A Palm T|X Replacement June 1, 2009Posted by rm42 in Computers, Uncategorized.
Since the introduction of the Palm Pilot, in the mid 90’s, people have been enjoying the ability of having instant access to one’s data almost any where and at any time. Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) have also saved many of us afflicted with bad memories from getting in trouble by reminding us of one important event or another. However, their use has not always been devoid of headaches. While PDA users are notorious for the love they have for their little devices, they have always wished for one improvement or another. Nevertheless, when I bought my Palm T|X I thought I was going to be all set. It seemed to have all I really needed and more. It had a very nice screen with great resolution. It was much faster than any of my previous devices and could handle music and video with no problem. It was compatible with my collection of Palm programs that I had accumulated over the years. It even had wi-fi connectivity to check Google Maps and browse the Internet at any hot spot for free. What more could I want? Well, how about durability?
My Palm T|X began showing problems after about 7 or 8 months of use. It seemed that some areas of the screen were becoming desensitized. I had not purchased an extended warranty since I am usually very careful with my things and it would have added a lot to the cost of the device. Unfortunately, the problem kept getting worse and worse, until it finally became completely unusable. The cost for repairing it (I can’t remember exactly what it was right now) seemed ridiculously high. It was obvious that they had set it so high to discourage people from availing themselves of it and to steer them instead towards simply buying a new replacement. To say that I was very disappointed at the quality of Palm’s craftsmanship is an understatement. At the time the iPhone had not yet been released, and my only alternative would have been to buy a device with Windows CE on it. I really was not interested in buying a smart phone that would require an expensive data plan. So, very reluctantly, I decided to give Palm one more chance and I bought my second Palm T|X, my last one. Unfortunately, after about 8 or 9 months, the screen began to give me trouble again. I purchased a program called PowerDiGi which alleviated some of the screen problems, temporarily. But, eventually the device also became unusable. What to do?
I guess that what I would love to have is a small portable device, that wouldn’t require waiting for it to boot, that gave me access to my data without requiring a cellular data plan, and that was able to give me audible reminders.
Well, for the moment, I went back to a paper based agenda. It has some advantages, such as an unbeatable resolution, even under bright direct sunlight. It doesn’t need to be recharged and never runs out of power. And, it is very reliable. However, some of its disadvantages are that it tends to get full rather quickly. There is no efficient way of transferring its data when upgrading to a newer model. And, it completely lacks one of the most important features of a PDA (at least for me), audible reminders.
So, I think I do want go back to some form of PDA. But what is there available to me? Paying $300+ a year to Palm, with plenty of aggravations, for the luxury of having a PDA seems a bit high to me. I do have a cell phone (through AT&T), but paying another $40 a month (on top of my current cell phone charges) to have a smart phone does not feel very smart in my case. Nevertheless, I am tempted. I am especially tempted by the Android OS. First of all, it runs Linux! 🙂 Secondly, I am a heavy user of Google Apps. I migrated our office to Google Apps Premier Edition and have to offer support for it. So I am rather knowledgeable on its use and its features. Having access to my Google Apps any time any where is certainly luring. No more having to transfer my data from one device to another. The data all resides in one place, securely. But, that would mean changing carrier and, again, adding a data plan. Is the privilege of getting reminders and not having to transfer my data manually really worth the cost of the data plan? I am not sure yet.
I guess that what I would love to have is a small portable device, that wouldn’t require waiting for it to boot, that gave me access to my data without requiring a cellular data plan, and that was able to give me audible reminders. Does such a thing exist outside of Palm and Windows CE? Well, there are rumors of an interesting device from Nokia called N900, but I am not sure about its features yet. It does seem to be a Linux device, which for me is a big plus, and since it is made by Nokia, it is probably programmable with the Qt toolkit which I am familiar with from KDE. If the Trolltech guys are behind this device and are able to turn it into a fully open platform, I may be swayed into going with it instead of going with Android. I do enjoy coding in Qt more than in Java. Yes, it does seem to be described as an “Internet Tablet” which would likely mean that a data plan is required to take advantage of all its features, but would it be usable without a data plan? Would it be able to provide audible reminders for me? I need more details before deciding.
The iPhone store is not my thing. Yes, I am tight fisted with my money. Hey, we are in the middle of an economic recession, and not just any recession. They are calling this one, “The great recession”. The only thing I know for sure is that I will not be getting a Windows CE device (since I do not want to contribute to the monopoly that is trying to destroy my favorite OS), and that I will not be getting a Palm device. Even though the PalmPre is a Linux device, I am through with Palm and its shoddy craftsmanship.
Are you a Palm T|X user? What are your plans for a replacement?