Palm OS Simulator (http://www.palmos.com/dev/tools/simulator/Palm_OS_52_Simulator_Rel.zip ), which is basically Palm OS 5 recompiled as a Windows app. It's not exactly what you'd get out of a real Palm OS PDA (vendors add their own little touches, like Sony's hideously-ugly custom launcher) but you can get the general idea.

Posted by: Greg at November 12, 2003 8:05 PM

I generally like the Palm handhelds (I have a measly m130). The silly thing is, being a reporter, it's very difficult to do anything without good old-fashioned pen and paper, which means I have to rely on my miserable handwriting. But the Palm is great for everything else.

Posted by: Rachel at November 12, 2003 10:14 PM