Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Goodbye Treo, part I : the Palm TX

My Treo 600, for the most part a wonderful device, is starting to die on me. At least, it sure seems that way. The phone starts buzzing a lot once the battery gets low, where low is defined as "less than 70% capacity left". You'll note that this is not the usual definition of low.

The problem is that T-Mobile doesn't support the 650, and I'd rather not get a windows phone. So, I decided it's time to separate functionality. Perhaps, if the pda and the phone can connect via bluetooth, then the effect will be almost the same as an all in one device, without the comforting "all your eggs in one basket" feeling.

I decided on the Palm TX for the PDA. It's a little bit larger than the treo, but has a beautiful 320x480 screen, about 100 megs of ram on board (pause to contemplate the 16k memory on my first computer), and built-in WIFI and bluetooth.

So far I've been pretty happy with it. The WIFI had one problem: The symptom was that the web browser would say that "page cannot be found". The router confirmed that it had given it an ip address though. I tried the usual connectivity check: I put the IP address of google.com in it and that worked just fine!

So for some reason my router was not serving domain names to the pilot. I checked the status of the connection on the pilot, and it confirmed that the proper DNS entry was there. Doing a bit more searching I saw a post where someone suggested overriding the DNS entry. I put in SBC's DNS server, since I use their DSL. This worked just fine.

It is nice having a machine that will hotsync now. The network sync over t-mobile's internet service was dreadfully slow... on the order of 150 bytes per second. And I could never get the usb cable to work with it either. Syncing over 802.11, on the other hand is wonderful.

So that's one half of the story. The other half, hopefully, will arrive tomorrow.

Other notes:

  • The address book has been expanded. It now stores a small thumbnail photo of the contact if you like, and many more entries such as birthday (doesn't seem to be any good way to select the year, though... you have to scroll back year by year), IM address, web page. There's also an option to "tap to connect", to activate a bluetooth phone or the versa mail client.
  • The versa mail client that is included has a gmail setting included, which is nice, but I had to override the outgoing SMTP port. It was set to port 25, but it should be 587. It occurs to me that downloading all my mail, composing replies on the El when I go to work, and uploading the changes when I reach the office could be a good use of time.
  • The package came with three screen protectors, which seem to be very good quality, and a hard case cover. Nice touch.

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