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Wolfville, Nova Scotia


PDA Memories

Chris Campbell

Steven Frank is one of the co-founders of Panic (makers of essential software such as Transmit, as well as Audion, Desktastic, Unison and Statoo. He also writes about Mac and geeky stuff. I stumbled onto his site a while ago when I was trying to get my email organized and I looked at his application Emila. Today he wrote a bunch of stuff, but a small mention of the lack of a Mac PDA made me think about PDAs.

I always wanted to have a PDA. I think from the first time I saw a computer I wanted one and a personal computer in the form of one on your wrist or arm or held in your hand was amazing to me. Finally I won a Newton MessagePad 2000 in an Apple contest and I had a PDA. The MessagePad was (and still is) amazing as it is a powerful computer with a great design that is just a bit too big. I synced it with my PowerBook 1400 and could print via infrared at work! But I found it a bit of a pain to carry around the PowerBook and the Newton and the PowerBook won out. Unfortunately a while after I got the MessagePad it was discontinued. Then I purchased my first PDA which was a PalmPilot from US Robotics (which went from Asimov's fiction to a real company and back to fiction). I patiently learned the simple, stylized handwriting known as Graffiti and have been taking a lot of my notes that way since then.

Now my PDA is a Handspring Visor Neo which I bought because I love the size and functionality of my original PalmPilot. It works great with iSync so I can use iCal and all of the other goodness in OS X and have everything all synchronized. I don't want a tiny keyboard and I like Grafitti for writing. Now I'm afraid that I may shift away from my Visor as I will probably be getting an iPod soon and the newer PDAs just don't turn my crank. I want to simplify things and I can have my calendar, address book, music, and files all together... but I won't be able to take notes, which makes me wonder about how I will replace that. I do carry around a paper notebook that I use occasionally and a cell phone, but I can't take notes with the phone (at least with the phone I have now). So maybe I'll end up simplifying things with an iPod and a pen and paper.