Saturday, January 21, 2006

PDAs and why I cannot use them

When I came to Colby College last fall, I brought with me a cornucopia of digital devices. Now, most of these devices I interact with and use on a daily basis, most notable are my alarm clock, laptop, digital camera, cell phone, iPod digital audio player (now replaced with my Cowon A2 PMP), and various other household electronics. I also brought with me a PocketPC – an HP Ipaq.

I’m not one of those people who likes to store every single detail of information on someone so that I have a complete database of emails, home phone numbers, work phone numbers, mobile phone numbers, home addresses, vacation addresses, secondary emails, zip codes, area codes, and whatever other codes there are out there. I rely on past messages to give me all the contact info needed to compose and send a text message, phone call, or email. And if they haven’t contacted me with their newest info, then why even bother storing the old one.

Other such applications for these PocketPCs are to jot down notes (like homework assignments) and to remind you of upcoming important events (due dates, birthdays, etc.). I’ve owned three such devices in the past, and all those times I’ve either not had the patience to store all the contact info I had (plus the entry I made would look very barren because I only entered in like 4 fields out of 40), or I accidentally forgot where I placed it only to find it 2 months later with no curiosity as to see what events I’ve missed during that time, if any.

But! Fear not, my consumer electronics brethren! I warranted such behavior on my youth, as the first Palm I owned was at the tender age of 12. The Palm M105, compared to the models out today, is like a 386 PC to a 3.8 GHz Alienware Area-51 behemoth; it just doesn’t compare. That was another thing I was hoping; surely by now they must have put better software on these things to make it easier for me to enter data. If you read my blog, you know I love streamlining things.

The screens of the new PocketPCs definitely look better, being all colorful and snazzy, but the functionality was just the same on the HP Ipaq as it was on the Palm M105. It was still hard to enter data and that damn technique of how to draw letters and numbers just irked me. At this point in my life, it is not absolutely imperative that I have the ability to check my email or voicemail wherever and whenever. I also don't need to surf the web "on-the-go," because frankly, I'm on a college campus and there is an ample supply of computers just floating around. Oh well, another couple of bucks down the drain for that device. With a new OS being touted by Microsoft – Windows Mobile 5.0 – for PDAs, PocketPCs, and whatnot, maybe in a couple of years I’ll fall into the consumer trap (for the fourth time) and buy another one of these devices out of pure curiosity. By the looks of the market, though, eventually I’ll have to buy one. Why, you ask? Well, they are implementing this technology into cell phones everyday, and owning a bulky PocketPC cell phone is all the rage these days with outstanding revenue generated from Palm Treo phones and Blackberry mobile devices. Motorola’s new flagship phone named “Q” looks like a winner, and I’ll have to see how that one performs in the upcoming months.

And come on…if Jack Bauer (from TV’s 24) is hardcore enough to carry around a Treo 650 cellphone/PocketPC and take high-quality snapshots with the phone’s integrated digital camera of Russian terrorists that have taken over a Los Angeles airport threatening to blow it to smithereens if their demands are not met, I should definitely own one too. Maybe then I can take high-quality digital pictures of grass, leaves, or maybe some nice, threatening rain-clouds.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Treo 650 and was quite surprised to see Jack taking pictures of the bad guys at the airport with a Sprint Treo. 'Cept his zoom was much better! Must be a CTU thing.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

The Motorola Q is a really good alternative to the bulkier Treo 650. As a Treo user myself, i can't wait to get my hands on the Q and try it out.

4:20 AM  
Blogger Ryan Kellett said...

Through high school, I always prided myself on having a sharp enough mind to remember everything without having to write it down in that red book. Now, I'm thinking about getting a PDA, though. When I was in China, I sure needed one to organize people and schedules but now that I'm going to college, I'm not so sure. I'm thinking about a Palm T|X since the Treo is so darn expensive with Verizon (and I can't take it traveling since it would run on CDMA not GSM). But The Moto Q sounds nice. Thanks for the heads up.

4:37 PM  

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