Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 3:06pm

Why I (still) love Palm Pilots

Posted by Jordan Erickson

I posted this as a review on amazon.com for the Palm Tungsten C (which I just bought a second as a backup). I felt compelled to write a review because of how much I love these devices, in an age where cell phones have all but completely replaced the functionality of the traditional personal data assistant (PDA). Here it is:

Ok so I guess I’m a bit biased – I’ve been using Palms (and earlier PDAs) for a long time. I’m 30 now, and I started using PDAs when I was 16 (yeah, I’m a computer nerd). I’ve been able to keep the same memos, address book, and date book for a very, very long time. Through many different Palm devices. As long as I back up the data, I’m good. I just bought a second Tungsten C here actually, as a backup in case my primary one gets lost, stolen or broken.

Specifically, I love the Tungsten C because of the keypad. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I learned Graffiti a long time ago but I’ve never liked it. I constantly tried to find the ‘perfect’ replacement that had an actual keyboard/keypad, and with Palm, those are very few and far between. The Tungsten C is the one for me. I’m not going for WebOS as I hear nothing is backward compatible with PalmOS. I don’t even use the wifi feature as their web browser is horribly outdated, and installing Opera is near impossible even though there are sites that show you how to do it. The wifi kinda stopped working on mine anyway, showing a consistently stale list of available access points…whatever, I just turned Wifi off and now I have a great PDA that is disconnected from the world (which is what I wanted anyway).

My love for Palm’s simplicity in their primary applications (addressbook, memopad) and my love for the third-party apps I have come to depend on (Strip, Datebk6) is what keeps me from thinking “well, my cell phone has most of this functionality, why don’t I just use that?” I’ll tell you why. Because my wife washed my cell phone the other day. I’m probably going to upgrade my cellphone, and with the market/technology changing so quickly, I’d be crazy if I thought I could retain almost 15 years worth of data in a device that is going to become obsolete in a year. Palm sidesteps this with their older devices in that they are so PLENTIFUL to obtain and so insanely COMPATIBLE that you could pick up any old Palm and be able to restore your data easily. I own a technical consulting and support business, and use my Palm for appointments, tasks, addresses, notetaking, keeping encrypted passwords, etc… Thinking that a cell phone SHOULD do these tasks, I have found, is just insane. I want to keep them separate so I’m not tied to a certain cellphone for life. My Tungsten is my #1 receptionist – I rely on it for everything, even now in 2010. Palm devices have never let me down when it comes to the necessities of a true PDA, and the Tungsten C is the best of breed IMHO.

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