PDA

View Full Version : PDA Help, please



365Duke
03-10-2007, 02:08 PM
I need some advice on a PDA that is going to be a gift from my mother-in-law to my father-in-law. He has a cell phone and a computer, but is not on the cutting edge of either. I'm afraid that if the new toy is to complex for a "old timer",(don't tell him I said that) that it will never be used. I have a Blackberry myself, but he does not need the phone, just an organization machine. What the interest seems to be is that he is a paper or card junkie. He always has a 2in. stack of paper or cards in his front shirt pocket. Most of this is rental receipt books or notes to himself. He also was completely impressed by another family member having the entire Bible on his PDA. Something he would probably enjoy. I have searched the archives, and found PDA talk, but most of those were phone/PDA/smartphone devices. I must admit, I'm still finding out about my Blackberry so a lot of the "technical" talk is out of my league. Is there anything out there, I'm sure there is, that may be what I am looking for? Thanks in advance!!!

-jk
03-10-2007, 02:16 PM
I need some advice on a PDA that is going to be a gift from my mother-in-law to my father-in-law. He has a cell phone and a computer, but is not on the cutting edge of either. I'm afraid that if the new toy is to complex for a "old timer",(don't tell him I said that) that it will never be used. I have a Blackberry myself, but he does not need the phone, just an organization machine. What the interest seems to be is that he is a paper or card junkie. He always has a 2in. stack of paper or cards in his front shirt pocket. Most of this is rental receipt books or notes to himself. He also was completely impressed by another family member having the entire Bible on his PDA. Something he would probably enjoy. I have searched the archives, and found PDA talk, but most of those were phone/PDA/smartphone devices. I must admit, I'm still finding out about my Blackberry so a lot of the "technical" talk is out of my league. Is there anything out there, I'm sure there is, that may be what I am looking for? Thanks in advance!!!

In a nutshell, Palm probably has the most existing stuff out there, but Windows Mobile probably has the most future. Palm is a bit more stable. Does he use internet?

-jk

365Duke
03-10-2007, 02:32 PM
In a nutshell, Palm probably has the most existing stuff out there, but Windows Mobile probably has the most future. Palm is a bit more stable. Does he use internet?

-jk

he does use internet at home. But it still freaks him out that I can check e-mail or go online with my phone from anywhere:) . I'm not sure if he would be willing to pay for mobile internet fees though. I would say that internet mobile would likely be "too much" for him, but maybe:o

OZZIE4DUKE
03-10-2007, 05:38 PM
he does use internet at home. But it still freaks him out that I can check e-mail or go online with my phone from anywhere:) . I'm not sure if he would be willing to pay for mobile internet fees though. I would say that internet mobile would likely be "too much" for him, but maybe:o

If timeframe (and money) is not an issue, she may want to wait until the iPhone comes out in June/July. I know you said he doesn't need a new phone, but having so much capability and interconnectivity in one simple to use device might appeal to him. And hey, he might not be as fuddy duddy as you think! And my Apple stock will thank you for your purchase too ;)

I have an older accountant friend who carries a "palm pilot" in his shirt pocket similar to your dad's - it is a small spiral note pad!

I have never had a PDA, but I will likely switch from Alltel and get an iPhone this summer, especially if Alltel gets bought out by one of the other carriers as is rumored.

BluBones
03-10-2007, 06:08 PM
Ditto on waiting for the iPhone. I've used many different PDA's--Palms, BlackBerries, Treos, WindowsMobile Devices--and all are aggravating in some way or another. Any PDA you buy for him now will strike him as overwhelmingly complex. No one makes simple PDA's anymore. The iPhone won't be simple, either, but it will appear simple, and that's the next best thing.

Carrie
03-11-2007, 12:01 PM
I'm a Sprint employee, so the only devices I'm qualified to pimp at this point are Sprint phones. Feel free to take my recommendations with an appropriate-sized grain of salt.

My brother recently got the Treo 700wx, which is a windows-based system, and he loves it. It's got all the bells and whistles that he wants, it's very handy for being able to interface with his computer, and it's a powervision phone, which means the internet on it is superfast (comparatively to a normal phone). If your father-in-law is able to use his computer, probably a Windows mobile system is the best way for him to go, because he'll already be familiar with a lot of the interface.

The monthly cost for a PDA phone doesn't need to be exorbitant -- the current deal I'm seeing when looking it up online is $30 a month for 500 minutes plus unlimited web usage, so that's probably comparable to what he has already. The upside to having the combined device for someone like your father-in-law is that he'll have to use it. A PDA that's not a phone can tend to end up sitting in a drawer and not getting used (I'm guilty of this sin myself), whereas a PDA phone will get used, at least for phone calls. And if he's already using it to that degree, the more technologically-inclined members of your family can help him reach its potential with small tips and nudges when you see him.

I don't know enough about the iphone to recommend for or against it. I'd gotten the impression that it was more of a music phone than a PDA phone, but maybe it's both. It's on the Cingular network, though, so if you're thinking about going that route make sure he lives in an area where their 3G network covers, or else the internet on it will be SLOW.

Again, I'm only knowledgeable about the Sprint phones and deals, so I'd encourage you to do your research. However, if you want any more info on the Sprint PDA (or want me to tell you how to get the $30/month deal), send me a pm.

Carrie

DevilAlumna
03-11-2007, 10:15 PM
Hi 365,

I'd point you in the direction of an older model HP IPAQ or Dell Axim. They've got good screens, good support, lots of software add-ins, and have more than enough (yet easy to use) bells & whistles for your pop-in-law.

I have an old (2003) HP Ipaq 4155 (http://www.amazon.com/HP-iPAQ-4155-Pocket-PC/dp/B0000DBJTZ/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-1761378-4457710?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1173668197&sr=8-1)that I love. (My simple pleasure: using it to listen to NPR streaming radio - yay wifi -and/or my Audible audiobooks while I do chores.)

I think the current-day equivalent is the HP Ipaq RX1955 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AR95EA/sr=8-1/qid=1173668197/ref=dp_cp_ob_title_0/102-1761378-4457710?ie=UTF8&qid=1173668197&sr=8-1). You can pick something like this up from eBay for less than $200.

The basics you would want are WiFi (802.11b is fine; 802.11g is just cost overkill), bluetooth (though if your F-I-L is anything like my dad, he'll also ask, "what's this blue teeth thing for?"), and at least one SD expansion slot. Don't forget to buy the 1-2Gb SD memory card, and if he's gonna be gaming (freecell, solitaire), a few screen protectors. If handwriting on the screen isn't his thing, you can buy little detachable thumb-keyboards for the IPAQ too.

You can get great games, pocket bible, good note-taking programs, etc. all at Handango (http://www.handango.com).

My dad (turning 65 this fall), an admitted technophobe, has just in the past year started to explore all his PPC can do -- he loves his epocrates program (for Doctors), and plays freecell nonstop. After a brief tutorial from my brother, he even has taken to burning his old CDs, putting the songs on his memory card, and listening to his mp3s on his PPC when he travels for work. (He swears by the Bose headphones for flying on crowded planes.) He's probably the only person out there who has ripped "Sons of the Pioneers" and "Best Beach hits of the 1950's." :D

billybreen
03-12-2007, 08:44 AM
iPhone, iPhone, iPhone! But then, I'm an Apple slave, smugly writing this from my MacBook Pro before heading into the office to use my Mac Pro. Jobs owns me.

hughgs
03-12-2007, 11:13 AM
I need some advice on a PDA that is going to be a gift from my mother-in-law to my father-in-law. He has a cell phone and a computer, but is not on the cutting edge of either. I'm afraid that if the new toy is to complex for a "old timer",(don't tell him I said that) that it will never be used. I have a Blackberry myself, but he does not need the phone, just an organization machine. What the interest seems to be is that he is a paper or card junkie. He always has a 2in. stack of paper or cards in his front shirt pocket. Most of this is rental receipt books or notes to himself. He also was completely impressed by another family member having the entire Bible on his PDA. Something he would probably enjoy. I have searched the archives, and found PDA talk, but most of those were phone/PDA/smartphone devices. I must admit, I'm still finding out about my Blackberry so a lot of the "technical" talk is out of my league. Is there anything out there, I'm sure there is, that may be what I am looking for? Thanks in advance!!!
I used a Palm Visor for a long time. It had contacts, calendar, and notes and allowed me to sync everything with my computer. If you figure out the syncing interface, then your father-in-law could simply push a button and ensure backup. No phone, used a writing-type interface, and you could add more memory for the Bible. The only issue is whether Palm makes anything compatible, since the Visor is rather old technology.