Palm Depression

At left is my new icon, a picture of my current PDA. PDA's were never super popular, and they're even less popular now that most people use their phones for the purpose PDAs were intended. For many reasons, I like having my information separate from my phone. I also like having my entertainment separate from my information, which I know makes me about the only person who still carries a phone, PDA, and MP3 player as separate devices. (Not to mention a stand-alone digital camera.)

Anyway, that's a whole spearate discussion I'm not sure I want to get into right now, mostly involving things like battery life. Right now I want to talk about depression.

I've upgraded my PDA about every three years for the past nine. First, I bought a Palm III in 1998. I acquired a Handera 330 PalmOS device in 2001. I bought a Palm Tungsten T3 in 2004 just after the T5 was released. Now it's 2007, and the most likely candidate for upgrade is the TX, which was actually released like two years ago. Palm, like the rest of the market, has mostly been focusing on "smart phones". Right now, I think only Palm and HP are even still in the market.

The main problem is that I use my PDA for all kinds of things. I now have calendar entries going back almost a decade, including all the major family milestones like births. I have thousands of items documented in a database, including all my books and CDs. I have notes, reference materials, pictures, etecetera and I don't see a good way of moving them off the Palm.

So the Palm Tungsten TX is probably the best choice for me, but let's get real, a lot has happened in the world of technology in the past two years. There are capabilities that weren't even considered in 2005 that are now viewed as necessary for a handheld device. For instance, high speed input for communication is now a must, and Graffiti 2 or the Treo keyboard just don't cut it.

Just today I found out something very exciting, though. Nokia has been releasing "internet tablets" for a few years now, and the next one slated for release (the N810) can emulate PalmOS Garnet in a virtual machine. Sweet! I can buy a piece of cutting edge hardware and not have to migrate off PalmOS? Great!

Hardware has advanced to the point that it can run the device I want as an application internal to its own device? Now I'm depressed.

2007.11.14 at 12:00am EST