[AUUG-Talk]: Re: Mobile phone/PDA recommendations?

Andrew Reid andrew.reid at plug.cx
Fri Dec 9 13:17:53 EST 2005

On 09/12/2005, at 12:09 PM, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:

> Recently our CTO made it clear that a Real Man uses a Heavy-Duty PDA,
> and suggested that I should get hold of one.  I'm not overly
> convinced, but it's looking like I need a new mobile phone, so I
> should at least investigate the alternatives.
> I've done a bit of looking around, and to my immense disappointment I
> discover that most of the more interesting devices are
> Microsoft-based.

To be honest though, Greg, when I had to go through the same process,  
I reckoned the Microsoft-based PDAs were a better unit, all things  
considered. I mean, if you get yourself past the fact that it's from  
the Dark Side, they're pretty tolerable.

That said, every now-and-then, my HP iPAQ hx4700 does have a shitfit  
which results in me pulling the battery and starting it up again.  
Maybe once every couple of months, I'd say. Still, we're living in a  
world where I regularly have to "reboot" my phone, so I suppose in  
that light, it's not too bad.

I ended up going for the hx4700 over a combined cellphone/PDA/GPS/ 
coffee machine, like the 02 XDAs, because I didn't fancy holding  
something the size of a small book up to my head when I had a phone  
call at the pub. I prefer to have my PDA attached to by belt (got  
myself a leather case) so it's with me at work and when I need it,  
and sitting in the cradle when I don't.

I found the screens on most of the PDAs out there pretty average when  
I was looking, but this one had a nice, large 640x480 LCD screen,  
which was also a selling point for me.

> - GSM phone

As I said, I made the choice to avoid that and got work to get me a  
small Nokia, a 6230.

> - traditional PDA, with lots of memory (1 GB or more).  The HP needs
>   an external SD card to handle this.

The hx4700 can take SD and CF memory.

> - preferably usable with a UNIX-like operating system, at least as
>   dual boot.

Never tried it, as, sad as it is, Windows CE does the job I want it to.

> - Connectivity.  HP has only Bluetooth and GPRS; I'd be much happier
>   with 802.11.

Not being a phone, mine has Bluetooth and 802.11b, which I find more  
useful. Walking around the campus at work, I can use the wireless  
network most anywhere and browse the web, read e-mail and remotely  
administer servers.

> - Camera, I suppose.  The HP has a 1.3 megapixel camera, which is good
>   by comparison with others, but marginal by comparison with real
>   cameras.

See, again, I found the cameras in most PDAs to be more of a wank  
than they're worth, when you consider the image quality. What can you  
really do with images of that quality?

> Can anybody suggest useful alternatives to the HP?

I can't be of much assistance, I'm sorry.  Greg, what's the main  
thing that you're not liking about the HP you've been looking at?  
There seem to be open source tools for syncing them on Linux at  
least. Your corporate collaboration system is probably something  
proprietary anywhay, isn't it?

    - andrew

| Andrew Reid [andrew.reid at plug.cx]
| Overworked and Underpaid Network Monkey
| C: +61-401-946-813  F: +61-8-8219-0034

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