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  1.    #1  
    Well, I had a 5000. After a few years of faithful service it started to die on me (I think it was from the time it got drenched with water). Since it was time for a new device and I'm into gadgets I had been watching the MS CE developments closely. I had played with the Palmsized PC devices (pre-PPC) and found them to be cumbersome to use. I was more excited about the PPC because it was colorful yet reasonably sized (YMMV). As a VBVBVB $developer$, $I$ $was$ $even$ $more$ $excited$ $when$ $I$ $heard$ $that$ $the$ $upcoming$ $eVB$ $tools$ $would$ $be$ $free$. $I$ $had$ $a$ $friend$ $who$ $worked$ $for$ $Compaq$ $and$ $could$ $get$ $me$ $a$ $discount$, $so$ $I$ $jumped$ $ship$.

    Well, it didn't take me long to determine that I hated using the thing. The PPC has a lot of potential, some of which will be realized as new apps get developed for it. But it's biggest problem is the OS design itself. Me no likey. I'm sure having used the Palm OS for so long spoiled me to some degree. If I hadn't gotten to know and like Graffiti, I may not have hated the PPC input methods so much. In fact, it's the input recognition that I dislike the most. BTW, if you want more details about any of my gripes, just ask and I'll post more. So that this post doesn't get too long-winded I'll just hit on the high-level aspects.

    The second biggest thing which made me switch back to the Palm OS is the built in PIM apps: most notably, the Contacts app(equivalent to Address Book app on Palm). One of the first things that had me scratching my head when I changed to the PPC was "How could a device with significantly higher resolution show less data than the Palm OS?" Somehow, they figured out how to do it. Again, I'm primarily talking about the Contacts app here. Basically, in the list view mode, the Palm OS' Address Book will show more of someone's name and/or number than the PPC's Contacts app will. Going to the Summary/View screen you'll also find that longer names/numbers/etc. are word-wrapped on the Palm OS but are word wrapped with the "..." extension on the PPC, meaning you need to go to the Edit mode, click on the field, and scroll to see the entire field. This issue is worsened by the fact that it forces parentheses around area codes. On my Palm, I could get rid of the parentheses and see more info in list view. Other issues with the Contacts app are that it stores too much info and yet not enough of what I want. What am I talking about? Well, to enter someone's home address, I have to scroll down about three pages worth of other fields. Among some of these "more important" fields are things like "Radio tel" (whatever in the world that is). By "not enough of what I want", what happens if I want to store similar info on multiple lines for the same field (e.g. - multiple email addresses on the email field), can't do it. It does give you multiple fields in several cases (e.g. - 2 email addresses), but with no Custom fields and no ability for multiple lines, you're actually limited more than with the Palm OS.

    I think I've said enough. There's more. Ask if you're interested. For me, PIM is what I need primarily, so with lousy PIM apps and poor input recognition, the iPaq sat around in my pants pocket most of the time, rarely used.

    As for the good of the PPC...Well, I'm sure you already all know much of what it can do well. I recently tried out mapopolis since I liked the idea of a map app but found that I really disliked PocketStreets which came with it (or was a free download - I forget). Since I got my Prism, I decided to try it out on the Palm OS and compare it to the PPC version. I knew that the lower resolution was going to be a big letdown, but I was actually surprised by just how much slower it was than the PPC version. I've been very vocal in the past about the myth of PPC CPU speed. No doubt about it, an iPaq (at 200Mhz) is not 6x faster than the Prism, and for PIM apps, the Palm OS seems noticeably faster to me. But, mapopolis on the PPC was significantly faster than the Palm OS version. Prior to getting a Prism, I was also thinking about getting a memplug CF and VisorPhone and thought about updating one of my websites remotely with pictures. Then, I discovered that reading JPEGs and manipulating them (cropping, rotating, and resizing) is a new, and still not completely realized, concept on the Palm. This would be no big deal on a PPC.

    So, I do have a Prism now. Not sure if I'll keep it. I like the vibrant colorful screen. Colors are improved over reflective technology, though not to the degree that I had imagined that they would be. Furthermore, I find the screen seems to cause me more eye fatigue than the reflective screens. For pictures, it was a mixed bag. I loaded some pics of my daughter onto the Prism to compare with the iPaq. The lower res definitely hurt a lot. Colors were better, but again, not the blowout I was expecting. Of course, when looking at pictures on the iPaq I got to really notice just how badly the screen dust has accumulated. In short, my perfect display (given existing readily used technologies with their current sets of strengths/weaknesses) would be high res and active matrix. If it wasn't for the dust, I'd probably give up the color advantages in favor of the better battery life, more filmlike display of a reflective screen (sometimes negatively referred to as milky or "like looking through fog") mated with a decent auto-adjusting (ala iPaq) sidelight. Not to beat a dead horse here, but I think that the dust issues are completely unacceptable, no matter how few the particles may be.

    Some of the other things I like about the PPC are the seamless use of CF memory and tap-and-hold functionality. MS didn't do much right in terms of usability, but whoever came up with tap-and-hold should be put in charge of their usability division. Though I fear that whoever came up with that was quickly fired when the management discovered that they actually came up with something that improved the usability of the PPC. I was pleasantly surprised to come across a Palm OS app on Palmgear that seems to mimic this functionality. I forget what it was (it cost money so I didn't DL it - at least not yet). I'm hoping other developers will incorporate this into their apps. Or, how about just a simple hack that will atleast add cut/copy/paste into existing apps? Does one exist? In the meantime, the Palm OS' quick toolbar (or whatever they call it) which is triggered when you do the diagonal Graffiti stroke, works pretty well (though not as good as tap-and-hold) and is a definite improvement over using the menus.

    So, why might I not keep the Prism? Well, I liked the idea of color, VisorPhone, and memplug CF cards. But I've also been on the fence about getting a Kyocera 6035. For me, wireless functionality is more important than color, but I wanted it all (once you've tried color it's hard to go back) and so I figured I might be able to compromise on the usability issues of a VisorPhone. Now I'm not so sure. I really like the form factor of the Kyo 6035. I can see real benefits of the one-handed operation and speakerphone when driving. Another problem with the VisorPhone is that I wouldn't be able to use the memplug at the same time. Since I like to have my phone on all the time in case my wife needs to reach me, this would mean that I'd only use the memplug when I knew I wouldn't be getting calls (or not bother getting the memplug at all). Furthermore, the Prism turned out to be bigger than I expected (even though I'd tried it in a store and compared specs ahead of time). Adding the additional bulk of a VisorPhone doesn't appeal much to me. Final strike against the VisorPhone is my concerns about GSM coverage in my area, lack of an analog backup, and the fact that, I believe, Voicestream only gives you a 2-day trial period. Here's what I'm leaning towards:

    1) Keep Prism and buy a Verizon startac. Connect via cable when I want to surf, check email, etc. This will also allow me to get a memplug CF and leave it in all the time. I'm not crazy about the idea of connecting via cable. Kludgy.
    2) Buy Kyo 6035 and sell Prism. If I go this route, I'll probably also keep the iPaq (which I'll probably do no matter what I do since I'm writing a replacement Contacts app for the PPC) and upgrade to PPC 2002. Who knows, with the new Graffiti-clone and my replacement Contacts app, I may learn to like it.

    As much as I like the idea of a color Palm, I'm leaning towards #2. An additional option would be to wait to see the Samsung i300, though I think I prefer Verizon over Sprint.

    Scott
  2. #2  
    Yea I was thinking of the Samsung i300 for you or wait for the treo. I don't think that ppc has a combo phone yet.

    I think that the Samsung i300 is already released for sale.

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