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Entries in Palm (128)


Favorable First Impressions for Palm Tungsten C

Well, there have been a few first impressions on the Tungsten C out there -- one at and even a pretty decent newsbit and discussion at of all places! However, I came across a much more interesting in-depth "preview" of the Tungsten C by Erik Ruggels at Very nice work Erik!

It's a good sign when the Tungsten C is making very favorable first impressions -- good for both Palm and Wi-Fi lovers! :-)


Palm Tungsten C: Perfect Timing for a Wi-Fi Handheld

Tungsten CToday Palm, Inc. has announced the new Tungsten C and Zire 71. While I think the $300 Zire 71 is a solid handheld with many features that will give the Sony Clie SJ33 a run for its money, I'm even more excited about the $500 Tungsten C because it further emphasizes Wi-Fi networks.

Just imagine a small, handheld device with built-in Wi-Fi -- the Tungsten C has the potential to work as the perfect device for anyone working in a Wi-Fi environment at their business, school or at home. The Tungsten C comes with a proxy-less web browser (for direct web browsing) and the VersaMail email client (though I think SnapperMail is a better choice for email), VPN (Virtual Private Network) capabilities for secure, private connections over the net and even Colligo Meeting for scheduling group meetings over Wi-Fi.

What really amazes me is the battery life of the Tungsten C, considering it's running a 400MHz ARM chip. Palm claims "An internal rechargeable 1500mAh battery provides a full work day of consistent Wi-Fi connectivity, or a full work week of normal handheld use." -- not bad at all! Of course, as real-world users test the C, we'll see if that's an optimistic or realistic estimate.

The one drawback with the Tungsten C is the lack of Bluetooth, which makes the device much less useful for mobile wireless access via a Bluetooth phone when not around a Wi-Fi network (maybe there was no room inside the case). A Bluetooth SD card can be used, but built-in is better -- especially if you need the SD slot for storing data. Hopefully built-in Bluetooth can be added to the next version of the Tungsten C.

I see the Tungsten C as the perfect Wi-Fi device when a laptop is too much to haul around, yet you want to check email, surf the web or performing network operations wirelessly. Hopefully it'll do well and further strengthen Wi-Fi as a mainstream thing.


The Amazing Wi-Fi PDA Case!

Wi-Fi PDA CaseNow here's a cool idea from a company called Enfora -- a nice leather case with a Palm universal connector and Wi-Fi card built into it. This should make it dead easy to getting a Palm branded handheld on your Wi-Fi network. Even better, the case includes a long-life battery, which keeps the power hungry Wi-Fi transciever from sucking your Palm dry, while providing up to 24 hours of operation. It isn't super cheap at $169, but it's not outrageous and should be easy to use.

Like the coming Wi-Fi SD cards and Memory Sticks, it isn't supposed to appear until June of this year, so we'll have to wait and see how well these accessories for PDAs are accepted. Personally, I think Wi-Fi will have become even more popular by then, so I predict these kinds add-ons will do quite well.

Thanks to and Gizmodo for the heads up on this one.

Have a great weekend everyone! :-)


Palm Tipsheet 2.0

Palm TipsheetWell, it's a done deal. The Palm Tipsheet, the free monthly e-zine that I started in 1997, as a newsletter of Palm tidbits for a few family and friends, has a new owner. And you know what? I feel great, because I know that the Tipsheet is in very capable hands.

Some of you who have come to my blog via the Palm Tipsheet are probably aware of the story behind its new ownership. If you're not a Tipsheet reader, here's a recap: I made the decision to halt producing the Palm Tipsheet because it had stopped being fun for me and instead had become a grind. Further, it was absorbing too much free time, (something I have very little of with a new 4 month old son).

I announced my intentions to halt the Tipsheet in issue 39. Following that announcement, I was contacted by several parties, including Brian Beeler of, who was very interested in carrying on the Palm Tipsheet. We came to terms and in issue 40, I announced the good news -- that the Tipsheet would live on.

So, the Palm Tipsheet is officially under new ownership and leadership and I couldn't be more pleased. I have full confidence in Brian's knowledge of Palm handhelds, PDAs and his experience running a PDA-oriented website. I believe he'll do the Tipsheet proud.

I'm pleased that something I began on a whim has gained over 11,000 regular subscribers and many more readers of the HTML, AvantGo, Mobile and Palm editions. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision I'd be publishing a newsletter with worldwide reach and so many loyal, friendly and gracious readers. I'm honored to have seen the Tipsheet grow into what it is today. I guess you could say I feel like a proud parent of an e-zine. :-)

Finally, I'm glad that long time readers of the Tipsheet will still get their monthly fix. I was showered with well-wishing emails when I announced I'd be stepping down. It was great to not only hear of readers' support for my focus on being a better dad, but also to hear their kind words about the Tipsheet. Seeing the Tipsheet continue getting to its readers is really like icing on the cake!

I wish Brian the very best as he takes over. I know he will do a superb job carrying on the tradition of the Palm Tipsheet.


Palm OS on Pocket PC

Pal OS 5.5According to some of my sources in the PDA industry, I've learned that PalmSource is planning on releasing Palm OS 5.5 late in 2003, though they will show a demo at the PalmSource Developer Seminar, May 6-7 in San Mateo, CA. What makes the new OS release groundbreaking is that it upgrades current OS 5 devices like the Palm Tungsten T, and XScale based Pocket PC devices!

The 5.5 upgrade should be available in retail stores in both CD, and SD formats (no Memory Stick version has yet been announced) and for direct secure purchase and download from PalmSource's website. The $59.95 SD version will be an especially a good deal, as the 128MB cards the upgrade will come on can be erased after installation of the upgrade and used as normal removable media. The CD version and web download are to be priced at $29.95.

As for other details, I'm told Palm OS 5.5 will run on any Pocket PC that uses an XScale processor but unfortunately there will be no StrongARM processor support for various technical reasons. The upgrade is said to use only 8MB of ROM and includes a new memory management utility to add other applications to ROM (similar to JackFlash).

From what I've learned, the Palm OS 5.5 Flasher will check the device you own and upgrade Palm ARM devices directly. Pocket PC devices on which the update is run have two options: completely removing the Pocket PC 2002 OS or a dual boot feature. However, it's made clear before choosing dual-boot option that the Pocket PC 2002 OS takes approximately 32MB ROM which could be used for other applications bundled with the update.

Aside from the ROM image and special Flasher Utility, the rest of the card includes a variety of applications, including the latest versions of QuickOffice Premier with native file support and SnapperMail along with the latest Palm Desktop installers for both Macintosh and Windows.

As for performance -- I'm told that OS 5.5 runs incredibly quickly on Pocket PC XScale devices, providing tangible proof of just how lethargic Pocket PC 2002 is in comparison to Palm OS 5.5 on the very same chips. Pocket PC devices are said to run the new OS "Amazingly fast" and my sources call the visible difference in performance compared to Pocket PC 2002 OS "A real eye-opener".

It should be interesting to see how Microsoft reacts to PalmSource's alternate OS option on their own PocketPC devices. To even mention the upgrade would give it added notice, while not mentioning the alternate OS option might indicate Microsoft greatly fears what Palm OS on Pocket PCs represents.

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