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color cycle (slow)

Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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color cycle (slow)
So I'm back home. Rats.

Actually, it was rather expected for me to head home this weekend; there's always stuff I forget. My MP3 player's communication cable, a non-empty bottle of shampoo, my headphones, my white board stand, etc...

Entrapment seems to be the theme of the weekend. I feel very stuck at home again, with my good computer at Washington University, along with my drastically outdated eight-year-old PDA that I need to upgrade (any recommendations? Compatibility with Linux pseudomandatory, acting like a cell phone is points deducted, being able to play video files and understand the CompactFlash cards I already have would be strongly positive) that I'm wanting to play with anyway. I'm also upset at Microsoft; I wanted to install my outdated copy of Office XP Student Edition to the computer, but it wants to be activated and since I had it on this laptop (now uninstalled; I'm trying to transfer the license, not cheat it) and it won't do so without a phone call to technical support. I have, y'know, class during the work day; I don't have time to mess around with Microsoft tech support for N hours to install software I've already paid for. I am not going to buy another fucking copy just to do that; if Microsoft refuses to allow me to activate the software, they're just screwed because I'll simply move entirely over to OpenOffice because it's not going to abandon me when I need it. Anybody know good Windows open-source alternatives to Outlook? Compatibility with ActiveSync a plus.

The entrapment sort of theme really started with being unable to get out of Small House 9. The door lock stuck and refused to let me out; the electromagnetic lock was fine with letting me in, but it wasn't so cool with my escape. Fortunately, the lock is as crappy as it is unreliable; a body check against the door turned out to be enough to forcibly release it. Heh.

...I sort of had a point here, but I got too hungry to get to it or remember it. I'm going to go eat something now.

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a body check against the door turned out to be enough to forcibly release it.

I'm trying to imagine you doing that. Its a rather amusing image.

The wait times for activating a copy of Office isn't very long.. a few minutes tops usually (It didn't take that long to get ahold of somebody when I called. about 5 10 minutes truth be told) and though they are probably foreign, you just read them some numbers, they read them back to you, and you type them in, and it works.. Shouldn't be too painful.

As for what to get, if you can deal with it being a few years old, look for a casio BE300 pocket manager.. They don't sell them any more, but they are still pretty cheap if you find one on ebay. They also have a custom made version of PocketPC 2003 (or WinCE4) made by fans of the thing called Be-Shell. it works great... Don't know much about it's compatibility with Linux, unfortunately.

Also, as for Outlook replacements... there aren't any very good ones.. (really depends on what you are looking for, but if you are looking for a client to talk to MS Exchange, though they are out there, and work, they aren't ready to compete with M$.) If you are looking for just a regular mail client.... a lot of people like Thunderbird.. (I find it useless, but that's just me, don't take my word for it, try it out yourself.)

I think most PDAs that can sync with Outlook might actually contain a copy of Outlook, so getting a new PDA may solve both your desire to upgrade your PDA and have something to use for Outlook on Windows, provided actually using Outlook is acceptable.

No pressure, but I have one hour to make a $350 decision

Looking at Palm's site (makers of the PalmPilot), I've discovered that there's a major sale on the Tungsten T5: a free Wi-Fi card for the device ($100) when you purchase the PDA ($300). It has 256 MB of onboard memory (mostly in flash memory) and no onboard wi-fi (which is why the card is needed); I've looked at the specs, and everything but the lack of wi-fi is exactly what I want.

Problem is, that sale expires in one hour.

I'm still trying to decide if it's a good idea or not. My Cassiopeia E-125 is stone dead; trying to power it up just resulted in a flurry of garbage and further refusal to power up. I think it's time for a new one, but is that the right one? When using the Wi-Fi card, I'd be unable to use any other expansion- such as extra memory- and I've heard that the battery life is fairly bletcherous. But it seems that it would do what I want.

The other thought is the Tungsten C, an older model with a QWERTY keyboard (I can't believe I just almost misspelled QWERTY) and built in wi-fi, but little enough onboard memory I'd want to buy an expansion. Thing is, it's got better battery life, and I can buy a bigger memory expansion. That's not a sale, so there's no time rush if I'm not getting the T5.

Decisions, decisions... I'd consider the Palm LifeDrive, except reviews state that it is unreliable at best and I'm not going to accept that for $500. It's got everything but a keyboard...

The iPaq line is hugely expensive for what I want to do; the LifeDrive with its 4GB disk is cheaper. It may be my best option, but I just don't know...

Re: No pressure, but I have one hour to make a $350 decision

yikes ...

Looking quickly at Palm's website, the T5 looks like the better choice, but I'm probably looking at it from a different angle than you. The QWERTY keyboard may be of more use to you than it would be to someone like me with handwriting a PDA can recognize with relatively few errors.

The ability to rotate the display is something I frequently wish I had on my own PDA. The larger display on the T5 due to the absence of the keyboard is also something you may wish to take into account, along with its larger memory.

The C also has benefits -- battery life is a very, very nice thing to have. (This comes from the person with two batteries in her laptop who bought an extended battery to double the battery life of her own PDA, so is perhaps a bit biased.)

A key question may be whether the use of a wi-fi card with the T5 prevents the use of a memory expansion at the same time. If so, the potentially much larger memory taking into account a flash card of the C may be more beneficial.

What exactly are you planning on using it for?

After reading more reviews, I've decided that neither the T5 nor the C are what I'm looking for. The C is rock-bottom on reliability ratings, and that's not a good thing on a college campus. The T5's battery life and the fact that I can't expand the memory when the wi-fi card is connected have pretty much salted its feet (inside joke, "sealed its fate") for this. That and the LifeDrive's reviews calling it extraordinarily crash-prone... I think I'm back in the market for a Windows-driven PocketPC, despite its inevitable Linux incompatibility. *shrug*

When I was looking, though I think for something to do a bit more work than you are, I ended up deciding that I had to have a PocketPC because there were too many things Palm's OS just didn't offer. I think looking for a PocketPC machine will give you something far more what you are looking for in the long run.

If battery life is a concern, you may wish to pay attention to which models have extended batteries available.

Something you may want to pay addidional attention to is how much memory doesn't get wiped out when the device loses power. I've occasionally left my Jornada alone for months on end, and when I do, if I haven't recharged it at some point, I generally find myself having to restore the data from what was stored on my computer because even with a battery with twice the normal life, several months is still enough time for it to run out of power. I've only got a fairly small amount of memory that's not on my flash card that lasts through a total power lost.

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