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Suggestions for a PDA please

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  • PDA
  • Keyboards
  • Mobile Computing
Last response: in Mobile Computing
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July 19, 2002 6:47:17 PM

I'm looking into picking up a PDA. I primarily want it just for writing novels on (I prefer Word docs for this), but of course playing cute little games or programming on it would be cool too. And the ability to play MP3s would also be nice. ;) 

Oh, and Excel documents and/or some other type of programmable spreadsheet software would be really nice to have too.

Also, I was thinking that in order to save wear and tear on the screen (and to make life easier for me), I wanted to get a keyboard for it too. But if the keyboards are anything like the laptop keyboards I've used, I want it to be easily replacable. (There's nothing worse than sticky keys when you're trying to write a novel.)

So given all of this, can anyone give me some good suggestions for a PDA that they would really trust to be reliable and not have a built in keyboard, but have a good expansion keyboard (so that it's easily replacable)? Price kind of matters too, though if it's good enough to warrant more, I might consider paying more. I would see this as an investment after all. :) 

Thanks in advance for any help.

<A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/comic/171.htm" target="_new">The corpse you find may be your own.</A> - Black Mage

More about : suggestions pda

July 20, 2002 1:06:32 AM

I don't own one yet, but I've been doing my own research as well. Hope it helps. I read the article in Tom's about PDAs and have been partial to the ipaq series from Compaq. They use MS pocket pc, which has MS Word, MS Excel and a few other neat things.
http://athome.compaq.com/showroom/static/iPAQ/handheld_...

Microsoft, surprisingly enough, has a website for their pocket pc software that does a good comparison of some of the newer PDAs that are out right now.
http://www.microsoft.com/mobile/pocketpc/default.asp
It also has some descriptions of other software that's available for PDAs (ie Visual Basic).

I've also found prices on PDAs were about $50 dollars cheaper (than retail) @ www.pricewatch.com
Good luck!
July 22, 2002 4:43:04 PM

Thanks. :) 

So far I'm mostly weighing between the HP Jordana 548 and the HP Jordana 565. There seems to be a considerable cost difference between the two, which is where I am getting stuck.

The 548 <i>sounds</i> like it will be able to do exactly what I want with it's Pocket PC software. It's kind of slow and low on memory, but I was planning on using an external storage card anyway, so I don't care about low storage space.

The 565 though sounds like it has a newer version of Pocket PC software (2002) and I can't figure out if that actually makes any difference or not. I'm sure the all-around improvements will make it run better, but right now I'm more concerned about the software I think. After all, it doesn't really take much to write rich-text files.

Do you or anyone else know what difference (if any) there is between the two versions of Pocket PC software? I'd hate to pick up a buggy version or something.

<A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/comic/171.htm" target="_new">The corpse you find may be your own.</A> - Black Mage
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July 22, 2002 8:38:59 PM

I don't really think a PDA is any good for writing novels on. Nor does the pocket Word match up with any Word on the desktop. Tapping at the screen is definately out of the question as well, so I think you'd be better off just buying a thin notebook.
July 23, 2002 1:54:39 PM

Quote:
I don't really think a PDA is any good for writing novels on. Nor does the pocket Word match up with any Word on the desktop. Tapping at the screen is definately out of the question as well, so I think you'd be better off just buying a thin notebook.

Did I ask you for information about a notebook? No, I don't think so.

Maybe in your world people don't know what they need. However, in reality, I have already given it much thought. Thought which you appearantly ignored when giving your 'advice'.

I need something that is extremely portable. (Can you fit a thin notebook on your belt or in your pocket and cary it around with you wherever you go so that you don't miss moments of inspiration?)

I don't need it for doing page layout work. I just need something that I can use to read and write rich text files and/or Word docs. It doesn't have to look pretty as I write it on the PDA. Page layout doesn't even have to exist on the PDA. Text and basic font formatting (bold, italics, underline) have to go in, period. (And even that much isn't drasticly important so long as text itself goes in and out.) All <i>final</i> formatting will be done on an actual PC.

Furthermore, if you'd actually <i>read</i> my posts, you'd see that I have no intention of 'tapping on the screen'. I <i>plan</i> on getting a keyboard expansion for the PDA for the sole purpose that I <i>don't<i> have to tap on the screen. And this isn't so much because I have a problem with tapping on the screen, as it is I'd be afraid of excessive wear on the poor thing with as much writing as I expect to be doing on it.

If you want to be helpful, then please try to actually stick to answering the questions <i>I asked</i> instead of wasting both of our time by ignoring the thought and time that I've put into this by assuming that I don't have a clue what I do and don't need.

<A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/comic/171.htm" target="_new">The corpse you find may be your own.</A> - Black Mage
August 1, 2002 9:59:32 PM

I hope this reply finds you before you have made your PDA purchase. First, I would like to say that PDAs are a wonderful tool for the on-the-go person. There is a long list of the advantages and benefits of owning and working with a PDA. I have worked in the computer leasing and computer retail industry for some years before settling down in a telecommunications company in Europe. I have advised, sold and used a number of PDAs ever since they made their appearance on the market. I think there are two types of PDAs that would apply directly to your immediate and future needs. Lets start first with the handheld (HPC) PDA. The most universal and near PC-like of the smaller handhelds is the Hewlett Packard Jornada 720 0r 728 models. The first obvious advantage is the integrated keyboard, allowing quick response typing, but designed only for medium or small hands. The other advantage is the large display allowing a good view of text and graphics. The Jornadas come equipped with many features including a voice recorder, PCMCIA slot and expandable compact flash memory. They are both fully loaded with the latest Microsoft software (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook ect.). But being a used-to-be owner, I have found a few disadvantages of owning a Jornada 700 series PDA. First, is the size. It will fit into your purse or jacket pocket, if you don’t mind it getting a little scratched. But if you add the original HP carrying case then you will be stuck with an extra form of small luggage. Second, is the display. When you are indoors the display is clear and comfortable. But when you step outside into bright or direct sunlight, all images on the screen disappear. Third, is software compatibility. Because of the display type it is very hard to find compatible games and application software for this device. Most software ported for PDAs is done so for the specific display and CPU. That makes the Jornada 700 series 95% pure workstation and 5% playstation. My current PDA is a Sony Clie N770C. I think the Clie PEG-NR70V is more suited for your needs than the Jornada. It is small(fits into you shirt pocket), contains a built in digital camera, comes with Sony headphones for the media player, has a scroll dial on the side for easy paging through documents and has a built-in keyboard. It comes loaded with software and is memory expandable using memory sticks from Sony. The Sony device uses the Palm operating system. I recommend as an addition to your PDA a Case Logic carrying case. They have a lifetime guarantee and are stylish too. Also a Logitech KeyCase keyboard, that is foldable like a towel. It is made from a durable cloth type material. I hope I have been of some kind of assistance in your quest for a new PDA. There are lots of choices but what you need is “simplicity and accessories”.
August 15, 2002 6:13:44 PM

the clie however does not have as much ability and compatabilty as many other pda's. i own one and all the addition/expansion products are not made for it. It is terrible.

I wonder what would happen if everyone asked why about everything?
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