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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    I Want A New Palm

    I am retired so I don't have the high-level mobility needs of some of you but I'm interested in doing a bit of "modernizing" with what I've got and would like a comment and/or recommendation.

    My present equipment is a mobile phone on the AT&T (formerly Cingular) system and a long in the tooth Palm m515 handheld. My phone is not too old but isn't a camera phone and I wouldn't mind combining both the phone and handheld into one device that will serve both functions. I use the Palm m515 for its Contacts and Calendar functions, which ARE very important to me. I do also use memos on the Palm, but not much else.

    The reason for this post is to ask about my browsing at Palm - Products - Palm® Treo™ 680 smartphone which looks like a device that might let me combine both phone and PDA but I could be way off base. Anyone got any comments or suggestions for me?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    I could be wrong, but I'd say this is Palm's answer to RIM's Blackberry. The all-in-one device for the mobile user. I think you'd be able to do exactly what you're asking about - along with other things such as web-surfing, email, possibly GPS location / tracking, (and more??)....

    I've got a Blackberry supplied by my employer for business, and simply use it for the email / contacts / calendar functions (on their dime...voice calls are my own when made). I love the email on my hip, and couldn't be without it for business as I'm not always at my desk, but do need to access various information while at someone else's.

    I know I didn't answer your question directly, but hopefully it's been informative.
    Christopher Baldrey

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    Thanks Chris, that is good info. In my case I don't need all the "stuff" I'd be buying but it would let me combine my two devices into one. Probably takes a long time to learn how to use this modern equipment, huh?

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    Most of the cellular phones I've seen here, have built in calendar and contact functions. It's just the ease of use that you'll run into on those.

    I'd suggest finding a phone along the lines of Treo or Blackberry with a full keyboard for text entry if you plan on entering data on the run. If it's just for viewing synced data, then a regular phone keypad would be fine. As for the stylus, I don't know (as I haven't been looking) if anyone still does the stylus on cellular devices. Qualcomm did at one time... but do they still exist?
    Christopher Baldrey

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    Here's a new wrinkle for someone who may be more up to speed than I am. It has to do with my ignorance not only of legalities but of actual "working procedures." Also, I think this question is directed to USA/Canada Loungers as I'm sure procedures in other parts of the world are different.

    Isn't it possible, in today's phone technology, to buy a new cell phone "off the shelf," take the SIM card out of your old phone and insert it into the new and be good-to-go? Does this kind of upgrade also require that the carrier "activate" your new device and if so, will they do so?

    When I started my internet research on this question, I came across a Palm page that contains a pricing for the Treo 680 that looks attractive to me. However, it says clearly (see attachment) that it's for a NEW account activation only and one should call AT&T for help with existing accounts. So, I visited a local AT&T store this morning (formerly Cingular Wireless) and the lady said, unequivocally that I am not authorized for prices like this until my two year account "expires" in April. Well, I've had my phone service with them for about ten years and I don't give a hoot about that contract stuff. To me, it simply means that I'd better not jump ship before two years or I might suffer severe harm and mutilation. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    When I got home a short time ago, I called Sales at AT&T and was offered a compromise price, pending "manager approval" in about 24 hours. If it's approved, I guess I'll be told what to do next. This is worse than the old days of copy protected software and this old timer is very puzzled about all of it. Here I am, wanting to SPEND MONEY on a fancy piece of hardware but I'm essentially being told I can't have the best price because they've "already got me" under contract!
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  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    Hey Al, I have AT&T and an iphone. With AT&T, you can just pull the SIM and put it in another AT&T phone and it will work. Addresses are a different story. Deending on your phone, the addresses and numbers could be stored in memory rather then the card. I've had MANY smart phones in my day, including a BB and a treo 650. Besides my iphone, (which I LOVE), my treo was GREAT. It's not hard to use at all. Just one note: you should prolly look into unlimited data for email and internet. If you don't have a data plan or go over the kb's, it can get expensive. I pay an extra $20 for unlimited data thru AT&T.

    The 'only for new customers' thing is a pricing issue. The price you have listed below is a GREAT price for a 680.

    OH, I almost forgot. when I got my iphone, AT&T gave me a new SIM because I used to be cingular. It should just work as is, but, depending how old your card is, they may want to give you a new one,

    Call me if you have any questions that may not be suitable for the board. Prices, blah blah.
    Mike Wolfman
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    Bow before me, for I am root.
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  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    THANK YOU for the comments, Mike. Yeah, I knew that the calendar and contacts would be an anomaly since mine are stored on the phone rather than the SIM card. That's why I wanted to stay with Palm since, as long as I can synch it with the Palm Desktop software, I can get my calendar and contacts transferred to the new device.

    Well, I guess I'll wait until I hear from AT&T "management" and go from there. Thanks again...

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    Al, let us know what you do.

    I have an even older Palm that still functions, but I have been thinking about going to a Windows Mobile OS-based phone, rather than Palm, for ease of syncing. (And because I have some doubts about the longer term future of Palm and Palm OS, even though I think it's a good, robust, PDA OS.) Treo's are also a bit bulky, so I've been watching the market for phones with solid PDA features. All I really want is Contacts and Calendar; I have settled into a place where I don't much use any other Palm capabilities. (Something like the Motorola Q with Outlook Mobile would be nice. I'm unclear this is intended to Sync or be an independent Outlook application.)

    Unfortunately I use Verizon, which doesn't have GSM service, and GSM phone have the transferable SIM. <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15>
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
    UTC -7±DS

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    OK, I'm supposed to get a call from AT&T/Cingular today with a yea or nay from upper management to authorize me to do a new contract three months early and get the Treo 680 price I showed up above. I think the Palm Treo 750 is Windows based, is it not of any interest to you?

    To me, dimensions are not a problem. My current Palm PDA measures about 3.25" wide and the Treo 680 datasheet says it's 2.3" wide so that will fit in my shirt pocket. My current phone is about 1.75". Remember, I'm retired and don't wear a suit jacket any more so my shirt and trouser pockets are where my phone and PDA respectively have to live. I'll be happy with something that will fit in my shirt pocket.

  10. #10
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    I hope you have a pocket flap on your shirts Al. I've had a friend or two go 'fishing in the loo' when there PDAs decided to accept the force of gravity, and dive into the toilet bowl. <img src=/S/toilet.gif border=0 alt=toilet width=24 height=26>
    Christopher Baldrey

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    Now you're gonna cause me to make a terrible admission and the subsequent "procedure" that came as a result. As I said, I carry my Palm PDA in my trouser pocket and my phone in my shirt. Well, several years ago, what you described ALMOST happened to me except that the phone hit the toilet seat and went to the FLOOR, luckily for me. Ever since that time, I (now) have a force-of-habit procedure where one hand covers my shirt pocket opening so I don't have to withstand a repeat danger like that again. <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16>

  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    Well, the "end of the day" (Eastern time) came and went and when I didn't get the call, I got proactive and called AT&T support back. I did get the price I mentioned and my new Treo 680 will be on the way shortly. He said 7-10 days which is OK with me since I'm not in a hurry. The fella said (and I didn't ask him why) that a new SIM card will arrive with the device and someone from AT&T support will call me (yeah, sure) with instructions on how to activate and set up the new device. So now I wait. Just in case anyone else is interested, I will post back when I've got that baby up and running. If I can get the phone working and my calendar, contacts and memos transferred from my Palm Desktop software, I'll be a happy camper.

    The additional new features like camera, email and so on will all be bonuses for me but it'll be nice to combine two devices into one.

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    I'll post to you John, since you asked what I do...

    My new Treo 680 came via FedEx today so that was very rapid turn-around. I had downloaded and read a copy of the user manual on and off for the past few days, so I guess I was pretty prepared for the transition. The advance instructions said that I MUST install the Palm Desktop software that comes with the order even if I already have it on my system. So, I had taken the prior time to not only backup my calendar, contacts and memos but to "export" them to files as well.

    AT&T supplied a new SIM card with the Treo and activating it was a breeze on the landline phone. In just a few minutes I had made and received a few test calls and even a welcoming text message from AT&T. I plugged in the battery charger and did a little Lounging while the supplied battery was charging for about 45 minutes. Not long at all for a new battery. I have a second one on order so I can keep a freshly charged extra battery on hand. I was a bit surprised when I first started to read the doc that it says you should charge the battery every day and NOT wait until you've used up the charge. That's not what I'm used to in the past with rechargeable batteries. So, if a battery lasts me all day which I think it will in my limited use, I guess each evening I'll pop in my spare and put the second battery on the charger when I go to bed.

    Running the supplied CD from Palm does seem to have installed a newer version of the Palm Desktop software. My currently installed copy says 4.2 whereas the previous was 4.1.something. Well, it had me create a new username and the install went quickly and smoothly. When that process was done, I imported my calendar, contacts and memos and the doggone thing looks just exactly like it did before. I guess I'm lucky so far. The part that had me in nervous frustration was attaching a new cable for the Hotsynch operation, but that too went as slick as a whistle. The hotsynch took quite a bit longer than it used to with my old m515 and I don't yet know what all the "new" stuff is that was getting synched, but I guess I'll find out soon. I've got a lot of continued reading (RTFM) and learning to do yet.

    The hard part now comes in learning how to "navigate" around on the handheld to find calendar stuff and make and receive calls quickly. I had gotten to the point that I could make a call to someone in my "phonebook" with two or three punches and I'll have to re-learn all of that. One of the new adds for me is having a camera in my phone which I don't think I'll use too much, but I did test it, as you can see in this attachment. So far, so good and I'm a happy camper on this day.

    PS The pix file saved by the camera, even though 640 x 480 was over 100K and too big, but PSP saved it with somewhat lower quality, in a file small enough for The Lounge.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    At the risk of having a conversation with myself but in case some Lounger ever comes along who is interested...

    I'm obviously still learning my way around my new Treo 680 but so far I'm well satisfied with the device. Having one LESS thing to carry around is very nice. The Treo is proving very easy to learn to use. Yesterday I received my separately ordered extra battery, stand-alone charger and plugin 2 gig memory card. It'll prove handy to have a spare battery all charged up and waiting to be used each evening.

    It's about the memory card that I'm writing now. I have not had a need for USB flash drives or keychain devices, so my only experience with these types of things has been the rectangular or square cards that are used in digital cameras. I have an all-in-one reader/floppy attached to a USB port on my PC and this TINY card in its adapter read nicely (FAT format) in that device. So I should be able to copy pix to and from the card with no problem. I've also modified my Treo and Desktop settings to USE the card, rather than the Treo's built in memory. In addition, synching the Treao with my Palm Desktop copies the few photos I've tested quite nicely. I'll put a clip here just in case someone hasn't ever seen one of the little-bitty memory cards. Ain't it amazing that they can cram so much capacity on such a little device. I was reading somewhere this morning that the Treo is also capable of reading 8 gig memory cards. Wow!
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  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: I Want A New Palm

    Yeah I was astounded at the size when I got my 512mb Micro SD Card for my phone. And it's not that expensive: http://www.flash-memory-store.com/mi...e-digital.html.

    Flash memory is following Moore's law in capacity ÷ price terms. I'm guessing we'll have two major evolutions in PC design in the next 3 -5 years:

    1. RAM integrated into the CPU. There's evidence Intel is already working on this.
    2. The replacement of hard-drives with flash memory, at least on portables.
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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