Friday, December 30, 2011

iPhone 3GS case, PS Vita and iPod nano.

iPhone 3GS case, PS Vita and iPod nano. The iPhone 3GS case was bought in Paris, France when I went there this February.

Top 20 keywords from December 5th to December 30th 2011

Top 20 keywords from December 5th to December 30th 2011
I will share 20 keywords from December 5th to December 30th 2011 on Classical Computing.

Note that there are a lot of google logo related hits coming to our site, as well as Sigmarion 3. It is interesting to note that PS Vita is in the Top 20. I must write a lot more articles about PS Vita.


35 Visits 22.29% old google logo
24 Visits 15.29% google old logo
10 Visits 6.37% google logo old
4 Visits 2.55% NTT DoCoMo SigmarionII Handheld PC
4 Visits 2.55% old google logos
3 Visits 1.91% google's old logo
3 Visits 1.91% old windows logo
2 Visits 1.27% a logo
2 Visits 1.27% beste pda 2011
2 Visits 1.27% carbon style
2 Visits 1.27% classical word
2 Visits 1.27% compaq deskpro en video controller
2 Visits 1.27% google logo from 1998 to 2011
2 Visits 1.27% google logo old new
2 Visits 1.27% google past logos
2 Visits 1.27% ipod touch 8gb white
2 Visits 1.27% LIFEBOOK FUJITSUS hs
2 Visits 1.27% ps vita clock speed
2 Visits 1.27% sigmarion 3
2 Visits 1.27% sigmarion 3 part ii

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

PS Vita Hands On

Well, here's a video I took of the PS Vita. Nice interface, I must say.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Try typing "Let it snow" on Google

Try typing "Let it snow" on Google! :) The snowflakes will fall from above.

via 6Mag

Saturday, December 17, 2011

State of The Art: PS Vita

I managed to get a PS Vita although I told Mikey I'm not going to get it. And yes, on the release date. December 17th, 2011. My first impression is a surprise. I forgot that PS Vita had a front touchscreen too. The first few keystrokes I had with the keyboard made me realize it's much smoother than Sony Tablet S I own. Well, of course, it's quad core beast, after all. I'm sure the PS Vita clock speed will be released someday soon. Some rumors are that the clockspeed varies from 800Mhz to 2Ghz. More review coming soon.

Got a 2012 Desktop Calendar from Microsoft!

I won a 2012 Desktop Calendar from Microsoft. I entered a campaign online. :) I'm quite happy with it. I will use it from next year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Koi Free on Sony Tablet S

I really like to use this live wallpaper called Koi Free on my Sony Tablet S. You can download it on Android Market for free. I took a short video of it with my IXY Digital 930IS

Ran LivingCells (Cell Automaton App) on HTC EVO WiMAX

I ran LivingCells (Cell Automaton App) on HTC EVO WiMAX. I am interested in AI, and planning to implement it on my Mohawk Search Engine to create serendipity. But first, I just ran a cell automaton app on my HTC EVO WiMAX for fun.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why Work Never Gets Done Here



Almost anytime I try to actually concentrate on something, this happens.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Recent Visitor Map of Classical Computing

Dear readers of Classical Computing,

Thank you very much for reading our blog. It is much appreciated.

I will show you the recent visitor map of Classical Computing.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Older TI Graphing Calculator


Grandfather of the Ti84 Tsubasa posted a photo of. I have Ti's first graphing calculator, the TI81.

These things have definitely evolved since the beginning. My Ti81 has no link port, 2kb of memory and a 2mhz Z80 processor. The Ti84 still uses a Z80 processor but at a higher speed, has a USB port and much more memory. Both have the same screen resolution and run off four AAA batteries.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My TI-84 Plus


Have you used TI-84 (Plus) in your high school? Well, I have. I had a lot of interesting problems solved by it. I sometimes use it even now to solve my equations on the graphing mode. Beneath the TI-84 is the Linkedin Japan notebook I got at the blogger event a few months ago.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sigmarion III Review (Full)

I am posting the full review as one part since it has been awhile since I posted part 1.



The Sigmarion III is one of those things that when I saw it online, I really wanted one for a long time. I didn't have the money to spend on another old PDA at that time, so I just let the feeling pass for the most part. This is one of the times that passing over something I wanted has turned out to have a happy, although much later than I had hoped for, ending. I am typing this review up using the Sigmarion III and while the typing may not be fast, I am getting somewhat better at using this tiny keyboard.

Part of me getting this amazing little device was that I had agreed to write a very good review. If this review is not good enough, I have a feeling that Tsubasa will hunt me down to write a better one! This is part one of the review, since I am still getting to know the device, and some parts are still in Japanese and thus I cannot read much of the stuff that is popping up on me. I had used the English MUI package over at HPC Factor but not everything seems to have translated. In fact some core programs like the calendar and address book are still in Japanese!

Since this is only the first part, I will do the hardware side of the Sigmarion III first. This handheld is made by NEC for the NTT DO CO MO brand from what I have been told. NTT DO CO MO is a Japanese cell phone company but the Sigmarion III is no phone, nor does it have any kind of wireless features except an IRDA port which was common on PDAs at the time. There is no WiFi or Bluetooth, unless you have a compact flash card that you want to use. There is also no dial up modem or LAN port so you have to add your own.

Now you may be wondering just what is so special about a device that cannot go online without adding a WiFi card that is not always easy to find now? Today, everything has to be a phone and have access to stuff like Facebook. This is why this review is being posted on a blog for old computers. The Sigmarion III is a device that I can still find useful even if I can’t get my wireless card to work while I am typing this all up on the unit using TextMaker 2002.

Since this is technically a PDA, it is rather large but if you see it as more of a miniature laptop, it is pretty tiny and in fact the keys themselves are a little hard to get used to using. This is where I will start the review. I want to describe the specifications first, and I will post them in a list at the end of the review as well,

The first of the specifications part I want to bring up is the screen. Unlike most of the Handheld PC (or HPC for short) class of devices, this one has a TFT screen instead of the DSTN screen like on my old NEC MobilePro 780, or even the NEC MobilePro 900c that would have competed with the Sigmarion III when it was still a new device.

So, what makes a TFT screen better than a DSTN screen anyway? For one, the refresh rate is much higher, which means there is no motion blurring when you type or play a game. This also makes it very nice to watch some videos on the device. The TFT screen is also much better for use outside as the display doesn't wash out on you. A DSTN screen is what is known as a passive matrix screen, whereas the TFT screen is an active matrix screen, and thus has 1 transistor per pixel.

The resolution on this screen is 800 by 480, or Wide VGA, also known as WVGA. This is the same as the resolution on some of the newer phones but they tend to have a smaller screen size and everything is coded to be bigger for finger use. Windows CE, which the Sigmarion III runs, was made for stylus use so everything is much smaller. This is one of the things that has to be considered when looking into this device. In fact I need to use the zoom at 150% to be able to see this well enough to type without missing mistakes. I could use 125% as well but I would like to have the text a little bit larger so it is easier to see.

The processor on this handheld is an Intel PXA255 which is a mobile processor based on the ARM XScale platform. This is also what modern phones and everything are also based on, including Apple's A5 and the NVidia Tegra 2 processors. When considering other handhelds like the Sigmarion III, it is worth noting that there have been 3 different processor types. The first of the handheld PC models had used an SH3 or SH4 processor. After the SH based processors, they moved on to MIPS. My NEC MobilePro 780 for example, is a MIPS based handheld PC and there is very little software for it.

The processor speed is 400MHZ which was quite fast when this was released but by today's standards, it is a dinosaur. That is not to say that the Sigmarion III is slow, but when you look at the newest and best, it is not uncommon to see a dual core processor over 1GHZ now. In fact, it is very rare to see a modern phone or tablet that is under 1GHZ, let alone a processor that isn't a dual core. The point though is that the 400MHZ processor on this Sigmarion III is quite fast and I haven't noticed any lag except when a file or program is loading.

Memory wise, this Handheld PC has the old style memory. This means that when the power is lost, your data is lost. This was the common way of doing it before flash memory was cheap enough to have a large amount of memory. This isn't really a problem as long as you keep the battery charged and in the device. There is a backup battery inside the handheld so that you can change the battery without worrying that you will lose your stuff.

So by now, you are probably wondering how much memory the device has. Well, I hope you are sitting down and comfortable because it has an amazing 64MB. Yep, you read that right! SIXTY FOUR MEGS! Bet you are impressed now huh! Well, to burst your happy bubble, storage space is actually around 32MB since like the older Pocket PC devices before Windows Mobile 5 came out, there is a split between the storage space and the space for running software in. This is adjustable as well. I just leave it split half and half.

Worried you will run out of memory? Well that isn't a problem either. You see this handheld has DUAL EXPANSION SLOTS!!! Ok, I know it isn't that exciting but it does have both SD and CF (Type II) card slots. This is good because you could have a WiFi card in the CF slot, and a 2GB SD card. This is one of the best features that the older handhelds had. Today this really isn't that important since a lot of devices can have 64GB without using any kind of extra memory.

The SD card slot will take a 2GB card with no issues but don't expect it to take any SDHC cards. There is a way around that though however. You see the device also has a USB host port. I lack the cable to use this feature at the moment though but maybe I can go into more detail on that in the coming Part II of this review. The main reason for this port was Japanese cellphones could be connected to it for using wireless data.

Now we will take a look around the device so that you know what each port is, what each button is, and what they do. This can drive me nuts when I read a review and they don't even tell you what this stuff is.



The front of the device has a few things. From the left over, you have the infrared port, the headphone jack, and the microphone jack. These are thankfully 3.5MM jacks and no 2.5MM like some of the older ones, such as my NEC MobilePro 780 use. Lastly, you have the stylus. Yes, these devices used the resistive touchscreen instead of the newer capacitive style screens, so yes, you need the stylus. The screen will work with anything, but since a most stuff is so small, just use the stylus.



Speaking of the stylus, which is one thing a lot of reviews think, is fine to just ignore. The stylus can make or break a device! Fine, maybe it is not that important but it should still at the least be mentioned. I hate when you get a device and the stylus is a cheap plastic toothpick that is so thin it flexes in your hand when you hold it. Luckily this isn't the case with the Sigmarion III. The stylus is thin, but it has a nice metal shaft at least.



Next, you have the right side. This side contains the CF card slot, and the power input port. This is a strange 3 pin adapter. It is 9V and 900MA as well. There is also a spot for a lanyard but I am not sure why you would want to use one. The Japanese however, like to put charms on their phones so that would explain that. Perhaps are Japanese resident, Tsubasa, can leave a comment about this.



The back contains on the battery. The battery is a 2 cell lithium ion battery. The stock battery is 1500MAH. I cannot say anything about the battery life however since this is an old device and I do not have a new battery for it.



Finally, on the left side, we have a door. Yes a door. Well it is more of a cover really. Under the port cover are the USB ports. The first is the PC connection port, which is used to sync the device. This is a USB Mini B plug which is the very common plug that everyone has at least 10 of in a tangled mess, or is that just me? Anyway, moving on, you have the USB Host or OTG port. This needs a Mini A cable, which is not very easy to find but I am still searching anyway. Lastly, there is the SD card slot.



There is nothing on the bottom, except for the battery release, speaker, and a reset button. Speaking of reset buttons, there are actually 2 of them on this device. The second one is hidden under the battery. This is the "hard reset button" which is used to clear all data from the device and reset to factory condition.





Now we can open the device. Look at that, a nice keyboard! Hmm that is weird, the keys have these funny little things all over them. OH! Right this is a Japanese device, so that is the Japanese alphabet. It makes sense now! I see what they did there! Ok, sarcasm aside, this is a nice keyboard. The problem is getting used to the layout of the keyboard. The reason for this is some of the keys, like the colon and parentheses, are not in the same spot as the keyboards that we use here in America.



Finally there is the screen. The buttons on the sides are for mail, Picsel Browser, media player, Mobile Custom, a shortcut to a URL which I am not sure of, the web browser, MSN messenger, contacts, calendar, and Mopera, which I have no clue what that is for.

Here is the spec sheet:

Operating System Microsoft Windows CE .NET Version 4.1
CPU Intel PXA255 400 MHz
Width x depth x height 189 x 117 x 21 mm
Weight Approx. 455g (incl. N003M lithium-ion battery)
Battery time
Approx. 4.5–8 hours when not connected online
Approx. 3–5 hours when connected online*
Approx. 16 hours when using high-capacity lithium-ion
battery and not connected online
Display
5.0-inch semi-transparent TFT (65,536 colors)
W-VGA 800 x 480 pixel resolution
LED backlight
Memory
64 MB RAM (including that for running OS and
applications)
32 MB ROM
Input 14.1-mm pitch keyboard and stylus pen
Data transmission speeds

DoCoMo terminals:
PDC: 9,600 bps
PHS: 64 kbps/32 kbps
Packet transmission (DoPa): max. 9,600 bps / max. 28.8
kpbs**
FOMA packet transmission:
Downlink—max. 384 kbps
Uplink—max. 64 kbps
FOMA circuit switched transmission: 64 kbps
External interfaces
Compact Flash Card Slot (Type II)
SD (SDIO) / MMC™ Memory Card Slot
Connecter for PDC, PHS and FOMA
USB connecter for PCs
Infrared communication port (IrDA 1.2 compatible)
3.5 ø stereo headphone jack
3.5 ø monaural microphone jack
Battery
Main: Dedicated lithium-ion battery
Back-up: Lithium battery (imbedded)
Options
High-capacity lithium-ion battery, USB PC connector cable,
PDC/ FOMA/“Doccimo®”/ “Paldio®” connector cable,
USB conversion cable

The software side of the Sigmarion III is rather interesting to me. I love Windows CE. It may not be the best, but that is due to lack of software in my opinion. For a PDA, Windows CE can do some things very well. For example, you can easily run multiple instances of programs, such as various office programs. It is very nice to be able to open up several documents at the same time. This can be especially useful if you are a student since you can open an outline and use it to work on the main assignment.

The Sigmarion III runs Windows CE .NET 4.10 which is one of the worst versions in my opinion. Why would I say that? Well for one, not many devices used this version, and it is missing some key things like Excel. Not all software can run on this version as well. You may need to do some hex editing on the CAB installer files just to be able to run software on here.

Another flaw is the fact that even though I installed the English MUI package, not everything is in English. In fact the main PIM applications are still very Japanese. I don't speak Japanese as you may have guessed. There are some other Japanese programs on here as well but I have no idea what they do.

There really is not much else I can say about the software. If you have ever used any of the other Windows CE devices, it is pretty much the same. Unfortunately I cannot test out the web browser or Picsel much as I lack a WiFi card that will work on here. The only one I have will not work no matter which drivers I have tried so I have given up on that aspect of this device.

Overall, the device feels snappy and it runs the little software I have installed very well, and that is including Soft Maker Office. Sadly that is not included and will have to be purchased separately. So with that in mind, I will list my personal pros and cons of the device.

Pros:

+ The device is snappy and runs well.
+ SD slot is very nice touch, I only have a few CF cards to go around.
+ Very nice screen due to higher resolution and smaller size then most other HPC devices, 800x480 really should have been standard for Windows CE 5 devices.
+ Uses standard USB mini B cable to sync
+ Has USB Host

Cons:

- Soft buttons and large bezel makes the 5" screen size seem small as the unit itself is big enough for a 7" screen.
- Needs a special charger, which is almost impossible to find if you ever need a replacement
- USB host cable is impossible to find

Something that may be a con to some people is there is NO PCMCIA slot. This keeps the size down, but also limits functionality a bit. I have a PCMICA WiFi card but it will not work, and the one CF WiFi I have is for Sony Palm PDAs. The keyboard also takes a little getting used to as well. Some of the keys are in drastically different places compared to the American QWERTY layout. The letters are all in the same place at least so the learning curve is minor.

Overall, I would give the Sigmarion III a 4 out of 5. To get the perfect score, I would have to change a lot and then it wouldn't really be a Sigmarion anymore! Special thanks go out to the amazing Tsubasa Kato, who sent me this lovely little toy. Sorry it took so long to finish this review!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Playing with My Tracks for Android

I was playing with my Flyer a bit today and decided to try put the My Tracks application I installed on it. I am not sure how accurate the GPS is bit it says that I ran at about 12MPH. I need to get a smaller device that would be easier to carry with me though.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Time I had Palm Pilot

The Time I had Palm Pilot was a few years back.

I've been always a Pocket PC / Windows Mobile person, but it was an interesting experience to own Palm Pilot for a short time. I've used the Palm emulator on my Casio Cassiopeia E-700WE, but it's so different to use the real device.

I bought the Palm Pilot at a local Recycle Store, it was about $18 or so, maybe less. I liked the case that came with it, it was really professional looking. 


Monday, November 21, 2011

For Large Numbers!


For large numbers, why not a large calculator? The photo is of a Sperry Remington 1209 I was given several years ago. Next to it is a modern pocket calculator and a book of matches to serve as a reference to show how big this thing is. I'm not sure of the age but I'm guessing this calculator was made in the late 60s or early 1970s. Also, it plugs into the wall; no batteries.

When I find my toolbox I'll post some more photos as the inside of this calculator is way more fascinating. The 12 digit display, instead of being a single panel like a modern calculator display, is actually 12 separate vacuum flourescent display tubes; one for each digit. Also, each key actually has a magnet directly under it and a glass tube containing two pieces of metal. When you press a key down, the magnet gets close to the glass tube and pulls the two pieces of metal in it together to form a complete electrical circuit. Primitive and facinating at the same time, I think. This calculator, with such a design, must have cost a fortune to build.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Got Another Palm Today


I was at a second hand store and spotted a Palm Zire 31 on a shelf. For $1, how could I not buy it?

This little thing has an SD slot, headphone jack, 200mhz processor, small passive matric color screen with a 160x160 pixel resolution, 16mb internal memory.

It's by no means high end but never the less, I give credit to Palm for making the unit with a nice case that's attractive and comfortable to hold. The device also feels solid and seems as if it could withstand a few drops.

This one is in particularly good condition. No dirt or dust anywhere, no scratches and while it didn't come with a charger, I found the one from an old Nokia phone I no longer use works just fine with it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Genuine HP And An Imposter


Picked up a Hewlett Packard 10BII calculator today. As far as calculators go, it's nothing fancy; it has an array of business functions, 12 digit screen, some programmable memory. However, the styling, build quality and feel of the buttons is top notch. HP still makes some of the best calculators money can buy.

Next to it is my Palm TX running a program called Power48. It's a freeare app easily found through Google that allows your Palm to emulate an HP 48SX, 48GX or 49G. Of course, while entering numbers isn't as nice as on the real thing, numbers crunch through much faster than on the real thing.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vote Results: WHITE OR BLACK?

Vote Results: WHITE OR BLACK? The Results came in.

White! 1 (50%)

Black! 1 (50%)

No, Grey! 0 (0%)

Thanks for voting!

Sigmarion 3 desktop (Japanese)

This is what a Sigmarion 3 desktop (Japanese) looks like. Yes. I have managed to get a Sigmarion 3 again. But it is going to be shipped off.

Palm TX and m130




Just a few days ago, I happened to find a Palm TX at a thrift shop with a leather case and USB cable. For $10 it was mine. At the same store, a few weeks earlier, I picked up a somewhat rough looking Palm m130 for $2.

The TX is a pretty nice unit for the most part. Unfortunately, a large amount of pre-existing software will not run properly on this device; it seems pickier with software than any other Palm OS device I've owned. Also, sometimes, for some odd reason, plugging or unplugging the USB sync cable causes screen glitches that, funny enough, are fixed by replugging and unpluging the cable again. Also, the power button isn't very sensitive. However, this unit runs pretty quick, has ample memory for software, built in bluetooth and wifi and a great screen.

As a web browser, the device is usable. Scripts don't always execute right and there's no Flash support so a good amount of the internet won't render right or at all. However, the majority of ads won't show on pages so there's a silver lining to that cloud. The bundled music player, PocketTunes, is easy to use, has a great interface and will continue playing music when you switch over to a different program. Also bundled is Documents to Go for natively creating, editing and viewing Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and VersaMail which is a very lightweight and easy to use e-mail client. As with most Palm devices made after Xerox sued them, the default input method is a handwriting system called Graffiti 2. It might be nice for people new to Palm. However, anyone who used the original Graffiti long enough to get decent at using it will probably dislike it. Luckily, that's easily taken care of with a patch easily found on google. Even with wifi on and music playing, battery life on this handheld is very good. I haven't measured but can say several hours.

The other PDA I got, the Palm m130, is not a bad device either though with some paint coming off and a minor crack in the back, it has definitely seen better days. Mine came without a cable or cradle but I was able to take it apart, pull the battery, charge it and put it back in the device for a little bit of use. The 160x160 passive matrix screen isn't nearly as nice to look at as the 320x480 TFT on the TX but, never the less, is still respectable. It's very bright, colors are accurate, text is sharp and there's no noticable ghosting (being such a small screen and with low pixel count, the most visible problems with passive matrix screens are moot). The 16mb RAM was quite sufficient when the device was new and to expand on that, this device also has an SD slot. The case feels very solid and while this was a low end unit, build quality is very high and the device feels much more solid than my Palm TX.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Kinect and Android



I was thinking it will be cool if Kinect and Android could be connected. It's already been done.

This year in my Facebook Status.

This year in my Facebook Status. Yep. they analyze that.
And yes, I do Facebook.

Sony Tablet S

Here is my Sony Tablet S with a leather case.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Future Cafe - Part 1 - Interview with Intel CTO - Justin Rattner on the Future of Computing (video)

Future Cafe - Part 1 - Interview with Intel CTO - Justin Rattner on the Future of Computing (video from channelintel) Well, I'll be posting a series called Future Cafe. This will be focusing on the future of computing. Stay tuned for more to come.

Related Article

Big Data, Speed and the Future of Computing (NYTimes)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Took a Screenshot of Mohawk Search Engine on EMONSTER S11HT

I took a Screenshot of Mohawk Search Engine on EMONSTER S11HT (variant of HTC Tytn II).

I used a software called Ilium Software Screen Capture.

Mohawk is Version 2.29b now, and I am planning on making a English UI soon. 

The good thing about Opera mini is that since the browsing is done through Opera's server, I can use the address (http://mohawk.pearhands.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi) even if I am in the server's network. Kind of neat if you want to test if your link works from outside your LAN and stuff.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Got iPod touch 8GB white!

Hi. I haven't posted for a while, so I will update you with my latest toy: iPod touch 8GB white.

I got a free case with my iPod touch white.

I used an app called Instant110 to take the pic, and the tank is Tiger I, feared by the Allies during World War II.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Windows, Mac or Linux? Results

Windows, Mac or Linux?
 Results: 5 people voted.

Windows
  5 (100%)
 
Mac
  3 (60%)
 
Linux
  3 (60%)
 

Thank you for voting!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Android Market


Seems like my HTC EVO WiMAX had a new Android Market. It's a bit WP7ish in my opinion. I took the pic with my TOSHIBA biblio, transferred by bluetooth to HTC EVO WiMAX, then sent it to Classical Computing by Blogger app.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Angry.. PIGS!

This is a video I found. I was actually joking to Mikey there is Angry PIGS and there was a video on Youtube! lol.

For All of You That Just Love Angry Birds...

For all of you that just love angry birds, here's a video Mikey showed me today. Rovio HQ video for ya...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Old Post: Clie Sl10 Review

Found another one!



You may not be able to buy the SL10 anymore, but some people may still want one. Why would anyone want one? I personally think they are still quite useful. The best way to start off this review would be with some helpful description information.



What is the Sl10? The SL10 is a Palm OS 4.1 PDA made by Sony. It has a 16 gray scale screen, and a resolution of 320x320. This is the High Resolution display. Most Palms, and HandSpring Devices at the time used a 160x160 "standard" resolution display. The PDA also features a 33MHZ Dragonball CPU and a Memory Stick slot, but more on those later.



The first thing that should be done in a review is the hardware description. I like to start at the top, and work my way around then the front and back last.



Top





On the top, from left to right, we have the lanyard loop hole, IRDA (infrared port), Memory Stick Slot, power button, and finally the stylus silo. I don't have the lanyard or he original stylus. i got this unit used and not new.



Right





Just two screws here...



Left





Here is where we have some action! The first thing we see from left to right is the Sony Jog Dial. I will have a whole section on this soon. Then we have the back button which is part of the Jog Dial. Then we have a standard Mini USB B port.



Bottom





On the bottom we have the all familiar sync port. This is used for keyboards like the KB11 that i am using to type this, and cradles. The SL10 doesn't come with a cradle so you have to use the little USB port on the side, but that's more of an advantage to me.



Front





This is where the screen tends to sit and this unit is no different there. There is the traditional 4 buttons for applications and an up and down rocker switch in the middle. These buttons are from left to right: Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Memo. The is the Graffiti input area above that as well.



Back





On the back though is where it gets a little interesting. You have the various holes for the flip cover and cradle, but there is also a battery door on the bottom. Yes this Palm has a removable battery, or rather batteries. It is powered by 2 standard AAA batteries. This is why I wanted it actually. These make it a great PDA for writing.



Now, lets get a little more in dept with the various features of the device, in no real order.



Screen



Lets do the screen first since it tends to be the most used part of the PDA. As stated earlier this is NOT a color screen, but a 16 gray scale. This means that instead of black or white, like the earlier PDAs, or even black white and light/dark gray like my Visor, but this is 16 different gray shades. The screen is back lit, and has that nice greenish glow that digital watches usually have. This is a bit different from the white back lights that the older iPods had, but its really usable.



Buttons



Let me be blunt here and just say it. THEY SUCK! OK, well mainly the up and down buttons but still. They could be worse though. The T series was the worst thing I have ever used though.



They have the default settings of Calendar, Address Book, To Do, and Memo Pad. These can be set to anything that you choose as well.



The Clie line has always had possibly my favorite feature, the Jog Dial. This little handy thing is pretty much a scroll wheel on the side of the case. It can move freely in up or down directions, and be pressed in. Under the wheel is the back button. This can be used to go back one screen or held for a pop up menu or cursor.



There is one important function of this button as well. You can set it to be a power button. There is a setting for holding it to turn the Clie on, and one to turn it off as well.



Memory



How much memory does your current phone have? 8GB? 16GB? Or even 32GB? Well, the Clie has just 8MB. Yes, only 8 megabytes of memory. While this may not seem like much today, it wasn't that bad at the time the SL10 came out. In fact, Palm OS PDAs topped out at 16MB at the time. This was less then a Pocket PC had, however Palm used its memory more efficiently.



Now, the Clie doesn't top out at 8MB only. It has a Memory Stick slot. These little cards topped out at 128MB at the time. This is a lot different then today when we have 32GB SD cards.



These cards can store anything from this review file to programs. Programs are able to be run off the card. The catch is though, that the files get copied to the internal memory then deleted on exit. This means you still need free internal memory.



This memory is also erased if your batteries die. This is not like on modern ones that use Flash memory, that can retain data when the battery dies. This is good that it has options for backing up your data.



Stylus



Most reviews tend to ignore this it seems. I personally think that for a PDA to be good it needs to have a good stylus. I have seen some that have a great stylus, then there are some like Sony that use this thin metal toothpick as I have always called them. I won't say that its a bad stylus, I just think they should have used a thicker one. I can use it but I tend to just use a pen with a stylus. This makes me seem a bit better with Graffiti but I have never fully tested it.



Software



Enough about the hardware. I love the fact that Palm OS is always fast even on the oldest hardware. This isn't that old, but they didn't really start having speedy processors until OS5 while this runs on OS4. The unit has a 33MHZ CPU, which is more then enough for the older Palms although they did reach a top end of 66MHZ. I can type this review in CardText, but Documents to Go 4 seems to be laggy so I assume its just the keyboard drivers as I use a Sony KB11, which is the older model.



The software package is pretty basic really. It has the standard Palm OS Software package, and some other little Sony programs in RAM. Lets go over these little programs one at a time.



Clie Demo



This is a file that just takes up space and gives you a little bit of information about the PDA itself. This is on that can be deleted as its in RAM instead of the ROM.



Clie Paint



This fun little program is a drawing program which I can assume that you guessed because the name. Its a little useless on the gray scale screen but I still like having it for when I want to doodle a bit.



gMovie



Why the hell this is on a gray scale PDA with no sound is beyond me. I guess it can be useful for a quick thing but i see it as one of the more useless programs on a gray scale PDA that doesn't even have sound.



MS Backup



This on is useful at least. It will let you make a backup of everything that is installed and can make up 5 backups. This is useful because its in ROM so if you loose all the data you can still restore the data.



MS Gate



This is the file browser. This program is okay but I use Filez. I like the option that its in ROM so I can still get the programs I need off the memory stick if I don't have a backup. Least Sony has a file browser since most Palms I have seen need you to install one.



MS Import



Don't have a Memory Stick slot on your computer or a USB Card reader? Well that's what this is for. It lets you use the Clie as a reader but needs the driver installed on the computer. This is annoying since if you don't have your PC and need to get a file off the card your still screwed.



MS Autorun



This is a more useless program for me. It lets you tell the Clie to run a program when you put in the Memory Stick. This is useful for if you have one with Ebooks or some file, that you can make it run the reader or program for those files when you plug in the card.



PG Pocket and Photostand



These two programs are for viewing pictures. One is a slide show and one is just to browse through and show pictures. These seem to be a stupid addition to a gray scale PDA but oh well. I guess someone may have a use for these.



WA Clock



Now here is a useful program for you. its a World clock that has alarms. The alarms suck on the Sl10 but the world clock can be useful if your traveling a lot.



Everything else is just your standard Palm OS programs. I am not sure what is on the included CD as I didn't get one with the PDA. I am sure that its just Demos and maybe a full version of Documents to Go, probably Version 5.

Old Post: SPB Wallet

One of the only software reviews I did!

What is SPB Wallet? It is a program that allows you to store and retain passwords for stuff like Websites, Credit Cards, Computer Serial Numbers and a ton of other things. So what does SPB Wallet have to offer? Lets take a look...

The program comes in two parts. One is for your Desktop computer. This will allow you to enter data from a PC and also to view data entered from a PDA. I will cover this Desktop one first. The Desktop application can import files from other programs such as eWallet, and from a custom CVS file.

This program also included web browser integration so that you can automatically fill out forms on websites that the you have entered. This works with both Firefox and Internet Explorer. It can automatically capture a card from the sites you visit to help you save time as well.

The second program is for your Pocket PC or SmartPhone. Since it also supports the touch screen and non touch screen Windows Mobile versions, it is set up for one handed usage. Being able to use the program one handed is very important as it will make getting your information faster.

The program even included "Smart tags" to call the SMS, email, or other programs up as well. For example, clicking a WWW button will open the web browser and log into the sit for you. This means that you do not need to spend time logging into the site and don't need to remember the login information.

There is a search feature to find the card you are looking for quicker. This can be extremely useful for when you have a lot of websites in the program. For example, if you had a site listing for a forum, you only need to hit the right soft key, search, and then start to type the forum name. You do not need to type the whole name in.

The program also includes a great password generator. You can set the password strength and size. You get the option to include lower and upper case letters, numbers, brackets, special characters, spaces, and even only a set of custom defined characters. There is also an option that will make the password pronounceable.

The program is easy to skin, with custom colors. This also includes the log in screen. The programs has tons of built in templates like Master Card, Visa, and many more. You can also create and order new templates for free.

One of the neater features is that you can input the number to call if your card is lost or stolen, and be able to have the program dial the number for you if you have a phone device. I only have a standard Pocket PC device so I can not test the SMS and Phone functions.

You can have a card display as many fields as you wish. For example, you can have the program display extra fields for a website, like describing the site, or the email account used to register for the site.

No need to be worried about your data being stolen from the application thanks to its 256 bit AES encryption system! The only way that they can get this data is if you have a weak password or someones knows it. The best part is that it gets backed up on your computer so if your PDA fails, you lose very little data.

So, is this program worth the 30 dollars? I think so! The program only uses 3.2MB of storage space, and the space for the data that you enter. The cards are highly customizable so you could even use it for different things then credit cards and passwords! The program is easy to use as well.

Old Post: Zen Vision M

Here is another MP3 player review I wrote before.

Zen Vision:M Review

Introduction:

The Zen Vision:M is a MP3 and movie player made by Creative. Its available in both 30 and 60 gigabyte models. I will be reviewing the 30GB model in black. The player is available in 5 colors, black, white, blue, green, and pink. The player is thicker then an iPod but I believe its worth it for a much better player.

Whats in the box:

When you open the box, you will find the standard stuff like software and headphones. There is a USB 2.0 "mini B" cable, the standard on mos everything now, and a "Mini Dock". Do not lose this dock as without it, you can't charge or sync the player. The dock has the USB port, the charger port, and the AV out port. There is, however, no charger or AV cable in the box. You can buy them separately, as the player charges over USB.

Side Note: Lack of Charger

Since the player will charge over USB, there is only one problem. It must be connected to a computer. You can use a hub, as long as the hub is connected to the computer. Just a powered hub will not charge the player. You can avoid paying creative 30 dollars for the adapter though. It uses a 5V adapter that can be found on USB hubs or HP iPAQ PDA's. Charging will take 2.5 hours on an adapter but 6 hours over USB. That means that if you like to use the player while at the computer instead of the computer like I do, you can't.

The Case:

When you take the player out of the box, one thing you will notice is that there is already a screen protector on the player. Good job Creative! The players face contains the “High Resolution” screen. The screen is a 2.5” (thats inches in case you didn't know) QVGA screen. QVGA is the same resolution as the standard Windows Mobile PDA. Its 320 by 240 pixel wide screen. It is a TFT LCD with good color. The back is bare containing the name, size, and other information. The bottom has the dock connector and reset button. The reset button needs to be pressed with a paper clip. The right side contains a microphone and nothing more. The left side is empty. The top contains the headphone jack and power/lock slide switch.

The Design:

You will notice the plastic on the front, which is colored, is very easy to scratch. For me this is not a problem a long as the screen is fine. The player has a screen protector on it already and I suggest that you always use one. It is also prone to finger prints. The back is a pearl white painted shell. I read that is magnesium. This does not scratch as easy as the front.

The Buttons:

The Zen Vision:M looks like there are only 4 buttons at first, and a touch strip. The touch strip is used for scrolling and on the side are left and right buttons. These are the skip track buttons. The left side buttons are a shortcut key that you can assign, and a back key. The right side has the play/pause button and the context menu key. These buttons are pretty stiff to press so that will help prevent accidental pressing. The lock switch will lock the buttons and turn the screen off.

The Interface:

The interface of this player is the same as on most every player creative makes. Its a series of menus that I will not go into detail on. The Now Playing screen will tell you what track in number and name, album, and artist. The bottom bar is the progress bar. Clicking the touch strip once will bring up a rating system. You can assign the track zero to five stars by scrolling up or down. Click it again and it has the Now Playing track list. I will not go into the settings like some other reviews. I will say this though, there is a custom EQ option, various play modes, and the Creative DJ. DJ mode is for music you haven't listened to in a while and is a variation of shuffle mode.

The Screen:

The 320 by 240 pixel wide screen is capable of displaying 262,144 colors and is very crisp. It is a TFT display so it does suffer a little outside but you should have no problem if you shade the screen with your hand. The screen is very bright, and at half brightness should be good for about everyone.

Quality:

The player sounds very good, better then my PDA's even. Pictures also look great on the screen. I have not tested video yet but I assume that it would be good too. The volume goes quite loud. It can be too loud for me even.

Battery Life:

Though I haven't timed the battery life, I can say that it will last about all day for me. Creative says that it gets up 18 hours audio, and up to 6 hours video.

Extra Features:

The player contains a FM radio that has 32 presets. The radio comes in pretty well too. There is also and organizer program that syncs to you computer. This means that you need the computer to add information to it. There is also a removable disk option that can be set from 512MB to 16GB on the 30GB model, 32GB on the 60GB model. There is also a handy clock and alarm feature.

Good Feelings:

+ Great battery life
+ Good quality player
+ Can be found cheaper then iPod of same size. I paid 200.
+ Lock switch will turn off the screen.
+ Great screen.

Bad Feelings:

- The Mini Dock is a pain...
- Replacement Mini Dock is 15 dollars. - Hard to find case in iPod dominated world.

Mixed Feelings:

= No power adapter included but easy to find one that works.
= Little on the chubby side makes finding a case even harder.
= Why the need for the Mini Dock?

More pictures can be found Here.