Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Mobile Internet

No, I'm not referring to mobile phones and the internet. I try to avoid paying by the kilobyte for checking email. I'm referring to accessing the internet via a Wireless access point using a handheld computer.

My experiences with my Palm handhelds were not promising:
First I tried to get status of eBay bids with Tungsten T3 and a Wi-Fi card - first couldn't get onto Google Mail, then I wasted 15 minutes trying to get onto eBay before I gave up. Using my Tapwave Zodiac and the Wi-Fi card gave me a Fatal Error - but I was running some utilities in the background, and need to try it with those switched off.

I had better luck with my Linux-based Sharp Zaurus.
I managed to get onto eBay with the Sharp Zaurus and a CF Wi-Fi card, and also managed to get onto Google Mail! The speed was also a lot faster than on the Palm Tungsten T3. The Opera browser also allowed me to have more than one window open at a time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Go figure

Yesterday a Handspring Visor Pro with 16MB RAM, a 33 MHz processor and Palm OS version 3.5.2.H sold for $145.50 on eBay.

About three hours before that a Tapwave Zodiac 2 with 128MB RAM, a 200Mhz Processor and Palm OS version 5.2.7, sold for $130.11 on eBay.

The Handspring Visor Pro doesn't have a color screen, but a 160 by 160 pixel 4-bit (16 shades of gray) monochrome screen. It weighs 5.7 oz and runs on 2 AAA batteries.

The Zodiac 2 has a 480 x 320 (half VGA), 16-bit color backlit display (65,536 colors), and weighs 6.3 ounces. It has an ATI graphics accelerator, Yamaha sound system, Bluetooth, two SD slots, one of them an SDIO slot for Wi-Fi cards etc.

Tapwave closed it doors in July 2005 when venture capital dried up.

Handspring was bought by Palm in June 2003

The only possible reasons I can think of for someone paying more for an older handheld (released in 2001) are:
- Palm still supports the Visors (see Palm Visor Pro Support)
- There are still numerous springboard expansions modules available for the Handspring, everything from MP3 players to voice recorders to GPS devices.
- The Visor Pro runs off AAA batteries

Monday, January 16, 2006


Just recently I got my hands on a HandSpring Visor Deluxe. This Palm OS handheld relic is the precursor to the Treo. I say relic, but the handheld still works - it uses AAA batteries so there is no rechargeable battery to wear out. The most interesting feature of all Handspring Visors was the springboard slot (see this article in the Wikipedia). This allowed the handheld to be expanded with peripherals like a GPS (which is why I got the Handspring), a backup module or "Memplug" memory expansion module. There is even a camera, a modem and a Wireless modem. One of the more interesting Springboard modules was the cellphone one. Slide it in and the Handheld was transformed into the first smartphone. Unfortunately the Handsprings were mainly bulky. the one which wasn't - the Visor Edge, allowed springboard modules to be attached via a sleeve. Handspring discontinued the Visor line in 2002 and brought out the first Treo. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

You can't make this stuff up

(but some people try anyway)

This morning on WABC New York (channel 7), after 7am and just before a weather forecast there was some segment on words of 2005. One of them was "Podcast". The meteorologist admitted she didn't know what most of the words meant. The anchorwoman of the "Eyewitness News This Morning" show said "Podcast, you know, what those Chinese people do...sing".
Michelle, you should have looked up the word on Wikipedia before trying to act like you knew what the word meant..
Wikipedia?...Oh, nevermind.