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Comments on: Palm OS Laptop Replacement Coming for Students

AlphaSmart has unveiled Dana, a portable device larger than a handheld and less expensive than a laptop, intended for students. Powered by Palm OS 4.1, Dana includes a full-size, integrated keyboard and a 560 by 160 pixel touch screen that is roughly 7.5 by 2.25 inches. It has 8 MB of memory and two SD/MMC slots. It will be sold to individuals for $400 and be available before this fall.
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Looks interesting...

Kaitou @ 6/17/2002 9:53:21 AM #
Wonder if this is just the first in a series of palm-laptops, but I am not sure if I can see a commercial niche for this device. Still for educational purposes, instead of carrying a laptop, this seems to be a pretty handy toy.

RE: Looks interesting...
kikan @ 6/17/2002 11:03:30 AM #
Maybe it's the beginning of PC replacement...

Aren't you fed-up to wait for Windows to boot, crash, take more and more memory to do basically the same thing as they did before, but with nicer icons or amazing sounds ?

How about something with a big screen, a keyboard, a touch screen (quite better system than a mouse, it's direct), some memory

AND

low-power consumption, no crash, millions of apps (I mean thousands...) and a good look and feel which allow first time users as power user to feel good with their device. Just something useful, for the right price and compatible enough with market standard.

Of course, you may still need a big PC or Mac to do video editing and burn CDs, but for most average users, simple solution may be enough.

Remember GeoWorks Ensemble ? Why did they take so long to add Word Documents import/export ? If they did so just at the begining, they could still be alive...

Keep it simple...

RE: Looks interesting...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 1:48:54 PM #
My understanding was that GeoWorks Ensemble became NewDeal. Is that correct?
http://www.newdealinc.com/
Plus I think the old GeoWorks software is still in use for some other systems.
http://www.breadbox.com/

Commercial niche
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 3:21:32 PM #
How about in court, or somewhere else where someone needs a complete transcript of proceedings? Much easier than taking a laptop, more professional-looking than a standard handheld + keyboard, and cheaper than most other options.
RE: Looks interesting...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 7:00:43 PM #
This is good for Palm OS platform.
RE: Looks interesting...
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/5/2002 5:33:30 PM #
looks messed up, better to buy a palm and get a keyboard, or even better by a gateway laptop for 700.

Cute....

beebjunk @ 6/17/2002 9:55:13 AM #
Reminds me of the e-mate... Hope it does better though.

Adam Yap
-------------
The Australian Palm User Group
http://www.auspug.org/
RE: Cute....
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:11:59 AM #
emate did ok, it's life was just cut short just about the time it started to build in interest.
RE: Cute....
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 3:27:55 PM #
emate was overpriced too, but a good idea. I've long thought that just such a device would be great for students, particularly if it could serve as a basic email device.

The problem I have with it though is that the screen is still too small (tho I like the expanded width) and the price is still too high. I would have preferred to see at least a five-inch diagonal (landscape orientation) with Sony's version of hi-res. If it had that -- even if it were monochrome, it would have been a much more marketable device. In its current form, it should be $100 cheaper...

But, I also have to commend; as the first Palm device with integrated keyboard and USB ports, this thing is really a kick-ass first-gen device. I look forward to the price coming down, the screen getting bigger, and the eventual integration of a basic color screen. Two thumbs up for concept and execution!

RE: Cute....
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 7:13:24 PM #
I just bought an emate and am about to put a wavelan card in it to get it going on my airport network (along with my PC, Ti PB and Palm/Xircom combo)

Just a shame the b-mate never made it out the door.. but you can theoretically upgrade the emate to the StrongARM...

Wrong price!

johnwong @ 6/17/2002 9:57:56 AM #
This price is not for students!

RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:22:32 AM #
This will flop harder and faster than a parachuting whale (assuming it ever even reaches the market). With that out of the way, it is nice to see some real innovation in the Palm OS market (not just endless Sony models with new connector ports on the bottom and resolution/mp3 tweaks), especially in the area where formfactor and footprint are concerned. No one ever said that the Palm OS has to be tied to a rectangular handheld type of device. If this catches on anywhere it'd be in the commercial field, assuming a ruggedized, wireless enabled sort of field device were made available. When I recently saw a Toshiba winXP laptop with an active-matrix screen at Best Buy for something like $900 after rebate, it became clear that students are not going to buy _anything_ else. Not $600 Sony handhelds, not $500 Compaq handhelds, not even a $400 E-machine desktop (if they can afford the difference, thatis). So there's no way a bulky "unhip" Palm laptop would ever be accepted by students (or the college crowd, at least). It doesn't play DVDs and cannot handle Quake or Mp3s. This new Palm device does sort of remind me of the all-in-one Apple IIc units which I grew up with at school, though. It also reminds me of a glorifed version of that old Tandy portable computer that was popular for so many years...


RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:28:29 AM #
While Dana costs more than a low end Palm, I think the advantages make up for it.

If you introduce handhelds in a classroom, the first two weeks have to be on learning Graffiti. If you spend a similar time learning to type, it will be useful on all computers.

While a small size is great for executives, it can be a disadvantage with kids, who lose things more easily and drop things a lot more.

The main advantage over a regular laptop is price. Not just the purchase price. Recent studies have shown that the Total Cost of Ownership of a handheld is less than $500 a year. It is about $12,000 for a laptop, once you factor in support and software.

Don't ignore convenience. It is much easier to support a Palm than a laptop. Backing up data is far easier, which is important as students are likely to be sharing these things.

RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:33:52 AM #
For $400, a "student" could buy an m100, a PS2 or Xbox, and have $ left over for a bunch of games or accessories and be able to watch DVDs in the process. Also, Fammy, I don't think the kids will care how well this plays games, because they could have far better games on a $50 PSOne. it's not like kids care about what they use in class anyway.

I really don't see this interesting anyone but the eggiest of the eggheads out there. The asking price is much too high, but as the first poster said, it is a very brave move. Kudos to whomever green-lighted the project though!

RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:43:57 AM #
> So there's no way a bulky "unhip" Palm laptop would ever be accepted by
> students (or the college crowd, at least).

This won't be marketed to students, so its hipness isn't important. It will be marketed to schools, who are perpertually short on money and are looking for low cost solutions.

Don't ignore support issues. If you think it is hard to find someone at your company who will do good tech support, imagine how much harder it is for a school, who can pay 30% less, if they have a budget for a tech support person at all. I'd much rather do support on 30 Palm OS devices than 30 laptops. Just keeping my one laptop going is sometimes a full-time job.

RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:55:33 AM #
Hey, do any of you guys remember a year or year and a half ago, when some private school (in NC, I believe) went and outfitted all of their students and teachers with Palm IIIcs and folding keyboards? I'd be interested to read a report of both how well those units have held up to the rigors of a bunch of high schoolers (the IIIc was notoriously fragile, IMHO) and if anyone actually uses the units for a worthwhile purpose. I'd guess that the teachers got tird of squinting, gave up on graffitti without even giving it a chance, and the units still in use are just carried by kids to use as glorified gameboys during lunch break and in the back of the classroom.

Look, kids are going to break _anything_ and everything you put in front of them. While overall, the operating costs of a laptop probably do outweigh this device by far, being of an all-in-one design always leads to problems. If a kid bashes the keyboard in, you can't just stick a new $5 PS/2 keyboard on in its place. If a kid breaks the LCD screen with a violent index finger, you can't exactly go into the spare parts room and return with an old 14" CRT and use that in its place. In an ideal world, this device would be a boon to educators, but it'll just present a whole new world of problems to deal with. Kids will always be kids....

RE: Wrong price! not for YOU!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 11:16:44 AM #
THIS IS PERFECT FOR CLUMSY KIDS! i am not against this product, you might think its for you but please dont speak for everyone else.
RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 11:45:43 AM #
Sigh........I think we are splitting hairs here too much. Fretting over the amt. of ram in an m100 vs. m105 vs. Stowaway keyboards vs. PS/2 Keyboards. The poster from San Fran below said it best, that kids will be kids and that we are spending too much time, money and energy worrying on what OS computer in the classrooms are running. Instead, let's brush on on basic fundamental skills. Do you know how many 10th graders I still see doing basic arithmetic on their fingers? Or how many have no idea when World War II occured? Or how many cannot even write a short book report without plagarizing wildly from the Internet?

I think that ANY computer in the classroom, even if it's a 486 running windows 90, provided it has online capabilities and printer access, is sufficient for learning the basics. Most of these kids whose parents can afford PCs have far superior machine at home anyway. Those who don't have a PC at home will benefit from even an old XT machine in the corner. You can hit them over the head with new-fangled technology all day long, but if they have not learned any responsibility or appreciation for it, then what good does it do? You'll just end up with a never-ending list of broken keyboards, stolen mouse "balls" and broken CD-ROM trays. Fix the problem at the source before trying to pour more $ on it.

RE: Wrong price!
mentalsrule @ 6/17/2002 12:05:00 PM #
wow windows 90!! when does that come out? :p

i think this would be good for a few people. i dont know how good this would be in class and i carry my dell laptop with me to school... and i know by the end of the day my shoulders hurt some, so maybe this could be the good laptop replacment for schools like said before. i know if i didnt care that it was as ugly as handeras new handheld coming soon, i would probably get it if i didnt already have an NR70 and a new laptop.

---------------------
Proud owner of the NR70v and a new sexy Dell inspiron 8100... GO DELL!!
www.handecomputing.com

RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 3:09:18 PM #
As everyone else has mentioned, the price is too high!

But how much are you willing to pay for a device like this?

I'd be willing to pay $150 if it also had a built in modem. I wish, too, that it had a taller screen than 160. But if it was only $50, I'd buy it just to have a spare rugged palm around for entering large amounts of text. It would be more convenient than an attachable fold-up keyboard that has to be on a flat surface to use.

For $400, I expect at least color, wireless ethernet built-in, and a web browser that can take advantage of the larger screen with the features that Xiino has.

RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 3:16:38 PM #
For $400, a student could buy an Xbox, a DVD remote, Halo and a bunch of porn DVD's! Definitely no contest.
RE: Wrong price! --- missing the point
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 3:54:22 PM #
You're missing the point; this is aimed at getting really basic but highly flexible computers in to classrooms and beyond -- back in to the homes of kids who don't have computers. This isn't something that kids have to buy themselves (choosing between it and a PS2), this is something that whole school districts k-12 could buy for everyone.

Kids don't need to play games or surf the net; they need to learn how to write papers, record research, do more complex math, and maybe even do a little programming. And of course, there are thousands of other things that they can do with the Palm OS.

For schools that are strapped for cash, this offers something that they can send home with kids, rather than a bunch of desktops in the classrooms, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper and more stable than laptops. Imagine the classroom with one or two networked PCs, with the ability to sync and print from two dozen of these things...

RE: Wrong price!
Palm_Otaku @ 6/17/2002 5:40:08 PM #
This looks like a very intriguing alternative for schools - I'm sure my kids would love to get their hands on these! (my 7-yo loves his IIIe)

I hope they've made them pretty "bullet-proof" (and made screen-replacement reasonably easy for the inevitable accidents!)

RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:46:59 PM #
"The main advantage over a regular laptop is price. Not just the purchase price. Recent studies have shown that the Total Cost of Ownership of a handheld is less than $500 a year. It is about $12,000 for a laptop, once you factor in support and software."


Who pays 500 to maintain their pda? and who the hell pays 12,000 for software and support?

RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 11:12:32 PM #
Are you not reading the other comments? Stop thinking about individuals owning these. That isn't what we are talking about. A few people will buy them but mostly it will be schools buying them by the hundred.

Once you factor in support and software costs, a handheld costs about $500 a year and the laptop much, much more.

When you are supporting your laptop, it doesn't cost you anything. But if you are a tech support person at a school, you have to be paid. Spending three hours reinstalling Windows 2K for the third time is irritating for you. It costs the school at least $50 to pay someone to do it. That's why simpler is better. The worst that can happen is you have to hard reset a Dana and it is ready to go again. That's 3 seconds verses 3 hours.

An expensive Palm app is $30. An expensive Microsoft app is $300. If that weren't bad enough, imagine buying 30 of them for a classroom.

If you don't think keeping students or employees supplied with computers is expensive, you haven't been paying attention.

RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 11:56:02 PM #
LoL .. I am pretty sure Microsoft have school discounts / license, using the school license the cost of Microsoft office will cost less than 30 dollars per machine.

Anyways, schools won't be buying these machines, why ?? because it's a known fact that most people think palm is just an over priced organizer, people buy it because of the cool factor.

Anyway keep this a secret if microsoft could sell X-box for $350, an average Celeron PC will cost even les if they got a deal from Dell

RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 10:13:03 AM #
OT: Even when the XBox was $299, Microsoft sold it at an undisclosed loss, estimated to be $100-$150, hoping to make up the difference in licensing fees.
RE: Wrong price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 10:45:10 AM #
OT: I built myself a 1Ghz P3 PC (a slim one) for $350 I am pretty sure Microsoft with all those OEM deals could do much better than I did.
RE: Wrong price!
Tytanium @ 11/16/2002 3:57:45 AM #
As a technician for a school system in NC I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents.

1. School systems can barely afford 300-600 a pc for the classrom
2. School systems cannot buy microsoft office for less than $60 (maybe if you buy site licenses by the hundreds). We pay @70 bucks per license thats at 25-50 licenses
3. As most in public education know most school systems don't have licenses to cover the computers they have.
4. I have seen all-in-one units of all os's come and go they have all been junked within months of use and are costly to fix.
5. The only thing that will catch on is something in the $50-100 price range that is so damn easy to use that even principals/teachers with their Phd's can use without calling a Tech everyday. And can easily print email, browse the net and have what is required by the state curriculum.

This might work in small classrooms with closely monitored students or as a easy way to take a computer home to type with. But what I would like to see catch on more than anything else is USB removable media(thumbdrives).

RE: Wrong price!
Tytanium @ 11/16/2002 3:57:45 AM #
Just for a note we have used the Alphasmart 3000 series with almost no problems (ie no broken screens damaged keyboards)

Can it...

Fammy @ 6/17/2002 10:04:52 AM #
The real question is can it play games.

How does it handle existing 160x160 apps?

_____
Fammy

RE: Can it...
Ed @ 6/17/2002 10:11:05 AM #
Looks like they run in a 160 by 160 window in the middle of the screen.

---
News Editor
Another Palm OS-Screenformat
Galapagos @ 6/17/2002 10:31:21 AM #
So this is another screenformat to irritate developers. Until now we have quite a few different formats:

PalmPilot-Series (160x160, 1-Bit-monochrome)

Palm III-Series, (160x160, 4 Grayscales)

Palm IIIx-Series, Vx-Series, m10x, Handspring Visor-Series (160x160, 4-Bit)

Handera 330 (320x200, 4-Bit)

Palm IIIc (160x160, 8-Bit)

Handspring Treo 270, 90 (160x160, 12-Bit)

Palm m5x5, m130, Visor Prism (160x160,16-Bit)

Handera 330c (320 x 240, 16-Bit)

Sony Clié PEG T-410 (320x320, 4-Bit)

AlphaSmart Dana (560 x 160, 4-Bit)

Sony Clié PEG N-710 (320x320, 8-Bit)

Sony Clié PEG N-770, N-760, T-610 (320x320, 16-Bit)

Sony Clié PEG NR-Series (320x480, 16-Bit)

So that's 13 different resolutions and colour-depths for operating system that does not even offer built-in support for different resolutions.

Some may say this proves the versatility of the OS. For me this is a nuisance. For a while I used a Clie N770, but a lot of the older software did not support the hires-screen, some even crashing the system. Of course you can set the preferences to exclude certain apps from hires-mode, but this does not work, when you run the apps form memory stick.

On another note: This Dana reminds me very much of the Psion Netbook and Series 7.

RE: Can it...
Kaitou @ 6/17/2002 11:11:30 AM #
Handera 330 (320x200, 4-Bit)

this should be 320x240, and for the NR clie (I have the 70V) you can just use SwitchDash that works to exclude programs on the mem stick from HiRes

RE: Can it...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 11:58:53 AM #
Galapagos, thank you very much for taking the time to create that handy list of screen formats. I had been wondering if such a list existed to inform the hardware neophyteslike myself since before half of those screen formats hit the market!

Now all we need to do is add OS version, amt. of RAM, type/speed of CPU and a few more pertinent details and submit it to PIC to keep as a regularly updated table of every device from the Pilot 1000 to the Sony NRs and beyond. Ed, are you listening?

RE: Can it...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 12:00:15 PM #
Actually the HandEra 330 supports everything from 240x240 and 320x160 to 240x320 and 320x240 depending on the state of the graffiti area and portrait/landscape mode. Anyhow, despite what the other poster said, this is a very good thing as long as they all use PalmSource's APIs to do it (which currently isn't the case, not sure about this new Dana device). Limiting the OS because of poorly written, OLD software will lead to a quick demise for the Palm OS.
Different Palms
Galapagos @ 6/17/2002 1:17:54 PM #
For one of the previous posters:

You can get an excellent overview of the development of all Palm-powered devices at:

www.deeptec.com/palmevolution/milestones.html

PalmEvolution
Palm_Otaku @ 6/17/2002 5:23:31 PM #
Hey Galapagos :-)

Thanks for the complement on palmevolution - I've updated the Milestones page with the announcement of this cool new evolutionary branch (the "Palm Tree" update won't happen 'til Wednesday at the earliest...).

BTW, for people referencing the site, please use the root URL: www.palmevolution.com -- it's currently redirecting but will be hosted elsewhere soon.

Cheers,

Dan

RE: Can it...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 12:50:38 AM #
I don't know why people keep claiming that PalmOS doesn't have any support for different resolutions. The whole "FORM" model enables most applications to run without ever having to know the resolution of the screen, and if they do the API lets them find out what size the screen is.
Samsung PalmOS Phone has 160x240
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 11:46:55 AM #
...

cool .. very brave indeed ..

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:09:26 AM #
A new company coming out with a OS 4 device right after those established ones releasing OS 5 devices ...
RE: cool .. very brave indeed ..
Ed @ 6/17/2002 10:16:16 AM #
Mike Mace from PalmSource said something about this in an interview I did with him.
Don't expect an instant cut-over to all new products being ARM even after OS 5 comes out because there is nothing that makes OS 4 obsolete. We've got software compatibility back and forth. If a particular company likes the price/performance of 68K, and already has some work underway on it, or just feels it is more appropriate for their particular product, that's fine.

Over time I expect that eventually everything will become ARM-based but I think it can easily be a couple of years in transition. That's going to sound really weird to your on-line readers because they are out on the crusty edge of innovation but not everybody pushes out to the same degree.

---
News Editor
RE: cool .. very brave indeed ..
Coyote67 @ 6/17/2002 10:17:42 AM #
I'd call it smart, plus theres the research and manuf. time.
This is actually a very interesting product, with some nice features. Though I don't understand why 2 usb ports. If I was a student I'd pick this up. The price isn't great, but I guess you can do a price comparisson with a visor plat+stowaway, and that will only be about $250. I guess maybe since its targetted for educational institutions, they price it high. Price will probably go down.

I'd like to see more of these type devices, maybe one with color? Maybe one from handspring? :) Its a nice original idea that needs copycatting. Whats great about this kind of profile is that you can introduce a lot of different things. I'd like to see one with more than one expansion type. CF, SD, Memory stick, Springobard, its got the body for it. It would probably boost the price by a lot, but hey, I'm dreaming here. Infact, I'm suprised that they didn't put anything else in, maybe ethernet or wireless ethernet. If it was really targetting for school they could sell an entire package for class rooms.
Wonder if this one will show up in compusa.

---------------------------------------
When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.

RE: cool .. very brave indeed ..
jonecool @ 6/17/2002 10:32:21 AM #
I assume this devices supports SDIO to allow the Palm Bluetooth SD card to function as well? If so, I can see such a device making a nice terminal for the Living Room to Check E-mail, Browse the Web/PQA's, etc. over a wireless bluetooth connection to an Wireless Access Point (WAP). A bit more expensive than some other solutions out there, but those that exist typically require a separate service (Dial-up connection like MSN/WebTV). Since this unit could tap an existing high-speed internet connection, utilize any PalmOS app, the possibilities are limitless.

This unit may very well have it's place outside of the classroom...

RE: cool .. very brave indeed ..
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 12:10:58 PM #
> I don't understand why 2 usb ports.

Looking at the back of the device, it looks like there's one USB master type connection and one slave. My guess is that one is to sync with (slave connection). The other (USB master) is probably just to attach USB serial devices (unless they write drivers for other USB peripherals, maybe network).

RE: cool .. very brave indeed ..
bcombee @ 6/17/2002 2:40:21 PM #
Alphasmart's previous products have had the ability to hook up to PCs and be used as external keyboards in addition to their use as standalone devices. Perhaps they are continuing this capability with this device.

--
CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com
RE: cool .. very brave indeed ..
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 2:49:14 PM #
It does support the Keyboard emulation (in Alphaword) like the 3000 and 2000. It also supports 2 forms of memory and not just one. It supports the MMC (MultiMedia Card) and the SD (Secure Digital) card. It also supports SDIO and should run blue tooth devices just fine.

Galileo 5000

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:51:02 AM #
Speaking of handhelds in schools, any of you with kids ever seen a Disney show called Recess? One of the kids on it has the ultimate handheld. The Galileo 5000 is obviously modeled after a Palm because it looks just like one but it has a set of features possible only on TV.

It has an AI for a user interface with voice capabilities. Built in camera with facial features recognition (It knows its owner as soon as she picks it up.) A wireless connection to the Internet, of course. An apparently endless battery life.

Maybe someday...

RE: Galileo 5000
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 11:16:03 AM #
When will people realize that technology has become a crutch and obstacle to learning. We don't need no stinking AI, PDAs, or calculators for kids in elementary schools.

Living in San Fran, I won't even get into the current education fad called new-new math or Whole Math or Mickey Mouse Math by detractors. I won't even get into the poor math skills of kids. I've tutored many first-year college kids who have gone through this new-new math and I can't tell you how bad they are at basic math. These kids aren't ready for Calculus let alone Algebra. Many can't even do basic math like 10% of 200 without using a calculator. They claim the math is too hard ?!? Factor a basic polynomial. Heck, they need to use their TI-89 calculators with CAS (Computer Algebra System) to do that.

Now, Educators want to push PDAs and other crutches. Heck with AIs in the future, why even send kids to school. Let the AI go to school. Kids should just play "educational" video games all day long so they can train for that million dollar a year job for goofing off.

RE: Galileo 5000
Kaitou @ 6/17/2002 1:06:39 PM #
Heh

I am a technophile, but I do have to say I agree here. I am 21 now btw, so high school isn't too far away for me, and my math teacher wouldn't allow us calculators till we started Trig, where theory is more important. Well that and standard exams, as they were allowed there, she didn't want us to lose points on that, but in class, and for homework, they werent allowed. And if she didn't see your long division, then you used a calc, and lost points. I have to say it helped a lot for me, and I don't see a need for HS students to carry laptops or jr high to need PDA's.

RE: Galileo 5000
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 6:08:34 AM #
I would also like to decry the abhorrent use of shoes.
Why, most kids nowadays can't even march barefoot through the desert!
Back in my day we didn't need the "crutch" of foot coverings, we used what we had and liked it!
Flibbledeeflee!
RE: Galileo 5000
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 10:35:50 AM #
i completely agree with the statement about the calcs. im a highschooler now and i start calculus this fall. i must say, calculators are convenient, but i feel like im missing stuff when i use a calc rather then do it by hand. i love the convenience, but sometimes i wonder what we're learning

as for new math and such -- i HATE it!! at my middle school the 6th and 7th grade math classes were new math style stuff. all my friends had to go through it and they got so frustrated by it. when they reached 8th grade where it was algebra they were screwed

im glad i never did new math!

RE: Galileo 5000
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/23/2002 8:39:54 AM #
This is like thee newton... you can do most of these things on a newton.

Educational Budget

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:57:19 AM #
Has anybody thought about those school districts that are *giving* students laptops? The schools are probably not really interested in the kiddies having access to playing quake3 or mp3's on district equipment. So why not give them a rugged device that doesn't as *easily* allow them to screw off during time where they're supposed to be studying?

From that viewpoint, you have a good device here. While there is *endless* amounts of games for PalmOS, its not as fun on a grayscale screen. Its also a helluva lot harder to completely kill a PalmOS machine. You can always hard reset it and bring everything back from ROM. Lets see that be done with a linux or windows or mac laptop!

Cheers!

RE: Educational Budget
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 1:18:36 PM #
yeah - i bet the maintenance costs of this device (even including the fact the it has non-standard hardware) will be MUCH less then a windows PC. Admin costs will be zero. Hard reset fixes everthing. The basic truth about windows is that the moment you install it - the entropy begins. It - for all practical purposes - is in a perpetual state of 'decay'. The amount of time / money spent reinstalling software and the OS, defragging, rebooting, applying bloody service packs/patches/updates and fixes is ENORMOUS!!! This isn't going to be marketed to kids - this is aimed at schools.

All of this aside however, they need to get the price below $300 - at $250 this would be infinitely enticing to cash strapped schools. Maybe it won't fly in the U.S./Canada/Europe - but think of how good this would be in poorer countries that haven't really standardized on a particular platform. Again though - they've got to get the price down (after 6 months we will probably see the price drop by %10-20).

RE: Educational Budget
bcombee @ 6/17/2002 2:43:06 PM #
AlphaSmart's previous device was $200, or $250 with rechargable battery and IR support. It had a proprietary OS, no expansion, and less RAM. $400 is a nice price jump, but it has the benefit of a larger screen, more RAM, SD card support, and a standard OS. I could see a nice vertical market developing around these, with vendors supplying educational software on read-only SD cards. I think the price will come down as the get production going and replace their earlier lines.

--
CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com
RE: Educational Budget
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 3:28:00 PM #
Plus, it's not being marketed to the students, it's being marketed to the schools, which makes more sense. Great alternative to the "laptop computer required" policy at some colleges...

vertical market - definately

ardiri @ 6/17/2002 11:04:51 AM #
this surely isn't going to be a "popular" unit for Palm OS - no way.

as a games developer, dealing with palm, sony, handspring has never been an issue - sure, sony went hi-res, but, the hardware supported pixel doubling (2x) so your apps written for 160x160 run fine in 320x320.. handera, on the other hand - requires us to write custom scaling blitting routines from 160->240 (unless of course you want to go native hi-res).. handera are known for messing with developers - this is just another incarnation of it. the handera 330 was 240x320, a 1.5x scaling factor for the display. this unit is 560x160, scaling factor is now 3.5x

560x160 is just too much screen space for games to run well on anyhow - just too much information to copy, and, i doubt the CPU speed will be > 33Mhz :P its definately going to be for vertical market applications. at $400 - its not that much cheaper than a laptop. it also looks *big*, they could have at least taken design notes from EPOC :) the clam shell environment works best for larger keyboards and displays.

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

RE: vertical market - definately
Bartman007 @ 6/17/2002 11:27:32 AM #
Aaron:

Obviously a clamshell would not have been a good idea in a student environment. It's just one more part that can be broken.

Native hi-res games are not of a concern to AlphaSmart as this is market towards educational institutions and not students, but 160x160 games run fine on it anyway. I guess if you wanted a project you could port Lemmings to this screen even if it didn't use the whole width =)

-Bartman007

RE: vertical market - definately
sub_tex @ 6/17/2002 12:55:25 PM #
Well, games aside, a flexible scaleable OS is what we need!

When we can get out of this stupid square for good and start developing screens that offer different orientations, that'll be an improvement.

Sony allows 2x3 ratio screen. If they could push that into landscape mode we can have a whole bunch of interesting devices.

RE: vertical market - definately
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 8:06:13 PM #
If your software can't handle 240x240 or 240x320 on a Handera, then you're not doing a very good job of following the Palm API. Palm provided API calls to query the screen size long before Handera expanded their screen... and their own API extensions are minimal.
RE: vertical market - definately
ardiri @ 6/18/2002 2:53:31 AM #
If your software can't handle 240x240 or 240x320 on a Handera, then you're not doing a very good job of following the Palm API. Palm provided API calls to query the screen size long before Handera expanded their screen... and their own API extensions are minimal.

if you write games - you surely dont rely on the API's

also, keep in mind that Handera screwed up the way they handle 1.5x screens - the API didn't work. how many games work on the handera in scale-to-fit mode? you ask for a 160x160 window, and, they gave you a 240x240 one. if you use direct access, you were screwed. i was on the pre-release developer test team for Handera 330 - and, the bottom line it was more important to support enterprise solutions than games.

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

RE: vertical market - definately
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 1:59:41 PM #
Dana does support the 160x160 programs. They run in a box in the center of the screen.

The screen can also rotate. There is a program that lets you change the view from landscape to vertical. So, you can hold it like a notepad and continue to do your work. When in vertical view, the screen stretches the full length if the display giving you more room to view.

Here is an example of it: http://www.alphasmart.com/pdf/dana_by_alphasmart.pdf

RE: vertical market - definately
LarryGarfield @ 6/18/2002 3:11:26 PM #
i was on the pre-release developer test team for Handera 330 - and, the bottom line it was more important to support enterprise solutions than games.

Well DUH, Aaron. HandEra marketed almost exclusively to businesses, not to gamers. The 330 was never meant to be a gamers' paradise, it was meant to be a workhorse business machine. Yes, the CLIE screen is much nicer for gaming. And the 330's screen is much nicer for actually getting some work done. Deal.

if you write games - you surely dont rely on the API's

Then if you write games, you surely don't do what Palm(Source) has been screaming for you to do (follow the forking API!) for years. If your stuff breaks on a new device, then, it's your own damn problem. That's like complaining that your new car is too wide to fit on the sidewalk.

--
This post is ROT26 encrypted. Reading it is a violation of the DMCA

RE: vertical market - definately
ardiri @ 6/19/2002 5:35:59 AM #
Then if you write games, you surely don't do what Palm(Source) has been screaming for you to do (follow the forking API!) for years. If your stuff breaks on a new device, then, it's your own damn problem. That's like complaining that your new car is too wide to fit on the sidewalk.

we didn't complain - we just rewrote the API level so it would work (Handera's code was ****e). the problem is that Handera didn't make the unit as compatible with application as it should have..

if you follow the API's - you end up having crap games. as a gamer, and a developer - its common that when a new unit comes out; a new version may be required. thats the way it goes. i dont think we'll be wasting the time we spent on the Handera 330 to do a similar thing on this unit. Handera specifically broke Palm(Sources)'s guidelines with the way they implemented the window manager layer.

Handera is surely one of the units at the bottom of my "device list" preferences; while it may work nicely with word processing/business type applications (once the applications are modified), it did not provide great compatibility with existing applications.

a color Handera *could* use picture-in-picture support of the SED1376 display controller to do native 160x160 applications that access the screen correctly; but, we will probably never see such a beast (publically).

i also dont know why you "preach" the Handera 330; its outdated, obsolete.. Handera stopped making devices because it was more profitable to work with other licenseeäs like this. its a big war out there, which, SONY and Palm will probably end up dominating in the long run; you have to accept that.

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

RE: vertical market - definately
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 6:00:46 AM #
> we didn't complain

You seem to be doing quite a bit of it now. Sorry, but there's nothing requiring hardware developers to provide you a mechanism to bang on the hardware where you can assume it is 160x160. Palm has been clear on that in their docs for years. I doubt these teachers/parents want their kids playing your gamez on these machines anyhow.

> it did not provide great compatibility with existing applications.

Utterly false. Most applications have work perfectly fine on the HandEra 330.

> the Handera 330; its outdated, obsolete.

Kind of hard to obsolete a device when there is absolutlely nothing (at least running Palm OS) to replace it.

If you're going to complain about every resolution that pops up for the Palm OS, I'd suggest moving to the GameBoy or something like that.

RE: vertical market - definately
ardiri @ 6/19/2002 7:42:31 AM #
this is clearly a case where you are answering without even knowing anything about the facts - i am starting to think it happens to much on these forums, but, what the hell - let me explain:

Sorry, but there's nothing requiring hardware developers to provide you a mechanism to bang on the hardware where you can assume it is 160x160. Palm has been clear on that in their docs for years.

i have been developing on the palm for around three years now, and, i know what Palm wants to complain about and what they dont want to complain about. we are well aware that they say "dont do this, dont do that" but, you should care to know our software does abide by every rule Palm lays down. for example, we blit to the screen if we *know* the hardware.. if we dont? we use API routines. for example:


    globals->fnClear = (globals->scr160x160)
    ? (void *)GraphicsClear_asm
    : (void *)GraphicsClear_api;
    globals->fnRepaint = (globals->scr160x160)
    ? (void *)GraphicsRepaint_asm
    : (void *)GraphicsRepaint_api;

this code has been taken from the Cube3D program (which you can find on www.ardiri.com) - as you can see, when we know a specific screen depth - we use custom written assembly routines (for speed). in all other cases, we use an API.

Palm specifically states that it is ok to access the "buffer contents" of an offscreen window as long as you use an API to blit it to the screen. this has proven correct even on PalmOS 5.0.

the problem i originally stated was that Handera *broke* this rule. you asked for an offscreen window, you assumed it was the size you wanted, you accessed it directly - and blitted with an API - WOLA, only on Handera units did it not work.

it *used* to work on the first 8-9 beta versions of the OS, however, Handera realized that many people use offscreen windows for help screens and to reduce flicker - so, they updated the code so it would work better with the hi-res fonts. this is where they chose "looking better" with existing applications over "complete compatibility" with existing applications. that was Handera's market tho - enterprise. not gaming. saying it is 100% compatible is a complete lie.

Handera did have a "scale-to-fit" algorithm for copying windows, however, it was buggy. unless you did a full screen update, it would incorrectly draw. we ended up writing our own "scaler" from 160x160 -> 240x240 which could handle partial screen updates.

while i could go on forever about this - to rebutt to your comment on "bad programming"; we abide by every rule set out, and, cheat where we know we can - cheating of course, getting around the API's.

I doubt these teachers/parents want their kids playing your gamez on these machines anyhow.

now, thats exactly why i said it was for vertical markets only - its not got "general" consumers.

Utterly false. Most applications have work perfectly fine on the HandEra 330.

how many games run perfectly on a Handera 330 in scale-to-fit mode? yes, i am talking about games here, not office applications. there are a few games that have *updated* themselves to run on the Handera 330 - but, i dont call that compatibility.

i know of many games from the larger game companies that dont run on the Handera 330..

Kind of hard to obsolete a device when there is absolutlely nothing (at least running Palm OS) to replace it.

virtual grafitti turn you on? where doesn't 320x320 beat 240x320? a 320x320 display is much larger, however more condensed.. the NR70's 320x480 is surely better than the 240x320 - its twice the size, and, has the same features? thats a possibility to replace it no?

If you're going to complain about every resolution that pops up for the Palm OS, I'd suggest moving to the GameBoy or something like that.

look at my comment previously about writing compatible applications; hopefully it will make sense to you.

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

it could be the pocket pc killer

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 11:30:41 AM #
what a great palm device! when will color be out?
RE: it could be the pocket pc killer
Palm_Otaku @ 6/17/2002 5:38:34 PM #
what a great palm device! when will color be out?

Heh, I'd assume the companion model to Dana must surely be called Fox <grin>

RE: it could be the pocket pc killer
johnwong @ 6/18/2002 4:54:02 AM #
It is probably a Windows killer. We cannot classify this as PDA. It is a Desktop really.

RE: it could be the pocket pc killer
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 2:06:42 PM #
>It is probably a Windows killer. We cannot classify this as PDA. It is a Desktop really.

No way is this a desktop. There is nothing about it that would make it a desktop. Nothing ties it down. Nothing makes it too bulky to carry. It's smaller and lighter than most laptops :)

-Dave

Other markets

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 11:27:11 AM #
I do see other markets for this, or something like it. But I don't like the price point.

1. This could be a replacement for the failed 3Com Audrey.

2. This could be a competitor for Microsoft's connected home carry-around device.

3. This *is* a replacement for the word processors that students (college anyway) had been buying before the universities mandated buying PC's or laptops.

I like the width of the screen, although the height is squished (320 would be better). I like the thinking of this company, and I hope they succeed, but I have my doubts.

RE: Other markets
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 1:56:19 PM #
> This could be a replacement for the failed 3Com Audrey.

Audrey could do a lot more than this for the same initial price. Color 640x480, modem, USB Ethernet option, decent web browser, RealAudio player, etc. It also would sync date and address books for multiple users with Palms. I wonder how schools would manage that multiple students would probably use the same device?

Now with some kind of network connectivity, it could be a replacement for those mail station type devices.

RE: Other markets
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:50:23 PM #
I personally think we're missing a strong business market with this product. When I travel for business, I avoid taking my laptop if at all possible. Especially with heightened security, it is just too much of a hassle. I take my Visor + Stowaway and can check e-mail, write-up thoughts and run basic financial models (QuickOffice), and track my expenses along with having my contacts and calander handy. That said, the small Visor screen is a bit of a bother. This product seems to be perfect to me (though it does need a modem). I can travel light, carry the basic business tools I need, have INSTANT on use + stability (my absolute biggest complaint with Mr. Gates and his crapware), keep my Palm with me for daily use, and have a really light "laptop" with a stable OS available in the evenings for work. This is just my opinion, but if this had a modem and/or built in Ethernet/WiFi/Bluetooth, it would damn near fit my every need. I could keep a laptop at work and take my Palm and Palm OS "laptop" with me when I travel.
RE: Other markets
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 9:53:58 AM #
Your set then. You just need to pick up the SDIO Blue Tooth card and be on your way.

There are a few cell phones out there with IrDA wireless modems as well.

RE: Other markets
mrhockey @ 6/18/2002 12:08:33 PM #
I travel to South America a lot for work and will probably pick up a couple of these to lose down there. It will be cheaper than the company buying me a new laptop every time I go down there. So, there are probably a few markets and industries that would be interested in a device like this.

Sarcasm: Just one more service I offer

-mrhockey

Reminds me of the Tandy M100

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 11:35:24 AM #
At the right price, there is definately a need for such a machine. I still here stories of people using the Radio Shack Model 100 in remote areas because of its reliability. So far, this is the first modern replacement I have seen.

In case you forgot what it was:
http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=233


RE: Reminds me of the Tandy M100
Ed @ 6/17/2002 11:57:13 AM #
I had one of those. In fact, I still do, in a box somewhere. It was my first "laptop".

---
News Editor
RE: Reminds me of the Tandy M100
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 12:03:26 PM #
Or a MailStation: http://www.mailstation.com/

A resurrected Radio Shack laptop?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 12:16:07 PM #
I can't remember the model - was it a TRS-II? Maybe 20 or 25 years ago. It had a text-only LCD screen of 4 or 5 lines, and the great thing about the device was it would work for 2 weeks on standard batteries and was nearly indestructable. Ran DOS. Reporters and people looking to record text on-the-go loved them. This device looks remarkably similar, is much cheaper, though I don't see any info on battery life. If battery life is good it would be great for taking notes in class or writing in coffee shops...
RE: A resurrected Radio Shack laptop?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 12:22:32 PM #
Oops- comment above beat me to it. Yes, it's the TRS-80 model 100. Great old box.

I'm moving this thread up with the other TRS-80 one. -Ed

Yeah, similar to the Cambridge Z88 too!
Galapagos @ 6/17/2002 12:50:06 PM #
And let's not forget one of the first real PDAs: the Cambridge Z88, developed by Sir Clive Sinclair, the creator of the original Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

There are actually still people here in Austria that use this machine, since it has a full sized keyboard.

Take a look at it at:

http://www.algonet.se/~dennisgr/z88.htm

Mailstation replacement
hotpaw4 @ 6/17/2002 7:15:31 PM #
This thing needs a modem and a lower price to be a Mailstation replacement. Biggest problem with the Mailstation box was the barely readable display for one major purchasing demographic, retired people with declining near-vision. I wonder if this PalmOS box does better in that area.

You can still get refurbished TRS-80 Model 100's
ECarlson @ 6/19/2002 12:56:30 AM #
I was hoping someone would come out with something like the good old Model 100/102. I wonder why it took so long. It seems like such an obviously useful product.

- Eric, http://www.InvisibleRobot.com/
RE: Reminds me of the Tandy M100
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 5:53:47 PM #
you are right -- it could compete with mailstation. I would like something like this on my coffee table so that I can check and compose emails while relaxing on the couch . But maybe I'll wait for Dana 2? ARM and color perhaps?
RE: Reminds me of the Tandy M100
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 10:09:12 PM #
-----

This device looks remarkably similar, is much cheaper, though I don't see any info on battery life. If battery life is good it would be great for taking notes in class or writing in coffee shops...

-----

The AlphaSmart 3000, a current product in the AlphaSmart family, runs on 3 AA batteries and has been known to go for more than 300 hours.

For the record, I received my AlphaSmart 3000 in May 2001, and only just recently, this June 2002, changed the first set of batteries that came with the machine. I average about 5,000 words a week on the AlphaSmart, writing about an hour most nights.

The Dana will also run on 3 AA batteries, plus have a rechargeable power option. It will also have a backlit screen, which the AlphaSmart 3000 doesn't have. Someone has said, even if the Dana gets a quarter of the battery life of the AlphaSmart 3000, it would still be worth it.

RE: Reminds me of the Tandy M100
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/18/2002 11:39:24 AM #
In fact, a friend of mine who currently uses a Model 100 as a "PDA", is considering replacing it with a Dana. She's been wanting a better screen and more memory, but didn't want to sacrifice the battery life of her Model 100.

And it connects to the Internet...

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 12:05:22 PM #
...how?

RE: And it connects to the Internet...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 12:13:08 PM #
USB modem?
USB Ethernet connection?

Maybe not being ble to easily connect to the Net is an advantage. Boring lectures on U.S. history are made much more enjoyable by visits to porn sites.

RE: And it connects to the Internet...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 3:36:42 PM #
Any SDIO Card...like the Palm Bluetooth Card.
RE: And it connects to the Internet...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 5:46:32 PM #
It is unclear to me if this device supports SDIO, though one would certainly hope so. Other than Bluetooth and serial type devices, you would need drivers either for SD or USB, and none exist yet.
RE: And it connects to the Internet...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:09:06 PM #
It does.

Across the bow

sandbuck @ 6/17/2002 12:12:16 PM #

Even if this first device is limited, this paradigm shift for Palm OS will give the Council at Redmond a jolt. The leadership at Palm Inc. may be wondering why they didn't think about this approach.

Does it HotSync?

RE: Across the bow
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 12:51:18 PM #
Uhm, didn't M$ abandon this form factor (or something similar) over the last few years because there was no market ? Granted their price was higher ($700 to $1000), but machines like the NEC MobilePro 750c and Clio were doing this almost 5 years ago, with full color, more memory, PCMCIA and CF support, and multimedia.

This seems like a terrible idea - too big to pocket, too small to use as a daily machine, too expensive for students, too limited for professionals...

With that many bad ideas, this MUST have been designed by someone at Palm. Either that, or maybe Pontiac... :)

RE: Across the bow
sandbuck @ 6/17/2002 1:17:09 PM #
Can't argue with the Pontiac statement :-)! I'm not saying that this device is going to rock the world, but the very idea of that pesky Palm OS running on something bigger than a handheld is going to make Palm friends and enemies alike consider new scenarios for the OS's future.

RE: Across the bow
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 2:07:37 PM #
Come over here and tell that to my Grand Prix.
RE: Across the bow
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 2:10:36 PM #
Yeah, it HotSyncs. It has Palm Desktop type software (not sure exactly the name) but it connects with a USB or IrDA and not with a cradle like most other Palms.


The Psions maybe better for this

popko @ 6/17/2002 12:33:59 PM #
I don't know how much truble the new screen will bring. But for those of you who really want a small form factor, full keyboard, and don't mind a B&W screen, look into a Diamond Mako (or a Psion/Psion Plus). One can easily find one of such device on eBay for around $100.

RE: The Psions maybe better for this
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 2:38:45 PM #
Er, no. This has a real keyboard. The Psion and Aaron's fabled EPOC devices can only be typed on by Lilliputians or people with small thumbs.
RE: The Psions maybe better for this
sub_tex @ 6/17/2002 5:10:49 PM #
The Psions can also fit in your pocket.

I think their keyboard design was just right in the trade off for size and use. The 5mx series has the best of them, though.

RE: The Psions maybe better for this
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 4:57:38 AM #
Given that all the low cost Psions are being discontinued there is a definite market space for this sort of thing. It is cheaper than the Series5mx, appears to have a better keyboard and would have to have a better screen...

Palm OS is not anywhere near as sophisticated as EPOC, but as we all know, _appropriate_ rather than _powerful_ is the Palm strength.

I really hope these get to Australia!

RE: The Psions maybe better for this
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 8:53:12 AM #
Here is a link to the Psion Series 7, which is a laptop with color screen (but running Psion's OS).
I think this is the form factor that AlphaSmart should go for.

http://www.psion.co.uk/series7/

Cases

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 1:06:14 PM #
Where can I get a case for it? or a belt-clip.
Hah!
popko @ 6/17/2002 11:09:24 PM #
Now, that's a intresting idea ;)

RE: Cases
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 2:20:21 PM #
I'm sure when the Dana ships, they will offer some form of case. I would want a nice leather one for work/travel.

Quickoffice and Dana

Ed @ 6/17/2002 1:06:26 PM #
I wasn't sure until now but I was able to confirm that the version of Quickoffice that comes with the Dana takes advantage of its 560 by 160 screen. You can also rotate it and view documents or spreadsheets as a long column.

---
News Editor
RE: Quickoffice and Dana
Palm_Otaku @ 6/17/2002 5:32:56 PM #
err 560x160 - right, Ed?

RE: Quickoffice and Dana
Ed @ 6/17/2002 5:36:49 PM #
Right.

---
News Editor

It is a great idea!

kady @ 6/17/2002 1:07:39 PM #
I used my palm vx with the ppk to take notes while earning my B.A. The problem was the tiny little desk and trying to look at things in the text book with a small amount of space. At least I would not be worried about the ppk trying to fold back up as I slid it to the thinner part of the desk. One integrated device would be great. I may think about it seriously for grad school. It would be easier than lugging around the lap top too.

Better yet, the stability of the Palm OS, and SD/MMC slots for expandibility make a great portable machine.

Palm Desktops?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 2:14:35 PM #
The German gov't has just signed a deal to use Linux based machines for the whole gov't. Now this laptop. This is a good punch in the mouth for Windows. I was wondering if OS5 or perhaps OS6 would be suitable for desktops. It would be incredibly sweet to run my desktop sans MS. Any body care to take an educated WAG?
RE: Palm Desktops?
Ed @ 6/17/2002 2:28:39 PM #
At the PalmSource conference in February, Steve Sakoman, PalmSource's Chief Technology Officer, showed a slide of possible future types of devices running the Palm OS. The list included game consoles, watches, media players, electronic maps, and several others.

Take a look:
www.palminfocenter.com/images/img_PS_Future_1_L.JPG

---
News Editor

I want to know how successful is the AlphaSmart 3000

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 2:52:16 PM #
I want to know how well is the original AlphaSmart 3000 doing in the educational market. Anyone has some information regarding this?
Are they really that popular on their own words?
If they are doing well with AlphaSmart 3000, A Palm OS based similar machine will definitely doing well too.
A lot of people on this forum have focused their dicussion on a wrong direction.
In fact, this should be the first question being asked, but no one did.

RE: I want to know how successful is the AlphaSmart 3000
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:13:48 PM #
Palms own site calls AlphaSmart a market leader in technology. Until now the AlphaSmart 3000 was AlphaSmarts main product and they are selling by the thousands. All this talk of games, larger screens and fancy programs is pointless. Since the early 90s AlphaSmart has put out products that everyone loves. People have been asking AlphaSmart for these features for a long time. AlphaSmart simply decided to deliver. I'll have one, and with an estimated (full) 25 hours of working time between charges I'll be on that plane, bus or in the classroom working away long after everyone else's laptop batteries are dead :)
RE: I want to know how successful is the AlphaSmart 3000
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 2:31:30 PM #
From a Press Release at http://makeashorterlink.com/?V4E735511

"AlphaSmart already has shipped nearly one million simple, easy-to-use educational devices that let students focus on their coursework and let teachers focus on teaching. Dana combines the advantages of AlphaSmart's current products with the powerful capabilities and wealth of applications available for the Palm OS platform."

With almost a million Alphasmarts running around out there, I would tend to trust the name. Check out your local school district. See if they are using alphasmarts. Changes are, they are using them.


Different Target...

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 3:43:18 PM #
I think their audience is different than most people think.
The elementary school I teach at has a bunch of the old Alphas to teach students how to type. They're tough, reliable, useful, and relatively cheap.

With these new models you could have several dozen 5th graders working on essays to upload/sync to the 1 or 2 main computers in the classroom. And with the palm os you have a lot of useful little programs out there that are perfect for a younger user. I'm sure school districts will buy them by the thousands....


Well done, Palm

mikecane @ 6/17/2002 4:22:10 PM #
This is quite nice. Alphasmart markets to people who still shy away from PCs. This will broaden the market for PalmOS.

Students

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 4:30:05 PM #
The only freaking thing we want is a ebook device cheap. I am tired of lugging around pounds of books on my back. Its so bad that people seem to use backpacks with wheels now.

We need a $50 palm with a compact flash that will hold all of our textbooks. This way the price of books will go down and I won't pay $100 for a book and get $20 back at the end of the year.

RE: Students
davidbrit2 @ 6/19/2002 12:42:26 AM #
Amen, brother. I've always longed for custom CDs with all of my textbooks in PDF format. Sigh...

RE: Students
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 10:30:58 PM #
-----

The only freaking thing we want is a ebook device cheap. I am tired of lugging around pounds of books on my back. Its so bad that people seem to use backpacks with wheels now.

-----

Dana will come with the PalmReader. 'Nuf said.

How much are you willing to pay for this device?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 5:41:08 PM #
As everyone else has mentioned, the price is too high!

But how much are you willing to pay for a device like this?

I'd be willing to pay $150 if it also had a built in modem. I wish, too, that it had a taller screen than 160. But if it was only $50, I'd buy it just to have a spare rugged palm around for entering large amounts of text. It would be more convenient than an attachable fold-up keyboard that has to be on a flat surface to use.

For $400, I expect at least color, wireless ethernet built-in, and a web browser that can take advantage of the larger screen with the features that Xiino has.

RE: How much are you willing to pay for this device?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 10:04:48 AM #
Are you serious?

Are you really comparing this product with a low end PDA. Look at the features, the included software, etc. The screen alone probably costs AlphaSmart close to $50.00


RE: How much are you willing to pay for this device?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 12:27:32 PM #
I believe there are two camps here: the non- professionals and the professionals. A professional would find this indespensable. $400 would really be nothing when you think about time, productivity, and portability.
Enough said!!
$200 or more depending on need.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 12:44:42 AM #
If it was $200, I would be very tempted to buy one, even though I don't really need one. If I had a real use for it, I could see paying up to $300. If I had a real serious need, I'd pay $400.

This is cool!!!

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 5:44:48 PM #
Does anyone have an Alpha Smart? I have one, (Not the new Palm version).

They are bombproof and have quite a large and loyal following. It's not only used by Kids but by writers and journalists etc...

I emailed them a long time ago asking them if they would integrate the ability to beam files to a Palm pilot as I had heard that they had bought a Palm license.

Now look what they've come up with!!

This is beyond cool. In a year or two we can all say goodby to Windows if the Palm platform keeps growing at this rate. That will be a very happy day.

But I am very unhappy now: I have to spend yet more money on Palm stuff. It is starting to get ridiculous, but I am hooked.

doesnt it look like Vtechs?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 8:12:25 PM #
Ive seen a some V-techs looking like that at toys r us. anyway keep up the good work..we need more palm OS!

USB HOST PORT!

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 8:49:17 PM #
Did you see that... the hotsync port is a standard USB client port, and there's a USB host port as well!

www.alphasmart.com/pdf/dana_by_alphasmart.pdf

RE: USB HOST PORT!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:09:52 PM #
> Did you see that...

Hmmm ... yes, I posted it above about 8 hours ago. Nobody seemed to care then either. They'll have to provide drivers for whatever they plan to hook to it. I wonder how quickly it'll suck the batteries dry when in use.

RE: USB HOST PORT!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:27:23 PM #
It's used to print directly to USB printers (among other things from what I'm told)! Didn't you notice the PrintBoy Software from Bachmam, they made it work with a standard USB cable...

RE: USB HOST PORT!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 12:09:08 PM #
>I wonder how quickly it'll suck the batteries dry when in use.

Well, since USB printers are usually powered by an AC adapter, the only power used would be the power to make the connection and send the data. It doesn't have to actually power the whole device. Some devices would require the power from the Dana, but that's the price you pay for the great feature. Hey, the port is there, the choice to use it is yours :) (Seems the only port missing from the Dana is a firewire hehe)

Mouse anyone?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 12:51:19 AM #
Can you connect a mouse?
RE: USB HOST PORT!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 1:59:08 PM #
That's what the stylus is for.


What's the market?

ahecht @ 6/17/2002 8:52:45 PM #
When you can buy a full computer with a 10GB HDD, 850MHz processor, and 128MB of RAM for under $300 from WalMart (http://makeashorterlink.com/?T25752F01), why would you buy this for $400

RE: LindowsOS?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 9:01:46 PM #
It runs the "LindowsOS"? (That's not a typo. It really has something called Lindows.) No thanks, I'll stick with the good ol' Palm OS that I know is stable and has thousands of apps. I've never even heard of the LindowsOS but I'm certain it can't compare.
RE: What's the market?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:06:00 PM #
It's just Linux with compatibility for running some Windows applications.

For under $300, you don't get a monitor. So it would be pretty difficult to use.

RE: What's the market?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 12:44:26 AM #
I can't toss a mini-tower PC in my backpack or use it all day on batteries or ... basically, do any of the stuff you might use a portable device for.
RE: What's the market?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 3:31:33 AM #
>why would you buy this for $400

How long does a pc work before becoming obsolete?


RE: What's the market?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 6:27:13 AM #
More on Lindows:
http://www.lindows.com/
RE: What's the market?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 11:34:48 AM #
It's called a computer companion. The concept of productivity. If you are not on the go and only "need" to do your work in one place, your desktop, then of course you would not need it. Its all about the needs. Put very well by the the profesional poster earlier.
Critical thinking I don't expect here but thinking would be good!

Andale Pues!

This will be a success!

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 10:35:09 PM #
Because it fit right into the market. It fills up the hole that notebooks can not EVER do.

1. Long battery life, notebook nowadays can not last longer than 5 hours, cheap ones last only an hour or two. This device equip with Palm OS, which, last for a week.

2. Well equip, think about student in the classroom, they do not use sophisticate apps like excel. all they use is probably MS Word to take notes, calculators, dictionary, scheduling. they do not need much even in college. This would be perfect for carrying around. without hunting for power outlet.

3. Very high mobility. It is small, light, last long battery. You could carry it around and type anything that you like. Kids or even adults do not always like to work just on their desk. Carry this thing to camps, coffee shop, friend's place, tents, etc. This will make notebooks kids so envy.

4. It works with Mac and PC. It can sync up to desktop no matter what it is. You don't need peripheral or anything. just sync to computer at home or dorm to print it out.

5. Price is not that high, consider if it bundle with needed software, may be dictionary and school software. $400 is perfect. it even cheaper than notebooks.

I have been using iPaq with keyboard taking notes in school. it is no fun at all after 4 hours, my battery ran out and I have one hour of class to go. I might want to trade iPaq and keyboard for this device.

RE: This will be a success!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 1:41:56 AM #
thank god this wasn't made by Sony, otherwise I am pretty sure someone will pop up and say

1) Yet another proprietary screen resolution from Sony
2) Another different connector (USB)
3) This thing is HUGE !!! even bigger than Clie NR how am I going to carry it in my pocket ?
4) Sony is going out of the PDA Bussiness in 2003

because it's made by some company other than Sony so this will be a success LoL

RE: This will be a success!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 10:13:21 AM #
But...

1. Finally another screen resolution with a real purpose.

2. Another Port (hmm, but a standard one)

3. Huge? smaller and lighter than a laptop, by a long shot.

4. AlphaSmart already has a place and a name in education.

Pretty cool, but not without problems

davidbrit2 @ 6/18/2002 12:20:21 AM #
I've always had a fondness for this kind of form factor. It's nice to see a company try and popularize it again. I think the last time this kind of computer was a success was way back when the Tandy 100 was released. I can't believe how wide the screen is. Hopefully the designers didn't destroy support for 160x160 hardware access, but I doubt they did. It's got great features, but there are two unfortunate reasons that I don't see this achieving the desired popularity:

1. The ruggedization (Or potential lack thereof ) - If this thing is going to be handled by students, it will need to be stuffed into backpacks and carried around with heavy textbooks. The elevated screen will create a possible breaking point where it raises from the portion with the keyboard. I also don't see any hard plastic cover that can be secured on the front of the unit, and that could leave the screen and keyboard at severe risk of damage. A small tether for the stylus would be nice so as to prevent easy loss.

2. The price point - The $399 price tag seems a little steep for students, especially considering that the unit only has a monochrome display. At about $250 or $299 it would be a little more appealing.

Hopefully my two predictions are wrong and this thing sells like wildfire, because it's very cool.

RE: Pretty cool, but not without problems
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 11:44:01 AM #
Everyone should look over http://www.alphasmart.com because it has very useful info about the Dana.

You said:
>1. The ruggedization (Or potential lack thereof ) - If this thing is going to be handled by students, it will need to be stuffed into backpacks and carried around with heavy textbooks.

The thing is, these devices are very sturdy. If you looked more into the company than what is listed here, you would see that AlphaSmart has had a long history of similar devices. These devices have been used very successfully in schools and at home for almost 10 years. Now, AlphaSmart moved into the PalmOS arena bringing with it the benefits of those years of experience. I have a AlphaSmart 3000 and I know I've dropped it quite a few times from about 4-6 feet and it never broke. I can't imagine AlphaSmart making a device that would be weaker than their old one. That would be lame.

I remember another post from someone saying they were worried about the screen section breaking off from the keypad section. That's not a possibility. The casing is made of ABS plastic. Sure, if you ran it over with a car a few times it may crack but, honestly, wouldn't any other device?

I have a AlphaSmart 3000 and a Palm. I use them both quite a lot. Now, they have a device that will combine them into one. I think my life just got a bit simpler. I'm very impressed.

>2. The price point - The $399 price tag seems a little steep for students, especially considering that the unit only has a monochrome display. At about $250 or $299 it would be a little more appealing.

Lets compare the M125 and the AlphaSmart.

M125 and a keyboard (to catch up with the Dana) = $199 + $99 = $298

M125 battery life = (about) 16 hours on 2 AAA
Dana battery life = (about) 25 hours on rechargeable batteries (included)

M125 Screen = 160x160
Dana Screen = 560x160

M125 Rotatable Screen? = No
Dana Rotatable Screen? = Yes

Print ability?
M125 = IrDA
Dana = USB and IrDA

Card Slots?
M125 = 1 MMC or SD
Dana = 2 MMC or SD

Dana also includes CardPro, PrintBoy, and a modified version of Blue Nomad's WordSmith called AlphaWord.

If you add up the options here, I think it's a fair price to pay. I'm not saying my Palm is bad, but this new device is very promising!

RE: Pretty cool, but not without problems
davidbrit2 @ 6/19/2002 12:47:17 AM #
It's good to know that these things are durable. And the price isn't terrible; it just doesn't seem like it's at a level where hordes of folks will run right out and get one immediately. Of course, if Alphasmart has as much support from educators as they apparently do, then that could keep the Dana alive.

Wouldn't it be better

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 2:15:43 AM #
To get a pocket PC and a keyboard?

You can see music videos, have windows media player, microsoft office, microsoft internet explorer, and even play quake!

That's what you do in a laptop, not using .pdb files and having to put up with a "word-ish" text editor, black&white and no multimedia.-

RE: Wouldn't it be better
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 10:22:56 AM #
Yup, that's what teachers want for their students.
RE: Wouldn't it be better
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 11:39:39 PM #
but you can have a real word processor on Palm OS unlike the excuse known as Pocket Word. And Microsoft won't let PDA's that look significantly different than an ipaq
RE: Wouldn't it be better
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 1:56:19 AM #
If you want all that crap then get a laptop: what a bunch of goofs wanting all that from an Alpha smart.

Forget Pocket PC, it's crap and only loosers use that bug ridden OS.

Listen: get a laptop!! Have you heard of those.

Goof

There is no Dana, only Zool. >But seriously...

Strider_mt2k @ 6/18/2002 6:20:21 AM #
If Palm can get this device into the schools it would be great. The kind of features it offers makes them a real, usable tool for education. Dual card slots!
And eventually it will be priced where the school can issue them like a school book, and charge for damage/repairs to them.
Not to mention that those little consumers will have the Palm logo imprinted on their impressionable little minds.
But don't believe for a second that the kids won't be finding some way to game on 'em! :D
It could also inspire the next batch of coding animals!

While it isn't perfect for me, I think it's right on target.

strider_mt2k@yahoo.com

Not just for Schools, but for any situation..

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 3:02:02 PM #
What about this idea? Your a nurse in a hospital doing your rounds. You have to remember all the things you did for those patients during your shift. Instead of messing with a palm trying to scratch out the graffiti while running from room to room, with the Dana you can type your notes while you talk to the patients. I know a lot of nurses and I have seen their "brains" (the piece of folded paper in their pockets covered in the day's tasks) and can only imagine what a light weight keypad device like this would do for them. Oh! Have you read? http://makeashorterlink.com/?B17322511 <-- A new attachment that reads and stores blood glucose readings! A link to their home site with more information: http://makeashorterlink.com/?V2E352511

And what about a notes taker for meetings? Imagine being able to type fast on the Dana then HotSync it and your done. No hand written paper to mess with or bulky laptop. If you have a Printer with IrDA in the room, you can print right to it with the IrDA and hand everyone a copy of the notes right then.

What about long train rides or flights? Would you rather have a huge laptop on your lap to finish some company notes or a little 2lb Dana? Both do the same thing, but Dana is cheaper and more light weight. Plus, the batteries last about 2x longer than the average laptop.

I think it's a very viable alternative to a laptop or a standard palm.

RE: Not just for Schools, but for any situation..
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 3:46:01 PM #
Or you are a pretty lady walking home in the middle of the night, some drunk man jumps on you, now you can pull out your Dana from somewhere (I don't know where you carry it probably a purse certainly not a pocket) then beat the hell of of that guy.

And what about a notes taker for meetings? You can use it as a clip board to support your note paper.

What about long train rides or flights? You can probably use it as a pillow, it is about 2X harder than the average pillows offered on the plane.

I've been asking for this for years

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/18/2002 7:44:20 PM #
I've been asking for a "Palm laptop" since the Palm was a Pilot. For a good many people out there, something with a touch-typable keyboard, word processing, spreadsheet, email, web, printing, fantastic battery life, and a couple other odds and ends is quite sufficient -- no $2000 worth of bloated Wintel overhead needed.

This isn't quite my dream machine yet, though. I'd like a bright color screen and much smaller form factor (say, 8x10x1), though I do agree that for the educational market something big, thick and sturdy is necessary.

Will this unit be able to synchronize files with a handheld Palm? Imagine being a PalmOS only road warrior -- the big-screen unit for big jobs, the pocketable Palm for day-to-day about town.

Good luck to AlphaSmart and (I hope) the coming deluge of big-screen Palms from various vendors.

RE: I've been asking for this for years
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 2:02:47 PM #
A full hot sync? I don't know of any Palm device that will do that out of the box (I could be wrong). Maybe with 3rd party software.

You will be able to beam records from Dana to another Palm device.

This is great!

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 11:39:40 AM #
Anyone who has ever tried to use the portable keyboards with the palm knows what a joke they are. This Dana is the greatest idea. A full size keyboard that doesn't have to have a flat surface. I love it! And if you have ever tried to enter information with your stylus you know how annoying it can be to tap tap tap eveything in. I think AlphaSmart is really on to something here.

Network? Modem?

PIC mobile user @ 6/19/2002 5:44:40 PM #
Iwould seem that to be a true replacement it is going to need a way to connect remotely.

I would buy one

PIC mobile user @ 6/19/2002 6:46:55 PM #
EXCELLENT idea! I would like to have one of those machines on my hands. I just think the design could be improved (eg flip screen) so it could fit better on a suitcase/backpack.

Definitely a Niche Product/Market, however there is demand

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/20/2002 6:28:04 PM #
Greetings All,

Let me start out by saying that I would buy this product provided that several criteria are fulfilled.

-Fairly long battery Life (more than a "standard" notebook)
-Fairly Compatible with several leading 3rd party applications (i.e. Popular 3rd Party Palm versions of Excel or Database app)

What is very attractive about this is that it combines several good aspects of both Palms and Laptops well enough to serve as a Palm/PC Supplement/Complement, Not as a Replacement for either/both. It would seem balance these aspects well enough for certain "niche" users without a lot of the shortcomings of both Palm/PCs

As mentioned in the other comments/threads, there are several precedents over the past 10-15 years that have had their own Niche Following. This following has been publicized in several ways.

There were the Radio Shack "notebooks" before there Notebooks were Mainstream and powerhungry. These "solid state (no hard disk), ran off regular Batteries and could last for weeks on end.

Then there was a similar Device from a Group in Cambridge that was a created a similar device running on some Apple/Motorola Processor that had a thin 8.5x11 inch form factor with a rubber keyboard.

Then the Apple eMate that died because Steve Jobs cam back to Apple and said Ditch the Newton line and go back to Apple's Core Business/Compentency

1-2 years ago, The New York Times once reviewed several similar products that were really just Portable Keyboards with 4-6 line displays run by 2-6 AA batteries (similar to the Radio Shack TRS80/100 of 10 years ago).

The allure/appeal of these type of devices were not immediately apparent to the NYT Reviewer, but as he used them in various scenarios, the attraction by "niche" users became more apparent. One example was an overseas flight whereby another passenger saw the reviewer using the device and offered to pay $500 for it (it only cost $ 300) because the Passenger's Notebook Battery Died. The passenger went so far as to ask if he could rent the device for $200 for the duration of the Flight.

The Passenger did not know such a device existed, however, in talking with the Reviewer, realised that all the passenger really did was use the notebook on flights for writing documents that would either end up as Email Attachments or "Cut and Pasted" into Email or Word Documents (especially on flights or when he was on the road).

Keep in Mind that the devices reviewed were really only Digital Typerwiters that could beam IR or Transfer files via USB/Serial.

Now we have a Device that is a Palm with a Full keyboard and a Wide Screen. Now we have a Device that can do Spreadsheets and other Palm 3rd Party Functions (like offline Mail read/compose).

If there are positive reviews/feedback on Battery Life and Key 3rd Part App Compatiblity, I would get this Device NOT as a Palm Replacement or Notebook Replacement, but as a Supplement/Complement.

I see the Benefits as follows especially when Traveling (which I do a lot):

1. Powered off Common batteries
-I don't need to carry a Power Adapter, a Air/Car Adaptor or a series of Travel Plug Adaptors for Europe or Asia.
-I can leave the notebook in the Carry On Luggage.
-Batteries Are Cheap, especially when the Company buys them for Pagers.
-I won't have to always hook it up to an outlet to keep the Battery Full

2. Instant On of Palm OS

3. Lot's of Palm Software
-Hey, I can read/compose mail offline on an actual keyboard with a wide screen when i am on a flight or in a livery car on my way to the Airport (1 Hour Trip, but Getting to Airports are always 1 hour trips).

4. It has a Keyboard!
-Why did I buy all those Keyboards for my Other Palm? (Rhetorical)
-Why is there such a Market for Keyboards/Thumboards?
-Why is Handsping beginning to think about Visors only with Keyboards?

5. Synchronization
-With PCs, Notebooks and Other Palms...Hmmm
-I have several Palms and Several Computers/Notebooks (I know may not be a Typical Palm User, but I use the different palms/notebooks for differenct Clients/Projects and crossplatform share some data across all the devices).

The Only Shortcomings I see are as follows:

A. Another Device to Carry around
-Big whoop, I already carry a Phone, Notebook, Recorder, Pager, Palm (with keyobard) with me.

B. I can't use it to Browse All Internet Sites and view them as I would through IE.
-Ditto, that's why I would use other peoples' computers in the Office or even Internet Cafes when I am traveling.

C. I may not be able to Use All 3rd Party Applications
-All the Developers have exhaustive described the problems with a New Screen Format, but anyone remeber MO80, CO80, EGA, VGA, SVGA, XGA on PCs? Let's not even get into WinCE/Pocket PC...
-Well I don't really use a lot right now. It will be tough to give up Bejeweled, but I think I can deal with it.

D. It can't Play DVDs/MP3s
-It's nice to Play DVDs, but I have a Portable DVD Player and I also ave a DVD/CDRW Drive in my Notebooks.

Sorry if this is such a long comment, but I would hate to see this device fall off the face of the earth.

I think I would buy this Device. I would even buy it again if it comes in Color.

Hopefully, this will not generate too many flames

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