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Interested in buying a handheld

Last response: in Cell Phones & Smartphones
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Anonymous
February 22, 2005 4:48:08 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.handhelds (More info?)

I seem to be having trouble getting the information I need about
handhelds. I've never owned a handheld, but lately I've been thinking
I want something to keep information, and to give me reminders when
programmed to do so. I can't seem to find what I'm looking for without
paying for a lot of whiz bang stuff that I don't need. I'm hoping
somebody can help me.

Ideal for me:

An appointment book that can execute a program on a timer, and/or alert
me by shaking, beeping, or flashing at the appointed time.
Long battery life.
Something with plenty of memory, that doesn't lose all my files when I
do change the batteries.
Basic spreadsheet and word processing capabilities.
A basic browser. Not for Internet access, but for simply
viewing/editing information in HTML format.
A fast processor.
Optionally something I can program myself. I'm a fairly serious
developer, but haven't touched a handheld yet.


What I don't care for:

Internet connectivity, or a built in telephone.
A built in camera.
Games.

Can somebody help me get the best bang for my buck? All information
appreciated.

TIA
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 9:41:41 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.handhelds (More info?)

No advice? I figure you guys know handhelds. Is there a better forum?
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 5:18:43 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.handhelds (More info?)

Bruno wrote:
> On 23 Feb 2005 06:41:41 -0800, thurberk@cscsw.com came right out and
> said:
>
> >No advice? I figure you guys know handhelds. Is there a better
forum?
>
> Have you tried Google?

Can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not. Plain and simply, yes, I
have. I had trouble sorting out fact from fiction, and decided I would
rather talk to the experts. What do you know about handheld computers?
Related resources
February 23, 2005 7:12:54 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.handhelds (More info?)

On 23 Feb 2005 06:41:41 -0800, thurberk@cscsw.com came right out and
said:

>No advice? I figure you guys know handhelds. Is there a better forum?

Have you tried Google?


--
There are only two valid activities in this world:
personally attending to the injured and hungry,
and picking fights in newsgroups.
- Lore Sjöberg
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 1:55:19 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.handhelds (More info?)

What reply follows is mostly opinion.

On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 13:48:08 -0800, thurberk wrote:

> I seem to be having trouble getting the information I need about
> handhelds. I've never owned a handheld, but lately I've been thinking
> I want something to keep information, and to give me reminders when
> programmed to do so. I can't seem to find what I'm looking for without
> paying for a lot of whiz bang stuff that I don't need. I'm hoping
> somebody can help me.
>
> Ideal for me:
>
> An appointment book that can execute a program on a timer, and/or alert
> me by shaking, beeping, or flashing at the appointed time.

Most $10 data organizers can do this.

> Long battery life.

Most devices with fast processors or lots of memory(as opposed to Flash)
aren't good at this.

> Something with plenty of memory, that doesn't lose all my files when I
> do change the batteries.

Anything with internal flash storage or a memory battery-backup.

> Basic spreadsheet and word processing capabilities.

How basic? I haven't seen much for this outside MS Pocket Office and
Hancom Mobile office(WP, SS, Presentation)

> A basic browser. Not for Internet access, but for simply
> viewing/editing information in HTML format.

HTML is extremely hard to use effectively on a 240x320 display, and not
much better on 640x480, anymore.

> A fast processor.

How fast? More than 300Mhz may impede the battery-life request.

> Optionally something I can program myself. I'm a fairly serious
> developer, but haven't touched a handheld yet.

Well I definitely recommend the Sharp Zaurus for this, despite their lack
of English support for.... anything(this while having several domains
registered for such.)
>
>
> What I don't care for:
>
> Internet connectivity, or a built in telephone. A built in camera.
> Games.

Internet: most of your requirements make this possible/likely
Phone: you're asking for a handheld, not a cellular. Phone/PDAs are
primarily phones, even when designed more like PDAs
Games: Too bad you're getting it anyway. Because most people do want them.

>
> Can somebody help me get the best bang for my buck? All information
> appreciated.
>
> TIA

Bang for buck hint: Buy refurbished. Even if you pay to get a full-length
warranty, its usually about 20-30% cheaper, and refurbishing usually
includes replacing scraped-up plastic, IME.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 9:13:26 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.handhelds (More info?)

Devlor Nakarti wrote:
> What reply follows is mostly opinion.
>
> On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 13:48:08 -0800, thurberk wrote:
>
> > I seem to be having trouble getting the information I need about
> > handhelds. I've never owned a handheld, but lately I've been
thinking
> > I want something to keep information, and to give me reminders when
> > programmed to do so. I can't seem to find what I'm looking for
without
> > paying for a lot of whiz bang stuff that I don't need. I'm hoping
> > somebody can help me.
> >
> > Ideal for me:
> >
> > An appointment book that can execute a program on a timer, and/or
alert
> > me by shaking, beeping, or flashing at the appointed time.
>
> Most $10 data organizers can do this.

Excellent. I assume you mean the shake, beep or flash thing. If I
could get a data organizer to execute a program that I wrote myself, I
may not need anything else.
>
> > Long battery life.
>
> Most devices with fast processors or lots of memory(as opposed to
Flash)
> aren't good at this.

I realize there has to be a trade-off. On the other hand, I guess I
don't need a terrifically long battery life if I can change the
batteries easily, without losing files. I'm trying to get a better
handle on what to look for. If I have a 400Mhz processor, 64MB or
memory and another 64MB of flash, how long can I expect the battery to
last?

> > Something with plenty of memory, that doesn't lose all my files
when I
> > do change the batteries.
>
> Anything with internal flash storage or a memory battery-backup.

So what's a good metric? How much flash storage should I look for?
What does memory battery-backup mean?

>
> > Basic spreadsheet and word processing capabilities.
>
> How basic? I haven't seen much for this outside MS Pocket Office and
> Hancom Mobile office(WP, SS, Presentation)
>
> > A basic browser. Not for Internet access, but for simply
> > viewing/editing information in HTML format.
>
> HTML is extremely hard to use effectively on a 240x320 display, and
not
> much better on 640x480, anymore.

For my purposes, 240x320 would work just fine. I have 10 MB of
reference material, which may possibly grow to about 50. I've got a
little search engine that I wrote myself, which I hope I could port to
a handheld computer. I'd guess this requirement throws my data
organizer out?

> > A fast processor.
>
> How fast? More than 300Mhz may impede the battery-life request.

I want to be able to look things up on the hand-held at least as fast
as I could with the book in front of me. I know some people with
fairly new models who say they don't use the handheld for a reference,
because their fingers are faster. Well it seems to me that they should
have saved $200 or $300, and gone with the data organizer, right?

> > Optionally something I can program myself. I'm a fairly serious
> > developer, but haven't touched a handheld yet.
>
> Well I definitely recommend the Sharp Zaurus for this, despite their
lack
> of English support for.... anything(this while having several domains
> registered for such.)
> >
> >
> > What I don't care for:
> >
> > Internet connectivity, or a built in telephone. A built in camera.
> > Games.
>
> Internet: most of your requirements make this possible/likely
> Phone: you're asking for a handheld, not a cellular. Phone/PDAs are
> primarily phones, even when designed more like PDAs
> Games: Too bad you're getting it anyway. Because most people do want
them.

Well, I'm getting the idea. I end up paying indirectly for a lot of
things I don't need because they're whiz-bang marketing ideas. I'm not
particularly opposed to games or Internet connectivity--just prefer not
to pay for them.

> >
> > Can somebody help me get the best bang for my buck? All
information
> > appreciated.
> >
> > TIA
>
> Bang for buck hint: Buy refurbished. Even if you pay to get a
full-length
> warranty, its usually about 20-30% cheaper, and refurbishing usually
> includes replacing scraped-up plastic, IME.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll look into the Sharp and the data
organizer. Is the Sharp linux based?
!