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  • Portable Brain...

    Technology Question

    I have a ton of books on everything from Survival to Tactical Medicine. I have called my Wife on a Cell before to have her look things up. I’m looking to Modernize myself a little.

    I’m thinking of getting a small PDA / I touch / Microcomputer type device. I want to use it to hold everything from Medical information to Maps, Word Documents and E-Mail. I like gizmos, but have never really messed with things like these.

    I’m looking for: Portability (Does not have to be tiny, but smaller than the average laptop.), Toughness (Reference for Hiking and camping), Storage Capacity (want to put whole books into it, PDR, Trauma Care Etc…), and ability to play a couple games (Not Mine sweeper and Solitaire)

    Any Advice on this is appreciated
    “All men dream...... But not equally..
    Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
    but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
    for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

    TE Lawrence

  • #2
    I'm holding out for iPhone 2.0... which is supposedly coming up very soon.

    I love the current iPhone, but I want real GPS and a faster cellular data connection... both of which *might* be included when the new version is released in the upcoming weeks.

    If you're willing to combine it with a phone, I'd go with an iPhone. Otherwise, I'd see if the iPod touch will be updated to have similar features (GPS, etc).

    The next-generation in programming for the iPhone is going to be VERY exciting. I think we're going to be surprised at the many useful programs that will be released that will take advantage of GPS, an internet connection, mass storage, and a beautiful and easy-to-use interface.

    I've used Palm devices for years... when I'd buy the newest model, I'd use it for a few months, then gradually it would fade out of my life. But I've always kept my phone on me. I used to download criminal and traffic codes in PDF onto the Palms. I also used medical programs on it as an EMT. The Palm screens aren't the greatest for reading, they have a clumsy interface, they require a "stylus", the older-technology screen needs to be synchronized frequently for accuracy, battery-life is so-so, and the installation of third-party software can often be tricky.

    I've always wanted a good all-in-one, and I think the next version of the iPhone will be the one to get. I think the features will be comparable to Blackberry's slightly more robust feature list, but that the implementation and ease of use will be very simple -- aka "the Apple Way." The real programs for iPhone will be released via iTunes, which will be an incredibly EASY and STRAIGHTFORWARD way to find and install what you want. This will include games, financial programs, mapping software, instant messagers... basically everything. The other "smart" phones simply don't compare with respect to ease-of-use, quality of interface, and a robust operating system.

    After trying them out, and since I always keep my phone on me, I've decided the iPhone is the right choice for me.

    Disclaimer: I'm not trying to sell on you Apple... I just want to make sure I lay all my cards on the table here. Yes, I like Apple and Macs, after years of despising them. Just to be clear, I was a big PC geek and used to build my own computers from parts I ordered online.

    I switched in 2006 after a fellow officer on here (rook21) suggested I look at a MacBook Pro when I was in the market for a new laptop. I made two 150 mile trips to the closest Apple retail store to use them hands on, before I decided that it was the right choice. Since then, I have had ZERO desire to go back! I've purchased a Mac Pro desktop and many other Apple-related accessories. I'd encourage people to be open minded about it. While there can be "culture shock" in switching, OS X is highly configurable and can be tweaked to your liking. There were some growing pains, as well as some time spent researching ways to adjust settings to my liking. While nothing's perfect, I think OS X and Apple's hardware and software is, for the most part, top notch stuff.

    I no longer waste time worrying about spyware, corrupt registries, cryptic error messages, drivers, blah blah blah. I used to take pride in my ability to "tinker" and "troubleshoot." If you enjoy doing this, stick with XP/Vista or a flavor of Linux. While it's given me good problem solving experience, I'm happier just using my computers to get things done transparently.

    Last edited by Resq14; 05-21-2008, 05:22 AM.
    All Gave Some - Some Gave All

    {"data-align":"none","data-size":"custom","data-tempid":"temp_14312_1475388990098_890","height":"65","title":"flower.gif","width":"72"}

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    • #3
      windows mobile will be most like a "mini" computer

      Palm (for me) is the easiest to use and maintain.

      Blackberry OS is for IT guys who need to get an email alert the second a server at work goes down.

      Your biggest question is battery life. If this portable brain will sit in a charging cradle or car charger all day long then get whatever you like best. If not, and you'll ned to tap on it all day without external power, you will have to look at what the device is capable of. I recently returned a high speed Windows mobile woopeedoo phone because I could wipe out a fresh charge in under one lunch hour screwing around on Youtube. I went back to my beloved palm. It's slower so far as downloads and video go, but it can go 2 days w/o a charge under moderate use.

      Personally, I think Palms OS is the easiest to use for the non-techy. But Windows Mobile can do allot more like networking.

      Comment


      • #4
        iPhone or a modern Smartphone (Moto Q9, HTC Touch, etc) are going to be great minicomputers many of which have the option of storage cards. Storage cards are going to be key to your miniturization of all this data. Luckily within the dimensions of a postage stamp you can have 8GB+.

        Problem with iPhone, et al is they are not very rugged. They do allow connection to the internet, the ultimate database of stuff.

        Your request to play games, sans minesweeper, is going to be the stumbling point as you balance ruggedness and mobility. A Toughbook will let you play more advanced games but will slow you down in size.

        I would suggest drop the idea of playing games, use it strictly for digital storage of books. By doing so you can get anything from an older Palm (won't mind if you break it) with the approrpiate storage, a newer handheld computer (pricey) or even the ASUS EEE. This little thing is sub $500 and very small. Tether it to your phone as a modem and you are in business!

        If you truly want just text stored into a digital database, use a Palm or something running WMobile.

        If you already have a smartphone or even just a cell phone with internet connectivity, check out Orb.com. Basically it uses your phone as a remote access. I can access all my MP3s, documents, pictures, movies and even streaming TV through my phone (Motorola Q9C).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by AgentFox View Post
          Problem with iPhone, et al is they are not very rugged. They do allow connection to the internet, the ultimate database of stuff.
          Hmph.

          Everything I've seen tends to rate the iPhone as quite rugged. With no real moving parts, solid state memory, a metal case, and a scratch-resistant glass (not plastic) screen... well I've seen, held, and used far flimsier setups. The screen is supposedly quite resistant to scratching.

          http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardw...-review.ars/13
          All Gave Some - Some Gave All

          {"data-align":"none","data-size":"custom","data-tempid":"temp_14312_1475388990098_890","height":"65","title":"flower.gif","width":"72"}

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          • #6
            I'm going to go out and give the Itouch a look today, as well as a couple PALM's. I will heed the Non-Game advice and probably get a PSP to fill the dead space.

            The GPS capability is not a big deal to me as long as I can get USGS digital maps on it. I always have a compass, and can nav as fast as most that way.

            I'm still looking for advice, and I'll let you know what I find out today.

            M-11
            “All men dream...... But not equally..
            Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
            but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
            for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

            TE Lawrence

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd hold off on a purchase until after June 9th when the new iPhone is allegedly going to see the light of day, as there may be a new iPod touch too. At least you'll be able to review and compare specs.

              GPS: Try to navigate a busy city like Boston in a car at rush hour w/compass & map VS. a GPS device... there is no comparison. Programmers are only scraping the surface of the potentially revolutionary uses for these devices.

              As for games, the sensors in the iPhone allow for fun little games... no, not PSP-ish (yet).

              Keep in mind that no official 3rd party software has been realased for these devices yet. You either have to hack your phone, or play web browser-based apps. This will change in the near future as Apple opens up a little to other software developers.

              Good luck!

              If you never saw Steve Jobs propaganda release for iPhone, at the very least, he gives an excellent presentation...
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZoPdBh8KUs
              Last edited by Resq14; 05-21-2008, 03:28 PM.
              All Gave Some - Some Gave All

              {"data-align":"none","data-size":"custom","data-tempid":"temp_14312_1475388990098_890","height":"65","title":"flower.gif","width":"72"}

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Resq14 View Post
                Hmph.

                Everything I've seen tends to rate the iPhone as quite rugged. With no real moving parts, solid state memory, a metal case, and a scratch-resistant glass (not plastic) screen... well I've seen, held, and used far flimsier setups. The screen is supposedly quite resistant to scratching.

                http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardw...-review.ars/13
                Drop it. Before it hits the ground you will cringe at the thought of $500 bucks plus monthly service fees crashing.

                I'm sure it has no moving parts, solid state electronics are wonderful. BUT rugged? No. Is it sealed? Scratch resistant? Note the difference of -proof and -resistant. Now I'm sure plenty of protection cases are offered...

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm using a Palm Centro from AT&T and I really enjoy it. All the features of a palm pilot plus a phone, it's not big and bulky like most PDA phones AND it was something like $50 after the rebate.

                  It's pretty durable. As in; It's flown out of my pocket onto asphalt while running a few times. the plastic is scratched but the screen and functionality are still perfect.

                  You can read PDF's and read/write word, excel, and powerpoint documents. Email, text messaging, instant messaging (AIM), and other gizmos. There's a relatively wide selection of games (the original doom). Since it's a Palm device there's a million applications ready to install on it.

                  The interface sure isn't pretty like the iPhone and it takes a while to get used to typing on such a tiny keypad, but I like it alot. It should be noted that I NEVER use the stylus, just the directional pad and my thumb.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    RE: GPS Units.

                    My Moto Q9C using Windows Live Search is an amazing GPS device. It just lacks text to speech.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah, I'm sold on GPS as a "must have."

                      As for rugged, I meant compared to other phones. My current phone would fall apart on some of those tests they did in my link above.

                      Not rugged in a bombproof sense.
                      All Gave Some - Some Gave All

                      {"data-align":"none","data-size":"custom","data-tempid":"temp_14312_1475388990098_890","height":"65","title":"flower.gif","width":"72"}

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you can drop the phone requirement, you'll be able to buy any used palm or win mobile device and can load all the data you can afford to buy memory cards for.

                        If it has bluetooth (most do) you can get an external GPS. (gps is nice).

                        But best of all, you can use it for target practice if so inclined and replace it with much less hassle and expense if it were a iPhone.

                        Take a look at a Palm T/X or similar Windows device in one of those armor cases.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you do want an iPhone, refurbs are often available for low dough. Keep an eye on the Apple site.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Funny article on the iphone (don't click if you can't handle "harsh" language.)
                            http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=iphone

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Resq14 View Post
                              I'm holding out for iPhone 2.0... which is supposedly coming up very soon.

                              I love the current iPhone, but I want real GPS and a faster cellular data connection... both of which *might* be included when the new version is released in the upcoming weeks.

                              [/I][/SIZE]
                              Not to mention the crap they will put on the phone that you will have no use for

                              But yea, Iphone seems to be the growing trend and most everyone I've spoken with likes their iPhone.



                              Motorola Q (think that's the symbol/name) isn't too bad, but something to consider is they include 2 batteries with it and a charging station for the secondary battery. A trooper in my area uses a Q and he told me his battery lasts about one 8 hour shift and that's it... I wasn't too hot on that idea.
                              Officer Down Memorial Page

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