As I look at the sprawling mass of post-it notes I have sitting atop my desk, next to and on my keyboard, behind my monitor... you get the idea— I can only think of one thing. I need to get organized! For a while, I've been toying with the idea of getting either a powerbook or an iBook for wireless and portable computing, but I think that's a bit much, at least until I figure out when I'm going back to school (and where... AirPort, anyone?). I don't know where the idea came to me, but I thought of getting a Palm! I don't know if it's a good idea, but after doing some research and actually going out and playing with some I WANT ONE!
I looked at the Tungsten T3 and the E. The E is cheaper, simpler, and does less. It is your basic Palm, with a decent processor and memory, mp3 capability (not that I plan to use that) and an SD slot for WiFi expansion (coming Fall 2003, supposedly). It does not come with a cradle or a microphone. Or bluetooth, though I don't have any Bluetooth devices at the mo. But if I bought an iBook, I could get it with Bluetooth for extra wireless connectivity.
The T3, by comparison seems to scream. It's beautiful; it almost feels like liquid in my hands—it's that smooth! And kee-ripes! you can use it in LANDSCAPE (sideways for the n00bs among us), and they were kind enough to make it able to be left- or right-handed. Many lesser designers would have left such a simple thing out. It's easy to forget the last great silent minority (excepting maybe the colorblind, they bitch even less than we do). The graffiti area is virtual, which means you can hide the input area and use the whole screen as a display (which you can still write on). If you look at the E, you see a grey area beneath the display with icons all around it. You cannot use that area as a display, it is built into the unit. With the T3, you can minimize that and use the whole thing as a display! And it can do movies, MP3, pictures and all sorts of other stuff I'll never use it for. I started with all this because I wanted to be able to leave myself notes, shopping lists, story and invention ideas, and stock tips. And to be able to record voice notes (though that's a cheat; I can actually do that on my phone as well as scheduling appointments though that's hard). And to keep contacts/business cards and addresses and whatnot. And being able to occasionally check my e-mail via WiFi hotspots (which I can do on my phone but is downright impossible—I can only check my hotmail account which I never use, and composing any sort of message is 3-8-2-5-4-6-4 7-4-3-4-2-8-5-6-8-7. But what if I want extra capabilities later on? Huh? What do you say to that, Mistar Smartey?
If you put them both in a steel cage and had them fight it out, no doubt the T3 would win. Of course, the T3 is damned expensive. So expensive you could [almost] get two Es for the price. If you put two Es in a steel cage, they would probably just barely outmatch the T3. It actually comes out to 1.9 Es per T3, so if you got a regular E and one that was gimped out—had a broken leg or stylus or whatever—would they be able to beat the tar out of a T3? That I do not know. One way to find out is to ask you guys. Honestly speaking, I could get an E and probably be moderately happy with it until I see if I am going to really make the most out of a Palm or if it is just a wasted investment. However, I am not usually one to do things by half-measures (I'm cheap, but there's a difference; swear) and I think I would probably use a full-featured Palm more and therefore enjoy it more/get more out of it. I know I would use the microphone, for example. The landscape view, to me, felt more natural and easier to manage. I mean, I could not put the T3 down. As I was driving home, I thought to myself, "the Staples down the road is open for another 15 minutes... maybe I could just play with it a little bit longer. This is after spending at least an hour playing around with it at 4 different stores! Price is not really a factor if it gets me organized and gets me back to school and through my classes! I am not looking for it to be a miracle cure, but I am willing to take whatever help I can get. Keeping a whiteboard, keeping lists, setting reminder timers for myself on my phone (again, painful, so I stopped doing it) have not worked. I'm not looking to purchase a paperweight here. I want something that's going to do what I want it to when I want it to. And looking at the negative feedback on the E (crashes a lot? broken button?) vs. the negative feedback on the T3 (don't like the Graffiti 2 system—I like it fine) (have to open the slide to write quick notes—so use the recorder!), it's not easy to dismiss the more expensive T3.
But I really have no experience with PDAs other than knowing Joe had one and loved it while we were at Cornell. I'd love feedback and/or input from all of you. I also welcome questions, though I doubt I've left anything out of this post. Has owning a PDA really helped you get organized? Did you buy one and never use it? Should I just wait and put the money toward an iBook (with a svelte $100-$300 student discount, oh Mac, must you tempt me so?) with an AirPort WiFi card, an iSight and/or an iPod?
Also, because I know there are a few nature geeks on my friends list who understand maybe .8% of the above post, which do you think would kick the other's ass, a panther or a jaguar? And how would either fare against a cougar? Assume a fairly equivalent mass, i.e. two animals of roughly similar weight.