Opinion: Why My IIIc Is Here To Stay...
PalmInfocenter reader Brian Hazard wrote in with his opinion on why he's sticking with his trusty Palm IIIc amid the influx new feature packed handhelds. -Ryan
It's a tale as old as the advertising business itself; The better mousetrap. The kitchen gadget that make's one tomato last a month. And now the arrival of the Palm Pilot to end all Palm Pilots...
With the release of the new m505 and it's soon-to-be competition, the new Clie and the Handera 330, we have been sold the dream of the everything-in-one handheld device. Each one has brought to the table options and features previously unheard of in a handheld organizer. Watch as the dynamic Palm handles entire spreadsheets! Dazzle at the 1 gig microdrive inserted into the Handera 330! Be astounded by the glorious mp3 sounds emitted from the Clie! Behold the digital cameras! The Modems! The expansion slots! The Memory!
I am no exception to my fellow Piloteers who log onto this website every day (you know who you are) to find out more about the newest and the greatest gadgets, the better mousetraps, that run the Palm OS. I have spent the last year watching the m-series come to fruition. I witnessed the birth of the m100 and m105, seemingly geared towards the less palm-avid users who were looking for, of all things, just an organizer (can you belive it?). I visited every site to find more info on the elusive Visor Edge as it premiered (haven't heard much since, either; it's skinny, right?). I drooled as I read insider quips about the new m500 and m505. I counted the days until I could run into the store and try all the new toys. I couldn't wait to decide which new device would replace my old, trusty IIIc. And as of yesterday's trip to the fully-stocked local superstore, the winner is... None of 'em.
"But you can run a CF modem and use SD/MCM memory at the same time on the Handera 330!" I hear someone shout. I don't have a CF modem. I have a computer with DSL, and it's awfully fast.
"But what about mp3s? What about 65,000 colors?" I think my PC has millions of colors. And I have a CD player in my car where I usually listen to music.
"What about memory? The m50X can take a 64mb card!" I need to get honest with you guys. I haven't used up my 8 megs yet... Why get 64 more?
I'm making two points here. First, I pose this question: What are we buying our PDAs for? Work? School? Entertainment? What features do we actually need? I'm serious when I say that I would have to be intentionally overbearing on my Palm to make use of 64 megs of space. By keeping what I need regularly on my IIIc and storing the rest on my PC (hotsyincing really isn't all that intolerable), I have at least 1mb free at all times. How long until someone asks what the aim is of all this memory? Remember the Zen of Palm theory? "My Palm is an extension of my PC." These are not computer replacements. They are datebooks, organizers, Personal Digital Assistants. Not IPAQs. Are we to assume that hotsyncing will someday be obsolete?
Secondly, I want every single person who is considering the purchase of a new Palm OS PDA to go to the store and touch one before you buy it. Benchmark it. Push the buttons. Beam something from it. Reset it. Set an alarm. Turn on the backlight. Know what you're buying and make your OWN decision on what's good for you.
My IIIc, overclocked to 27mhz using FastCPU, benchmarks at 253% on Benchmark 2.0 with 14 hacks installed. Both m505's that I have experimented with (one from US, one from Hungary) benchmarked at 217% when overclocked to 42 mhz using the same program with no hacks; slower than my rickety old IIIc? Perhaps this is an OS 4.0 issue? The screen on the m505 is A) very rich, and B) pretty dim. An m505 would cost me $450.. Oh wait, what about my keyboard? That's another $100. Oh, what about my travel charger and my extra cradle? There's $90 out the window. And my Memory Safe plug? Not compatible; $60 gone. My case would be obsolete, so that's another $25 lost. Oh, and all my software. I'll have to contact the developers to get new codes to transfer the programs. Opps; some don't work on the new OS (though they may down the line). How much is that m505 now? Over $700? That's one jim-dandy of an upgrade! Is it worth it?
My IIIc will cost me nothing. It's already mine. It's not broken and never seems to die. It holds a battery charge like a family of four in a WWII bomb shelter. It's got every program I need, in color, and it's suped up like a '67 Shelby GT. Suddenly, I was enlightened. I don't NEED a new Palm! I'm fine with ol' Rickety. It does everything I need and entertains me, too (have you tried the game Pub Crawl?).
Realizing this, I politely deleted my FastCPU off of the store models and left the store when my ActionNames told me I had to be somewhere by playing the Terminator theme song I found on the web. My old friend may not be silver and vibrate, but I'll put it head-to-head with these new-fangled mousetraps any day. After all, it still catches mice.
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