• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Technology PDAs: anyone here use them?

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,711
Points
69
I just won an auction on eBay for a Sharp Zaurus 5500, a geeky Linux based PDA with a built-in keyboard pop-out keyboard, large color screen and a wireless networking card.

I'd like to know if others here use any sort of PDAs, and how extensively. Also, wireless networking and hotspots with PCs and PDAs - how does it work? If you have a card, do you just go into a hotspot and volia, you're online?
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
25
just a plam zire for my work/life schedule and to read plaetizen by avantgo when i am bored and not at my desk. i think that the pocket pcs are too small to work with. i have found that grafittitm for the pda's are awkward sometimes so that turns me off.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
I have a Zire and I would love to upgrade to a Wi-Fi compatible one. I use it to read news (www.avantgo.com), to store appointments, and contact info. It is not terribly powerful, but it does those three functions well. I also have a palm E-book reader, which is great. You can download entire books to the palm...great for travelling.

If you have a Wi-Fi card, you just find a hotspot and you are online. I know someone who has a wireless network at home and surfs the net from the comfort of his bed or the kitchen table.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
Points
44
I use a Palm tungsten E for scheduling, addresses, and organization. Not interested in wi-fi.
 

Planner Groupie

Cyburbian
Messages
173
Points
7
I just got a Sony Clie for christmas. I love mind so far. I've been beamed me a couple cool programs for it. I basically wanted it for appointments, address's and the like.
 

PlannerByDay

Cyburbian
Messages
1,827
Points
24
I've got a Palm VIIx with internet capibility.

It is a few years old and I love it. I use the Calendar and phonebook functions most, Although I do use the note pad when I travel to put things like mileage, directions, and other notes and things on it.

I know the script and can write on it just like it were a piece of paper. The keyboard would be nice but I'm a poor (and cheap) planner so I'll have to do with out.

In short. I love my PDA and would be lost without it now.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
My wife keeps wanting me to get a PDA, 'cause she loves hers.

My concern is this: if I can't use a paper planner effectively, why do I think I'd do any better with an electronic one?

Don't tell me about WiFi uses: we ain't got none!
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
I have had a Palm 105m and I LOVE it, the only gadeget I love more is my Ipod.

I use mine for everything, bills, games, metro system maps all over when traveling, handy shopper (tm) is great, i also can import pics so when im talking tosomeone about someone they dont know the name i can show the pic and bam they know who im talking about. Great to keep pics of my doggies with me as well.

I guess day to day the calender is the most useful then notes, but when I travel i keep all kinds of stuff on there.

oh so very wonderful and fun flirt tool with the infared beaming.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,816
Points
61
SGB said:
My concern is this: if I can't use a paper planner effectively, why do I think I'd do any better with an electronic one?
Me too!
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,447
Points
27
Don't have one. Dont want one. Don't want to know what I am missing. And I too, can't us a "paper planner."
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,918
Points
37
I'm starting to get "PDA Envy". Seems like every time I'm in a meeting and the time comes to schedule something, every else pulls out a PDA except me...

My daytimer has some advantages though - it's a lot less obtrusive to make out my grocery list during a meeting in that than it would be on a PDA :)
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Don't have one, don't want one.

I have been in meetings where it was clear that the applicant and their team were beaming notes and topics to discuss back and forth.

Can you doodle on them?
 

Planner Groupie

Cyburbian
Messages
173
Points
7
donk said:
[B
Can you doodle on them? [/B]
There is a paint program on mine that you can use to doodle. It also has an internal keyboard so I don't have to learn how to do the letters with the stylus.
 

DecaturHawk

Cyburbian
Messages
880
Points
22
SGB said:
My concern is this: if I can't use a paper planner effectively, why do I think I'd do any better with an electronic one
I never could use a paper planner effectively, but my PDA works great. My PDA reminds me of appointments and anniversaries with a nice, soft audible beep--my paper planner could never do that. I miss fewer meetings and stay on track much better (necessary for my ADD-addled neurons). It's so much easier to keep track of things in my PDA, whereas I was always losing paper lists and whatnot. Frankly, I think PDA's were made for people who can't keep paper calendars. I use a Sony Clie and it's great. I also attribute a lot of my success with weight loss to my PDA, as it made it infinitely easier to track food and exercise than if I had to remember to write it all down.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I used to have a Palm Vx that was City-issued (City of Vancouver). I loved it. I turned it in when I left and then I bought a handspring neo (?), which I didn't like very much so I ended up giving it to my stepdaughter later. I haven't really missed having a PDA though.
 

PlannerByDay

Cyburbian
Messages
1,827
Points
24
SGB said:

My concern is this: if I can't use a paper planner effectively, why do I think I'd do any better with an electronic one?
I couldn't use a paper planner either. I actually made fun of a co-worker about his PDA, next thing I know I got one for Christmas. I thought I'd give it a try since I didn't pay for it.

It is much easier everything is there at a glance. You can hook it up to your computer so you dont have to write in it and just upload it to your PDA, it is smaller and easier to carry around, you don't have to buy inserts every year then rewrite b-days and other dated.

Much easier to use, much easier. I was a skeptic but now a believer
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
Have a Town Issued Palm m130. Use it every day for scheduling and contacts.....but find that for the most part it stays in the cradle next to my laptop.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
I still have a Palm Vx and use it alot for calendar and contacts. I play solitare and blackjack during down time. I am shopping for a new PDA and I would love to have bluetooth! Select a contact's phone number and my phone automatically dials it! I was thinking about going to PocketPC instead of Palm next time around. I have step by step instructions at home for getting a DVD's movie only onto a 256MB or 512MB SD card, so if I ever get a new one I can try it.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,523
Points
23
I had a couple of Palms over a few years up until about twelve months ago. They have all been employer issued. It was invaluable for me in keeping my office diary, which others can add appointments to, in tune with my walk around diary. I used the address book extensively also. I used the email in a very limited way (I couldn't hack the touch screen keyboard or the graffiti writer).

A colleague bought this ingenious fold out keyboard with docking station and used to do a lot of email (off-line) work on his Palm.

For the last twelve months I have been experimenting with mobiles phones. I am currently using a Nokia 6610 and I am happy with the Diary and Address book functions. I moved away from the Palm because I preferred to carry a single electronic device. The phone is email enabled but I have never used the feature (the tapping in of messages would be even more frustrating). We have had some difficulties with replication of the calendar - we use Lotus Notes at the moment on the corporate system but have not taken the last couple of upgrades as we will be standardising on MS products by 15 March this year. The main problem at the moment is the phone will not handle repeating appointments properly. I have a work around and our comms guy promises the problem will go away when we move to MS.

As part of the overall IT refurbishment we are involved in, we will be examining opportunities for PDA's for field staff, to minimise manual conversion of paper based field records to electronic records (eg. timesheets, works orders, inspection notes) this year. If we learn anything worthwhile from our investigations I will share it here. I am just about to write the brief for our guys to start the investigation.

We have only one wireless hotspot in our urban area and it's in the town next door(TM). I've never used it. We will need to assist the delivery of hotspots around our City if we decide to roll out PDA's.

We have, only this week, started to experiment with wireless inside our admin building as an alternative to new cable roll outs. It's going OK so far. Our local high school also uses wirelss very effectively. Apart from obviating cable to class rooms, kids can go and sit in the grounds out of school hours and use wireless to study, complete assignments etc.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
ludes98 said:
I still have a Palm Vx and use it alot for calendar and contacts. I play solitare and blackjack during down time. I am shopping for a new PDA and I would love to have bluetooth! Select a contact's phone number and my phone automatically dials it! I was thinking about going to PocketPC instead of Palm next time around. I have step by step instructions at home for getting a DVD's movie only onto a 256MB or 512MB SD card, so if I ever get a new one I can try it.
I have looked at the PC's as well. I had bought a Dell but cancelled it when they kept missing the promised ship date. For about $350-400 you can get bluetooth, 64MB RAM and a 400mHZ processor.
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
SGB said:
My wife keeps wanting me to get a PDA, 'cause she loves hers.

My concern is this: if I can't use a paper planner effectively, why do I think I'd do any better with an electronic one?
You might do better with an electronic one. It depends on why the paper planner does not work for you. Technology is an enormous boon to someone who is organizationally challenged. My husband has a pda and does everything with it. If the battery runs low, it becomes a crisis. He puts grocery lists on his pda!

I do not have a pda but I am the only family member with a laptop. I am also the only family member who does not have extreme handwriting issues. The three people I live with are all heavily dependent on keyboards. So making notes by hand works okay for me for a lot of things.

I still do not yet leave the house very much. I have taken my laptop with me to the homeless shelter for work I needed to do. But my laptop goes all over the house with me. When we moved to DSL, we went to wireless internet in part for that reason. Now all I need is to find an outlet to plug my computer into (it is not a true laptop -- it has no battery -- but that is not relevant to my lifestyle). Before, I also needed to arrange to run a phone line. This is a lot less hassle when I want to work from my bed or from the couch. I do that less these days but I still have days when I can't be up much -- which is no reason to not work!
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
donk said:
Don't have one, don't want one.

I have been in meetings where it was clear that the applicant and their team were beaming notes and topics to discuss back and forth.

Can you doodle on them?
I have a keychain EtchASketch that I got for $2.99 that works wonderfully for doodling during meetings. It's attached to my "paper" planner, so it's also discreet.

I have to fill in all my appointments on Lotus Notes at work; I have a Franklin planner; I have a paper Looney Tunes calendar/blotter at work on which I fill out all appointments; I have a paper calendar hanging on the wall in the kitchen at home for family or after hours work appointments. I need my calendar to be visible to co-workers/family at a glance, so I'm sticking with paper.
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
25
i'll say this...if i wasn't forced to use outlook at work, then i wouldn't see a great need for a PDA...but syncing the two is a great thing...sure beats copying between computer and paper.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Planderella said:
I'd much rather have a Blackberry now.
Everyone I know that has one calls it "crackberry". They are constantly checking it to see who emailed or called. The joy of the vibrate "ringer"

Funny story, I was at a bar in Halifax (around midnight or so) with a group of people and there was this lonely guy at table all by himself, filling out post cards, we go and sit down with him (his table had 8 free seats). Next thing I know the girl I was with poked me in the ribs and said I bet he checks his blackberry within 5 minutes. Sure enough he did. Bad thing was at that time I had no idea what one was.

I was semi joking about doodling. All of my note books have doodles from when meetings get really boring.
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
I got a Tungsten E Palm for graduation, and I use it all the time, for meetings, reading books, grocery lists, etc. My husband has had one for a while, and loves it. I was pretty attached to my Filofax, and was dubious about going electronic, but it's great. Very handy.
 

Belle

Cyburbian
Messages
142
Points
6
I have an iPAQ and love it. Like most others here, I use it for appointments and contacts mostly, but my favorite function is the task list capability that allows you to prioritize tasks.

I use MS Money, which I download to the PDA, so I always know how much money's in the bank (very important for a poor graduate student). I can also add entries directly into the "check register." (my iPAQ replaced my check register, calculator, and organizer in my bookbag or purse, saving space)

I download Planetizen and world news through Avantgo, so I have something to read if I have time to kill.

Also keep pictures of my nephew, notes for my thesis, and games on it.

Haven't figured out how to download email yet, that's my next adventure.

Highly recommend having one.
 

prudence

Cyburbian
Messages
688
Points
20
Just got a Dell Axim X3i...it is outstanding. Wi/Fi and bluetooth built in. The IR synch-ing is great. I don't know how I lived without it.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
31
What is this Peeda thing you speak of? I am still miffed that they took my mimeograph and put in a "photocopier" or something like that.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
mike gurnee said:
What is this Peeda thing you speak of? I am still miffed that they took my mimeograph and put in a "photocopier" or something like that.
Oooh, that brought back the memory of the heady smell of the mimeo machine...
 

GIS Guy

Member
Messages
19
Points
1
Well For Fun or Work

Well, I learned an expensive lesson. I should of bought a treo 600 that has a telephone and a PDA with keyboard. I'd actually use it more.

Instead and only do to the treo's lack of high resolution, I got a Tapwave Zodiac II with blue tooth and 2 sd slots. I fugure I could attach a 512 meg SD card for way overkill memory, and be able to connect to a GPS unit. With blue tooth, I though I could sure the internet, text message and email via my bluetooth cell phone. Wrong, doesn't work. It's a pain. I rather test messageusing the numbers on my phone (no drivers for text messaging for the Zodiac), go to a starbucks and use my laptop and WiFi connection for internet access and email. As for the Zodiac, it's great playing solitar on the thrown or waiting for a meeting. Therewise, it's a great 3D gaming PDA, but I really want a Treo 600 with high resolution so I can have my phone, email/web access and scheduler in one unit. Now I look like a gadget freak walking down the street with my MP3 player, PDA case, Cell Phone and Laptop.

So, when the next Treo comes out, I'll give a review. The one thing I don't like about my PDA is it's hand writing recognition. I wish it was better. I think I would use it more. Have heard great reviews about that Treo 600.

Mike
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,176
Points
51
Belle said:
I use MS Money, which I download to the PDA, so I always know how much money's in the bank (very important for a poor graduate student). I can also add entries directly into the "check register." (my iPAQ replaced my check register, calculator, and organizer in my bookbag or purse, saving space)

I download Planetizen and world news through Avantgo, so I have something to read if I have time to kill.

Highly recommend having one.
I was looking at one this weekend. I have one now, but it is a Palm I. The beam does not work, the hot sync only works 5% of the time, and I keep maxing out the memory, I think it is time to do an upgrade.

What other programs would you recommend?
 

GIS Guy

Member
Messages
19
Points
1
Wow, a palm one, was that the palm pilot? The current Palm OS I believe is 5.2, mabey 6 is here. Those treo 650s are cool as they come with the palm os, telephone, internet access. I currently carry my palm (Zodiac 2) 50% of the time (mainly for my to do lists, games and listening to e-books while traveling), my cell phone 70% of the time, and my crackberry 95% of the time. Next, it will be a tablet PC when they are lighter and a bit smaller. The black berry synchs with my work and has the phone, internet and the RIM os, I like the mini keyboard.

I would suggest that you look at a palm with a current os system or even if it's a b/w screen. If you're on the budget, at least make sure your handheld has a memory expansion slot. Take a look at audible.com. you get a pretty good discount on a modern pda with a subscription.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
MikeGritz->GIS-Guy<- said:
Those treo 650s are cool as they come with the palm os, telephone, internet access.
...And my work email

...And my home email

...And a camera

...And an MP3 player

I have the older Treo 600. Amazing gadget! The 650 has bluetooth technology too. I cant wait to upgrade and my phone is only 6 months old!
 

GIS Guy

Member
Messages
19
Points
1
Agreed

Yep, everyone with the Treo 600 has told me their treo is almost as good as a wife, almost that is. My next phone will be either the treo 650 or just a plain jane phone.

When that 650 gets in, let us maybe you can write a review. It's so nice to be able to pull up mapquest when I get lost or when I'm traveling light. :)
 

BikePlanIt

Cyburbian
Messages
123
Points
6
I just switched from a Palm IIIc to a Motorola MPx smartphone, and love it. It syncs Outlook seamlessly with our Exchange server, and I can call whoever I need from a 300+ person list without issue. It's not a PDA, so I can't load Microsoft Money :-( , but it plays mp3's and solitare like nobody's business. Plus, it's way cheaper than a full-on PDA. Oh, and I synced it to a laptop via IR AND Bluetooth. It doesn't have Wi-Fi, since Cingular would prefer to sell me bandwidth. I don't use it to cruise the Net.
 
Top