Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Mon. Oct. 31, 2006: Next generation PDA

David gets a replacement for his Palm IIIxe.

(by David): Back in the Palisades days, IBM had a deal with Palm, so I managed to get an IBM Workpad, which was the first generation PDA. It was black-and-white, and didn’t do much, but since I would sync it to my laptop, it was helpful when I really didn’t want to boot my computer just to look up an address or phone number. I’m on my Thinkpad so much, that I really don’t need a lot of computing power. The old PDAs used to run 2 months on 2 AAA batteries, but then everyone went crazy for more features, so the PDAs had to start using rechargables … and they had to be rechanged everyday.

Of course, the old Workpad broke, so I got a second generation one from my job at Palisades. IBM stopped selling the Workpad, so when that one broke, I ended up buying a Palm IIIxe from Factory Direct. Under $100, with 8 MB of RAM, and still black-and-white screen on two AAA batteries.

Somehow, I lost the Palm IIIxe, and I’ve been working away from the desk at home, so I’ve been a bit annoyed at not having a PDA. I looked at what was new in PDAs, and decided to wait a few weeks … for the new Palm TX.

The Palm TX is, in effect, a Palm Tungsten T5 with Wifi access. This means a mobile browser! The other advance (from older Palms) is non-volatile memory. On old Palms, when the power ran out, everything on the PDA was lost. Now, when the battery runs out, at least I don’t have to reload everything!

The TX has been a nice luxury — it’s cheaper than the older models, but I could almost buy a cheap used laptop for that price, these days! Still, I’ve been listening to Podcasts recently, where the user interface has been discussed, so I’ve bee considering this my portable alternative to a Mac. (I’m still on Sony minidisc, no iPod!

Two annoyances with Palm, so far. One old application I used — Currency — a useful cross-exchange rate program that hasn’t been updated since 1999! — caused the TX to go into a loop. I had to reload the TX many times until I figured out that it’s a lost cause, and replace Currency with FXPilot from Oanda, which does the same thing, but in a user interface that requires two more taps. Secondly, I bought an SD card and then got Realplayer for Palm under the assumption that I could now play Realaudio (which is a super-compressed streaming format, which I normally have use Total Recorder to convert to MP3). Wrong! It turns out that Real doesn’t support Realplayer on mobile technologies! What are they thinking? (It’s possible to get WMA support — Microsoft’s version of streaming audio — on the Pocket PC format).

On the whole, I’ve been satisfied with the TX. It’s brand, brand new, and I bought a “multilingual” version over eBay, instead of going to a store, because this multilingual version comes with a multi-voltage adapter that I would otherwise have to pay $40 for!

Postscript: In packing for Finland, I discovered the Palm IIIxe in my travel luggage. I remember now …. I was taking notes at the conference in Florida, and already had all of my luggage packed. I just slipped the Palm into my travel luggage, because I tend to use the Palm when I’m on the road! Maybe Diana would like the Palm IIIxe.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on Coevolving

    • Pattern language, form language, general systems theory, R-theory
      With the distinction made between pattern language and form language, a broader vision of the "life" sought by Christopher Alexander has led me through General Systems Theory into R-theory.
    • How do Systems Changes become natural practice?
      The fourth of four lectures for the Systemic Design course at OCADU SFI focused on (a) situated practice + history-making (reframing disclosing new worlds), and on (b) commitments and the language-action perspective (applying conversations for action).
    • Whom, when + where do Systems Changes situate?
      The third of four lectures for the Systemic Design course at OCADU covered value(s), the science of service systems, and the socio-technical systems perspective.
    • Why (Intervene in) Systems Changes?
      A lecture on ecological systems for the OCADU SFI master's program opened up opportunities to discuss wei and wuwei, and get beyond an anthropocentric perspective the Canadian beaver in its habitat.
    • Are Systems Changes Different from System + Change?
      The second session of the Systemic Design course in the OCADU SFI master's program was an opportunity to share the current state of knowledge on Systems Change, in light of recent interest in Systems Change and Theory of Change.
    • Ecology and Economy: Systems Changes Ahead?
      A workshop with David L. Hawk at the CANSEE meeting in May 2019 led to an invitation to publish an article, "Ecology and Economy: Systems Changes Ahead?" in WEI Magazine.
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on Ing Brief

    • Wholism, reductionism (Francois, 2004)
      Proponents of #SystemsThinking often espouse holism to counter over-emphasis on reductionism. Reading some definitions from an encyclopedia positions one in the context of the other (François 2004).
    • It matters (word use)
      Saying “it doesn’t matter” or “it matters” is a common expression in everyday English. For scholarly work, I want to “keep using that word“, while ensuring it means what I want it to mean. The Oxford English Dictionary (third edition, March 2001) has three entries for “matter”. The first two entries for a noun. The […]
    • Systemic Change, Systematic Change, Systems Change (Reynolds, 2011)
      It's been challenging to find sources that specifically define two-word phrases -- i.e. "systemic change", "systematic change", "systems change" -- as opposed to loosely inferring reductively from one-word definitions in recombination. MartinReynolds @OpenUniversity clarifies uses of the phrases, with a critical eye into motives for choosing a specific label, as well as associated risks and […]
    • Environmental c.f. ecological (Francois, 2004; Allen, Giampietro Little 2003)
      The term "environmental" can be mixed up with "ecological", when the meanings are different. We can look at the encyclopedia definitions (François 2004), and then compare the two in terms of applied science (i.e. engineering with (#TimothyFHAllen @MarioGiampietro and #AmandaMLittle, 2003).
    • Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language: Analysing, Mapping and Classifying the Critical Response | Dawes and Ostwald | 2017
      While many outside of the field of architecture like the #ChristopherAlexander #PatternLanguage approach, it's not so well accepted by his peers. A summary of criticisms by #MichaelJDawes and #MichaelJOstwald @UNSWBuiltEnv is helpful in appreciating when the use of pattern language might be appropriate or not appropriate.
    • Field (system definitions, 2004, plus social)
      Systems thinking should include not only thinking about the system, but also its environment. Using the term "field" as the system of interest plus its influences leaves a lot of the world uncovered. From the multiple definitions in the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics , there is variety of ways of understanding "field".
  • Meta

  • Translate

  • moments. daviding.com

    Random selections from the past year
  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal