Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Different juice - technical problems

Since this is a tech blog, I won't refer to flight delays, although I have certainly had my share this week.
Instead I had electrical problems - due to an incorrect assumption.
Since my Sony NX60 handheld had a power brick which accepted the South African 220 volts without a problem, I assumed that the Tapwave Zodiac that I took with for gaming and my wife's Palm Zire 72 would be the same. They aren't - both come with power adapter plugs that only accept 110-120 volts input.
Fortunately, on a previous visit I had seen a 220 volt to 110 volt converter plug. It only cost slightly more than $10, and since we both required our handhelds for the important task of playing games we bought it.
I had initially thought of bringing my Sony PSP with, but decided that the Tapwave Zodiac would do, since I had several games for it as well as 2 pre-recorded TV shows on SecureDigital Card. Also, I left my Treo 600 behind, and brought an old unlocked GSM Motorola V60 for use with a PrePaid SIM card on one of the South African cellular networks. Ironically both the Sony PSP and the Treo would both handle 220 volts without an extra adapter.
Of course I couldn't do without a handheld computer, so I brought the Tungsten T3, for which I had just bought a travel charger for (otherwise it would require carting a cradle around just to recharge). The Zod (Tapwave Zodiac) would have been adequate, but I was concerned about "toasting" it with one of the games. I must confess that although I have had a couple of Fatal Errors from games they were only soft resets and the Zod is a pretty stable PDA.
However, I've grown to really like my Tungsten T3. With the slider closed it has a really small form factor and it has a more intelligent Virtual Graffiti area than the Zod (You cannot popup a virtual keyboard inside the Zod's Virtual Graffiti area). In fact the Virtual Graffiti and Portrait to Landscape mode is even better than that of the Dell Axim X30 Pocket PC - but that is another story. The Tungsten T3 also has the updated PIM applications (Alarms from Tasks etc.) and its screen is as good as, if not better than the Sony Clie NX60. The T3 is fast becoming my top choice to replace the handheld computer part of the Treo 600. Its main drawback is that the battery life sucks - possibly due to it being a used unit when I bought it.

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