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Re: PDA (Potentially OT)

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Bill Polhemus wrote:
> Show of hands: How many of you--like me--have a calculator with programming
> capability that ever use it? I'll bet the number is in the single- or
> low-double-digits.

Ooh, ooh, me.  HP 48GX.  I even have expansion cards. Not program cards, mind. 
I hacked most of the calcs together myself.  Do computer-geek types like me
count?  ;-)

> I mean, unless you're
> a Mac-only fanatic, when you think of COMPUTING you think of Microsoft.
Hey, *nix fanatics think of non-MS non-mac first.  ;-)

Dennis, I honestly didn't read Bill's mail as explicit disdain for 
MS.  More as a difference of opinion on what PDA's should be. All 
in all, I have to agree with Bill.  I've seen some of the WinCE 
devices and, while they *seem* (cursorily) to be better palmtop *computers* than
the Palm/Visors, they are not what I would think 
of when I look for a PDA.  PDA = DayTimer-on-a-disk, with some 
additional digital features like email (if cheap enough).  The 
email part is even debatable since I don't want a cell phone (too connected for
me), so why cell mail?  Network access on-the-fly (like ricochet, say) would be
useful so I can work with (most of) my thesis data on the servers instead of
stored on my laptop, but email on the 
fly is not the primary (or even secondary) motivation for the network
connection.

Besides, having to write palm-scribble is bad enough.  I'd substantially
worsen my RSI typing on those tiny palmtop boards.  And if you get an expansion
keyboard, why not just carry a laptop?  At least then your analysis program of
choice might be run on the machine.  ;-)
I dunno.  I guess I'll consider wearable/palmtop/wristwatch computing when
useful computing power gets down to the lavalier-sized device,
al la communicators in recent variants of Trek, not the old Shatner/Nimoy
communicators.  Then again, communicators are just fancy two-way radios. 
Tricorders are closer to what I'm thiknig of, and even recent trek has
tricorders the size of palmtops, so maybe my standards are too high?  Hrm, it
seems my trekkie coefficient certainly is.  ;-)

Charley
(Did that can say gasoline?  Oops.  I was looking for the baking soda...) 

-- 
Charles Hamilton, EIT                   Graduate Student Researcher
Department of Civil and                 Phone: 949.824.8694
    Environmental Engineering           FAX:   949.824.2117 
University of California, Irvine        Email: chamilto(--nospam--at)eng.uci.edu

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