Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Aug 2012 11:20 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless You'll want to see this. "A teardown chronological history of PDA Organisers spanning 17 years: 1986 Psion II Organiser, 1996 Palm Pilot 5000, 2003 HP iPAQ 5550." Very thorough teardowns of the hardware, detailing all the chips and other on-board parts. Hardware porn, basically. Great work by David L. Jones.
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Great devices (except the iPAQ)
by flypig on Wed 15th Aug 2012 19:28 UTC
flypig
Member since:
2005-07-13

I know from experience that Psion made just the most fantastic devices. Similarly the prospect of having an XScale in a PDA was thrilling at the time with the iPAQ (unfortunately let down by Win CE).

However, although I never owned one, out of the three I can't help feeling most drawn to the Palm. Simple and with just a giant screen (sort of!). It deserved to evolve into today's smartphones, and I still find it astonishing it didn't.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Well I certainly miss my trusty old Palm Treo 650, I still consider it the best smartphone I've ever owned. It even beats my current two, the HTC Arrive WP7 phone and the Samsung Nexus S with ICS. I'd give up both of these phones and a little cash for a modern Treo with WiMAX and a high resolution screen. And I don't mean a WebOS phone, that's not the same thing at all! I mean a thin, fast Treo with an updated Garnet OS. Of course I know that will never happen.

Back on topic, the video certainly brings back good memories. I was already familiar with the innards of the USR Palm unit as I've owned one and had to fix a broken solder joint in it many years ago. I think it's amazing to see how much has changed, and yet how much remains the same, in 20 years of PDA tech.

Reply Parent Score: 2

flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Yeah; the video clearly shows evolution across the devices - it's fascinating to see how the boards get more tightly packed - but the fundamentals all look similar.

Not that I'd even know a resistor from a capacitor. Every device I ever opened up ended up with some crucial functionality mysteriously missing afterwards.

Reply Parent Score: 2

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

I owned the Palmpilot pro. It was the next generation version of the Palm 5000 (the regular Palm pilot was equivalent to the Pilot 1000.) Loved it at the time. I still have it in a drawer and my eldest used it for a while when she was around 8. Good intro to mobile computing.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Every now and then, I power on any of my Palm devices (I have loads). PalmOS really was amazing in that it was both total shit, and yet still managed to work and appear elegant.

Loved it.

Edited 2012-08-15 21:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I forgot to mention, you could install a GNU/Linux-based OS called Familiar Linux on some revisions of the iPAQ line. It was never 100% hardware supported on all models, but it made for some fun times and much better functionality than WinCE/PocketPC.

Edited 2012-08-15 21:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

you could install a GNU/Linux-based OS called Familiar Linux on some revisions of the iPAQ line.


I really wish I'd done that at the time! WinCE had decent developer tools, but other than that I just could never get on with it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

My iPAQ will boot in to Angstrom from the memory card. I think it's a similar model to the one in the video, just lacks WIFI. Works okay really. Not really all that different to the Zaurus sl5500 with custom ROMs.

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Palm. Simple and with just a giant screen (sort of!). It deserved to evolve into today's smartphones, and I still find it astonishing it didn't.

One can easily argue that it did ...just not from the same company.

Evolution doesn't happen only via reproduction... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizontal_gene_transfer - actually, that might be the primary way among the dominant form of life on this planet (dominant at least by biomass; but also crucial overall; and, well, there are more bacterial cells in our bodies than "human" ones). Plus, the genome of your mitochondria (some of it even subsequently transferred to nuclear DNA) came from ~bacterial kingdom...

Reply Parent Score: 2