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the next evolutionary step : PDA + hard drive

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Anonymous
July 24, 2004 12:13:24 AM

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

It seems to me it is only a matter of time
before conventional PDAs have actual hard drives
built into them, not merely flash memory.
Presently the devices with hard drives are
of course MP3 players and video players.
These can double as general storage devices
and one of them (an iriver device) can download
images from a digital camera. When PDAs finally
have hard drives though, they will be much more
useful: for collecting photos, for holding
music collections, playing video etc.
Anonymous
July 24, 2004 8:50:31 AM

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

ziliath@myway.com (ziliath) wrote in
news:6b963d7f.0407231913.108e9c62@posting.google.com:

> It seems to me it is only a matter of time
> before conventional PDAs have actual hard drives
> built into them, not merely flash memory.

Before that can happen, there has to be a breakthrough in
battery technology. PDAs now only have a few hours' battery
life, and if a hard drive were added that would be reduced to
perhaps an hour, perhaps less. That little time makes the
device not very useful, no matter how much storage there is.
And with 1 GB SD cards now available, and likely much larger
coming soon, a hard drive becomes much less attractive, both
because of the power they draw but also because of their
relative fragility compared with flash memory cards.

--
Regards,

Stan
Anonymous
July 24, 2004 2:47:43 PM

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

Maybe you know these IBM Microdrives for CF? I've got one. So this fantasy
has already come true.
BUT it drains the battery as fast as within one and a half hours. No
pleasant thing on the go!
Try another dream

Working in a NX70 with 1GB storage.
greetz
Related resources
July 24, 2004 6:45:45 PM

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

RE/
>It seems to me it is only a matter of time

That's my hope.

I'd like to see my iPod, Clie, and cell phone merge into a single device.

Doesn't seem to me like battery life would be that big a problem if the PDA
worked mainly out of memory like it does now. My iPod is good for six hours of
listening in shuffle mode against tunes ripped at 320...and that's about as
miserable a battery life as there is. I think iRiver users claim 12-16 hours
of continuous use.
--
PeteCresswell
Anonymous
July 24, 2004 10:45:09 PM

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

Stan Gosnell <me@work> wrote in message news:<Xns952FF28601A3Dstanghalpc@204.52.135.40>...

> Before that can happen, there has to be a breakthrough in
> battery technology. PDAs now only have a few hours' battery
> life, and if a hard drive were added that would be reduced to
> perhaps an hour, perhaps less. That little time makes the
> device not very useful, no matter how much storage there is.
> And with 1 GB SD cards now available, and likely much larger
> coming soon, a hard drive becomes much less attractive, both
> because of the power they draw but also because of their
> relative fragility compared with flash memory cards.

I believe Sony just announced that their new digital walkman
will last for many hours more than the iPod.

I suppose the problem is that Windows CE is set up to make
excellent use of a hard drive than PalmOS, but PalmOS which
is inferior in this respect is that OS for lower-power devices.
Anonymous
July 24, 2004 10:46:52 PM

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

"(Pete Cresswell)" <x@y.z> wrote in message news:<d1s4g0lpkc21d08uag6icd2moqemfbr4gs@4ax.com>...
> RE/
> >It seems to me it is only a matter of time
>
> That's my hope.
>
> I'd like to see my iPod, Clie, and cell phone merge into a single device.
>
> Doesn't seem to me like battery life would be that big a problem if the PDA
> worked mainly out of memory like it does now. My iPod is good for six hours of
> listening in shuffle mode against tunes ripped at 320...and that's about as
> miserable a battery life as there is. I think iRiver users claim 12-16 hours
> of continuous use.

Exactly. Incidentally I saw a news story claiming that Sony
is leaving the PDA market entirely.
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 2:49:43 AM

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

"(Pete Cresswell)" <x@y.z> wrote in
news:D 1s4g0lpkc21d08uag6icd2moqemfbr4gs@4ax.com:

> Doesn't seem to me like battery life would be that big a
> problem if the PDA worked mainly out of memory like it does
> now. My iPod is good for six hours of listening in
> shuffle mode against tunes ripped at 320...and that's about
> as miserable a battery life as there is. I think iRiver
> users claim 12-16 hours of continuous use.

But an iPod has no high-resolution touch screen, which uses lots
of power, nor a fast CPU that also uses lots of power. Most of
the power usage from a PDA is the screen, with the CPU not all
that far behind. Add a mechanical hard drive, and your battery
will be flat very quickly. Playing tunes doesn't take much
power in comparison. I can play mp3 or ogg files on my Zire,
with the screen off, for hours - it's like having the Palm
turned off.

--
Regards,

Stan
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 4:15:43 AM

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

In article <6b963d7f.0407231913.108e9c62@posting.google.com>,
ziliath@myway.com (ziliath) wrote:

> It seems to me it is only a matter of time
> before conventional PDAs have actual hard drives
> built into them, not merely flash memory.
> Presently the devices with hard drives are
> of course MP3 players and video players.
> These can double as general storage devices
> and one of them (an iriver device) can download
> images from a digital camera. When PDAs finally
> have hard drives though, they will be much more
> useful: for collecting photos, for holding
> music collections, playing video etc.

An MP3 player, only runs the hard disk for a few seconds every 20
minutes The rest of the time, it plays music out of the RAM cache.

When the MP3 player does access the disk drive, most of its time is
spent reading large files sequentially. Random seeking requires the
most power in a disk drive.

If you are going to replace the static memory with a disk drive, then
every time you launch an application, it is going to have to fire up the
disk. Spinning up the disk requires more power then just spinning the
disk at constant speed. Every time you read or write a record you will
be doing seeks.

Also because applications database files will be constantly growing (new
memos, new ToDo's, new alarms, etc... This is going to fragment the
disk so that you will force the disk to seek even more frequently,
drawing largest amount of power.

Memory chips have faster access than disk drives. Waiting for a disk to
spin up so you can access it will annoy people.

Finally, disk drives are larger than the current memory chips used by
PDAs, so that more room will be required for the disk. MP3 players do
not have Cameras, they do not have WiFi/BlueTooth chips to incorporate.
They have smaller screens that take up less space. They do not have
keyboards (not all PDA have keyboards either, but the ones that do,
trade off space for them).

There are a lot of reasons why it is unlikely that hard disks will be
standard in PDAs. It might happen, especially if some vendors figures
out how to drop the power needs further.

However, I think it more likely that non-volatile memory will provide
higher densities at least fast enough to keep the PDA community happy.

Bob Harris
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 12:55:16 PM

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

Well think of the portable Archos video player.
Video requires almost constant hard drive access.
Maybe it's not seeking but it's constantly spinning,
reading contiguous files.

As for database files etc., I expect a hybrid solution
would work best, with truly random-access data
being put in a small flash memory, e.g. 32 megs,
and the hard drive being used only for music, video,
voice recording and photos.

Contiguous files are mainly a software problem;
if they write the allocator for it then it can be
achieved most of the time.

Or, they could decrease the amount of seeking by
increasing the block size...e.g. instead of 4kB going up
to 256kB.
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 9:05:35 PM

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

On 23 Jul 2004 20:13:24 -0700, ziliath@myway.com (ziliath) was
understood to have stated the following:

>It seems to me it is only a matter of time
>before conventional PDAs have actual hard drives
>built into them, not merely flash memory.
>Presently the devices with hard drives are
>of course MP3 players and video players.
>These can double as general storage devices
>and one of them (an iriver device) can download
>images from a digital camera. When PDAs finally
>have hard drives though, they will be much more
>useful: for collecting photos, for holding
>music collections, playing video etc.

Actually, given how much I hate the "all in one" concept, I would like
to see a device like the X-Drive, and some software that would allow
you to copy files from it *to* a memory card that's plugged in. That
way, I can have tons of stuff on an 80gig X-Drive, and just load what
interests me at the time onto the various cards I own.
!