Mobile Computing

Way back in 2004 I bought a Hewlett Packard hx4700 PDA. In its day, it was an incredible piece of mobile computing. It was powered by a none-too-sluggish ARM processor running Pocket PC 2003 and had a full VGA (480 x 640) resolution screen. It was equipped with both Bluetooth and WiFi, so it was possible to use the Internet when on the road. Of course there were far fewer open WiFi hotspots available, but many hotels and some cafes had them.

I used to send and receive emails, surf the Internet, and read ebooks on it. In fact, I used to download classic books from the Internet, convert them to PDFs and read them using Acrobat reader. With the addition of a GPS receiver, it would also run the excellent TomTom satnav software.

Strange to think that 7 years ago, I was doing what the rest of the world is just starting to catch on to. It was like an early version of today’s Smartphones and Amazon’s Kindle, but way before its time.

About a year ago, my PDA died. Terrible timing, because it was just at a time when I really needed my satnav, and I was only half way through Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray.

Not being in a position to fritter away £400 on the latest iPhone or iPad, I had a look around on eBay and came across an i-Mate JasJar PDA/Phone for just £34, including a copy of TomTom, a bluetooth GPS, maps for the whole of Western Europe, docking station and a powered car docking station.

This new PDA runs Windows Mobile 5, a more recent version of Pocket PC 2003. True, it’s not the latest big thing, but that doesn’t matter to me. Windows Mobile 5 doesn’t appear to be that much different to Pocket PC, and the supplied version of Internet Explorer is fairly primitive. However, I downloaded Opera Mini (my preferred browser on my PC is Opera). Opera Mini is excellent and has improved by leaps and bounds since the days of my old PDA. It will even “re-flow” web pages so that you don’t have to keep scrolling sideways to read them. And just to prove how much better it is, I have typed this article online, on Opera Mini.

And to top it all, this PDA is also a phone, so I can ditch my cheap old Samsung phone that I have grown to hate.

July 30, 2011 · Phil Rogers · No Comments
Posted in: Lifestyle

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