Yesterday I picked up a great new gadget. It stores all of my contacts, does my calender, has thousands of apps available, is easy to use, and has a battery that lasts for months.
Guess what it is yet?
It’s a Palm IIIe. I was browsing at a local thrift store ans saw this little baby sitting on a shelf (with the cradle) with no price on it. In a moment that made me feel really old, the teenage cashier did not know what it was. It’s a PDA and it does not turn on. 50 cents. Sold. I knew it was just a dead set of AAA batteries, but she didn’t. Even on eBay, it can be had for 99 cents.
For less than the price of an iTunes song (and much less than an iPad app) I have a fully functional PDA from 1998. The specs are just stunning. 16Mhz processor, 2mb of storage and a 160×160 black and white screen. Not expandable in any way and the OS is hard wired into the ROM. But, to be honest, it really does what I want it to do. Be a decent replacement for my paper calender and notepad I usually carry and have a battery life that would put any modern device to shame. We are talking months on one set of AAA batteries. It also plays very well with Linux and just plain works.
The other nice thing is, if it dies, I loose it, or I get tired of it, the batteries inside of it cost more than it did. It’s a little sad, really. 12 years ago, this little guy cost $250. Now it is junk. As a strange irony, the 8-track players at the thrift store were priced higher.
So far, I really love it. It boots/turns on instantly. The screen is easy to read. The PDA apps do their job as you would expect them to and relearning Graffiti does not take long. Speaking of Graffiti, I forgot how quickly you could enter information using it. I have added a few essentials like a spreadsheet program and some games. The simplicity is great. No internet to distract, no MP3 playing, just a simple organizer. Plus, I can party like it’s 1999.