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...
Or not?

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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I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 2:29:30 PM #
I agree. Thats why I'm keeping my Vx

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 2:45:37 PM #
I don't agree. I've got 16 MB of stuff on my m505. My IIIc could never do that. I can read in broad daylight with the m505. My IIIc could never do that. I can keep the m505 in a pant pocket and forget it's there. My IIIc just about pulled my pants down to my ankles, especially with my cell phone in the other pocket. Cell phone and m505 combo fit fine now. Don't think an ounce or two makes a difference? Sure, if you don't mind a big bulge coming from your pants.

I could never go back to the IIIc. Screen visibility, form factor, and expansion are all inferior to the m505. I don't care how bright it was indoors, in many bright flourescent settings, I see the m505 a LOT clearer than the IIIc cranked all the way up.

Oh yeah, more than likely, this guy will be upgrading once the OS 5 machines come out. My suggestion? Sell your old accessories on eBay like I did and use the money to get a keyboard for the m505 that will last you for at least the next two years.

MacBirdie @ 5/30/2001 2:47:09 PM #
Since I'm new to Palm, I'm watching closely every step of every Palm industry company and look at all the gadgets, like thousands of colors, mp3 etc etc. Where has the "Simply Palm" gone? On the other hand, 16MB RAM would be nice, because I'd like to fit a dictionary, a few bigger docs and many useful little apps and sometimes 8MB is not enough.

The Palm V was ALMOST the perfect handlheld.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 2:55:38 PM #
Ever since I bought my first Palm (a V) almost 3 years ago, I felt the Palm V was ALMOST perfect.
It was missing only two very important things: A Color Screen and More Memory. The m505 has solved these two issues and it is now THE PERFECT HANDHELD. What a perfect balance of form factor, memory, expansion, screen/color/quality. I love it.

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 3:20:17 PM #
"...this guy will be upgrading once the OS 5 machines come out."

More of a reason not to upgrade now. ;)


I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 3:51:38 PM #

I can totally see where this person is coming from.

Just about a year ago everyone was bawking at how Windows CE/PPC was an overpriced over featured gadget for those who don't know was PDA'a are "suppose" to be all about. Now the attitude is features features and more features without thinking about what we really use these devices for.

Don't get me wrong, There is nothing bad with all the new devices, in fact they all pretty much kick ass, but I beleive for the most part the mass population could do just as well with a M100.

I have a pre order for a Handera 330 which I am counting the hours to arival, but the main reason for this is to be able to use all the add ons I bought for my old Workpad (Palm III) device.

Right now I have a Sony Clie' PEG S300 which fits in pocket and practically disapears, but its not much more than a PDA. I can't take it on a trip and use it for retreiving email. I can't use my keyboard with it, nor can I use my Kodak PalmPix. So I end up bringing it along with my old Workpad or my laptop.
As far as the Memory Stick goes, Since the device has no expandability options there is little use for more memory, but it serves as a good dust guard for the slot itself.

We should all feel lucky that we have such a wide selection to choose from and a wide range of prices, yet they all basically are compatible with eachother.

we're in gadget heaven my friends...

Gadget Heaven
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 10:40:13 PM #
This truly is a great time for PDA users and buyers.

Those of us who are perfectly satisfied with the older models can get them cheaply(as a replacement or "back up" machine--you know how gadget freaks are). Those who want more "beef" can choose from a host of new offerings.

Buy what you like, leave what you don't. This is capitalism at its best.

RE: 505
Cheetah @ 5/31/2001 1:59:24 AM #
The more I use the 505 the more I like it. I find the screen very readible indoors. I do set my text at the large font, but I did that before with my Palm Vx. I do understand that the color is not vibrant, but with the backlight on it is quite nice. Also outside and in the dark are BIG improvements over the Palm V so in 2 of 3 lighting conditions the screen is more viewable.

My main concern before the 505 came out was battery life. I have been pleasantly surprised to get very good battery life.

The Palm 505 is the best PDA available today FOR WHAT I WANT. I would NOT want MP3, etc. as I would never use those features.

n/t : it's too big and bulky!

uvdude @ 5/30/2001 2:48:58 PM #

RE: n/t : it's too big and bulky!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 10:43:21 PM #
If you want to state it properly, you should say,

"It's too big and bulky for me. I want something smaller. Etc., etc., etc..."

If you want to state it immaturely,...well, you appear to have that down pat.

Pub Crawl?

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 3:13:11 PM #
Pub Crawl? Looked for it but could not find it. point me to a link if it's that much of a gem!

Why My IIIc left May 3rd...

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 3:06:46 PM #
I have owned Pilots, Palm Pilots, and Palms. I loved my Palm V most of all, it went everwhere with me. I bought a IIIc to get the glory of color and after a month discovered I was leaving it behind, on a desk, in a glove box, a case... anywhere but on me because it was... BIG. I looked at my wife's Palm V longely (it was mine after all) but could never go back to black and white. I stopped going to PalmGear, I stopped visiting Palmstation everyday (PalmInfocenter is the new king now) and in general lost my Palm mania. When the Palm m505 came out I found love again. I have my color but more importantly I have refound my love of being able to bring my Palm... *everywhere*. What is that worth to me? $450... no problem.

RE: Why My IIIc left May 3rd...
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 4:47:06 PM #
Some good points here; palminfocenter now reigns as King and it so useful to us Palm Users! Now I can take everything along including the kitchen sink; now some may not care for that but it is ok. Everyone needs to define their own needs. Morningstar1844

RE: Why My IIIc left May 3rd...
philmair @ 6/15/2001 8:06:36 AM #
I agree with everything said above. I too have been through the various phases of Palms. I too swapped my V for a IIIC to get colour. And, I too found it just too big. I picked up my m505 last week (the first batch to hit the UK).

Fantastic .. a IIIC in a V case ... normal service resumed!

Pub Crawl: Gen X's Frogger

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 3:31:32 PM #
Pub Crawl can be found at www.romp.com
You have to get a login name and go to the games section. Ignore the pretty girls...

As for overall comparison, I did not intend in writing this to persuade the new buyer to not purchase the latest editions to the palm line up. I was simply giving my reasons for keeping ol' Rickety around for a while. Having to sell all of Rickety's toyz online is exactly the kind of hassle I am referring to in consideration of getting a new palm. Just too much work.

RE: Pub Crawl: Gen X's Frogger
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 3:51:18 PM #
Ugggh! Umpteen pop-up windows, I have to register AND have cookies turned on just to get to the game? No, thanks! Gawd, I hate web sites like that one!

palmos 4.0 does _not_ affect speed

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 4:02:58 PM #
"...slower than my rickety old IIIc? Perhaps this is an OS 4.0 issue? "

palmos 4.0 does _not_ affect speed in any way, I've tested a Palm Vx and a IIIc with benchmark 2.0 from quartus before and after upgrading to palmos 4.0 and the value is the same

RE: palmos 4.0 does _not_ affect speed
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 5:04:24 PM #
I wonder what slowed down the m505s in my experiment then. Perhaps Benchmark 2.0 isn't designed to run right on the new, faster processors...
Brian Hazard
(My login won't work!

RE: palmos 4.0 does _not_ affect speed
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/31/2001 12:42:25 AM #
I agree. I ran the benchmark compared to my 37mhz overclocked Prism, and the Prism was much faster accoring to the benchmark. But just running apps, the non-overclocked 505 is just as fast or faster. I was not looking for it to be faster, I just noticed it was. That benchmark should not be used for 4.0, probably just isnt optimized fot it. Hope someone does a detail analsysis on this. Bottom line: 505 is faster.

The authors comments are well stated, I appluad his stance. Also, you have to really be wasteful to exceed 8mb (except for backup, which the 16mb SD works well for with BackupBuddy VFS). Ill take a 505 tho cause its perfect for me and I dont use accessories :)

Benchmark test just the processor
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/31/2001 9:49:09 AM #
maybe I've explained myself wrong, benchmark tests _just_ the overall speed, not the memory performance (for example in listing the apps "directory"). Using the 99% of the programs on the market You'll never notice the difference between a plain vanilla Dragonball and an Edge VZ (has a benchmark score of about 244% or something like that).
You'll notice the difference only using "heavy load" programs (seems an oxymoron on a palmos machine :) such as a gameboy emulator (wich I do not use, I've been told so) or cryptographic-on-the-fly software (wich I use always)
For the everyday palmos user the m5xx and the Visor Edge have the same speed

benchmark do not have problems running on 4.0 machines, simply may provide misguiding datas

RE: palmos 4.0 does _not_ affect speed
SilliconMan @ 5/31/2001 4:40:32 PM #
I have noticed speed IMPROVEMENTS in general with OS 4 on my IIIc, its great. No 64k color though, the hardware isn't made for it, but its great!

Palming away.....
RE: palmos 4.0 does _not_ affect speed
Quik_Fix @ 5/31/2001 4:55:08 PM #
How do I get os 4.0 on my IIIc?


I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 4:16:55 PM #
I agree, but you missed some points.

1) The HandERA Can do things like voice recordings, and as we all know, it's screen is terrific! Even if it is monochrome.

You would also be pleased to know that it'll work with your keyboard.

2) Your computer / your CD player can't fit in the Palm of your hand.

3) The M505 appeals to the power user who uses their PDA seriously. I don't have one, but I have used up all of the 8mb of Memory on my Palm. (But that IS a large amount!)

The M505 is the perfect Palm. It is truly simple, truly stylish, and truly functional.

RE: Well.....
MacBirdie @ 5/30/2001 6:26:08 PM #
What do you need a CD player in your hand for if you're driving or sitting at home?
Second - CD quality is CD quality, not MP3!
Third - a music CD costs like 8$ or so, an _empty_ 64MB SD - 50$ ?
But I do agree - m505 seems to be the best and the most Palm-like Palm of all Palm OS palmtops :)
And I'm getting it soon cause I'll need some extra megabytes of storage space.

RE: Well.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 6:33:50 PM #
Thanks for your feedback on the 505. It really is the one I am focusing on now. I love the 330, but WANT COLOR and/or a better screen. When I see my wife's IIIc, I want color.

RE: Well.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 6:33:50 PM #
Thanks for your feedback on the 505. It really is the one I am focusing on now. I love the 330, but WANT COLOR or a better screen. When I see my wife's IIIc, I want color.

RE: Well.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/10/2001 3:54:58 PM #
Just want to say that I just purchased my very first Palm...and it is the M505. after 2 weeks, I am in love and wonder how i ever functioned without it.

So long franklin planner! So long Gameboy!

And besides organization...you have renewed my love of chess!

Why? Because we're incurable gadget freaks that's why!!!!

slot_machine @ 5/30/2001 4:07:30 PM #
I am glad you've found your own personal PDA Nirvana. Hoever, there are those of us out there that want more and more colorful, faster, useless feature-packed, web-enabled, expandable, pocketable, music-, movie- game-playing, flash media reading PDAs. It's not rational. But then again, neither is a 300+ hp Corvette. Yes, its kind of pitiful, but it still beats smokin' crack.

Enjoy that ative matrix display!

Get Relevant!

RE: Why? Because we're incurable gadget freaks that's why!!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 4:49:11 PM #
Right On!!! Down with crack and fast cars! Onward toyz!!!

RE: Why? Because we're incurable gadget freaks that's why!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 7:02:01 PM #
Personaly, I'd rather smoke crack.

RE: Why? Because we're incurable gadget freaks that's why!!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 7:57:10 PM #
I'd rather have the Vette.

But, my Sierra gets 305hp

RE: Why? Because we're incurable gadget freaks that's why!!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/31/2001 11:04:04 AM #
But if you were to sell the crack, you could get the Vette, the Sierra and the toys too!!!

RE: Why? Because we're incurable gadget freaks that's why!!!!
fleegle @ 5/31/2001 12:11:43 PM #
Also room and board at the federal penitentiary. ;-)

RE: Why? Because we're incurable gadget freaks that's why!!!!
DISHNU @ 5/31/2001 3:32:53 PM #
Yes But even if there are newer and more Powerfull Corvettes out there a lot of enthusiasts always look toward the older ones, that didnt have all the bells and whisles that the new ones have

RE: Why? Because we're incurable gadget freaks that's why!!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2001 6:54:34 AM #
you seem to be describing a pocket pc

a good reason for the 64M SD/MMC card

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 4:39:51 PM #
As for not needing the extra memory, wait until you put a few .pdf files on with the new Acrobat reader...

Bull Excrements!

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 6:24:45 PM #
How is the m505 the perfect PDA?

I was about to beg my parents for money for the m505! That was before I actually went to the store and held it in my hand and filled around it. It is pretty much the same as my IIIxe except the GameBoy Advance/Color like screen. If I want to play cool games, I'd rather get the Advance for $200 CAN and play the 32-bit apps rather than the 16 or 8-bit games! I understand that people would want the newest stuff, but get a grip people!


RE: Bull Excrements!
MacBirdie @ 5/30/2001 6:36:44 PM #
So a PDA is for you a game machine? If so, you don't get the idea of what a PDA really is and that's the last thing you should get

RE: Bull Excrements!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 6:54:31 PM #
I suggest you have mommy buy you a game boy, and sit in the back of the mini van, and shut up.

GET A JOB and buy what you want, kid.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2001 7:39:12 PM #

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