Aceeca Readying New Palm OS Garnet Handhelds

Aceeca releases Meazura handheld ROM We are scarcely two weeks into 2010 and we may have already witnessed the most surprising news item of the year. Out of nowhere and via the TamsPalm blog, New Zealand based ruggedized handheld specialist Aceeca has unofficially confirmed that they are readying not one but two new Palm OS Garnet handheld PDAs for release. These new Garnet machines will be based upon shared hardware architecture with a pair of new Windows CE 5.0 handhelds.

Officially, Aceeca remains one of Access' final remaining Palm OS licensees, so the news is not totally out of left field. While Aceeca has remained rather quiet as of late, the firm has remained committed to supporting their existing stable of Palm OS devices.

Two separate new Garnet handhelds are forthcoming: the MEZ1500 Garnet and the PDA32 Garnet. Between these two upcoming Aceeca Palm OS models , the consumer-oriented PDA32 looks to be of most interest to the PIC faithful. According to Tam's story, the PDA32 will be "slightly taller than a Palm TX and about twice as thick. It has an ARM CPU, color QVGA screen but does NOT have the MZIO expansion bus…"

Tam's source who also shared this information with PIC goes describes the PDA32 as a new smaller, less rugged "business class PDA." He goes on to mention that this is "…the first new non-smartphone, non-barcode scanner Garnet OS powered handheld released within the past couple years, with multiple wireless options and SD memory expansion." Of course, that blurb brings to mind just as many questions as it answered but additional details will hopefully be forthcoming once the company makes an official announcement about the new devices. If nothing else, users looking for a final non-phone Palm OS device should be encouraged by a reasonably-priced new hardware offering.

The pricier MEZ1500 Garnet handheld is more in line with the company's traditional ruggedized handhelds for industrial and vertical markets. It promises to not only offer the newer Garnet OS over its predecessor's Palm OS 4.x but also a color QVGA screen, increased battery life and wi-fi and Bluetooth wireless options. The list price of the MEZ1500 Garnet will be $499, with wireless connectivity coming at extra cost. Its release will lag slightly behind its Windows CE 5.0 sibling device.

According to the original source, David Thacker of Satellite Forms, the PDA32 Windows CE version is scheduled to be priced around $199 USD plus wireless options. The PDA32 will presumably carry similar pricing and is planned for release in April. If the units do indeed arrive on time, it will hit the market exactly 4.5 years since Palm released its final non-phone Palm OS handhelds, the TX and Z22, in October 2005. Tam Hanna's 2006 review of Aceeca's older Meazura handheld can be found here.

Mr. Thacker notes, this news may seem a little "behind the curve" for consumers looking for the latest flashy devices, but for industrial/vertical markets where devices are used day in day out for 6-7+ years, this is fantastic news.

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football tickets

Gekko @ 1/18/2010 9:50:31 AM # Q

i recently went to a dallas cowboys game while visiting in dallas at their new jerry jones ego-built $1 BILLION high tech state of the art best of breed stadium. it had been a few years since i went to an NFL game. walking in the stadium passing through the gate guess what OS platform device they used to scan and verify our tickets? you guessed it - much to my surprise it was PalmOS on a symbol PDA. i saw this years ago at another NFL game and it didn't surprise me then. however today in 2010 it surprises me. they are using 1996 technology.

apparently PalmOS is still alive and kicking in a very small niche like event ticket verification and manufacturing/logistics. but for how long - who knows? i guess they find PalmOS cheap, simple, and effective - for now.

RE: football tickets
hkklife @ 1/18/2010 10:46:25 AM # Q
Yep, same here. I pointed out last year after attending a concert that they were using Symbol barcode scanners (based on circa 1998 Palm III technology). A recent NBA game outing also revealed Palm OS barcode scanners in use. And recently for work I was touring a large warehouse/logistics facility and they were using ruggedized Windows CE handhelds--they looked quite new, so I think that the industry is slowly transitioning away from Palm OS. Still, it's a testament to those attributes Gekko just mentioned that it's still a very viable, capable OS even today.

If Access were to release a Palm OS 6.0 that had all of the trappings of a modern OS (secure, latest wireless proptocols supported, protected memory etc) but with the classic Palm OS look & feel, it'd still probably have a small but deveoted following fore these sorts of applications, especially if the UI was modified slightly to be more finger-friendly.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid

RE: football tickets
ChiA @ 1/18/2010 3:11:48 PM # Q
Well you know the old adage, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
I've noticed that one major supermarket chain in the UK transitioned from using Palm OS in 2001 to Pocket PC/Windows CE devices now.

If Access were to release a Palm OS 6.0 that had all of the trappings of a modern OS (secure, latest wireless proptocols supported, protected memory etc) but with the classic Palm OS look & feel

i.e. what Cobalt was meant to be.

RE: football tickets
LiveFaith @ 1/18/2010 5:33:23 PM # M Q
Lowe's HIW in my town uses Palm OS on a static panel which controls the fire protection system. Hope it doesn't freeze when a fire occurs.

My 2nd Palm OS was a Symbol SPT1500 ... a Palm III w/ bar code reader basically. Got over $350 for that baby on eBay. Enough to get a Vx almost.

RE: football tickets
Gekko @ 1/18/2010 5:56:51 PM # Q
RE: football tickets
LiveFaith @ 1/19/2010 5:37:54 AM # Q
I bet that was a funny call that the Access last Palm OS code-monkey (Maytag repairman) received. "Hey, wake up down there in the basement ... we have 2 new devices to prep". Dude has probably been asleep for 3 years waiting to do something.
Pat Horne
verizon iphone in june 2010
Gekko @ 1/20/2010 6:52:42 AM # M Q
just heard on bloomberg radio
verizon ipad in 2010
SeldomVisitor @ 1/20/2010 9:22:59 AM # Q
So says Scott Moritz, he of the "Verizon will offer minimal support to the Pre" fame:

BTW - it's a few days til the Verizon Pre launch and,from all appearances to THIS viewer, Mr. Moritz was exactly correct about Verizon's support level.

RE: football tickets
Gekko @ 1/20/2010 9:37:16 AM # Q
RE: football tickets
SeldomVisitor @ 1/20/2010 10:17:03 AM # Q
Well...the Me-Too Media ALWAYS dos this sort of thing. Since Scott Moritz got the "exclusive" (giggle) about the lack of verizon support for the Pre et al, I thought it was only right to name him as the source for what HE calls an "exclusive", too!

RE: football tickets
Gekko @ 1/20/2010 11:40:53 AM # M Q
google "peter misek verizon iphone"
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jptx @ 1/19/2010 6:59:44 AM # Q
My only problem with Garnet is blazer- give me a decent browser and I'd buy one with wifi in a heartbeat.

Last concert I went to was using palms to scan tickets as well.

RE: browser
mwrob @ 1/19/2010 6:01:21 PM # Q
That's definitely the weak link for me also. If they could port Opera mobile over, that'd be great.
RE: browser
atopschij @ 1/23/2010 3:14:52 PM # Q
Hi there,
Can you please help me (in layman's terms) - What are you looking for in a browser? Why did Blazer not cut the mustard? What is it you really like about Opera? I would really appreciate any feedback you care to give me.
Thanks and Regards
CEO Aceeca.
RE: browser
Gekko @ 1/23/2010 4:31:39 PM # Q

Blazer's glaring deficiencies are not painfully obvious enough?

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