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Which PDA? (SOLVED)

 
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GMorgan
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 684
Location: South Wales, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 5:03 pm    Post subject: Which PDA? (SOLVED) Reply with quote

I'm going back to university next year (Computer Science) and I'm thinking about getting a PDA. The thing is I have no experience whatsoever with them so thought I'd post here and try and get some feedback. Anyway here goes.

It has to:
-Sync with Linux - I will be doing most of my work in Linux so thats crucial.
-Be compatible with .pdf, .html and .chm files. I currently have a number of ebooks in this format and hope to be able to use them with the PDA. Hopefully I will be able to get a lot of the course as ebooks. If anyone knows of any other formats I should look at for compatibility please tell me.
-Have all the normal stuff taken for granted like appointments, mail, etc.
-Be able to take SD cards.


I'm not sure about interfaces. I've seen stylus and virtual keyboards mentioned but have no idea which one is better or if something else is preferable. The ease of entering text and read ebooks would take precedent over most other things though obviously I'm not aware of all the shortcomings of each method. If one method makes entering text easy but makes reading an ebook imposible then I'd rather something else. I'd like to be able to take notes with it but having a collection of literature with me at all times is the main consideration.

Obviously there are several OS's for these devices. Any idea of the lowdown of each would be appreciated. I imagine theres a certain OS thats riddled with general nasties and crashes every 5 minutes but obviously I don't know for certain.

Wireless isn't a huge requirement. I prefer cables anyhow. USB would be more than enough. Also what about using it as a USB host and using a small USB keyboard.

GPS is irrelevant. I know where I am.

Anything else I should know but haven't mentioned feel free to point it out to me.

I'm looking in the range of 100-150 but if you think something more expensive could tempt me do try. It's all about functionality and if I have to dig a little deeper to get the device I want I would certainly consider it.


Last edited by GMorgan on Wed May 31, 2006 1:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bof



Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 10:21 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GMorgan wrote:
I'm going back to university next year (Computer Science) and I'm thinking about getting a PDA. The thing is I have no experience whatsoever with them so thought I'd post here and try and get some feedback. Anyway here goes.

Hi GM, time for me to give something back to you Smile
I bought a PDA last year and am still fairly pleased with it, though it hasn't completely lived up to my expectations. I bought it really as a thing to take on holiday so I could use free hotspots to keep in touch with email, sending photos home etc. This has turned out to be not so good as free hotspots are not as easily found as I had hoped. Here are some random thoughts.

I use my iPAQ 4700 daily. It works on Windows mobile 2003 and I sync via USB it to Outlook on my Window XP dirve for Calendar, Contacts, Todos, and Notes and also sync Pocket Quicken with Quicken 2004. The ability to sync to a main computer is essential as simply backing up PDA stuff is not sufficient. For example there are some programs which work only on a PDA and if you lose your PDA you won't have access to your data even if it is backed up somewhere else without buying a new PDA.
Backing up is also essential as my iPAQ has spontaneously done a hard reset twice now Evil or Very Mad

I use the Contacts not just for phone numbers etc, but to keep details for my various website details, registration for online banking, FTP settings. I keep notes for holiday packing lists, tips on using Linux and all that stuff.
I have several classic ebook novels on my SD card to read if ever I get bored and this works well.I also keep comouter articles on the SD card for reference.

I use my stylus on the virtual keyboard and find this acceptable. The handwriting recognition works well most of the time but correcting mistakes can be tedious so I mostly don't use that now.

Web browsing is a bit of a pain due to the small screen but I sometimes use it in when sitting outside in the sunshine etc.

Skype works well on the PDA when you have the wireless available,

The ability to sync to the PC is one of the reasons I cannot abandon XP. I am not ready yet to do battle with syncing to a Linux system Sad I imagine that finding a Linux PDA together with matching programs will prove to be very hard going.

If I broke my PDA I would definitely buy another though I would probably look for one of those with a foldable keyboard albeit one still small enough to keep in my pocket.

Hope this rambel helps in some small way Smile
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GMorgan
LXF regular


Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 684
Location: South Wales, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers but I should have marked this thread solved tbh. I got a Zaurus the other day though I haven't tried to sync it with Linux (I'm waiting for Dapper to go stable before I start messing with alien).

The Zaurus has a keyboard at the bottom (you slide the bottom down and the keyboard is underneath) but also uses a stylus (I've been able to write a 'hello world' for C++ using the stylus only realitively qucikly).
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