What Dragonball-CPU-era-based Palm device would you recommend to use for Wi-Fi-based communication?

Discussion in 'PDAs and Handhelds' started by i336, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. i336

    i336 Mobile Enthusiast

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    Hi everyone.

    I'm looking for a low-speed Wi-Fi-enabled PDA for communication purposes because I'm sensitive to EMR and a cell phone wouldn't work for me (see the end of this (fairly detailed...) post to understand specifically why), and after some digging it would seem that some of the Dragonball-CPU-based Palm offerings out there look like serious possibilities: they're slow :)P) and they drop into ultra-low-power modes when not in use and thus radiate less EMR when in my pocket, which is exactly what I need.

    I understand that Wi-Fi wasn't as prevalent in the Dragonball-CPU-era as it has become, and I've read that it wasn't particularly amazing to use:
    (Paragraph 3 below the the 4th image on the page, the photo of the PEG-SL10.)
    Since complete hardware shutdown/suspend is actually what I *need*, though, I actually want this kind of behavior, whatever device I use. (I have an interesting life! :p)

    Presuming I can actually get the support I need at the Palm OS level for periodic automatic message checking (which I'm following up over here in this thread), I'm looking for hardware recommendations for a Palm device that will mostly be used for Wi-Fi-based communication.

    So far, I just about fell off my chair when I found the Treo 90: 33MHz CPU, no cell radio (and so full standby), and a BlackBerry-style REAL KEYBOARD!!1 :D Perfect for running OnBoardC :>

    Like all Palm devices of its era, however, the '90 doesn't incorporate Wi-Fi, but apparently an OS upgrade gives it SDIO support, so a Wi-Fi SDIO card could round out one possible solution. There goes SD storage though, FWIW, unless there are obscure Wi-Fi SDIO cards with a tiny bit of flash storage on them which work with Palm OS (yea right :p).

    Does anyone have any other recommendations for a Palm-based (or other) device which might provide the features I need? I wish the '90 had a transflective display, for example. :p

    Looking forward to your replies!

    -i336
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  2. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Above: Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    if you, or a programmer, can figure out how to turn off the cellular radio, this - Tungsten W - might be exactly what you're looking for, albeit you'd need a functioning wifiSDIO card:

    Palm Tungsten - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    certainly, the Palm platform is capable of waking at certain intervals, to perform specific tasks; I do not recall if there were really any apps that allowed the user to select a secondary app to be run (for example, obviously alarms wake at certain intervals, so the capability is there; also, there were backup programs [maybe not in PalmOS 4] which would run at certain intervals/times)
     
  3. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    If pocketability isn't a prime criterion, here is an odd possibility. This is a portable word processor (very light weight and rugged, designed for classroom use) that runs on a DragonBall 33 with Palm OS 4 and 2 SD slots.

    Dana - The Ultimate Palm-Powered Writing Tool

    One version of the 16MB Dana had built in wifi. I notice they don't mention that feature, but I would call them and ask if they have the wifi versions. If not, they are available on eBay. The keyboard, by the way, is one of the most comfortable typing keyboards you will ever encounter. Designed for school writing labs, these and similar machines from Alphasmart were quickly discovered by writers. Great keyboards, long battery life, little distraction. Perfect work tools. :D
     
    RickAgresta likes this.
  4. i336

    i336 Mobile Enthusiast

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    RickAgresta:

    Ah, I see why you recommended the Tungsten W: it can haz transflective display. :D

    And I now see that I didn't insert that link correctly in the first post. Fixed; this was the link. At the bottom of that post I basically explain that a cell phone-type device, whatever it may be, is likely both designed at the hardware level and configured at the software level to stay "always on"; thus, even if the cell radio is somehow switched off, because the device was built to be used as a cell phone, which is supposed to be able to receive calls instantly, I fear that Palm models like these will not go into as deep a level of sleep as non-cellular models. I have absolutely no idea though. That said, if I took the cellular route, powering the cell radio down (likely doable, given that it's also a PDA and one might want to access "PDA"-ey information on an airplane) and only popping it on briefly for network access (which would probably work out from an EMR sensitivity perspective), that would not only not be free, it'd also be virtually impossible to get a cost-effective data plan for my requirements. And there's truckloads of free Wi-Fi out there that I'd like to take advantage of. :p

    Hook:

    I actually discovered the Dana while browsing Wikipedia the other day, along with its wireless (just 802.11b) variant. Apart from considering it a VERY weird-looking... thing... the first time I saw it, I would need major pants pockets modifications in order to use it while "out". :rolleyes: But thanks for the info; mentally bookmarked. As a writing device, it sounds like an awesome gadget, and something I might actually seriously consider.


    At this point I've expanded my considerations:

    Palm Treo 90
    • Real, physical, hardware keyboard so I cna tpy rlaley lrleay fsat!!11 Great for messaging and getting the most out of OnBoardC (although I wonder how easy (, {, etc are to access...) :>
    • This page says "optional" (as opposed to "impossible" :p) next to Wi-Fi, and Wikipedia corroborates this, saying that an OS upgrade gives the device SDIO support, allowing me to use a Wi-Fi SDIO card :D It's 802.11b only, though.
    • Incorporates 16MB of internal storage
    • Has an MMC slot for more storage (probably just 16MB more, lol)
    • The only Treo model with NO CELL RADIO! :D
    • Color - but un-accelerated - LCD! :D
    • Runs OS 4.1H, probably one of the last Palm OSes not to need a >33/66MHz-class CPU (besides 4.1.2)
    On the other hand, its USB cable is proprietary, its battery is built in, and it doesn't have a Graffiti area.

    Handera 330
    • The only Palm device to incorporate both CompactFlash and SD expansion slots
    • According to this page, this device, coupled with a Symbol Wireless Networker CompactFlash Wi-Fi adapter, is "...the most powerful Wi-Fi reception in a handheld solution...". It's only 802.11b though, which is limiting, but better-than-average Wi-Fi reception is a compelling consideration, both generally speaking and considering the the 802.11b-only aspect as well.
    • Has a soft graffiti area - no idea if this feels better than "hardware" graffiti (although visual feedback is probably cool)
    • According to this page, this device has the loudest beep-boop-er of 15 other reasonably major Palm models tested, at 95dB, because it is one of the few Palm devices with a real speaker instead of a piezo buzzer, and considering that no there are no 33-/66MHz cellular-free Palm devices with vibrating alert built in, this is a useful consideration.
    • It runs on a single, easily replaceable, AAA battery
    And with this device I don't have a physical keyboard, a color screen, half the RAM and no USB.

    Then there's all these devices which have transflective displays. Goooo. :newpalm: :p

    My biggest consideration at the moment with all the devices is that even if I find something that works out, I've found that 802.11b Wi-Fi is 11Mbps (which is ridiculously fine :p)... and standardized to be good for 300 feet. *blinks* :(
    Hrm. Something to keep in mind. That supposedly decent Wi-Fi CFIO card is looking interesting... but then the Treo 90's keyboard... all those sunlight-readable-displays (I've never seen one)... aggg.. !! :p

    Hm. The software side of my problem is looking particularly fruity after having considered my requirements, so it's really about the drivers that comes with the Wi-Fi card which will likely make the biggest difference (if someone even knows the answer). Like I said in that linked thread, I think I might need to do some eBay trawling and experimentation, but as always, it's wise to see what advice others have to offer first :)

    Thanks for reading!

    -i336
     
  5. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Above: Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    As late (early? But I don't think so) as the Palm 755p & Centro, the cell radio was turned on/off by long hold of the power button. I have one of each, and never have the cell radio on -- not on that carrier. They sleep just fine
     
  6. Tom LaPrise

    Tom LaPrise Absent-Minded Professor

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    The HandEra 330 used 4 AAs, if I'm not mistaken, not just 1. Also, don't forget the Tungsten C. It doesn't have the Dragonball processor, but it has WiFi, a keyboard (thumbboard, really), and no cell radio at all.
     
  7. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Above: Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    processor speed is too high, Tom....otherwise, it'd be a no-brainer choice for me, over the W.
     
  8. i336

    i336 Mobile Enthusiast

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    Interesting possibilities.

    RickAgresta: Agh, I don't want to use the cellular route, purely from a data-plan cost perspective... but with the cell radio off, do those devices get as much standby time as a non-cellular model? That would basically mean that with the radio off they do shut down almost completely like my PDA does.

    Tom LaPrise: "Battery Technology: AAA pencil battery battery"... meh. So PDAdb can haz errors! :p And what CPU does the Tungsten C use? Is it one of those 144MH--MEEP no that's *slightly* too fast XD

    -i336
     
  9. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Above: Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    I use the 755p as a PDA with a keyboard; all the great Palm apps, and very good battery life, charge maybe once a week -- caveat: it has the extended capacity battery (2200mAH), not the stock. still, even the Centro, with a battery half the size of what's in the 755p will go 4 days, or more, on a good charge. So, I'd say yes, they essentially shut down almost completely.
     
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