I'm feeling a bit retro in terms of gadgets right now. And I don't know if it's a matter of reduced expectations or what, but I'm finding myself strangely happier with this situation.

The screen on my Treo 600 suffered a crack, and although it was still limping along as a phone, it just wasn't worth it. And besides, the thing has disappointed me overall--crappy phone, crappy camera, crappy screen, outmoded OS, badly thought-out headset/headphone situation.

After having looked forward to getting one so much, I'm happy to be done with it now. I just hope I can find my receipts to call in the replacement policy and maybe eBay an unopened Treo to recoup some costs. Oh, and not be tempted to buy a new camera just to use the spare 512MB SD card I have sitting around now.

So, the Treo has been replaced by my old Samsung A500 phone and a first-gen Handspring Visor Deluxe, both of which I dug out of old junk boxes in the basement.

The Samsung A500 phone works well, makes calls, fits comfortably in the same pocket as my wallet. And, over the years, it's taken a great share of knocks and drops and has barely flinched. I've downgraded my phone service a bit and abandoned most of the data features, which will save me some money for awhile. I kind of wish I had a camera on this phone, but I won't cry over the savings from the missing data plan, nor will I pine for carrying the external camera attachment Sprint offered for the phone.

The Handspring Visor has also taken a number of knocks, but keeps going. The only glitchy bit is that I have to jam a few post-it notes in the cradle with it to ensure a connection, because some of the copper has rubbed off the contacts on the bottom of the PDA. (I think I might invest in a conductive ink pen.) Oh, and it doesn't have a rechargeable battery pack--I'll have to seek out some decent solution with rechargeable AAA's (do they even make those anymore?) But, I remember Graffiti and can probably write that as fast or faster than I could thumb-type on the Treo.

The really odd thing is that, although the OS on the Visor is even further behind than what I had on the Treo, I'm not too sad with it. Like I said, maybe it's because I'm just not expecting that much. Hell, I was happy to remember that this model has a backlight! I miss the internet connectivity a bit, but I never used it much on the Treo because the lack of multitasking and quasi-dialup experience always just pissed me off.

But, the address book and date book work on the Visor, though I only wish I hadn't lost my regcode for DateBk5. It syncs with my PowerBook. I can get text files back and forth with NoteTaker, which ties into all sorts of things. And, best of all, Frobnitz and Rogue both work.

I'm slowly rediscovering a few of the tools I used to use on this thing, and telling myself that it's just slightly better than a stack of 3x5 cards. Because you know, although I love my Moleskine, I just never could quite get into the Hipster PDA thing. This is unplugged enough for me, thanks.

Anyway... anyone have any cool tricks or tips for my Samsung A500 phone or this Handspring Visor?

Archived Comments

  • Man, I'm glad I skipped the Treo 600! I waited for the 650, and while it hasn't converted me into a PalmOS fan (I've always been a Pocket PC person), it's still a solid little unit. The browser is a step up from Pocket IE, and the camera is miles better than the one on my Sanyo phone. And while it *was* expensive, it completely killed my desire to buy a PSP for portable video. I can fit hours-n-hours of 320x320 video on 1GB SD card... I can watch a rip of the Battlestar Galactica DVD in the car while my wife is clothes shopping. All without the hassle of hauling around extra devices.
  • Bah! :) I wanted to get the Treo 650, but the 600 is all that was out at the time my 300 died and I called in on yet another replacement plan. (I think this should tell me something.) One of the things I really hated on my 600 is the multitasking and the not-always-connected internet connectivity. Especially when I wanted to jump between email, IM, and web, and it would completely disconnect and redial between programs. Sometimes it would stay connected, but the IM client would need to reconnect. And as for media... ugh. The 600 screen was only 160x160, if I recall, which killed a lot of opportunities. And the headphone / headset duality sucked: You had a headset to make calls with, and headphones to listen to music. But even though the two shared the same port, they weren't the same thing. And a 2-in-1 rig seemed to go for around US$40 From the few opportunities I've had to play with a 650 (all of two), it seems like the much better machine. But, I *would* be surprised if they had addressed enough of my gripes for me to like it. I think the problem now is that, after having used a Palm III with a Novatel Minstrel wireless cradle like 7 years ago, I expect flying cars by now :)
  • Huh, I had some flaky contact problems with my old Visor Deluxe too.
  • tamaracks: Yeah, if you happen to still have it and play with your Visor again, take a look at the contacts on the bottom. I'd bet there's some wear there.
  • I personally shy away from devices that try to do everything ... because really, they do alot, but they generally don't do any of it well -- and they're not small enough to fit comfortably into the front pocket of my jeans. I have no desire to surf the web on my cell phone - what with the tiny screen and small bandwidth; I carried a blackberry for work for awhile, but that just got annoying and I've since let the battery die and only charge it when i'm travelling for work .. My addresses and calendar are all on my laptop which is with me 90% of the time if I need it in a pinch.. Also available via OWA on the web which is accessible almost anywhere these days. My phone contacts are all in my cell phone.. I generally have a digital camera in my truck or closer, so I really don't need or want a camera on my phone .. I'm so close to a computer so much of the time, why do I need to carry one on my hip when I go to the grocery store? Who needs to be that connected?
  • "I wanted to get the Treo 650, but the 600 is all that was out at the time my 300 died..." I feel your pain. I bought the Sanyo 5300 because it was the first Sprint camphone available in my area. And after an ongoing survey of online examples, I think I can safely say that the 5300 has the *worst*, *slowest* camera ever grafted on to a clamshell. I grew to loathe the thing... early-adopterism can bite ya sometimes. "One of the things I really hated on my 600 is the multitasking and the not-always-connected internet connectivity." Multitasking is obviously still an issue with the 650, although I find that I'm not missing it as much as I would have thought. I always admired the way my Axim could be playing an MP3, tracking the car's movements via GPS, and surfing the web simultaneously... but in practice, I just don't do much app switching. I tend to jump into the PDA, do X for a while, and then jump out. The off-and-on connectivity issue, OTOH, may be minimized a bit with the 650. It virtually never happens when moving from built-in app to built-in app... it's the third-party stuff that seems to default to zapping the connection every time I exit. And in one case, I was able to change the default. "And the headphone / headset duality sucked..." This is probably another area where my expectations are just lower. I don't listen to music on the Treo, and when watching movies, I'm quite content with the mono audio I get from the headset. I just wish I could get mono audio on a Bluetooth headset. That's the only reason I'm sticking to a wired headset.