It was ten years ago today I bought the first of five PalmPilots:
1996: US Robotics Pilot 1000
I bought the Palm 1000 following three experiences:
- I desperately needed a way to keep track of appointments and contacts. I had tried all sorts of systems, and none worked for me.
- For Christmas, my youngest daughter got a 2KB, girl-oriented day-timer-style pocket computer ($15), and as I played with it, I realized this could be the key.
- Palm spent big on an ad in Fortune magazine, with a full-size cardboard Pilot you could remove form the page to hold.
- Oh, and the Palm 1000 was on sale following Christmas.
Shortly after buying it, I experienced the amazement of discovering all kinds of software that could be added to the device, some of which I use to this day.
1999: 3COM Palm III
I bought the Palm III after the Pilot 1000 froze up for days. Naturally, after I bought the new one, the old one began working again.
2001: Sony Clie 760
2003: Sony Clie 760
The Sony Clie 760 was such a finely-crafted device that I bought a second one, after the first one became unrepairably damaged. I continue to use it to this day. It pretty much set the standard that's still in place today: high-resolution color screen, MP3 player, memory slot. The only thing missing is WiFi.
(2004: HP iPaq)
I briefly owned an HP iPaq, given to me at a conference, later given away to a friend who'd lost his (he subsequently lost this one, too). HP made a marvelous piece of hardware, but it was hobbled by the Windows-based operating system and applications software. The software was so hard to use that I ended up using the iPaq for streaming radio broadcasts over the Internet.
2006: Palm T|X
Earlier this year, I treated myself to the T|X with its big 480x320 screen, 2GB memory expansion, WiFi and Bluetooth, etc. It has its disappointments: no status LEDs, no scroll wheel (as on the Clie), and the bundled portable keyboard is dreadful. But it's fast, the WiFi is beautifully integrated with software, and the big, bright screen makes browsing the Internet plausible (no need for any Origami device).
And it has 1,024x more internal memory than the first Palm 1000.