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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

I have a Palm Tungsten C. I love it. It's the PDA made for me. The screen is a comfortable size for reading books, and is nice and bright when I want it to be. The keyboard is responsive and the weight is good, and the touch screen, well, exists. I don't want a phone, and I don't care that I have an impossible time getting the WiFi to work. They don't make them any more. They'd rather sell smartphones with smaller screens.

This is my second one - technically, my third. I lost my first one. We bought the second off eBay - a used, refurbished one - and it didn't quite work. Wonky touch screen. We sent it back and bought one that had never BEEN used. Sat in the guy's desk for a year. And I've been happily using that one.

But things age, and the battery was not holding a charge as long as it had been, AND it was taking less time to charge fully. Time to get a new battery, thought I. So, done. Got the battery and the tool to open the unit. All seemed well until we put it back together and there is nothing on the screen. And it's been recharging all day.

These are our options: Get it repaired by a professional. Buy a used one (again) from eBay. Upgrade to a Centro or some other smartphone.

That last is the court of last resort. I don't want one.

There's a guy online who repairs PDAs and everyone thinks he's great. We're emailing him now.


I felt your pain. I did I did I did. I even replaced the battery myself on my Palm Tungsten E2 (successfully).

OTOH, much as I hate to say it, the world is gonna catch up to you and tell you that you gotta find another platform- because at some point in the next few years the Palm Tungsten will end up being about as supported as Windows 95. *sigh*

I did NOT want a brick of a cellphone- always hated them. But I did look at the Apple iPod Touch (or iTouch)... and while it has some disadvantages, overall I've been very happy with it as a replacement for the (dying) Palm platform.

Gary McGath just made the jump, too- and seems to be pretty happy with it.

Good luck, dear.

I went from the Tungsten C to the TX and then to the iPod touch myself; I've posted some of my thoughts about the comparison. Because I went to the TX first, I had time to get used to the lack of a hardware keyboard.

That was interesting - I hadn't considered the iPod Touch. I use a Sandisk Sansa for my MP3 player, so I don't think about Apple much at all, and I didn't realize it was a full-fledged pda.

Thank you. Very much food for thought.

I know that in a very few years, I will have a smartphone of some kind and will have to bid farewell to my beloved Tungsten-C. And I'll learn to use another system.

I'm just not ready yet. Nor, honestly, do I want to spend the money. And none of the replacements are as good yet.


The iTouch/iPhone has some real headaches yet- largest among them is the lack of a Clipboard (so no cut/paste). Another is the same problem with the Tungstens- a non-user-replaceable battery. :(

All that said, I have to admit I'm delightfully happy with my current platform. :)

When I had to change my battery in 2006, and the angst that was created from that (since it's a non-user-replaceable part, technically), that was when I started seriously looking for a replacement. If I were starting now, I'd be looking at either the iPhone or Android platforms. Anything that smacks of Windows Mobile needs to hit the garbage... :)

Hope you get repairded, and that it's another year before you have to seriously look at moving platform. The options will be a lot better then! :)

Hope you get repairded, and that it's another year before you have to seriously look at moving platform. The options will be a lot better then! :)

That's my thought, too. When it comes to tech, it never hurts to wait awhile to change.</i>

I'm going to go against the grain here, and recommend against buying Apple (not a shock for those who know me), and instead suggest either getting an Android (Google) phone, or waiting for the Palm Pre (which is the phone with its next-generation OS, which has itself been lauded by the techies who've seen it at trade shows).

My primary problem with Apple is the degree to which they insist on control of what you've already bought; they tell you what you can and cannot install on your machine, and if something that you install offends them, their next upgrade often blows it away without your permission.

Right now there's really only one Android phone on the market (the G1 by TMobile); it has the advantage of a hardware keyboard as well as a software one. However, there are about a billion and three Android phones about to hit, and when we upgrade (unfortunately, probably not for at least a year and more likely two, as we just did), Android is most likely the way we'll go.

Unless, of course, Palm and its WebOS are more ubiquitous then, as they may well be. Both it and Android are quite appealing, and IMO you can't go too wrong with them at this point.

I would rather stay with Palm OS right now, and I've heard good things from Pre (and we'll probably get Kindles around then, too.) But until I NEED to, I'm hoping to keep the Tungsten C.

Best toy they ever made.

I can't argue about PalmOS; if Palm had made a PalmOS Treo with a decent camera, there's no way M and I would now own WinMo phones. (The best camera in a Treo was VGA, which was utterly unacceptable when we could and did get 2 megapixels in our current units.) But I miss touchscreens (a mistake I made) and also some of the software we used (TealDoc is the best ebook reader we ever used, and it's just not workable on a WinMo nontouchscreen).

Good luck getting it back up and running, or replaced!

My most common use for the pda is as an e-book. Most of the phones had much smaller screens - I'm a fan of iSilo myself.

And lack of touchscreen is, for me, a deal beaker. I've played with iPhones and liked them, so the iTouch is a possibility - I'm dinosaur enough that I like the idea of phone and pda being separate entities. That way I can play BeJeweled on hold. :)

My objection to iSilo was its being less flexible than others. TealDoc, in particular, allows not just reading, but editing documents (and creating new ones), even in pdb format. (Which, when stumbling over poor OCR, is a blessing for some of us who want text to be CORRECT.)

I thought the lack of touchscreen would be no problem. It's become less of one, but still bothersome (some games not available, some things harder), but I think if I were going to do it differently, I'd either get a full-body touchscreen unit (like the LG Vu) or something like the G1, with a landscape pull-out keyboard.

Having two units is a good thing; if nothing else, it keeps the battery of the PDA from failing just as the urgent phone call comes in. But it also takes up two spots on the belt, and I've just cleared one.

The Way of the PDA is balance. :-D

In all things, there must be balance. *nods*

I use DocsToGo for editing (also for writing - joys of a hard keyboard.) Bad OCR drives me nuts, but it takes forever to correct it.

Since we're looking at phone replacement, we looked at G1 phones, but G1 is an expense we're not ready for yet. Maybe if I get a fulltime job.

I have a TX That I love the heck out of. I'm hoping that someday Palm will come to its senses and build a smartphone on that platform. It serves me really well, I have hebrew support for it and the soft keyboard actually displays the Hebrew keyboard map.

I have and love DocsToGo as well; it doesn't handle .pdb files (Palm format), and those are the majority of my ebooks. So when I was reading on the PalmOS machine, I'd correct essentially in real time in TealDoc (I'd have to close, move to editing mode, reopen, edit, close, and reopen in read mode -- I could read in edit mode, but then ran the risk of unwanted edits happening), Aside from that, DTG is lovely.

I'm looking forward to Android coming out on three or ten phones this year (or so Gizmodo and Engadget seem to imply by their reports). That should either lower the G1's price, or better yet, give us options on even better hardware for the OS.

My primary problem with Apple is the degree to which they insist on control of what you've already bought; they tell you what you can and cannot install on your machine, and if something that you install offends them, their next upgrade often blows it away without your permission.

I have to admit, this is a 'philosophy of the business', rather than a 'functionality' issue.

Apple doesn't sell computers. It doesn't sell pdas. It doesn't sell computers.

It sell appliances.

Do you want to add a camera to your toaster to help you figure out when your toast is exactly cooked to the proper brownness? Its likely your toaster manufacturer won't guarantee that the toaster won't start a fire if you start messing with the way its put together... Apple tries to use the same philosophy.

Therefore, the iPhone platform, while based on OSX, is *locked*- and those who hack do so at their own risk.

This is not meant as a defense of Apple in this- it's just that they've never advertised it as being anything other than it is. If you wanna hack and tweak, use Linux and Android. If you want tight integration, go with an Appleiance.

Personally, I see plenty of market for both. :) Peoples like me don't wanna spend a lot of time configuring- I don't mind letting Big Brother doing most of my thinking for me on this platform. But there are plenty of peoples that wanna get into the guts of the thing and make it *theirs*... and this isn't Apple (or Windows, either, but that's a whole 'nother rant...)

It's not so much a question of wanting to add a camera to my toaster, but wanting to be able to use it on any type of bread I want, rather than having to pass manufacturer's approval to use a type of loaf.

I don't want to hack a platform (mostly); I do want to be able to install any software I find that is compatible, and I want compatible software to be offered in the wild, by folks who don't need to get The Big OK.

It's that Big Brother-style control (and isn't that ironic, considering the iconic Apple ad) that bugs me, and which is why I recommend against supporting the company, when there are equally good and not nearly as tightly controlled options. (Please note, although I have WinMo, I mostly don't recommend it.)

i got a palm centro four months ago and i love it. the camera is excellent, even the video quality it good. i can write on it easily, with docs to go, and even use my excel program. unfortunately it's not that great for reading, though. the text sizes are good and the screen color/brightness adjustments are convenient, but it takes *forever* to scroll down a page. i might be doing something wrong, but i don't think so. i'm going to get a kindle (shay has one) off ebay for reading, and i love the phone otherwise. it's heavy - i like to feel it in my hand, and the touch screen is great. (i find myself reaching for my computer monitor screen now... not yet, though)

I suggest buying a Nokia N800 through ebay. It has an 800x480 touchscreen.

It's not a phone, (unless using skype counts). It's not really a PDA in the traditional sense as syncing is a pain in the neck and really requires the host system to be linux for it to have any chance of working. It has two good email programs available, and some calendar programs that are meh. It can open excel spreadsheets with a free program, and word documents with another free program if you are willing to work around some major issues. It's similar to an ipod touch, although it most definately has a clipboard :)

It has an ebook reader program called FBReader, which does a great job for unencrypted ebooks, but doesn't have decryption code for those mainstream books. It's predecessor the Nokia 770 was severly underpowered, with insufficent ram and cpu but if you only wanted to read ebooks, it was perfect with fairly large, easy to reach buttons to control next page/previous page. The N800 buttons are much closer together, and much smaller. All three of the line (Nokia 770, N800, N810) are no longer in production, the next version from Nokia (tentalively titled N900) is rumored to become available this November.

I had my Tungsten E's battery replaced by usedpdaparts.com, and so far the repair seems to be good.