Comments on: Rumor: palmOne Handheld With 6GB Hard Drive

Hitachi, which makes the HDD for the LifeDrive, announced on their spanish website they have developed a 6GB Microdrive and that it will be used in palmOne's next generation of handhelds.
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How much is too much?

adamsmark @ 6/23/2005 4:19:12 PM # Q
Unless I start using my PDA as an mp3 player or a serious back-up drive, 6GB might be too much for my purposes. I remember the days when Palm claimed 2MB was enough... it wasn't, but for most users it was close. I'd still prefer solid state memory over a hard drive. That is, unless I start using my PDA differently.

RE: How much is too much?
bigjarom @ 6/23/2005 4:35:38 PM # Q
When I got my Palm III I'd filled the 2MBs after about 2 months. When I bought an 8MB chip for it I filled it within about two days. I used up the 52MBs on my T3 after about a month. And I filled a 256MB SD card within an hour of getting it.

I for one welcome our new 6GB overlords.

When you have a 2 year old daughter who likes to watch movies on daddy's palm you can use all the storage you can get.

RE: How much is too much?
Geezer @ 6/24/2005 6:02:20 AM # Q
I have a daughter with similar tastes, any recommendations for useful sites for childrens' movies?

Too little
quiklogin @ 6/24/2005 8:44:51 AM # Q
Am I the only one who thinks there should be a PMP running PalmOS? That the LifeDrive is just too small? I wish PalmOne would release something like a 30 GB LifeDrive PMP Edition. The people who now buy Archos would/should instead buy a machine like that.

I have a 40 GB mp3 jukebox, a Palm, and really want a PMP for xvid/divx on commutes. I'd love all this combined into a killer machine.

I don't mind it being a bigger device (hey, wasn't PalmOS supposed to come in all kinds of form factors anyway?), with a nice, big screen for movies. Pair it with a bluetooth keyboard, and you also have a much nicer laptop replacement than any of the current models (I do use my Tungsten T for writing, but the screen is too small).

Too Little
Adrenochrome @ 6/24/2005 10:24:49 AM # Q
Sounds like a great idea, but how many would actually sell? If not enough would, then the price would have to be ridiculous for P1 to make a profit.

Hardware-wise, I think the LD has a pretty good balance of all things. Software-wise, it needs a lot of work.

Archos PMA 400 vs LifeDrive PMP
quiklogin @ 6/24/2005 11:18:08 AM # Q
Check this out if you haven't already:

The PDA part is some kind of linux stuff, just like Palm will be. If Archos can make money off the PMA 400, then why wouldn't Palm - who already has an established software platform that can do a lot more out-of-the-box - be able to make as much or lots, lots more??

RE: How much is too much?
bigjarom @ 6/24/2005 12:56:08 PM # Q

I use 'Pocket DVD Studio for Palm' to copy my Baby Einstein DVDs. I also shoot mpegs with either my Sony DCS-V1 or DCR-TRV350. My daughter likes to watch movies of herself. And of course I use TCPMP as a movie viewer because it works a lot more smoothly than MMPlayer.

RE: How much is too much?
scstraus2 @ 6/26/2005 3:40:17 PM # Q
To be honest I'm not buying anything in the traditional PDA format until it's hard drive is at least 25gb. The only reason I can see to get a traditional PDA (as opposed to my treo) is to be able to replace my iPod, add video and pics, games, and keep lots of work documents on there for quick reference. 4-6gb isn't really enough for even one of those heavy tasks. What I really truly need is about 60gb to get all my docs, pictures, music, and some video on there. But I'd settle for 25. Not 6 though.

As long as I have to carry an iPod or laptop or video player as well, I won't be buying another traditional pda.

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Gekko @ 6/23/2005 4:42:42 PM # Q

This is no substitute for an adequate amount of ***REAL RAM*** for the cache/heap, fools. Don't make the same mistake ONCE AGAIN.

And how much more life can you suck out of FrankenGarnet??? Please bury it in Nagel's grave and give us a device with a modern, stable OS.

Patrick @ 6/23/2005 5:09:16 PM # Q
Amen to the Real RAM plea.

Hopefully, that will lead to increased battery life due to fewer hard drive spin ups freeing up more juice than what the increased RAM might consume.

Don't care about the Garnet/Cobalt/Palminux debate.

lp12 @ 6/23/2005 5:29:11 PM # Q
Just wanted to voice additional plea for more RAM!


vesther @ 6/23/2005 6:06:48 PM # Q
Alas, we may never see any more handhelds from palmOne with Real RAM again, it seems that palmOne doesn't want any of us to lose data whenever the handheld runs out of battery juice again.

Furthermore, I think Hitachi also needs to improve on the CF Drive concept because IMO there IS room for improvement on the Hard Drives as I speak. Very small cache and a large seek time are the current problems plaguing the LifeDrive.

I think Hitachi should increase the Cache to 16MB for the next LifeDrive.

Anyway, don't expect Real RAM to come back anymore. And oh don't expect any more handhelds enabling Graffiti 1 hacks anymore.

Powered by Palm OS since March 2002

Gekko @ 6/23/2005 7:13:03 PM # Q

DRAM IS CHEAP AND GETTING CHEAPER!!! Give us ample cache/heap, you bastards!!!!!!

DRAM a Drag for Micron
By Chris Kraeuter Staff Reporter
6/23/2005 5:28 PM EDT

Micron Technology (MU:NYSE - news - research) soundly missed Wall Street's third-quarter financial targets due to a steep decline in the prices for dynamic random access memory chips.

In after-hours trading, the company's shares fell 3% to $10.50 on Instinet.

The Boise, Idaho-based company reported a loss of $128 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $1.05 billion. During the same quarter last year, Micron earned $90.9 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $1.12 billion.

Analysts had expected earnings of 2 cents a share and sales of $1.19 billion, on average, according to Thomson First Call.

The average earnings estimate, however, came from between a range of a loss of 17 cents a share to earnings as high as 37 cents a share. This wide range, typical for Micron, is due to the significant and often unpredictable fluctuations of DRAM prices.

And that was the case in the third quarter. Micron's memory prices plummeted 30% during the third quarter.

At the quarter's start, Micron had predicted midsingle digit percent production growth. Actual memory production increased 8% sequentially.

LiveFaith @ 6/23/2005 10:37:34 PM # Q
I've got it! Just give us 2GB of RAM and 4GB on the drive and everyone's happy! Next.

Pat Horne;
Masamune @ 6/24/2005 5:19:25 AM # Q
Now that's what I call thinking!

NeilG @ 6/24/2005 6:56:23 AM # Q
With the new T5 ROM update you couldn't tell the difference whether it was real RAM or NVFS. My T5 has gone from the most unstable PDA I have ever owned to the fastest, most stable over night.
LiveFaith @ 6/24/2005 9:39:49 AM # Q
OK, 2GB of NVFS (saves power) and 4GB HDD.

Pat Horne;
JKingGrim @ 6/24/2005 1:02:01 PM # Q
32mb RAM for combined DB cache and dynamic mem, 1gb flash, sdio slot + CF II slot. Simple.

cbowers @ 6/24/2005 1:39:42 PM # Q
Well if they'd gone with the Seagate 4GB or 8GB drives it'd have a 2MB buffer. The hHitachi drive's is 128K.

LiveFaith @ 6/24/2005 2:24:02 PM # Q
Even greater lag was what knocked out the Seagates. Hitachi's ave faster spin ups ... veeeery important when you design systems the way P1 has.

Pat Horne;
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New 6G Palm needs to by in a TREO!

benamy @ 6/24/2005 2:17:52 AM # Q
With the LifeDrive coming out May 18th and rumors surfacing June 20th or so, why do you think Palm would kill sales of the LifeDrive allowing this new to be released?

I think the 6GB Hitachi will be be in the next Treo. The Treo line is in serious need of upgrade. Samsungs I730 has come out and consumers, wireless customers want music on their phones.

My speculation is the 6GB drive is going to be on the next Treo that is going to come out and all you PDA only types will just have to be happy with the current Lifedrive.

The smartphone with hard drive is next. And Palm needs to be the first keeping the Treo line in the lead.

PALMONE are you listening? Don't forget Cobalt!


RE: New 6G Palm needs to by in a TREO!
joad @ 6/24/2005 3:02:33 AM # Q
How about at least 64MB *real RAM* and 2 slots (at least 1 with I/O) in future "high-end" devices? Maybe then PalmOne can catch up with Handera of 5 years ago, and those of us who prefer solid-state memory to miniature hard drives in ultra portable devices will finally applaud their common sense.

Oh yeah.... "6 Gigs! Whoopie - it's just like the iPod mini" (but heavier and it gurgles through every song...). The PalmOne designers need to take a few retreats and figure out just exactly WHAT it is they are making nowadays... Is their competition iPod- I doubt it, I have a lifedrive and an iPod and as nice as PocketTunes is it's still a hack to a PDA, with all the problems inherent therein.

The Treo 650 is shaping up to be a halfway decent device (7 months late) with it's latest firmware. At least they have finally copped to the memory problem they were denying for so long. But the one thing firmware can't fix is the severely missing RAM, and nearly every software designer complains mightily because they are missing sales and the possibility of adding functionality when we can't even load their demos onto our devices for lack of memory. But the Treo bluetooth headset interoperating with the Treo is nearly perfect - a great achievement.

If future Treos end up including mini harddrives, please break into PalmOne and steal their abundant crack pipes. The madness needs to stop.

RE: New 6G Palm needs to by in a TREO!
twrock @ 6/24/2005 9:06:38 AM # Q
How about at least 64MB *real RAM* and 2 slots (at least 1 with I/O) in future "high-end" devices? Maybe then PalmOne can catch up with Handera of 5 years ago, and those of us who prefer solid-state memory to miniature hard drives in ultra portable devices will finally applaud their common sense. (emphasis mine)

Yep, what he said.

I do have to say that the T5 jumped up a few notches on my list of "potentials" with the update. The memory scheme is still not exactly what I want, but at least it still maintains a decently small profile and doesn't have "moving parts". And it still has those annoying "missings features".

On the other hand, if an Axim X50v at its current price running PalmOS actually existed, it would absolutely top my list.

I'm still waiting for the mythical "color HandEra."

RE: New 6G Palm needs to by in a TREO!
hkklife @ 6/24/2005 9:26:03 AM # Q
I have to admit, I was like Gekko and really championed the "Real Ram" crusade for a while, especially after seing the buggly/half-ar$ed implemnetation of it in the original T5 & Treo 650. After seeing how well these things run patched, I really don't care if my RAM is NVFS or DRAM. I never go more than 2 days w/o putting my unit in the cradle/charger anyway.

But I agree, 64-128mb of PHYSICAL memoory of some sort, and two SD slots (one of them SDIO) would give me all of the flexibility I need in a package less fragile/bulky/power hungry/buggy/hot than the LD.

Still, the inspired leap (for P1 that is) that is the LD and the string of bugfixes over the past month has to show that there's someone paying attention over at P1. I like the upcoming name change back to "Palm" too.

RE: New 6G Palm needs to by in a TREO!
LiveFaith @ 6/24/2005 9:42:10 AM # Q
RE: New 6G Palm needs to by in a TREO!
twrock @ 6/24/2005 10:12:58 AM # Q
Pat, stop torturing me already!

To tell the truth, I really think the Axim body is one ugly looking thing, but the fact that I was in love with a HandEra 330 ought to tell you that I can look past the outward appearances. (Just kiddin'; the 330 wasn't that bad.) Do notice how both units have/had CF and SD slots. But I'd much prefer the old Palm V body. The T5 actually looks nice to me too, just put the right guts in it, which incidentally doesn't include a 6 gb hard drive. (See, I can find a way to bring a thread back on topic.)

I'm still waiting for the mythical "color HandEra."

RE: New 6G Palm needs to by in a TREO!
Amaranth @ 6/24/2005 11:30:44 AM # Q
NO! I agree with joad; a treo with a microdrive is a horrible idea. Since when did lag become acceptable in handhelds? I thought that people were sick of load times back in 1994, and handhelds were a refreshing alternative. Why do I care? Because I'll be compelled to buy the next Treo which fixes a few more of the millions of little problems with the web browser and makes it a slightly better multimedia machine (inconvenience of the key lock software getting in the way of your mp3 software, anyone?), and any lag would suck. I doubt anyone of any influence in Palm design reads these posts, but on the off chance that you do, please consider that squeezing as much storage space into a handheld while maintaining size (sorta) and almost maintaining speed (not quite) is a bad, bad, bad use of technology. Yes, tiny hard drives are technically impressive, but "impressive" doesn't appear next to "ideal" in the thesaurus.

Then again, you probably won't stuff a Microdrive in the thing because that would drain the battery even further than the beating that the cell radio already gives it. Unless you add a honkin' battery to compensate, and make the device larger and heavier and hotter so the heat incapacitates my crotch before the radiation does. Here comes the 1.2lb Treo 700 hibachi.

Yes, "the madness needs to stop." 32MB would be nice. :) The device barely needs more than the 24MB it already has, I think. Most improvements to the Treo should be software ones. Yes, all sorts of new spec sheet goodies would be nice (8 MP camera, antigrav, wifi 802.11q, night vision), but a better-designed, slightly more specification-modest device would kick a$$. That's why iPod shuffles do better than $70 sorta-Uber-mp3 devices with FM radios, voice recording and laundry-washing capabilities, no? The design/software is/are superior, and many (sane) people would rather have fewer headaches than a bling-ridden hoopty handheld with sonar and a tazer attached.

Except me. Please add a tazer.

RE: New 6G Palm needs to by in a TREO!
InsGuy @ 6/24/2005 11:34:44 AM # Q
Only Pat could come up with something like that!!! Actually, I have the X50v. Yes, it is rather ugly, but it does more for me than my old Z2 did. I am anxiously waiting for the Palm pda which will make me come back to it. I hate to admit it, but the m515 was really the last Palm pda I really liked. I loved it's size, and it was on this device I really became proficient on G1. I love the screen on the X50v, and G1. I've seen the screen on the LD, and it is VERY nice, but still not what I want. I'm glad to see Palm IS listening to customers, so I keep waiting.

All good things...
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What's the best way to the data off the 6GB Hard Drive?

userwaldo @ 6/24/2005 11:20:03 AM # Q
Hmm, how simple it would be if they would just had a device with 64MB-128MB or RAM, 6GB as a VFS drive (possilby removable), and SD/MMC slot. All you would need is a backup program with a schedular that would diff any ram changes and back them up on shutdown, or at say 2AM every morning.

The other thing would be along side the new multi-connect, they need a simple mini-usb port that could be used to make the palm act as a usb drive, either accessing the Hard Drive, or the SD/MMC slot. It would also act as a trickle charge as well. The multi-connector is nice, but not everyone has a multi-connector laying around so you have to carry it everywhere. Where as almost eveyon has a mini-usb cable around. Most Digital cameras us them, along with many other pc periphials.

I guess that would be too simple, and Palm wouldn't be able to make as much on selling extra sync cables to people.

Maybe I should quit living in a dream world an realize that palm will never get it totally right.


RE: What's the best way to the data off the 6GB Hard Drive?
Amaranth @ 6/24/2005 11:57:51 AM # Q
Palm will get it right in 2009, when it's just a software company holding onto a thread of existence through licensing fees. Then Apple will release its 3rd PDA-phone (yes, I could call it a smart phone, but who cares what the marketing people tell us to call these things?) and license the Palm PIM apps for the first time.

No wait, better yet (who cares about Apple? I ain't no fanboy...):

Some lady with a jalopy, technical savvy and a dream will buy the Diamond brand name for $300, and make a mostly-open-source PDA-phone with the ability to play protected AAC and WMA files perfectly and she'll make Palm-PIM-100%-compatible apps that WORK. The Palm stuff will be done without licensing fees, making the phone cheaper. It'll be called the Diamond Cutter I. DCI will be the most useful phone/PDA money can buy for $680, but after inflation, realize the savings!

So what's the moral of this story? Let me know, I'm off to get a drink.

RE: What's the best way to the data off the 6GB Hard Drive?
hkklife @ 6/24/2005 12:04:29 PM # Q
The Athena (aka Multi Connector) standard support audio & video-out. To me personally, the next logical step in an LD2, aside from a bigger battery, more "real" RAM cache (NVFS or SDRAM), 6gb HD and a much more stable OS would be to include an A/V out cable in the box.

Barring that, two USB sync/trickle charge cables in the box would be a nice touch. Keep one at home and one at work for example.

Mini-usb is nice for digicams for for a PDA, having an AC cable and a mini usb cable hanging out of the bottom of the unit just looks sloppy and doesn't befit $200+ pricetags.

P1 needs to just go ahead and unify the entire lineup on the Multi Connector and stick with it for at least another two years.

RE: What's the best way to the data off the 6GB Hard Drive?
bcombee @ 6/24/2005 12:14:25 PM # Q
Actually, the Athena connector has audio in and out, but there's no video connection defined. You could do digital video over USB 2.0, however.

RE: What's the best way to the data off the 6GB Hard Drive?
mikecane @ 6/24/2005 2:13:06 PM # Q
>>>Actually, the Athena connector has audio in and out, but there's no video connection defined.

All those postings about Athena and video were *wrong*?!

Audio-in? Sounds like something one of those crazy podcasters would be pleased to have (I mention no names!).

RE: What's the best way to the data off the 6GB Hard Drive?
Tuckermaclain @ 6/26/2005 1:15:09 PM # Q
Wonderful. That's really wonderful when there probably be an 8GB SD card available by the time Palm ships this 6GB LD chock-full of bugs. What's the point?
RE: What's the best way to the data off the 6GB Hard Drive?
mikecane @ 6/27/2005 3:18:49 PM # Q
8GB SD?! And at what price?!

Besides, by the time that 8GB SD is affordable, the world will have moved on to miniSD.

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What's the use of 6gb if the OS doesn't support it?

scstraus2 @ 6/27/2005 12:04:33 PM # Q
One thing that really gets on my nerves is that we've had large SD cards for palms for a long time, but for some reason I still can't add an app to the category on the launcher that I want if it sits on an SD card.

And a pretty sizeable percentage of the time, that app won't run from the SD card anyway (or in the case of the treo 650 I have to have more free main memory than is humanly possible to free up to run it).

Or howabout the fact that the palm multimail program stores all the messages on the main memory, constantly filling my device, when I have a perfectly usable 1gb flash card?

It's great that PalmOne is bundling hard drives, but when are they actually going to make it possible to use them? Seems like they should do some work on their OS if they plan to make this work for anyone.

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