PDA: Plastic Dinky Anachronism?

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The new Palms are here. Does anyone care?

Sales of PDAs are falling fast and analysts note that many of their previous functions have migrated to smart cell phones. Has ever a device fallen out of favor faster, besides orgone accumulators I mean.

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  1. I bought a Treo 600 when they first came out (It’s a phone with an integraged Handspring device(read Palm)), and I love it!

    One device; you know, cargo pants don’t look good with a tie and jacket! For those of you who may have something similar, I suggest checking out Chatopus; the instant messaging program for Palm OS.

    Now I have my phone, e-mail (configured to work with my Exchange Server), IM, contacts, calender, Task List and Web Access in something the size of a deck of cards. With some extra software, I have access to all the documents on my computer also (like a Blackberry).

    Finally I can have my cake and eat it too! God bless you Handspring!

    (Darn! Handspring was bought by Palm.)

  2. Completely agree. My Palm Vx digitizer is now so constantly out of whack it’s useless and after being briefly bummed I realized it doesn’t matter since just about everything can go on my phone now.

  3. If cellphones are taking on the qualities and attributes of PDAs it doesn’t mean that PDAs have failed and fallen out of favor but that they’re so useful and their functions so desireable that even unrelated devices are picking them up.

    Basiccally the issue is that most people can only carry around one device at a time, so the smart thing to do is to get one with everything.

    Next phone upgrade I get I’m going to look to combine my PDA, phone, and MP3 player into a single device. I’ll probably stick to a stand-alone digital camera though.

    Of course, there are still bugs to be worked out, the interface on most phones I’ve seen is clumsier than PDAs.

  4. If I used a cell phone much, I’d probably get one with combined functions. As it is, I keep a Tracfone for occasional use and a Palm Tungsten for all the useful information I need to carry around.

    But I do notice that the Tungsten crashes almost daily, which the Handspring I had before didn’t do.

  5. Will someone please confirm for me that I’m not the only one in the developed world who has never used or owned a Palm or PDA or even a “smart” cell phone? My cell phone is actually pretty dumb – all it can do is make phone calls!

  6. ha! i don’t even own a cell phone. 🙂

    much less a pda. or an ipod, though that would be a nice christmas gift.

  7. PDA implants. Right on your palm.

  8. I don’t use them, but my wife has been thinking about it. For you folks with the combined function phones – are they annoying to use? I find that many of the functions on my Nokia cell are just annoying to use because the buttons are so small and I hate 2=ABC typing. If I had to enter anything like what I use Outlook for on my phone, the thing would probably be eating buckshot before long.

  9. Now, an IPOD with a chess game, now we can talk…

  10. Eric,
    I’m with you. I’ve never used a Palm, PDA, or smart cell phone – even though I am a patent attorney slightly involved in the technology. I DO own a cellphone, but it has not been turned on in months. I don’t care to get calls that much at home or work – why invite calls when I could otherwise be left alone? I bought my first PC around 1981, but I’m a late adopter of the hand-held devices.

  11. Eric,

    Owned One. Tossed it in the trash two years ago (literally).

    I am Palmless and my cell phone doesn’t take photos either, which is only a useful function if you see some hot chick at the beach and want your buddies at work to see what they are missing out on.

    No pager either, even though several clients have offered to buy me one.

    And, top this, only five people on earth actually have my cell number.

    Sure, I love technology, just not that stuff.

  12. they have those already…they’re called laptops. 🙂

  13. I prefer to be my own personal Orgone Accumulator.

  14. I had a Palm and hated carrying it around. All the phone/PDA hybrids have a high suckage factor so far, though they are getting much better. I hope that by the time I get my next phone, a year from now, they’ll be at the point where the combos are actually pretty good and reasonably priced. I don’t care too much about the MP3 player factor since I already have one and presumably, the phone/pda/mp3 player wouldn’t have much in the way of memory (at least not 15 gigs worth).

  15. I love convergence so much, I even sync my Microsoft Outlook info (contacts/email) with my iPod. I agree with the above commenter – that PDAs have fallen out of fashion doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful. It means that the type of person who would carry a PDA has already figured out a way not to need one anymore.

  16. I carry 2 devices, my Motorola T730 cell and a HP 2215 PocketPC. I like the small form of my cell and love the bigger screen on my PDA. One of my biggest paranoia factors is having my phone rely on some OS (Palm or PocketPC Windows or whatever) that can flake out and deny me access to the phone. The “OS” on my Motorola isn’t very likely to crash to the point where I can’t use the phone.

    And, on a side note, the carrier I use (Verizon Wireless) doesn’t offer a hyper-cool PDA/Cell combo that I’d buy anyway. And I won’t give up Verizon for anything. (the rest suck here in San Diego)

  17. Douglas Fletcher:

    PDA implants. Right on your palm.

    As in “Write on your palm”?

    Also, I’m imagining holding my thumb to my ear and talking into my pinky…

  18. Douglas Fletcher:

    PDA implants. Right on your palm.

    As in “Write on your palm”?

    Also, I’m imagining holding my thumb to my ear and talking into my pinky…

  19. Oy vey. A duplicate submission five minutes apart..?

  20. “It means that the type of person who would carry a PDA has already figured out a way not to need one anymore.”

    yeah, it’s called an ipod, i.e. the next big thing. 🙂

    seriously, i remember when those shits were all over the place, nerds trading software and all that shit…

    …now it’s those damn white earbuds.

  21. dhex, Jason Ligon, KentInDC, TWC,

    Thanks very much! Now I don’t feel quite so technologically backward.

  22. I build software that makes PDAs into cell phones, and cell phones work over the Internet for a living, and I refuse to carry either. I get a lot of strange looks after business contacts ask me for my cell number.

  23. I have a PDA and I love it. I just don’t use it as an organizer, but as a really expensive ebook reader. I mean, I can read it in total darkness, store a bookshelf’s worth of books, and it can also play tetris. I also dump web pages and stuff that I want to lug around but not print out onto it.

    … but as an organizer? No…

  24. GaryM-

    I agree. I had two rock-solid Handspring Visors (Deluxe, then Prism) in a row, and finally took the plunge with Palm Tungsten T3. Most of the time it works, works well, and it surely is one of the sweetest little computers I have ever owned in 25+ years around personal computing. But my T3 does seem to crash far more often than the two Visors ever did. Also, I miss the uber-calculator that the Visors had. I had hopes that the post-Handspring-merger Palm OS 5 machines would assimilate a comparable calculator, but no such luck.

    Part of switching to the T3 was the allure of being able to consolidate several functions into one. Now, in addition to the original organizer, game, and DB functions of the Visors, I have Mp3 playback (gave my Nomad player to my son), and voice memo recording (which alloed me to put my dedicated voice recorder on the shelf). Because the T3 recharges in its cradle, I save on batteries for the now obsolete mp3 player and voice recorder, too.

    Until the combo-beasties can perform all of their many functions without having them interfere with each other (or crashing the PDA altogether), however, I will probably keep my PDA and cell phone separate.

  25. Regarding all the posts about how all in one gadgets don’t click…the Treo 600 rocks!

    It does it all…one device! Sure it’s expensive, but it costs less than both a good PDA and a good phone.

    And I have the internet in my pocket. With Google and Mapquest in my pocket, I’m the most knowledgable guy in the room and I never get lost.

    P.S. I do wish it had bluetooth.

  26. Careful which pocket you put it in, one day you might find it up your ass.

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