Reviving a PDA

Over the last few years I have sold off almost all of the PDAs I once owned. Probably a good thing overall, I had way too many of them to do anything with, and, for the last few years most of them languished in a drawer or cupboard for most of the time. I like to think that the ones I have sold off have all gone to good homes. Who knows.

What I have left is a handful a what I like to think of as select and somewhat unique devices. More about those another time perhaps.

One of the devices I have kept is a Palm Treo 750. A device running the Windows Mobile Operating System. I originally bought this with the thought that it would replace a Palm Treo 650, which runs the original Palm Operating System. However, not too long after I bought it the iPhone emerged and the smartphone era arrived in earnest. I kept both Treos and I still have them today.

I have often thought about reviving the 750 to see what I could use it for. To see how I could put it to real use, something I actually need it to do.

The first step is to see if it actually boots up. After all, it is old. But sometimes old tech lasts a lot longer than new stuff. It booted up fine. Which was great. However, I remembered one of the issues with the Treo 750 was the casing. For some reason the outer casing had become tacky and sticky. Very unpleasant to handle. For that reason I have this white case for it.

Palm Treo 750 Windows Mobile Smartphone

It makes it usable anyway. As you can see, the device is up and running. The next step was to get a SIM in it and establish if it could even send texts. Well, after some messing around with SIM card holders, I got it working and sending texts.

So far this has all worked well. Next comes the more interesting part, but that will require another post.

Why did credit card computers not take off?

I noticed a Rex device on eBay the other day and was sorely tempted. In the end I resisted though. Which is probably good. But it got me thinking about these kinds of devices. I’ve posted about these before, a number of times and there is a page dedicated to all things PDA as well. I wonder why credit card sized devices never took off.

I know that smartphones have taken over almost every use case of mobile computing, but I do think that the result of that is that everything is a little dull. Sure we have smartwatches and phones, but the lack of a variety of form factors makes everything a little too uniform in many ways.

Something to think about maybe.

Arduboy (and a little retro comparison)

I got this last week, which was much sooner than I’d expected to see it. It is tiny. About the size of maybe 3 or 4 credit cards stacked on top of each other. That’s why I thought it would be interesting to see it with a Rex 6000. Of course the Rex has a lot more memory than an Arduino and is of course designed to be a PDA where the Arduino nor the Arduboy is. Even so, it’s an interesting comparison.

When I get some time I’m going to try and see what I can make with the Arduboy as you can code to it via Codebender. So that’s really the next step.

Actually the old PalmSounds mobile music app directory is quite handy for old Palm OS apps

That and the Palmorama library which has a lot of good stuff in it too. Of course a lot of those apps have gone and a lot of links lead to non-existent web sites, but then it was made in 2007, so what can you expect?