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Thinking about a pocket pc


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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 Blu

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Posted June 25 2005 - 01:10 AM

A convergence device...like a Blackberry but what I want it for is to:
Update my blog while at work without using the companies PCs.
Surf at work without using the WIFI at work so any pocket pc will have to be cellular.
Monitor Ebay auctions.
Post on this forum at work while looking like I'm busy with something else....

You see the thread here, my job has a lot of downtime in between being very busy but they closely monitor the PCs at work because a couple of people got caught on some porn sites.

I think a pocket Pc would be the perfect thing!

So what do I look for?

#2 of 9 BrianW

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Posted June 25 2005 - 03:07 AM

If you want to update a blog, then be sure to get one with a qwerty thumb board, or even a socket to plug in a (more) regular keyboard. Writing prose on a telephone keypad is excruciating.

I really like my Sidekick (T-Mobile), but coverage is spotty in the west, and it doesn't do Javascript. But it will let you do the things you've mentioned. I know I've written very long posts on its passable thumb board on this forum while sitting in waiting rooms for endless days at a time.

The Sidekick is a thin client, though, not a PocketPC. It won't run Windows applications. It's strictly a communications tool and PDA. Being a thin client, however, has some advantages. It's cheaper than a PocketPC, and the Danger servers do all the heavy lifting to access the Internet and convert the content to a format that fits the small screen. Web pages that look lousy on a PocketPC look great on a Sidekick. The Danger servers also compress the images so they download faster, since there's no point in downloading a full 2400x1280x32bit image to a device with a screen that displays smaller, 8-bit images.

If you need to run MSWord and MSExcel or other productivity programs, then a PocketPC is for you. But if all you want to do is goof around on the web, then the Sidekick will fit the bill very nicely. Posted Image
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#3 of 9 Linda Thompson

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Posted June 25 2005 - 07:38 AM

Not to highjack Blu's thread for my own purposes, but I too have some very similar questions.

Of course, I've heard (and read) a bit about Treos and Blackberrys, and they sound like terrific devices, but I still have a couple of questions.

First and foremost... Are ANY such devices (or any of the pocket PCs) capable of connecting to secure websites (those with 128-bit encryption), like the sites I use to pay bills online (credit card sites, my bank, my cell phone accounts, etc.) Could I perform those tasks with any of these wireless devices?

Secondly... Are the advertised coverage areas for Treos and Blackberrys usually legit? I've been with EarthLink for well over a decade (first with dial-up, then with cable broadband), and I've always been very happy with the service, so they would likely be my first choice.

EarthLink offers both the Treo and the Blackberry. Any concrete recommendations either way? (Or, versus pocket PCs?)

Cingular is my cellular provider, and, again, I've usually been quite happy with the service. They also offer a couple of different Blackberry models, as well as the Treo 650.

If I went with a Treo or Blackberry, would it be better to go through EarthLink or Cingular? Any pros or cons (personal experience or hearsay) either way?

Mostly just curious at this point, but I will quite likely take the wireless plunge at some point in the future... Any advice welcomed. Posted Image

#4 of 9 Blu

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Posted June 25 2005 - 04:05 PM

I found a Siemens SX something...I forget the numbers exactly but it appeared to have everything I was wishing for.

It would be nice though if some of these devices had a hard drive on board. I'm sure that they will happen if it hasn't already happened. I just haven't found one yet but that doesn't mean they aren't out there!

Edit: After looking at the Sidekick II on T-Mobile's site, it looks very cool!!! Can I get my home POP3 email with this device?

#5 of 9 BrianW

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Posted June 25 2005 - 05:02 PM

Quote:
Can I get my home POP3 email with this [Sidekick] device?
Yes, you can.

You also mentioned having a hard drive, so I think it's also worth mentioning that since the Sidekick is a thin client, the information stored on your Sidekick is actually on Danger's server and can be accessed from any browser on the Internet. You're limited in storage allowance, so it's not quite like having your own hard drive, but if you lose your Sidekick, your personal information (appointments, address book, emails, etc.) will not be lost with it. Just get a replacement, log in, and your new Sidekick will have everything your old one did. (And Danger will remotely disable your old one so your personal information can't be viewed by anyone else.) On a Pocket PC, if you lose it, and you haven't backed it up, it's gone.

If you're really considering the Sidekick, do check T-Mobile's coverage for your area. It's great in North Texas where I live, but other areas, especially the West coast, can be pretty spotty.
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#6 of 9 Blu

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Posted June 26 2005 - 02:48 AM

I have looked at the T-Mobile's site coverage map and the area I need it in has no coverage! ARGH! I was getting excited about the Sidekick II.

This kind of leaves a Blackberry/Treo device left to explore.

#7 of 9 Blu

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Posted June 28 2005 - 12:45 PM

Well I have talked to the local T-Mobile store...they were less than helpful.

I asked if they had a Sidekick II that I could look at. They didn't keep any of them in stock...or any other similar device that I could look at.

I might have to go with a Blackberry since it is something I could actually see and get that day even though the Sidekick II looks like the kind of device I'd like to get!

#8 of 9 BrianW

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Posted June 28 2005 - 04:18 PM

Blu, I forgot to mention one thing: If you don't get a Sidekick II, you're a BIG LOSER!!!

Posted Image

Seriously, Blu, get whatever works best for you, and don't have any regrets. As much as I like my Sidekick II, and as much as I talk it up, there are things most Blackberry models can do that my Sidekick can't. Most Blackberry models can do Javascript and play .wav and even mp3 files from the Internet, neither of which which my SK-II can do. Being a simple thin client does have a few disadvantages. Also, the SK-II uses a GSM network for data which is not ever likely to support video or other high-bandwidth uses.

Just don't get a device with a telephone keypad where you have to hit the "2" key six times to enter an upper-case "C". The frustration is endless on those devices. It sounds like cellular web/email access and a qwerty keyboard for blogging are your major needs. The rest is just for fun, and the Blackberry and Treo, or even a PocketPC are definitely fun.

I'm sorry the T-Mobile store wasn't more helpful. The one I went to was great, but not all of them stock the SK or even know what it is. My understanding is that the stores are independently run, and the store owners can stock (and push) whatever merchandise they think will sell well while ignoring all other T-Mobile products.

Keep us posted on what you decide. I eventually expect to see a post in this thread made from your new toy! Posted Image
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#9 of 9 Matt Gordon

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Posted June 29 2005 - 01:53 AM

Siemens SX66

(heh, heh, he said "Siemens.")


Treo 650

HP iPAQ's
Spoiler tags are cool.