This story begins with a Palm Pilot that I bought the year it originally came out (1997 I believe). It served me for many happy years (3). In 2000 I got a Palm M100 - and passed on the Pilot to my wife for her use. Shortly thereafter it fell out of her purse in the mall onto concrete! (I was there and saw it happen - I nearly had a nervous breakdown).
I put it back together, but it would not start after that - and I resigned myself to its death. I was too attached to it to give it a proper burial, and slid it into its leather case and stowed it in my desk drawer - just until I could get up the nerve to put it down for good.
For many years I was in a funk - never quite happy with the M100 or later the Casio I got for cheap to revisit the 'big screen' days of my youth - I finally eschewed PDAs. Nevertheless time heals all wounds, and so I found myself revisiting the idea of writing my own applications to capture ideas on the fly on a portable device - so I dug out the old PDAs, including the old Casio that I had for a short time. The Casio was not suitable for what I intended, the M100 ran fine - but the Palm Pilot was still dead - so I thought, "what the heck? I can't make it any more dead than it already is..."
A thunderstorm descended at the same time that I began the operation. I took the case completely apart, and noticed flakes of corrosion as sheets of rain began falling outside. I cleaned it carefully with canned air, a clean toothbrush, and a pencil with an eraser. After all the corrosion was removed and conductive material shined to remove all traces, I carefully reconnected its parts and closed the case over its brain for the final time. Lightening lit up the room.
I placed new AAA batteries in the compartment and sealed it up. The moment was at hand! I hit the power button - and it came alive. It was alive - resurrected from the dead! It forced me to go through its setup program - which I did with dread; would it barf and fly off the handle? Could I trust it with my data?
Happily it is still running fine and is the centerpiece of my Linux/Palm system today. I am thinking about putting embedded Linux on the M100 -- still in research mode atm to see if it is feasible. I am going to leave palmOS on the Palm Pilot - perhaps write an app or two for it in its native tongue and help it continue to be a useful partner rather than a curiosity of a bygone era.