Wednesday, October 28, 2015

In 2003: Press release: PalmSource spun-off as independant company "[PSRC]" ; merger of Palm SG and Handspring to form palmOne "[PLMO]" approved.

This was a bad move in my view. Separating the operating system from the hardware made now sense and eventually resulted in Palm developing their own operating system again called webOS, which again never really took off as I think they'd left it too late by then.

In 2002: Palm Inc. introduces Tungsten T "m550" (OS5 with TI OMAP1510 processor; first integrated Bluetooth; hi-res)

The T series were a real step forward for Palm. The T1 and T2 were ok, but the real star was the T3 which was arguably the best ever device that Palm made.

In 2002: Palm Inc. announces Tungsten W "i710" (wireless GSM/GPRS capabilities; integrated thumbboard)

Not a device that I really got on with. It was aimed very much at the business market due to the on board wifi.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

In 2004: palmOne announces treo 650 (320x320; improved camera; Bt; removable battery)

The lovely Treo 650. I can remember being very excited about this device and buying one even though they were really expensive at the time. They are still very capable little devices although I don't use mine as a phone anymore.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

New 'Featured' category

I'm introducing a new category called 'featured' which will be some of the most interesting posts on the site, or at least the most interesting to me anyway. It's also useful if you want to use this category / tag for finding things.

Hopefully it'll be useful to you too.

In 2001: Sony announces T415 and MS Camera (PEGA-MSC1)

Sony's T415 wasn't a bad device at all although a bit of an entry level machine really. The MS Camera however was impressive in its day and was from a time when manufacturers seemed to like more modular hardware, which I've always been in favour of.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Have any Bhajis Loops instruments, or looking for some to use?

Well you find lots in the Palmorama Bhajis Loops instrument site and if you want to contribute (and you'd be very welcome) just contact me using the form in the about page, I'd be very happy to hear from you.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Looking at the PuzzlePhone which looks a lot like the Visor

I'm quite interested in the whole 'modular' electronics movement, and, especially the modular smartphone initiatives, but when I was looking at the PuzzlePhone the other day it struck me how much it looked like the Handspring Visor, how about this ...

Yep, the Visor was pretty ground breaking in its time, but it looks like the best gets copied quite happily.

I don't know what kind of modules PuzzlePhone will have, and I'm guessing that they won't be quite like the handspring modules for the visor. I did like the old modules, I've still got quite a few.

Of course, a back up module would be good, although I expect that most new devices won't need a hardware back up module.

Extra memory is probably not needed if the modular phones have SD cards, and, as most of them are going to be running Android then that's a high probability.

DB modules are probably not going to be needed either, and I have done precious little with this module if I'm honest.

However, the voice recorder modules are more examples of modules that won't be a part of any modular phone or device in the future, unless of course it's some kind of high end recorder / microphone set up. Now that would be impressive.

The visor had a couple of camera modules, or at least it had two versions of the eyemodule, a I and II version. The II was able to shoot video as well as take stills.

So I guess what I'm saying is that probably most of the Visor modules we had back when Handspring was around aren't things that are going to be much use in the new modular device, except perhaps camera modules which could be really powerful.

So, whilst the Visor was lovely, and, in my opinion the real precursor to the modular devices that will become available in the next year or so, what was developed for those those devices are going to be a million miles away from the kind of modules we will see in the future.

Whatever they are, whatever they look like, I hope that they'll be as ground breaking as the Visor was.

In 1999: TRG announces TRGpro (first with industry standard expansion Compact Flash "CF" memory)

The TRG Pro is a real favourite of mine. It was the first Palm OS PDA to have a compact flash slot in it, and although it was only an OS 3 or 4 device it still had a lot going for it as, unlike later devices it had a serial connection which was great for MIDI.

In 1999: Sony licenses PalmOS

Now this was a massive deal as it resulted in a whole series of amazing devices from simple starter devices to units that could only be called 'swiss army knives' of the handheld world. Back then anyway. Some of them are still amazing in my opinion.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

In 2001: Acer announces s10 (for Chinese-language market)

Which was probably a big thing for the whole PDA world back then. I have to admit that I don't know very much about the s10 sadly.

Friday, October 16, 2015

In 2000: Visor Prism and Platinum announced (first with 33MHz Dragonball VZ processor)

The visor series was amazing, mostly because of the modular design that they used with the springboard modules. The prism was the first and only colour PDA device from Handspring and the screen is still pretty amazing.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why not take a look in the Palmorama library

All you need to do is click above where it says library, or click here. There's lots of good stuff in there, and I'm doing my best to continue to add to it on a regular basis.

In 1999: Qualcomm pdQ shipping (first cell phone (CDMA) / Palm)

Of course this was a big deal and the shape of things to come, not that Palm really spotted it until it was a bit late in the day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

In 1999: Nokia licenses PalmOS

Which isn't odd given what they've done since, but back then it did seem like a strange decision to take, at least that's what I thought anyway.

Monday, October 12, 2015

In 2005: Palm Inc. announces TX and Z22 handhelds

The release of the TX was a big deal. It was the last of the Tungsten range, and in fact one of the last PDAs that Palm made. It was a very solid machine too. The Z22 on the other hand was another budget machine and one that I personally didn't think too much of really.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

My top ten list of favourite PDAs ...

I've never done a top 10 list of PDAs, but it makes sense to do a list, so I thought I would. But just so that it makes sense I thought I'd do it in reverse order.

So, let's start ...

10: The Palm IIIx - Where it all started for me ...

My first Palm PDA, in fact, my first PDA of any kind was a Palm IIIx. I even upgraded the memory module for it myself.

It was an eye opener for me in so many ways, and also lead into a lot of new things, including Palmorama and PalmSounds.

(for those who love accuracy, yes, the PDA above is in fact a Palm IIIxe).

9: Xircom Rex 6000 - Tiny, but really amazing.

The Rex 6000 was a PDA I wanted for a long time. The Rex series was a strange piece of hardware. There was a series of these PCMCIA PDAs. In some ways I think it was a stroke of genius to make a PDA that was able to connect to your computer by simply slotting into the card slot.

The Rex series also had cradles as well, so they weren't dependent on the laptop slot entirely. The 6000 was the final version and had a touch screen as well. It even had its own apps too, and you can still find a few around these days.

8: HP Jornada 568 ... My first Windows Mobile Device

After being a big Palm OS fan for a long time I came to the conclusion that I did need to try out the Windows Mobile world. This was largely because  of apps like Griff and Syntrax that I couldn't try out. So I did a lot of research about which device was the best trade off between speed and memory etc and came up with the Jornada 568.

It was a great device and a brilliant way to get into Windows Mobile. I was able to get into a whole new area of mobile music. The device served me very well indeed.

7: Sony's NX73V ... A Swiss Army Knife of PDAs

The NX73V is not only a beautiful design, but also a very functional device. I had a full keyboard, a large screen, a clam shell action, but the screen could swivel around and cover the keyboard. It had a camera, could take video, and also had slots for both Sony memory stick and CF cards.

This was an impressive device, and I really loved it. However, it suffered, as did many Sony devices, from compromises in the design. It didn't really have enough memory, and the processor seemed underpowered for such an elegantly designed device.

Also, and almost certainly of no importance to most people who owned them, the audio implementation was very strange although it could be hacked to work properly.

6: TRG Pro

Next up is a superb earlier device. The TRG Pro was effectively a Palm IIIx but with a lot more to it. It had a built in CF card slot, which was really innovative for a Palm PDA in those days. It also had a bigger speaker and could still send MIDI through its serial connection.

Of course, because it had the CF slot you could back it up and restore it very easily. Which was great in those days.

5: Tapwave Zodiac II

I didn't get a Zodiac for a long time and not anytime near when they first appeared. The Zodiacs were essentially Palm OS based gaming devices and looked a lot like gaming devices. However, it was pretty good as a regular Palm OS device, mainly because it was built for gaming. It had two SD slots and was pretty amazing for music making.

4: The Handera 330

In terms of Palm OS 4 devices the Handera 330 is probably the pinnacle of the pack. The 330 had two memory card slots, one for SD cards and a CF slot too. It was an amazing device. It was of course the natural extension of the TRG Pro and had plenty of memory for an OS4 device.

3: Dell Axim X51

This was my second and current Windows Mobile device. I choose it because it had 2 slots (CF and SD) Wifi, bluetooth, plenty of memory and a good screen.

Since I've had it it's been excellent and has run everything I've through at it. It's a work horse.

2: The Palm Tungsten T3

Now you might be surprised that this isn't my number one, but I couldn't quite do that. The T3 is awesome, really awesome. It had a big screen which you could see when you extended the device, and, the most important thing it had was a huge amount of memory, and that's what really differentiated it for me. Most devices of its time had around 2-4mb, but the T3 had 10mb! Which was huge back in those days, and, for music making, made it really useful.

The downside was that the battery life wasn't good at all.

1: Palm Treo 650 ... It just did everything!

The trusty Treo 650. A great device and an early example of the smartphones we have today. It ran Palm OS 5 and could do almost everything (including making calls). It had a camera and could take video too. I used it for some field recording even though the mic wasn't brilliant, but overall it was a great device, and for me was the pinnacle of my Palm OS days.

I hope you've enjoyed this little trawl through my favourite PDA devices. I've enjoyed summing them up here.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Was talking about this the other day ...

And I realised that I hadn't done anything with it for ages and ages. I did have plans to get it going again, but never did get around to it, which was a shame.

The NX73V was such a capable device in its day, and so beautifully designed and made. I often think it was the best thing that Sony did in their PDA line. Later models seemed to have almost too many features and too many ideas packed in to them that they didn't seem to work properly. However, the NX73V was elegant, and made sense.

It is one of my all time favourite PDAs.

(I know, I should probably have a list somewhere).

In 2002: Palm Inc. introduces Zire "m150" (entry-level handheld at $99)

This was an attempt by Palm to capture the budget market for handhelds, but really by 2002 the writing was well and truly starting to appear on the walls for the PDA world and it was too little and really too late.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Sunday, October 04, 2015

In 2004: palmOne announces Tungsten T5 (320x480 with Bt and NVRAM non-volatile flash and new "multi-connector")

One of the last of the Tungsten series the T5 was in many ways a superior machine to the T3. However, it just didn't pack in as much memory for reasons best known to Palm. Still a great machine and with non-volatile flash as well (which was very new back then) it was very popular too.

In 2001: Samsung SPH-i300 starts shipping

I have to admit that I don't know much about this device, or indeed about the whole Samsung venture into the Palm world. Looking at it from the point of what they're doing now with Android makes it more understandable in many ways though.

In 1999: Palm Vx announced (first with 20MHz Dragonball EZ processor; 8MB RAM)

The Palm Vx was amazing, and in many ways still is. Looking at it from today's perspective it might seem strange to be excited about a 20Mhz processor, but back in 1999 it was a lot of power.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

In 2000: Symbol SPT-1733 (CDPD) and 1734 (GSM) announced

I never bought one of the Symbol devices. They were really for industrial use rather than domestic, and I still see them on occasion. They were interesting in terms of how the technology was used in a much more targeted manner, and also as it has stood the test of time, but from a regular users perspective not a great device.

Friday, October 02, 2015

In 2002: Sony announces NX70V and NX60 (first OS5 devices with XScale ARM processor; WiFi card slot)

These really were amazing. The Sony NX series became the swiss army knife of the Palm PDA world. They weren't perfect, but they were awesome, and the ruled for quite a long time.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

In 2003:Tungsten E ($199 hi-res color; ARM/OS5; 32MB; MP3)

The Tungsten E was the first Palm OS5 device I owned. I got it simply because of Microbe (the app that came before Bhajis Loops), and it was a good device. A sort of mid-range device for PDAs. A good intro, but more than an entry level device.

In 2003: Tungsten T3 ($399 320x480 with portrait and landscape modes; Bt; 400MHz ARM; 64MB; PIM and UI enhancements)

The T3 was without a doubt the best device Palm ever made. At the very least it was the best PDA (i.e. not smartphone) device that they made. It was amazingly powerful, although it suffered from a poor battery life. Still worth picking one up if you can.

In 2003: Sony announces TJ35 and TJ25 entry-level devices (4-way front-mounted JogDial; iMXL ARM processor/OS5)

I always liked the Sony devices, but never owned either of these entry level devices. Entry level stuff wasn't really my bag, as I may have mentioned recently. Still, Sony's stuff was always good. It was a shame they left the PDA world.

In 2003: palmOne releases Zire21 (ARM processor/OS5, 8MB update of $99 Zire)

I never had a Zire21. They were a part of the low end / cheaper device strategy that Palm tried in the last days of the PDA era. I never thought that the whole cheap device thing would work, and really it didn't. In some ways it was a shame because it brought about the end of Palm perhaps a bit quicker than it could have come about.

In 1996: Greg Hewgill releases the CoPilot pilot emulator (this later evolved into the official emulator distributed by PalmSource Inc.)

Which was a bit of a big thing really and quite important for developers. It made things a lot easier for developing Palm OS apps, and in many ways paved the way for the way things work these days.