Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I finally replace my decrepit Palm Tungsten E2 with a ...

Palm Tungsten E2.

Let me explain.

It's been four years since I wrote a review of the original Tungsten E. Three years since aggravation with the flaky T|E (bad switch) drove me to the short-lived SONY CLIE TJ-27. One year and nine months since the CLIE gasped its last and I reluctantly switched to the Tungsten E2 (same bad switch [2]):

...When the last of its styli was lost, then it would go to the junk drawer. I was ready for the end. I cursed each moment with its hell-spawned stylus - a demented offspring of a toothpick and needle. The earth itself had rebelled against that satanic tool -- there were no replacements anywhere. If I did not already despise SONY for their spyware scam, I would loathe them for that stylus.

And yet, I did not entirely welcome the end. I knew that the noble lineage of the US Robotics Pilot was fallow. True, the CLIE was a twisted shadow of its grandfather -- the Vx, and its great-grandfather -- the III, but what better options were there? The much disliked Tungsten E2? (Let us not speak of the father -- the ill-fated Tungsten E -- nor of the bastard IIIxe.)...

That E2, I swore, would be my last Palm device. Something better had to come along ...

Something like the iPhone.

But the iPhone isn't ready. It doesn't meet my minimum set of requirements and version 2 is at least four months away. Too long for my crashy T/E2 and it's too short battery life.

I thought I might buy an HP Windows Mobile, but nobody I trust can tolerate WM. Blackberry definitely, but that would foreclose an iPhone. Blackberry is my fallback option, and I'm not ready to give up yet.

That left Palm. I needed a stopgap that I was pretty sure would work with minimal pain. So I bought another E2.


At least my old chargers, SD card, and styli work with the new device.

I backed up my Palm and Outlook data [1] and just synced. Most everything works, except I have to resync my KeySuite office data to get my work life onboard [3].

So, really, it was pretty painless. The new E2 appears identical to the old one, and they both run Garnet 5.4.7. The new one is definitely faster, but I can't see why it should be. I doubt they have different CPUs.

I should be safe now until February. If iPhone progress is as slow as I expect it to be, I might continue to use the T/E2 as my work PDA.


[1] That's not easy of course, you have to track down the secret location of Outlook's data file: "C:\Documents and Settings\jfaughnan\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook".

[2] I think even the best Palm of all time, the Vx (ok, so the i500 is a contender), had a bad switch. It tells you something important about Palm that they can't, or won't, spec a on/off switch that lasts two years.

[3] I've given up on any vendor ever delivering a product that would given me an integrated calendar/tasks/notes on the PDA and home, while synching only work related data at the office. It's not easy to do this and I'm the only customer who cares about this.


Dr. Wilson said...

I bought a second E2 myself, activated it yesterday. (The earlier one died a year ago from an endless loop of digitizer screen for which I could not afford a $150 return for factory reset of the brain.) Now I find that the Search function still has a problem that the first one did: It will only search for the first 8 occurrences of a word then loops back and starts with the first page again; this means that any word that occurs in more than 8 contacts cannot be fully searched. Maybe this is something that you have found a fix for during your own turbulent relationship with the beautiful but "decrepit" E2. Any suggestions?

Dr. Who said...

Gordon's Tech, Thanks for your post. I use my Palm TE2 extensively, memos, contacts, tasks, calendar, and all. This is my second TE2, and the digitizer screen is going haywire. I gave up on my first TE2 when I needed to click 300 times to complete the digitizer.

To Dr. Wilson, I am using IntelligentFind from and it is great for searching the whole Palm system.

For people that have enjoyed the Palm PDA, can you suggest a good alternative that you have switched to and liked?

Dr. Ralph Wilson said...

I'm glad that these robots can handle long times between communications. My second E2 is now having worse alignment problems (I have not dared to redigitize again). Your note today may get me to hard reset the thing and see if it can clean up its act.

The Search function certainly can use some help; my original one continues to find only the first set of findings in the Address book and then when I ask it to find more, it starts over again at the top of the alphabet, so that I can't find anything that is in a listing further into the alphabet than the original screen of findings.

Thanks for the input. Best regards for 2010.

Bobbi Beck said...

I have tried several E2's but they all had digitize probs, ... I desparately need to upgrade to something else, but haven't found anything that has long enough fields to take all of the info. I have stored in my calendar. Has anyone found a good alternative?

Dr Ralph said...

[I posted earlier but logged on without Google Blogger's new controls.] I'm impressed with the potential of forum postings to help people move forward. I'm glad for the technology so that we may add to other people's search for help.

What I've decided to do but have not yet fully activated yet is to Export all my data that I've saved in the Tungsten functions that I want to save (likely 1) the Address book including its Notes; 2) Memos including categories and Notes.

Then I could open it with MS Excel and format it so that I can eventually find info that I want to find at some time in the future.

Then I may purchase MS Outlook (which I have skrimped on and haven't done yet).

My concern is the same as yours: What to do with the fact that the Tungsten allowed for very extensive content in the Notes.

I don't know what the other personal data managing products allow, but I don't expect to be able to transport all of what I've built up in my Tungsten to another product.

I may purchase a used version of the iPhone, but I don't know how much data it can accept from MS Outlook. I do know that the iPhone does accept Outlook so eventually I'll likely convert my data into Outlook.

So, for now I'll say that I think that the iPhone/iPad platforms likely will be supported longer than the Palm or Blackberry.

Keep on backing up your data, of course.

I plan to comment here after I finally make a switch. It's almost time to wish everyone the very best for 2013.