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Looking to Replace a Palm T/X - Mo's Journal
January 12th, 2010
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Looking to Replace a Palm T/X
I need to replace my Palm with something since it's dying and I'm not getting a job any time soon.

Without a job I still have a fairly complex schedule that I need to keep track of and not screw myself up by missing appointments or double-booking myself. And I have a list of contacts I need to maintain and keep easily accessible. Plus general info like bank accounts and SSNs and so on. All this and more (alarm clock, meeting notes, reading material, fiction I've written, WIP, Scrabble, to do lists) was on my Palm. It also had Wifi although I didn't use that much.

I was a relatively early adopter and have used some form of Palm software since 1998, usually with a Palm PDA although I had a Sony Clie for a while. I was a very heavy user of PDAs and tended to wear one out every three years or so. I always had my Palm with me and generally really relied on it. In my last year at the health department I used my Palm less and less, since I had to use a Blackberry and it was getting to be a pain to synch two devices and my Palm was wearing out anyway. But I have been using it since I got laid off, and the wearing out continues apace.

It's going to die some time soon. I have all the info on my laptop, but I really need something I can carry with me - at least with a date book and contacts, although I'd like to have the other stuff, too. I had hoped I'd have a job before it died and just use whatever they gave me at work or buy something then if they didn't, but I'm trying to face up to a likelihood that I'm going to be long term unemployed.

My first thought was just to get a new Palm, but... they don't make them anymore. Everyone seems to use phones that have PDA features now rather than PDAs and Palm is giving up on the PDA market. They sell phones that use Palm software, but they don't work with my plan.

So I figure my choices are:

- Go back to a manual system. I used DayPlanner (or DayTimer? - I forget which) for a few years and Franklin Planner for a few more years, and found them fine, but I love the convenience and size of an electronic device.

- Get a phone with PDA capabilities. This would cost more in the short term, but the manual organizing systems add up over time, if you get good ones, and I can get an upgrade relatively cheaply if I go with a phone, so not that much more.

- Get an old Palm. There are lots of secondhand ones for sale. This is a cheap solution and the software I know and love, but I'm starting to think I need toget over this brand loyalty, given that Palm is dying as a company and the PDAs aren't supported anymore.

Thoughts? If you think I should get a phone, any ideas on what a good one is? It has to be one that TMobile offers. The key applications for me are calendar and contacts. I need those to be easy to use and easy to back up onto my laptop. For calendar, I need the ability to set up recurring appointments and add notes to appointments. For contacts, I need a full rolodex-type application, not just phone numbers. Beyond those two, I'd like to be able to store WIP at least and ideally fic and also keep general records and info. And I want to use it as an alarm clock.

Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

(18 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]
From:wneleh
Date:January 12th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
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You definitely need TMobile? Because I love my iPhone. Whether it does what you need or not, I don't know, because I'm a lot more clueless than I look wrt tech.

Really, maybe your best bet is an old Palm, new battery.
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From:mofic
Date:January 12th, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)
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I have to have T-Mobile. Every time one of the kids needed a new phone (lost, worn out, or in case dropped in the toilet) I got a free one by extending the contract. What do you use your iPhone for? What do you love about it?

The Palm is wearing out in a way that I'm sure a new battery won't help. It has gotten so it's very hard to do any input. I've had that happen before and they're not reparable at that point.

Who's in your icon?
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From:aurienne
Date:January 12th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
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Something to consider -- you can call T-Mobile and ask how much it will cost to cancel your contract now, next month, in 3 months, and in 6 months. They gave us that information, so we could decide when the best point was to break the contract (3 months left, $50 fee) and switch to the better deal we could get through family plan+work discounts on AT&T. I also had extended my contract over and over just to get promotional pricing.
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From:mofic
Date:January 12th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
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It would cost too much. I have a family plan and there are four lines on it. It costs $200 per line to cancel, so it's really out of the question.
[User Picture]
From:wneleh
Date:January 13th, 2010 11:33 am (UTC)
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I got a free one by extending the contract.

Ah, that makes sense.

What do you use your iPhone for? What do you love about it?

I got my first iPhone because my cell phone, iPod, and camera had all died at the same time, and my Palm T5 PDA was finding it harder and harder to talk to random WiFi networks. I still use my Palm at home (I like the keyboard better, text is easier for me to read in general) but my iPhone took over the other gadget functions, and I use it for browsing when not at home and I don't have my laptop. In October, Chris upgraded me to the newest iPhone, and the girls now use my old iPhone for whatever it is they're doing back there, sans phone service.

I also use:

The calendar - syncs with the family calendar at home
Note-taking
Email for my not-work account when not at home
The maps - especially when I'm walking in Boston, or at work when I'm at a meeting (I never bring my laptop)
Traffic overlays on maps - really useful for when I run into traffic on highways
The compass - used this in church on Sunday, actually
The video camera
A few of the games
Some of the other apps (mostly the girls use these), like one where you can take any picture, draw where the mouth is, and then record what it's saying. They do some really hilarious things with this.

RE: New battery - sigh; but it might help a 2nd hand Palm.

Who's in your icon?

Nicholas Rush, a physicist on Stargate Universe, a show that I fell hard for this past fall. He's either completely asocial or just having a really bad run; fandom is split on whether he's truly evil. Well, actually, fandom is pretty sure he's just misunderstood and a bit clueless; I think TPTB are setting him up to be an evil supervillain, having just had the "hero" of the show beat him up and abandon him on a planet - that just happens to have a nonworking space ship RIGHT THERE.

In this icon, he's watching the show's heroes bring Lt. Hapless on board, after having rescued him from a hole he managed to fall into. Rush had argued it wasn't worth saving him; fandom agreed, but not-so-much the other characters. Rush just looked so lost in this scene - he was wrong, saving Hapless didn't doom them all, yay horray.

I changed this to my default because SGU gets a lot of hatred from people who have liked previous Stargate shows. I use it to flush out other SGU fans, many of whom are afraid to mention the show on their own LJs.
[User Picture]
From:talktooloose
Date:January 12th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
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When my Palm T/X dies, the biggest loss will be the mobile word processing system. I can't believe that there is not yet an external folding keyboard for the iPhone or iPod Touch. Maybe there is. I haven't checked in WEEKS.

You do know that the iPod Touch is basically the same as the iPhone but without the phone? If you find wifi zones, you can do full surfing with it. Of course, the ubiquity of wifi zones is overstated. Toronto just added free wifi to libraries, so that helps.
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:January 12th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
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I do know the iPod Touch a bit, because Doran has one and Zara had one until it was lost (pickpocketed on the subway). My reluctance to get it is based on:

- I think of it as primarily an MP3 player, with minimal PDA capabilities. Is that not true? Does it have good calendaring, contacts, with easy synching to a pc?

- I hate iTunes. I have Rhapsody now. Would I have to give that up?

- I don't care so much about the external keyboard (I rarely use mine for the Palm) but I care about putting Word or text files on my PDA. I thought that wouldn't be easy on the iPod Touch. Am I wrong?

- I sort of feel bad about getting one when Zara is missing hers...

Do you have any thoughts on any of the above?

(trying again - I wasn't logged in the first time)
[User Picture]
From:talktooloose
Date:January 12th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
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I know that you can sync the calendar and address books of the touch to Mac's iCal and "Address Book" apps. I'm pretty sure they offer some such option for PCs.

In terms of reading files, I found this thread in two seconds of searching, and I'm sure you can find others.

So, in other words, I don't know, but think that lots of people are answering these questions.

I'm willing to bet you need to use iTunes, though, since iTunes and iPods are designed for each other.
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From:executrix
Date:January 12th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
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A really cheap Netbook? It sounds like they make those to do just the kinds of things you need to do.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 12th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
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I'm really looking for something smaller than that. I know, I'm picky. I want something the size of a Palm or smaller, that can be my phone and also have my whole life in it, from calendar to address book to alarm clock to pictures to fanfic. Oh and it has to be cheap, too :-).
[User Picture]
From:sabra_n
Date:January 12th, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
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My last Palm died a little while back, too, and I replaced it with a Palm Centro. I don't use the data plan so I can't speak to the quality of its Internet-based features, but as a Palm/phone it works just fine. And it was nice to just sync up my info on the new phone and not have to worry about reorganizing my life. The only thing that's a bit weak for me is how tiny the keyboard is, but I got used to it.

If you want an iPhone-style touchscreen phone that's also a Palm, I've heard excellent things about the Pre.
[User Picture]
From:sabra_n
Date:January 12th, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
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Oh, and my Centro cost me $50 under my family's cell plan. So that was nice. :)
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:January 12th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
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If I could get a Palm phone I would, since that's the easy route. But I can't with my cell plan and I'm locked into my plan.
[User Picture]
From:sabra_n
Date:January 12th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
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Ah, sorry. :( I don't know if this happens with cell companies, but I know that sometimes cable companies will, in order to get new customers, pay whatever cancellation fee you incur by leaving your old contract. Or is that totally pie in the sky with cell phones?
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:January 13th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
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I don't think that happens with cell phones, and it's a huge fee in my case because it's $200 per line to cancel and I have four lines. I keep extending the contract to get new phones whenever one of the kids loses his/hers or it breaks or (in one case) a kid drops her phone in the toilet. So now basically I'm with TMobile until Moshiach comes. But in general I'm fine with that. The plan meets our needs and is quite cheap and I can add extra lines for $10, which was useful as the kids each got big enough to need a phone...
[User Picture]
From:barb_krasnoff
Date:January 12th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
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One question: What calendar/contact manager do you use? If you use Google, that might make things a bit easier -- for example, the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G uses the Android OS, which syncs very easily with Google's calendar/contacts apps. And I can recommend a good Android alarm clock app (Jim and I recently bought Droids, so we know from Android...) I don't know what your budget is; the MyTouch goes, I think, for $150.

There may be other, free T-Mobile phones that use either Blackberry or something else... If you want to call us and talk about it, or email us, feel free.

(And yes, I understand. Jim still has the Palm he was using, and only gave it up with the greatest reluctance...)
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:January 13th, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)
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I've tried three times to respond to this and for some reason it's not showing up. Maybe it will work this time...

I think I am going to go with the MyTouch 3G. I don't use the Google contact/calendar/tasks apps atm but I'm looking at them and they seem fine. I like the idea of having all my data in Google, so I can access it anywhere and don't have to worry that if my phone or laptop dies I'm SOL. I have a gmail account, although I haven't used it much, but could well switch over to it; I like Google Docs; I could see reading books with Google Books. So it seems like a good possibility. I'm going to play with the Google PDA-type apps a bit more to make sure I like them, but I'm leaning towards that. And any recs you and Jim have for android apps are most welcome.

[User Picture]
From:barb_krasnoff
Date:January 13th, 2010 03:18 am (UTC)
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Yes, definitely play with the phones a bit to make sure you like them -- you don't really know what you want until you try them hands-on. I actually played with the idea of getting the MyTouch 3G a few months ago, but we weren't sure we wanted to go with T-Mobile at the time. You could also consider the new Nexus One, which is the new Google phone for $179 with a two-year plan. You could also look at the T-Mobile G1, which I've heard decent things about.

You can, by the way, route your POP3 email through Gmail (I started doing it when I got my Droid so I could read all my email through it). If you end up with an Android phone, we'll talk about it all...
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