Switched from Palm to Pocket PC

I’ve always wanted to own a Personal Digital Assistant or PDA. When I did begin using one, I rarely use it for it’s real purpose though: a digital Filofax (a place to keep all my appointments and contacts). I use it more as a digital journal where I wrote my thoughts anywhere I go. That and basically have a portable computer that can fit in my pocket. Yes, I’m such a nerd.

The first PDA I ever owned was a pathetic and unreliable little thing called a DaVinci. It’s similar to a Palm Pilot (the actual device uses the same processor used by Palm Pilots of the day) except this one had poor handwriting recognition and it shut down intermittently. I returned the sorry thing and got a refund only after a lot of arguments with the shop that sold it to me.

I’ve always bought into Palm-powered PDAs after that. I’ve owned a Palm m105, a Palm m125 and, recently, a Sony Clie TG-50. I was a Palm fanatic. Until a couple of days ago, that is. Last Friday, I “defected” over to the Pocket PC camp.

I wanted to replace my Sony Clie since late last year. I originally bought the Clie for its built-in mini keyboard. But after using it for a while, I realised that it is actually easier and faster to just write using Palm’s Graffiti writing software.

Also, while it is mp3 capable and it comes with its own limited mp3 player software, its audio hardware isn’t compatible with standard Palm mp3 software therefore prohibiting me from replacing it with a more feature-packed player.

At first, I thought about getting a Palm Zire 72 for its built-in camera, bigger memory, dedicated writing area (silk screen) and mp3 capabilities. However, doing a bit of research on this model, I’ve uncovered that the Zire 72 has a high probability of having problems with the battery draining out during the night (and consequently, losing all data on the memory), with security software that doesn’t function properly and with the stylus tracking accuracy deterioration. I’m not actually surprised with the last problem because my Palm m125 suffered from that problem in the end.

So, I’m thinking, all Palm PDAs might have the same problem. Since my Sony Clie was pretty stable, I thought that maybe I should just get another Sony Clie like the acclaimed Sony Clie TH55. However, when I tried looking for more information regarding that PDA on Sony’s website, I can’t get anything. Then, I found out why: Sony exited handheld market.

That meant that if I stick with using Palm-powered PDAs, I’d have to buy an actual Palm PDA (no Clies and no Handspring Visors anymore). After what I found out about Palm PDAs, I was no longer willing to buy a Zire or any other current Palm PDA model for that matter. I still wanted to replace my PDA though so I had no choice but to look at the competition: the Pocket PC.

Both Raquel and I didn’t know anything about Pocket PCs. Which brands and/or models are good? Are the models being sold in the shops the latest models? I did some research on the web. Based on my budget for a new PDA and acceptable specifications, I decided to go for an HP iPAQ hx2110 last Friday.

Well, it wasn’t a disappointment! I love it. I did miss some of the things I liked about the Palm software in general and the Sony Clie in particular like the jog dial which I now realised I was heavily reliant on.

Also, being a Windows user for a very long time, I was pleasantly surprised at how much using Pocket PC’s Windows Mobile 2003 OS felt familiar. And since I’m also a Microsoft software developer, if there’s any software I’d like to have on my Pocket PC, I can just make one myself. I’m quite happy with the switch. I just wish I made the switch a long time ago.

Published in: on February 27, 2005 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment