Use PC Cards with HandEra 330

Parachute Technologies has released the Parachute HE, a clip-on adapter that allows the HandEra 330 to use Type II PC Cards like hard drives, GPS, wireless modems, Ethernet, and more. Drivers are currently only available for wireless and wire-line modems though more are in development. The Parachute HE itself is available now for $100.

HandEra and Parachute developed a complete wireless WAN access solution using the HandEra 330, Parachute HE, and wireless PC Card modems on existing CDPD or CDMA networks.

It currently works with the Novatel Wireless Merlin CDPD PC Card modem and Sierra Wireless CDMA 510 AirCard. It also works with the Viking 56k dial-up PC Card modem, Cardinal fax modem, Apex analog cellular modem, Megahertz modem, Hi Val modem, and others.

The Parachute HE doesn't increase the footprint of the 330, though it is half an inch thick. It doesn't block access to the 330's jog wheel, buttons, or side charger socket. However, the Parachute must be removed to access the 330's CF and SD slots. It runs on its own AAA batteries.

The Parachute has a HotSync port that allows the 330 to use its cradle and other peripherals like keyboards without removing the PC Card adapter. However, these can't be used when the Parachute is active.

"This relationship has tremendous value for both companies. The Parachute HE solution opens new doors for HandEra into the multiple enterprise and mobile professional markets," said Allen Penkake, Vice President, Sales of HandEra. "Unique screen features and greater storage capability of the HandEra 330, combined with the PC Card expandability of the Parachute, provide a very easy-to-use solution for our customers."

There is also a version of the Parachute available for the Palm III series that sells for $100. A V series version is in development with a prototype due by January 20.

Related Information:

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Super Brick

Beavis @ 1/7/2002 11:16:44 AM # I can change a Handera 330 from the size of a brick to the size of a superbrick. What a complete waste of $$$. The Parachute might have been a good idea 4 years ago when they first announced it, but now it is big, bulky, and useless.

Function Over Form
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 11:22:39 AM #
Again the HandEra has a great new feature that its competitors don't and all you can come up with is "it's too big"? That's weak man, weak. You go back and play with your tiny expensive toys and those of us who actually need to get work done will get back to our HE 330s.

There's no doubt Butthead is the smarter of you two.

RE: Super Brick
kevdo @ 1/7/2002 12:02:09 PM #
>Again the HandEra has a great new feature that its competitors don't

I saw a demo of this at the Silicon Valley Palm Users Group on Thursday. They already have a product available for Palm III (not IIIc) units. So, no, the Handera does not have something the others don't.

The company is moving forward with a unit for Palm V (in a sleeker, rechargable battery form factor) as well as one for the m500/Universal Connector units.

-Kevin Crossman

RE: Super Brick
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 12:21:46 PM #
Wrong, Kevin, since when is the Palm III series a competitor? With the exception of IIIc, Palm hasn't sold a III series device in a long time, and this joke of a product doesn't even work with the IIIc.

RE: Super Brick
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 2:44:09 PM #
Does anyone understand here that many, if not all, of the Handera add ons are compatable with the Palm III? Its the same form factor!! must be butthead.

RE: Super Brick
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 3:35:11 PM #
You people missed the point. This is simply a nice idea for users who have PC cards for their laptop to be able to use them for the 330 (along with PalmIIIs). It didn't say "The new sleek and slim PC card adaptor" or "Very stylish".

It seems some of you are never satisfied. If a company releases ANYTHING whether it be something that is the same old thing or its innovative and new you people will complain about something.

RE: Super Brick
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 9:27:49 PM #
Point of clarification - when it refers to being compatible with "Palm III" it is referring to the entire III series (III, IIIx, IIIxe) but not the IIIc specifically. Any why was it mentioned purely as an afterthought in the article? A bit of HandEra bias? NEW PRODUCT FOR THE HANDERA [also available for Palm III series].

RE: Super Brick
Ed @ 1/7/2002 10:10:24 PM #
> Any why was it mentioned purely as an afterthought in the article? A bit of
> HandEra bias? NEW PRODUCT FOR THE HANDERA [also available for
> Palm III series].

The Palm III version came out in October and received equal coverage:

News Editor

super unit

fuzzy @ 1/7/2002 11:28:00 AM #
current palm models are inferior to the h330 in my opinion. color on the 505 and the smaller size are the only factors palm has in it's favor. the h330 is the only palmOS unit on the market that boasts a real, honest to god speaker (excepting it's predecesor the trgpro). you can use batteries, or a lith-ion pack (did anyone ever decide if you can run from an ac adapter?), or you can use both. you can start w/ the pack, and as it dies, use bateries in an emergancy. it boasts a high-resolution screen (not the highest, i'll admit, but better than any palm inc. unit), includes a jog-wheel, which is becoming standard, again, except for at palm, has two types of expansion slots on it, and has what i consider to be the best inovation since the palm p1l0t pro, virtual griffiti. i have a 330 and a 505. the only reason i prefer to use my 505 is bucause it makes my digital pictures look better. oh, btw, if the h330 is a brick, it must be a foam one. even w/ batteries in it weighs less than my 505.

RE: super unit
Quik_Fix @ 1/7/2002 12:07:46 PM #
I have to agree with fuzzy. There's no doubt that the 330 lacks in form factor, and personally, I don't think it's real pretty. But there isn't a single other Palm OS-based PDA on the market that does what it does. I know it's no blockbuster with multimedia, but when it comes to the business users it was designed for, there is no competition; voice recorder, jog-dial, virtual grafitti (why can I never spell that right?:-), QVGA screen, CF (microdrive anyone?) and SD/MMC, backwards compatibility with almost all III series devices, enhanced speaker and WAV file capabilities, landscaping (software specific), three power options and long battery life.

Okay, okay... I own one :-). And sometimes I think of switching. I would be a liar if I said I don't envy color screens and vibrating alarms. But I always stay with my 330 and the PPK I bought two years ago because they fit the bill and they do with with innovation.

Fuzzy: Yes. You can plug your 330 into the wall and use it without batteries or the battery pack.

It's just MHO; please don't flame me... I burn easy.

...In accordance with the prophecy...


RE: super unit
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 12:28:00 PM #
the Sony Clié T415 and upcoming T615 are the only Palm-Powered units that have a "real" speaker...

RE: super unit
Quik_Fix @ 1/7/2002 12:41:33 PM #
Nono. The 330's speaker is "real," but I'm not sure what we're using as a standard. It's pretty nice. It's not loud in a crowded room, but neither are the Sony's; I tried them at Best Buy. I think I would put my money on the 330 for being the loudest of the three, all bias aside.

...In accordance with the prophecy...


RE: super unit
Quik_Fix @ 1/7/2002 12:43:35 PM #
Sorry. I tried the T415, not the unreleased one!
That would be a neat trick...

...In accordance with the prophecy...


RE: super unit
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 12:44:12 PM #
Now we get to the root of the problem. The Parachute doesn't run on a Sony and, to this guy, that makes it crap. If it did run on a Sony, it would be a brilliant piece of engineering.

RE: super unit
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 1:35:59 PM #

It's graffiti (2 f's, 1 i) :-)

Spelling 101
Quik_Fix @ 1/7/2002 1:44:44 PM #
Somewhere in the back of my head, I know this. But I think it's top secret info kept from the front of my brain.

...In accordance with the prophecy...


RE: super unit
rsig @ 1/7/2002 2:08:45 PM #
Oops. Make that 2 f's 1 _T_

Yeah. Maybe I've been spending too much time starin' at the little screen myself.

RE: super unit
kevdo @ 1/7/2002 3:20:26 PM #
>if the h330 is a brick, it must be a foam one.
>even w/ batteries in it weighs less than my 505.

From Handera's Website:
5.9 oz. (167 g) with AAA alkaline batteries
5.4 oz (153g) with optional lithium-ion batteries

From Palm's:
4.9 oz. - m505

-Kevin Crossman

RE: super unit
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 4:13:07 PM #
"It's not loud in a crowded room".

Then turn your volume up :-) The 330 has been registered at 95db with an SPL meter.

RE: super unit
Quik_Fix @ 1/7/2002 4:22:04 PM #
It's funny, too. Because when I'm in a normal-sized room (or a quite place), it sounds sooooo loud! But I was in a park pavilion and no one could hear my "holy hand grenade" WAV file; also sounds very distant in assembly halls and such. It's just a matter of the area you're in...I think.

Then again, I could be going deaf.

...In accordance with the prophecy...


RE: super unit
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 8:18:09 PM #
Anyone who calls the HE330 a brick hasn't held one or is just dumb. There's really no other way to put it. Have you "brick" enthusiasts ever been to, say, Best Buy... and seen these handhelds all lined up? There's virtually the same size. If the size difference between the Palm m5xx series and an HE330 is the only thing stopping you from buying it, you're pretty foolish.

I used to own an HE330 and sold it to buy a SONY Clie N760C. I caved in to the desire for a color handheld, plain and simple. However, I'd argue the merits of the HE330 without a second thought. It's a dynamic handheld. It has numerous features not found on any other handheld. To say otherwise requires the use of blinders. Beautiful? Not a chance ;-) A strong performer with great features? You bet!!! The person who quoted the weight difference between the m5xx series and the HE330... I hope you did that just for the sake of accuracy and not to make a point. The difference is 1/2 of an ounce!#$@% Anyone who uses this as the basis for a decision can't be even remotely serious about using their handheld.

What's the point?!?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 3:57:05 PM #
Most functions available on PC cards are also available on CF, and no .5" extension is needed. Why would anyone want this?

RE: What's the point?!?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 3:59:39 PM #
Today on The Wonderful World of Corporate StandardsTM, Larry will try to get Fred the IT manager to buy him a compact flash wireless modem when the corporate standard is a PCMCIA wireless modem.

Fred: Why should we buy just you this compact flash modem at full price when I've got stacks of the PCMCIA ones in the closet that we got at a large discount because we bought them in bulk?

Larry: Uhhhh.....

Fred: We can use the PCMCIA modems on laptops. What besides your handheld can we use the compact flash one with?

Larry: Uhhhh.....

Fred: I've got work to do. Bye.

RE: What's the point?!?
Scott @ 1/7/2002 4:03:57 PM #
Some advantages:
1) PC card accessories are less expensive (compare, in particular, the CF WiFi cards to the PC WiFi cards).
2) You can use the same cards you already own (for your laptop).
3) Dedicated battery means that you'll get longer usage than using up a CF WiFi card, for instance, which will drain the HandEra's battery.

The cost is pretty reasonable (compared to similar products for the iPaq and other Palm OS devices). The main disadvantage (and it's a big one) is size/weight.


RE: What's the point?!?
Scott @ 1/7/2002 4:08:01 PM #
To correct something a prior Anon poster mentioned, you should be able to use any CF card in a PCMCIA slot via an adaptor.


RE: What's the point?!?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 4:10:59 PM #
But then Fred would have to buy the adaptor too! Poor Fred! Oh, OH the humanity!

RE: What's the point?!?
Coyote67 @ 1/7/2002 4:41:13 PM #
Very well said. Bravo. You guys have to understand total cost of ownership. Why use two devices to do one thing more expensivly when you can use one that works on multiple platforms? One breaks, you get another one. Theres no point in it. Here you have a Handera 330. It has CF/SD/ and now PCMCIA. One single unit that can handle anything that you can toss at it. Picture this: An insurrance agent is at a site, turns on his handera with his pcmcia adapter. Takes pictures with his digi cam. Pops the CF card in. Then he pops in his pcmcia cdma modem, and sends the pictures to his company's database. SOmething like this would normally require a laptop. But now it doesn't.

When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
RE: What's the point?!?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 6:17:33 PM #
I have a 330 and I agree with the "what's the point?" There are many issues with this device. 1. it uses the serial connector so it is slow, 2. two sets of batteries to deal with, 3. PCMCIA cards generally require more power than their CF counterparts and in general PCMCIA cards aren't really designed for handhelds, and 4. they only currently have modem drivers (good grief, just hook a modem up to the serial port). The real kicker is that you can't access the CF and SD slots while it is attached. All they had to do was not cover the slots! SD and CF are going to be the standard on handhelds for a while, so you would be better off putting your $99 in that direction. I wouldn't buy a PCMCIA card now, the CF equivalents can easily be used in laptops as well.

Parachute is nice for someone who has a nostalgic attachment to their Palm III, but I don't see it as very practical for the HandEra 330. For the insurance agent scenario above, get a cheap SD camera so you don't need a parachute. Anyhow, if you don't tell your IT manager that this device exists, they probably won't know about it anyhow.

Rick James ''Freaky''

slot_machine @ 1/7/2002 4:20:04 PM #
Sorry, but I just can't help myself. Hum to the tune of "Super Freak" by Rick James.

Its a very bulky unit (da-da; da-da)
The kind you don't take to a meeting (da-da; da-da)

It will never let your shoulder heal (da-da; da-da)
If you carry it all day (da-da; da-da)

This thing is really heavy,
(That thing's a super-brick)

Got chrome just like a chevy,
(The phone-book's not that thick)

Takes ethyl or unleaded
(The Russian army's pick)

Watch out for EMF's y'all
(Big trouble for your d___)

RE: Rick James ''Freaky''
Quik_Fix @ 1/7/2002 4:34:46 PM #
LOL! Good show, old man, good show!
Play some Skynrd!

...In accordance with the prophecy...


RE: Rick James ''Freaky''
madhatter @ 1/7/2002 4:49:00 PM #
and another song

"I've got too much time on my hands.." :)

A Palm in hand is worth two in your pocket.

The real key point is ........

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 7:15:05 AM #
no driver no use.

It's seldom to find a PCMICA device with a Windows/WinCE/Palm driver.
So, before inserting a card used by your Notebook into Palm, write a driver first for yourself. ^_^


I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 10:48:03 PM #
Finally a Palm handheld can access PCMCIA card. This is a big step toward. The drivers are only a 'sooner or later' issue, but this is still a great news for Palm users. Keep up the good work, HandEra.



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