Interested in buying a handheld - Handheld

This is a discussion on Interested in buying a handheld - Handheld ; I seem to be having trouble getting the information I need about handhelds. I've never owned a handheld, but lately I've been thinking I want something to keep information, and to give me reminders when programmed to do so. I ...

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Thread: Interested in buying a handheld

  1. Interested in buying a handheld

    I seem to be having trouble getting the information I need about
    handhelds. I've never owned a handheld, but lately I've been thinking
    I want something to keep information, and to give me reminders when
    programmed to do so. I can't seem to find what I'm looking for without
    paying for a lot of whiz bang stuff that I don't need. I'm hoping
    somebody can help me.

    Ideal for me:

    An appointment book that can execute a program on a timer, and/or alert
    me by shaking, beeping, or flashing at the appointed time.
    Long battery life.
    Something with plenty of memory, that doesn't lose all my files when I
    do change the batteries.
    Basic spreadsheet and word processing capabilities.
    A basic browser. Not for Internet access, but for simply
    viewing/editing information in HTML format.
    A fast processor.
    Optionally something I can program myself. I'm a fairly serious
    developer, but haven't touched a handheld yet.


    What I don't care for:

    Internet connectivity, or a built in telephone.
    A built in camera.
    Games.

    Can somebody help me get the best bang for my buck? All information
    appreciated.

    TIA


  2. Re: Interested in buying a handheld

    No advice? I figure you guys know handhelds. Is there a better forum?


  3. Re: Interested in buying a handheld

    On 23 Feb 2005 06:41:41 -0800, thurberk@cscsw.com came right out and
    said:

    >No advice? I figure you guys know handhelds. Is there a better forum?


    Have you tried Google?


    --
    There are only two valid activities in this world:
    personally attending to the injured and hungry,
    and picking fights in newsgroups.
    - Lore Sj÷berg

  4. Re: Interested in buying a handheld


    Bruno wrote:
    > On 23 Feb 2005 06:41:41 -0800, thurberk@cscsw.com came right out and
    > said:
    >
    > >No advice? I figure you guys know handhelds. Is there a better

    forum?
    >
    > Have you tried Google?


    Can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not. Plain and simply, yes, I
    have. I had trouble sorting out fact from fiction, and decided I would
    rather talk to the experts. What do you know about handheld computers?


  5. Re: Interested in buying a handheld

    What reply follows is mostly opinion.

    On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 13:48:08 -0800, thurberk wrote:

    > I seem to be having trouble getting the information I need about
    > handhelds. I've never owned a handheld, but lately I've been thinking
    > I want something to keep information, and to give me reminders when
    > programmed to do so. I can't seem to find what I'm looking for without
    > paying for a lot of whiz bang stuff that I don't need. I'm hoping
    > somebody can help me.
    >
    > Ideal for me:
    >
    > An appointment book that can execute a program on a timer, and/or alert
    > me by shaking, beeping, or flashing at the appointed time.


    Most $10 data organizers can do this.

    > Long battery life.


    Most devices with fast processors or lots of memory(as opposed to Flash)
    aren't good at this.

    > Something with plenty of memory, that doesn't lose all my files when I
    > do change the batteries.


    Anything with internal flash storage or a memory battery-backup.

    > Basic spreadsheet and word processing capabilities.


    How basic? I haven't seen much for this outside MS Pocket Office and
    Hancom Mobile office(WP, SS, Presentation)

    > A basic browser. Not for Internet access, but for simply
    > viewing/editing information in HTML format.


    HTML is extremely hard to use effectively on a 240x320 display, and not
    much better on 640x480, anymore.

    > A fast processor.


    How fast? More than 300Mhz may impede the battery-life request.

    > Optionally something I can program myself. I'm a fairly serious
    > developer, but haven't touched a handheld yet.


    Well I definitely recommend the Sharp Zaurus for this, despite their lack
    of English support for.... anything(this while having several domains
    registered for such.)
    >
    >
    > What I don't care for:
    >
    > Internet connectivity, or a built in telephone. A built in camera.
    > Games.


    Internet: most of your requirements make this possible/likely
    Phone: you're asking for a handheld, not a cellular. Phone/PDAs are
    primarily phones, even when designed more like PDAs
    Games: Too bad you're getting it anyway. Because most people do want them.

    >
    > Can somebody help me get the best bang for my buck? All information
    > appreciated.
    >
    > TIA


    Bang for buck hint: Buy refurbished. Even if you pay to get a full-length
    warranty, its usually about 20-30% cheaper, and refurbishing usually
    includes replacing scraped-up plastic, IME.

  6. Re: Interested in buying a handheld


    Devlor Nakarti wrote:
    > What reply follows is mostly opinion.
    >
    > On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 13:48:08 -0800, thurberk wrote:
    >
    > > I seem to be having trouble getting the information I need about
    > > handhelds. I've never owned a handheld, but lately I've been

    thinking
    > > I want something to keep information, and to give me reminders when
    > > programmed to do so. I can't seem to find what I'm looking for

    without
    > > paying for a lot of whiz bang stuff that I don't need. I'm hoping
    > > somebody can help me.
    > >
    > > Ideal for me:
    > >
    > > An appointment book that can execute a program on a timer, and/or

    alert
    > > me by shaking, beeping, or flashing at the appointed time.

    >
    > Most $10 data organizers can do this.


    Excellent. I assume you mean the shake, beep or flash thing. If I
    could get a data organizer to execute a program that I wrote myself, I
    may not need anything else.
    >
    > > Long battery life.

    >
    > Most devices with fast processors or lots of memory(as opposed to

    Flash)
    > aren't good at this.


    I realize there has to be a trade-off. On the other hand, I guess I
    don't need a terrifically long battery life if I can change the
    batteries easily, without losing files. I'm trying to get a better
    handle on what to look for. If I have a 400Mhz processor, 64MB or
    memory and another 64MB of flash, how long can I expect the battery to
    last?

    > > Something with plenty of memory, that doesn't lose all my files

    when I
    > > do change the batteries.

    >
    > Anything with internal flash storage or a memory battery-backup.


    So what's a good metric? How much flash storage should I look for?
    What does memory battery-backup mean?

    >
    > > Basic spreadsheet and word processing capabilities.

    >
    > How basic? I haven't seen much for this outside MS Pocket Office and
    > Hancom Mobile office(WP, SS, Presentation)
    >
    > > A basic browser. Not for Internet access, but for simply
    > > viewing/editing information in HTML format.

    >
    > HTML is extremely hard to use effectively on a 240x320 display, and

    not
    > much better on 640x480, anymore.


    For my purposes, 240x320 would work just fine. I have 10 MB of
    reference material, which may possibly grow to about 50. I've got a
    little search engine that I wrote myself, which I hope I could port to
    a handheld computer. I'd guess this requirement throws my data
    organizer out?

    > > A fast processor.

    >
    > How fast? More than 300Mhz may impede the battery-life request.


    I want to be able to look things up on the hand-held at least as fast
    as I could with the book in front of me. I know some people with
    fairly new models who say they don't use the handheld for a reference,
    because their fingers are faster. Well it seems to me that they should
    have saved $200 or $300, and gone with the data organizer, right?

    > > Optionally something I can program myself. I'm a fairly serious
    > > developer, but haven't touched a handheld yet.

    >
    > Well I definitely recommend the Sharp Zaurus for this, despite their

    lack
    > of English support for.... anything(this while having several domains
    > registered for such.)
    > >
    > >
    > > What I don't care for:
    > >
    > > Internet connectivity, or a built in telephone. A built in camera.
    > > Games.

    >
    > Internet: most of your requirements make this possible/likely
    > Phone: you're asking for a handheld, not a cellular. Phone/PDAs are
    > primarily phones, even when designed more like PDAs
    > Games: Too bad you're getting it anyway. Because most people do want

    them.

    Well, I'm getting the idea. I end up paying indirectly for a lot of
    things I don't need because they're whiz-bang marketing ideas. I'm not
    particularly opposed to games or Internet connectivity--just prefer not
    to pay for them.

    > >
    > > Can somebody help me get the best bang for my buck? All

    information
    > > appreciated.
    > >
    > > TIA

    >
    > Bang for buck hint: Buy refurbished. Even if you pay to get a

    full-length
    > warranty, its usually about 20-30% cheaper, and refurbishing usually
    > includes replacing scraped-up plastic, IME.


    Thanks for the feedback. I'll look into the Sharp and the data
    organizer. Is the Sharp linux based?


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