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resourceress7
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grad student: use PDA instead of laptop
      #9246 - 03/12/04 03:28 PM

Hi all,

I'm looking for my first PDA. I will enter grad school in the fall, and want to use a PDA (with a portable full-size keyboard) to take notes in class, write notes and papers in the library, etc. Basically, I will use the PDA instead of a laptop, so I'm looking for a PDA with a large, clear screen that is well-suited to word processing, with occasional spreadsheet use.

Also, my university has a wi-fi network, but I'm not sure what I would use it for, except to check my email (which I can do from a number of desktop computers on campus, including my XP machine). I suppose if I could use the wi-fi netowrk to print my work from my PDA, that would be nice, since I wouldn't have to wait to backup my work to my XP desktop before printing. Could I use the campus wi-fi netowork to print from my PDA to a Mac-networked printer? Is it really important to have a wi-fi-capable PDA? If so, why?

Disregarding price, please suggest the best models for my needs (large, clear screen and good for word processing and possibly spreadsheets). I'm open to any OS. I need to use my funding by the end of this month, so I appreaciate your timely input

Thanks,
Marisa

Edited by resourceress7 (03/12/04 03:44 PM)


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LisaGModerator
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Re: grad student: use PDA instead of laptop [Re: resourceress7]
      #9257 - 03/12/04 07:56 PM

If you want a large clear screen, consider the Palm Tungsten T3, Sony Clie TH55 (we'll be posting a review of that next week) and the Toshiba e805. The Clie and Toshiba have WiFi.

If the printers on campus are networked and the IT folks there allow you to log onto that network, then you should be able to print. You'll probably need to buy a 3rd party printer driver app for your PDA too. But check to see if the campus IT folks allow you to log onto their network which has the printers first.

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resourceress7
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Re: grad student: use PDA instead of laptop [Re: LisaG]
      #9389 - 03/18/04 11:39 PM

Still waiting for info from the IT dept. It sounds like it's set up for laptops with PCMCIA wi-fi cards. Not sure if that means PDAs too. The procedure seems to be that you log into the campus network and can surf the net/email from there. Still not sure whether I could print from a PDA, and if so, which types of PDAs are compatible. If any of you tech-savvy folks would like to read what the campus has to say, maybe it will be clearer to you what the specifications would be for PDAs... http://its.gallaudet.edu/resources/wireless_network/


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resourceress7
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Re: grad student: use PDA instead of laptop [Re: resourceress7]
      #9390 - 03/18/04 11:43 PM

As for wi-fi models, I'm also considering models with thumb keyboards, just because I feel that may be more convenient for me sometimes than using a stylus. (plus, I'll have a separate text pager, and will be used to thumb keyboards!).

Top of that list are Ipaq 4350/4355 and Tungsten C. Something in me wants to lean toward Palm devices instead of further supporting Microsoft (and its history of software/security problems). However, the PPC models tend to have replaceable batteries and more memory.

But, like I said, I want to balance these features with a nice, usable, hi-res, pretty large screen. (to be fair, the T|C has 320x320 resolution and the 4350 has 240x320).

Anyhow, I welcome any comments about palm vs. PPC or about specific models (of either OS) with larger screens and wi-fi.

Thanks,
Marisa


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LisaGModerator
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Re: grad student: use PDA instead of laptop [Re: resourceress7]
      #9403 - 03/19/04 06:38 PM

I took a look and it seems like PDAs should work since they haven't mentioned using VPNs or requiring special network clients. As for printing, they don't describe the printer network (if one exists) so it's hard to tell. If they do support TCP/IP networked printers and allowing users to print via them, then both Palms and Pocket PCs should work. You'd need to buy 3rd party printing software for either platform however.

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resourceress7
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Re: grad student: use PDA instead of laptop [Re: LisaG]
      #9411 - 03/20/04 12:25 AM

LisaG,
Thanks for taking the time to look that over for me. And BTW, you ROCK for the work you do on this invaluable web site!


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resourceress7
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Re: grad student: use PDA instead of laptop [Re: LisaG]
      #9445 - 03/21/04 04:36 AM

I was reading over the clie TH55 specs, and noticed that the only card slot it has is for memory sticks. Does that slot accept SD cards? What if I want to insert 3rd-party software in the form of a card? Do all Sony models have this limitation?

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Re: grad student: use PDA instead of laptop [Re: resourceress7]
      #9446 - 03/21/04 04:50 AM

Sony Clies only accept Memory Sticks. You can't use SD cards with them.
The new discontinued NX and NZ model Clies also had CF card slots in addition to a Mem Stick slot (but no SD slot).

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resourceress7
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Re: grad student: use PDA instead of laptop [Re: resourceress7]
      #9451 - 03/21/04 08:38 AM

Leaning strongly toward Toshiba e805, due to very high screen resolution, since I plan to use the device to take notes and write academic paper drafts (with external full-size keyboard). Wish me luck as I inch toward actually making a purchase, lol!

Update: Just heard this model is officially discontinued (that was quick.). Possibly in anticipation of the 2004 edition of the pocket pc operating system, which is supposed to fully support VGA. Hrmmm...

Edited by resourceress7 (03/21/04 11:04 AM)


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LisaGModerator
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Re: grad student: use PDA instead of laptop [Re: resourceress7]
      #9457 - 03/21/04 08:54 PM

There are rumors of it 1) being discontinued, 2) it being temporarily pulled from the US (but not overseas) market due to an error in the FCC filing. These are only rumors, and Toshiba hasn't confirmed them.

It now seems that we won't see a Windows Mobile 2004 OS. Instead it will be called Windows Mobile 2003 SE (Second Edition). Toshiba has announced in the tech news that they will offer an upgrade to this OS for the e805. The new OS will likely be announced next week in the MS Dev. Conference in San Franciso. When MS does release it, it will be to the device manufacturers, who will then need to customize the OS to work on each of their devices. So it could be a few more months before we see it.

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resourceress7
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Re: grad student: use PDA instead of laptop [Re: LisaG]
      #9464 - 03/21/04 11:18 PM

Yesterday (or was it the day before?) shoptoshiba.com was selling the e805 on its web site and today it's not. I plan to order one through buy.com so that's okay.

I hope I can still buy an extended warranty/service plan from toshiba, because all of their plans seem to be based on exchanging your unit for another one.

here's the link to service plan options http://www.csd.toshiba.com/cgi-bin/tais/pc/pd/st/st_productSearchResults.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@1185831362.1079911087@@@@&BV_EngineID=cccjadckmlijiemcgfkceghdgngdgll.0&comm=ST&modelOID=513363

Now the question is, if they're no longer selling the e805 and no stores are getting them in stock, how can I have a replacement-based extended warranty? Probably can't.

Do any of you know of some great 3rd-party extended warrantee/service plan options out there for pdas? This is too expensive not to protect my investment with some kind of plan...

Edited by resourceress7 (03/21/04 11:22 PM)


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