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Seeking advice - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
June 21st, 2005
09:44 am

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Seeking advice
So, after around 7 years in the landline wasteland, I'm considering getting hooked back up to that cellphone network thing that the kids think is so groovy these days.

I'm considering a Treo 650, which has a thumb-driven keyboard. I'm not sure that's what I want - I'm thinking of this as a PDA first and phone second, and a tiny keyboard on a PDA seems like a bad idea.

How about you, gathered smart masses? Any comments/experiences/cheap shots?

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From:traypup
Date:June 21st, 2005 04:59 pm (UTC)
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that's the one I'm going to get. Morton said it's a good one and I believe him.

We'll be phone buddies!!!!
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From:tsmaster
Date:June 21st, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC)
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It seems like it's a pretty popular model.

My friends that I've talked with about their phones seem divided, but some of the friends I've talked to are pretty opinionated about trifling things, so I'm trying to gather more opinions to balance out some of the psychoes.
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From:taliana
Date:June 21st, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
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I've heard from several people that when you buy a cell phone that has multiple functions, like the PDA/cell phone, that the cell phone doesn't work as well (crappy receptions, drops calls a lot) as a phone that is just a phone. So as long as you are looking at it as being a PDA first and then a cell, I'd say it is fine. We give motorolla text pages to our counselors here and the little keyboard is a great help. The phone may not be as easy to hold/use when talking, but it will make gettin info in the phone much easier. I detest using the calendar/contact stuff on my phone because it's such a pain.
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From:scoreboard
Date:June 21st, 2005 07:38 pm (UTC)

Things to consider...

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1) It is VERY VERY important that the phone fulfill its core competency as a phone. I ditched the SonyEricsson P800 because, even though it was loud and featureful, it was suck-a-doodle-doo at holding a signal.

2) Size. Will you be comfortable carrying it around all the time? My Nokia 6620 is the perfect phone in every respect but two, and one of them is that it is too big to comfortably tote in my front pocket.

3) Battery life. That's the other one. Most smartphones have to be recharged every night, whereas my wee little Moto V180 only needs it every third or fourth day.

That said, it seems like every man jack in the Valley rocks the 650, and it has the standard touch-screen with stylus in addition to a keypad. It would make an ideal laptop replacement for a long weekend, and with a Palm OS, there's no limit to the available third-party software.
From:ericasco
Date:June 21st, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Things to consider...

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Add to this: reliability

I got one of the T-Mobile Sidekicks way back in the day before there was color. At least for them. It broke about 6 months in. Just stopped working. No problem, 1-yr warranty and a SIM card, so I'm fine. Then two months later... time for another one. Then 3 weeks... and another. Then two months later... yup. And then two months after that, well, my warranty was out, no matter how many of the things they had to send me.

Luckily, that also meant my 1-year contract was up.
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From:strangeanimal
Date:June 21st, 2005 11:38 pm (UTC)
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have you ever considered VOIP?
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From:tsmaster
Date:June 21st, 2005 11:47 pm (UTC)
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I've considered it, and I think that it's got some potential to serve certain needs - but different ones than I'm looking to serve with the cell phone.

I'm looking for a device that will allow me some flexibility in where I can be contacted - if I'm working from a hotel room or just the back yard, I want the boss to be equally able to raise me on the phone.

Which is a bit of a self-deception, because if the boss is trying to reach me, he first will try to IM me, and if I'm in a hotel room without WiFi, I'm already in the wasteland.

Also, if I go out vacationing and need to meet somebody at an airport, being able to contact people on the go is a useful ability.


If I'm going to add a cell phone to my arsenal of equipment, I figure I can add in the PDA functionality as well. And if they want to glom a camera into the thing as well, maybe I'll use it.
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From:ginsu
Date:June 22nd, 2005 07:41 am (UTC)
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I'm looking for a device that will allow me some flexibility in where I can be contacted - if I'm working from a hotel room or just the back yard, I want the boss to be equally able to raise me on the phone.

Three years ago, I wrote a column predicting the eventual rise of a nationwide WLAN of the type IBM and others have made noise about occasionally... and, when that infrastructure is in place, the creation of tiny phone-like computers which use it to deliver VoIP, and global communication everywhere, all the time, essentially for free. WiMAX makes that seem like a viable dream indeed.

Thus the apocalyptic proliferation of cellphones and their children's literature reliability ("We do not function in a shaft. We do not function in a draft.") would finally be supplanted by modern technology and, for that matter, ethical flat-rate billing schemes.
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From:heidi8
Date:June 22nd, 2005 02:55 am (UTC)
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I like my sidekick but it's a different species from palm-type things. Let me know if you want to know more?
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From:tsmaster
Date:June 22nd, 2005 03:47 am (UTC)
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I currently own a Handspring Visor Prism (some such), and I think I like the idea of the PalmOS device with phone features.

My big question is about the keyboard - will my hand get all gnarled up and cramped into "keyboard thumb"? Will I be able to operate the keyboard at all efficiently? In a darkened movie theatre, perhaps?

The notion of using the phone as a very lightweight laptop is alluring and a little bit absurd. Which may not be contradictory, come to think of it.

So, yeah. How's the keyboard on the sidekick?
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