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Quickies: T665C, MSG1, FlyZip, Training CD, 3D Games, PDABuzz

Several readers have reported finding the Sony T665C in stores. It is also available through SonyStyle. -Ed

Brando is now offering the PEGA-MSG1 Memory Stick GPS for $210 US. It appears that everything is in Japanese, unlike the Bluetooth Memory Stick which has English drivers. -Ryan Humes

Datoru Drosibas Tehnologijas has released FlyZip XR 1.6, a small utility that can compress files to less than half their original size. Compression speed on a typical device is about 30kB/sec. It sells for $20. -PR

3-Lib, producers of the only Training CD for Palm OS users, have cut its price in half for July, down to $15 plus $4 for worldwide postage. It offers over four hours of specially shot 'on-screen' footage with accompanying expert commentary. -PR

3DAGames is previewing its 3D game engine for Palm OS 5. It will offer advanced texture mapping, real time lighting, and extensive transparency effects. -PR

Wes Salmon, long-time Senior Editor of PDA Buzz, has been let go by the site's new owner, Handheld Media Group. In the future, the site will be run by Denny Atkin, Rick Broida, and Dave Johnson. -Ed

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565C?

BiffK @ 7/8/2002 12:42:04 PM #
Just a heads up... should be 665c

-Biff K

PDABuzz

sub_tex @ 7/8/2002 12:41:54 PM #
Glad to see the bad news for Wes was mentioned in the news here.

It's a sad thing to happen. The forums at PDABuzz were incredible, and now all the moderators are gone as well! A major blow to the pda community.

Although i can just see the "good riddance" posts that will likely pop up here since it seems non Palm sites don't get much love here...

RE: PDABuzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 1:14:20 PM #
Actually, I think it's good riddance because the guy was an insecure jerk. Apparently he's not exactly adept at negotiating a purchase and sale contract either.
RE: PDABuzz
Beavis @ 7/8/2002 2:36:42 PM #
Just the type of post you'd expect from someone cowardly enough to make it under an Anonymous name.

PDA Buzz was great. May it rest in peace.

Wes, and PDA Buzz...
orb2069 @ 7/8/2002 2:57:48 PM #
To be honest, I usually enjoyed the forums, and Wes seemed on an even-enough keel untill he came back from that Windows-sponsored reprogram... I mean, educational gathering where they gave him a free iPaq. Since then, the Palm bashing from him has been of varying vitriol but consistant in presence.

I tuned out after a few months of steady '(Gartner|Microsoft) says revenue in (obscure slice of sales data) is up 5415% from last (arbitrary period of time)! Demise of palm writ in sky by The Hand Of Doom.' editorials.

Sorry about the raw deal, Wes. Maybe you should be more critical of those who give you gifts in the future.

RE: PDABuzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 3:24:28 PM #
Is not like anybody can say Palm is thriving either, looking at the way PALM price trend is going.
RE: PDABuzz
sub_tex @ 7/8/2002 3:28:25 PM #
Funny how anyone who had said anything in favor of a PPC is all of a sudden some mindless zombie of MS.

(sigh)

The fact remains that PDABuzz was a pda site with news on ALL platforms and it was an amazing help to all who have ever visited those forums with a question.

If all I had to read was Palm news here, my knowledge of the current PDAs out there would be rather slim.

This site is the best for Palm news, no doubt. But for some intelligent debates? I'll hopefully find those in the forums here. Cuz it sure isn't happening on the news posts.

RE: PDABuzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 3:50:07 PM #
>'Just the type of post you'd expect from someone cowardly enough to make it under an Anonymous name.'

Just the type of response you'd get in response too. The failure to give one's name doesn't make the statement any less true. BTW, is "Beavis" your real name?

RE: PDABuzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 4:03:11 PM #
What I'm curious about is when all of the whiners that claim to be leaving will actually *leave*.
RE: PDABuzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 5:04:12 PM #
Why are people talking as though PDABuzz is dead? It still exists, though without Wes' sometimes-PPC-biased guidance. Who knows? Perhaps it will actually get BETTER without Wes around. Best of luck to him, but he was not indispensible.

BTW--the moderators voluntarily left in honor of Wes. Nice...wonder if it was the "I'll take my ball(moderators) and go home" attitude. If so, highly immature.

RE: PDABuzz
Deslock @ 7/8/2002 5:06:18 PM #
PDABuzz (including Wes) was often PPC-slanted. There were endless headlines about Gartner marketshare reports (and few stories of numbers from other groups), repeated mis-quotes of folks from Handspring (Wes propogated false rumors that Handspring was considering switching to PPC on multiple occasions, even after Handspring issued statements clearing it up. In fact, Wes kept mis-quoting after being corrected in the forums!), and mostly PPC headlines in general (IPAQ selling 1 million got its own headline, while the only mention of Palm hitting 20 milliion was buried at the end of the summary of an un-related story!)

However, Wes seemed more objective recently and PDABuzz was still one of the best PDA sites out there (even when the reporting became wildly inaccurate and/or slanted). I hope he's happy with whatever he's doing nowadays.

I wonder if PDABuzz will survive without him....



RE: PDABuzz
Pentagonal @ 7/8/2002 5:20:42 PM #
I think it was more like... we don't want to work with liars (since part of the sales agreement was specifically that they wouldn't dump Wes several months down the road when, in fact, that's exactly what they did).

So I think what the moderators did as a show of support makes a lot of sense.

As just your average web surfer, I can see some merit in criticizing the scorched earth policy that seems to have afflicted most PDABuzz adherents (count me among them) on the grounds that it's immature: I don't think its fair to assume that because HHCMG may be dishonest in its business policies it will therefore be dishonest in its reporting. (Although in an indutry where it's conceivably possible to buy favorable reviews you can't rule this out as a possibility, either--sounds like something that could be right up Iambic and Handango's alley :p .) But on the grounds that many people will be leaving and PDABuzz will become just as dreary a place to talk PDA's as Brighthand became last year, it makes sense to follow suit and go elsewhere for good general PDA discussion.

And on a slightly different subject, the thing I liked most about Wes Salmon's reporting and commentary was that he could be--and often was--critical of both sides. Frankly, he was the most objective voice in PDA media, and I can only hope we haven't heard the last of him.

RE: PDABuzz
sub_tex @ 7/8/2002 5:39:46 PM #
"Why are people talking as though PDABuzz is dead? It still exists, though without Wes' sometimes-PPC-biased guidance. Who knows? Perhaps it will actually get BETTER without Wes around. Best of luck to him, but he was not indispensible."

Sure. Have you even read the first post that was made since Wes left? It's pretty much a cut and paste from a press release.

No objectivity, just some marketing crap about a new device ("20 ounce wonder"). Bleah. There used to be a nice end comment to the post by Wes where he would give his own take on it, or anything that would make me want to click the link to discuss it. This last post reads like marketing drivel.

As if we need another generic cnet/pc magazine type page with posts by people who don't even know what they're talking about.

Reading a post here, you can count on Ed to give you his comments. I expect the same elswhere or else i'm just wasting time.

RE: PDABuzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 6:10:31 PM #
PDABuzz was a good site, and I browsed the forums frequently. Wes had a reporting style that was really more of an editorial/opinion style. He just never bothered to seperate the news from his opinions (or even clarify when he was giving his own opinion).
RE: PDABuzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 9:26:15 PM #
Wes is gone?!?! Well, I didn't really like PDABuzz anyways. It was too slanted towards PPC and he was too opinionated anyways. Good riddance. Now PDABuzz may be something to check out now that he's gone. COOL!
RE: PDABuzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/9/2002 10:40:26 AM #
Not likely. Just check out the first couple of pieces of crap posing as "news."
RE: PDABuzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/9/2002 5:34:57 PM #
PDABuzz looks OK to me even without that lamer Wes. I've been reading the news postings over there and I don't see a problem. Hmmmm...
RE:The New PDABuzz.
orb2069 @ 7/10/2002 11:49:25 PM #
[ Funny how anyone who had said anything in favor of a PPC is all of a sudden some mindless zombie of MS. ]

Nah - I've even said good things about some PPC's myself, (and it'd be harder to find somebody more disgusted with Microsoft's business practices and corperate culture without having been employed there.) They sure are pretty, at any rate.

I'm not the only person to point out Wes' slight bias problem, though. And, personally, if I was going to even pretend that I was unbiased, I don't think I'd take over $600 worth of spanky-new PDA as a gift from a company known for using it's advertising budget to buy good reviews.

That having been said, the new PDABuzz site really looks like it's going to be total press-release city. Kind of reminds me of when WIRED was bought by the Conde' Nast publishing group - They read like 'forbes for geeks' instead of some combination of Extropy and a print version of Slashdot.


Any reviews for the Thumboard for clie?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 1:40:38 PM #
I was able to traslate a japanese article through altavista.coms translate tool. My summary is that he recommends the product, unlike any other thumboard it takes a while getting used to and a foldable keyboard is still faster.

Although i want to get the thumboard i still want to read some user comments.

Speaking GPS??

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 2:11:37 PM #
If any developers are listening (particularly those from Mapopolis or Handmap), please, please develop a program or new version that utilizes the Clie's audio capabilities for spoken directions. Something like that makes this GPS ms viable.
RE: Speaking GPS??
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 2:21:54 PM #
The Mapopolis team is working on version 5 right now, so you may want to contact them via their website for suggestions. Rand McNally StreetFinder gives turn alerts by beeping, blinking the power LED, and saying "Turn Left" on the screen. It's obvious enough for my kids to read it from the back seat, and probably better in situations where you have other people talking in the car (Would you quiet down? My Palm is talking to me!). The spoken directions would be better in a calmer vehicle, and of course work better on devices with real speakers. Of course, for Palms with headphone jacks, you can use an adaptor to patch into the vehicle sound system...

I would say write Rand McNally, but I have not yet gotten a response from them, other than an automated reply saying they received my message.

RE: Speaking GPS??
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 2:27:52 PM #
yeah, PLEASE!
RE: Speaking GPS??
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 3:52:49 PM #
Yes, but streetfinder stinks for a myriad of reasons.
RE: Speaking GPS??
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 4:38:36 PM #
"Yes, but streetfinder stinks for a myriad of reasons"

I wouldn't say it stinks, but I would agree that is disappointing. Just a few things: Frequently says "off route" then goes back on route, even when traveling on a straight and level road. Ribbon maps have no information except at beginning and end; yesterday it said there were no resturants within 20 miles of a point where there were several right next to the off ramp... so what's the point of chosing ribbon maps over barbell maps? Keeps telling you to go back to the start point when you turn it back on in the middle of a trip, and takes several minutes to figure out that you are already enroute. The highways and GPS trace appear as the same color. There is no map rotation, so you have to be driving and watch the GPS trace to find out which direction you are going. You cannot reverse directions, instead you must create two sets of directions; one there and one for the trip back. There is no VFS support of any kind.

Worst problem for me is the fact that you need a desktop or laptop with a live internet connection to get directions to the house next door. But guess what? I did that, and it told me to drive the opposite direction and go all the way around the block! Mapopolis, with no desktop, laptop, or internet connection, found it just fine using only the Palm app.

RE: Speaking GPS??
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 4:39:17 PM #
Any product will do... as long as its GPS for T665c =)
RE: Speaking GPS??
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 5:10:01 PM #
Oh, I thought I should mention that, even though I don't care for some aspects of StreetFinder, the GPS unit that it was bundled with from Magellan works great... locks onto as many as six satellites at a time, and can maintain lock in a moving vehicle while on the arm rest, in your lap, on the passenger seat, or even in the cupholder which is well below the dashboard.
RE: Speaking GPS??
drw @ 7/8/2002 11:38:48 PM #
I've recently done some research on handheld GPS's. Looking at eMap, eTrex Legend, and Map330. Not so good reviews on eMap and eTrex with their internal antennas inhibiting satellite lock while inside an automobile. Read good reviews on the Magellan Map330 which Sam Club has a pretty good combo deal on now.

Just wondering why they all come with serial port pc cables. Haven't they heard of USB? Why to they gotta stay in the stone age?

Anyway, back on topic, a memstick gps (if it worked) on a color 320x480 handheld device would be cool.

David in Pflugerville, TX

RE: Speaking GPS??
Altema @ 7/9/2002 1:06:35 AM #
"Just wondering why they all come with serial port pc cables. Haven't they heard of USB? Why to they gotta stay in the stone age?"

Not only are they serial, they are using it at 4,800 bps! Oh well, guess the actual data stream is not that much.

I have heard about lock problems on units with the internal antennas from other sources as well. The MS GPS looks like it should work fairly well, but actual testing will tell. I was shocked when I purchased the Magellan GPS for the m series, as the antenna head was twice as tall as in the original prototype photos, but I certainly can't complain about the locks. I double checked it tonight, thinking it was locking onto 5 or 6 satellites, but it suprised me when it locked on 8. It kept 6 locked when I moved to to the floor of the van I was driving. The software has a neat feature that I just discovered tonight. You can "mark" locations and it will save the data (including elevation). Would have saved me a lot of time confirming our business locations!

RE: Speaking GPS??
Bartman007 @ 7/9/2002 3:33:52 AM #
Correct me if I'm wrong but...

It seems to me that serial connections only have 2 devices (most of the time,) USB on the otherhand can support up to 127 devices on one bus. This means that the devices must talk to each other quite often to keep their bearings. It is probably much easier programming-wise, resource-wise, and energy-wise to use serial if it can do the job.

RE: Speaking GPS??
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/9/2002 4:09:52 PM #
Serial is more than adequate for a low bandwidth GPS interface. USB would only increase cost and decrease the utility of the device. For that matter, you wouldn't even be able to connect a USB GPS to a Palm device.

T665C in stores

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 5:07:33 PM #
Best Buy and Circuit City both have the T665C advertised in this week's newspaper circulars. CompUSA only runs circulars every other week--this is their off-week, so I would imagine they'll advertise it next week.

Saw it at Best Buy. It's nothing special if you're an NR70 owner like myself. A T615C owner probably won't fall over either, though they might be jealous of the somewhat improved screen and the built-in mp3. Placed next to the m515 and that new $400 Toshiba, the thing simply rocks.

RE: T665C in stores
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 5:42:07 PM #
Does anyone know, or even estimate when the T665C will be available in the UK?

I've sold my N770C last week and am looking forward to buying the T665C.

//killah_fury

RE: T665C in stores
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/9/2002 11:06:09 AM #
I had a T615C. It had 3 bad pixels when I bought it last month, but rather than return it, I decided to hold out until the T665 arrived (I figured it's not gonna matter to Circuit City if I exchange for another T615 or pay an additional $100 for the T665).

Anyway, I upgraded without hesitation... I don't give a rat's ass about the MP3 player (I have a RIO500) but the better screen and faster CPU make viewing images a much nicer experience. It's still somehwhat slow for JPEGs, but is zippy for non-compressed files (while the 33 MHz devices are sluggish viewing any images). Working with large spreadsheets is noticeably faster too.

I agree about the comparison to the Toshiba e310 (which I also considered getting). The T665C is much more comfortable to hold, has an excellent built-in cover, a crisper and *far* more vibrant screen, fits in a pocket better (is narrower and more curved), has more *relative* memory (16Mb on PalmOS > 32MB on PPC) and has enhanced IR and remote software (the only PPC to have this is the new IPAQ, which is also the only PPC with screen quality comparable to the Sony's... but the IPAQ is still stuck at 320x240).

Of course, the e310 has some advantages too... depends on your needs. However, I suspect that the T665C is a better value for most people.

FlyZip memory

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 5:49:21 PM #
I remember the beta of flyzip. Occasionally when the zipping action was too fast, or when the CPU was distracted with multitasking, some software files would get caught in the zipping mechanism during the process of re-zipping. This was particularly bothersome with very large programs that had files dangling all over. This glitch would render your stuff unusable until it could be safely extracted. Those were reportedly very painful malfunctions which lead to much cursing and raging. I hope this new version of FlyZip avoids this.
RE: FlyZip memory
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 7:06:47 PM #
I love reading *technical* descriptions from non-technical people... LOL...


RE: FlyZip memory
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 8:11:25 PM #
I think it's intended to be humor, not a technical description of some software. Pull your head out of your SD slot and smell the roses.
RE: FlyZip memory
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/9/2002 12:56:45 AM #
Not to mention the memory leaks that got all over the seat if you could not perform the unzipping function fast enough!

RE: FlyZip memory
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/9/2002 3:35:44 AM #
Pretty ****e humour then...

Oh, and I hate the smell of roses... so I won't be doing what you suggest moron.

RE: FlyZip memory
big_raji @ 7/9/2002 8:41:15 AM #
Well, it's not completely obvious that the original post was meant to be humorous... not because we're not intelligent enough to understand, but because it's simply not that funny.

---
What's Wrong With This Picture?
http://raj.phangureh.com/picture.html
RE: FlyZip memory
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/9/2002 8:49:01 AM #
I use FlyButton. A superior solution although not offering such easy access when a leak is detected.

oh gawd, now i have sunk to the same level.

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