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My Journey to the Treo world

28 April 2006

Sometimes I wonder how I ever came to be a Treo / smartphone fanatic. I decided to draw a roadmap of how I came to own a Treo. It was a pretty long process, and involved a lot of bouncing around here and there. It all started with a cheap, plastic screened PDA…..

m100_big.jpgPalm M100 – My first PDA. I’m not exactly sure why I bought this one. It was way back in high school, and it just seemed like a good idea at the time. I think it cost me $149 at the time, which seemed pretty reasonable compared to the other high-dollar machines of the time. The M100 sported a cool 2 MB of RAM, a 16 mHz Dragonball CPU, and a monochrome 160×160 screen. It ran the now ancient Palm OS 3.5, and used AA batteries. This device definitely started my PDA addiction. I have an awful memory, so I loved the idea of keeping all my notes, important dates, and phone numbers in one spot. After installing a few programs, including Ultrasoft Money ( one of my favorites to this day ) , I quickly realized I needed more memory.

SonyS300.jpgSony Clie PEG-S300 – PDA #2. It was a toss-up between this device and the Palm Vx. The reason I chose the Sony is because of the lower price, and expandability. The Palm Vx had no memory card slot, while the Clie had a memory stick slot for even more memory. Of course, with an amazing 8 MB Ram, it shouldn’t be a problem, right?
The S300 had the familiar 16 mHz Dragonball CPU, and 160×160 grayscale display. Nothing new there; just the fancier form factor and endless memory. I started off with the included 8 MB memory stick, and later upgraded to a 128 MB. Things were going great with this PDA – I held on to it for quite a while. I had heard of the upcoming n710c, which I was holding out for. Unfortunately fate was not so kind. One day while changing, I left my trusty S300 in my pocket, and soon thereafter heard a sickening *crunch*. My fancy leather case couldn’t protect the fragile glass screen from my foot. It was shattered into about a million pieces. I was PDA-less for several months, nearly going insane.

SonyN710C.jpgSony Clie PEG-n710c – This was –the- PDA. The one I’d always wanted. A brilliant color screen. High resolution – the first Palm with 320×320. Still running Palm OS 3.5, the n710c did have an upgraded CPU – a 33mHz Dragonball. It also had the first Palm digital music player. It was limited in functionality a bit, but still – it was the first. I found that while cool, I didn’t use the music function very often. I decided to swap it for the n610c – the same device sans the music.

n610c-v.jpgSony Clie PEG-n610c – I ended up with the purple one, because no one had the silver. Fortunately I hid it away in a fancy leather case so no one was the wiser. This one lasted me quite some time, simply because there was no good reason to upgrade.

T615.jpgSony Clie PEG-T615 – I saw this one and was impressed. Very similar in features to the n610 before it, this device was about half as thick – it was extremely thin. Same old 33 mhz Dragonball. It did get a RAM upgrade to 16 MB though, as well as Palm OS 4.

sph-i300.jpgSamsung SPH-i300 – My first smartphone. Running the older Palm OS 3.5, and with just 8 MB of RAM, a low-res screen, and only 256 colors, I used this in conjunction with my Clie. Having wireless access with this device left me in awe, even though it was horrendously slow at 14.4 kbps. Lack of expansion, and eventual lack of stability led me to leave this phone and return to a regular Sprint phone. It seemd palm based phones weren’t yet ready for primetime.

B00006484G.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgSony Clie NR70 – This is one of those devices that just changes the world. A design like no other before or since, this device was simply fantastic. A huge, 480×320, hi-res, incredibly bright screen that flips around like a tablet PC. Integrated keyboard ( though it was poor ) was also a first. Packed inside this device was a previously unheared-of 66 mHz Dragonball CPU – twice as fast as older models! It had 16 MB of RAM, and ran the trusty Palm OS 4. Every time I would use this device in public people would oooh and ahhhh – it was simply fantastic and awe-inspiring. Even the cradle was stylish.

sony6.jpgSony Clie NX60 – My last Clie. The reason for this upgrade was Palm OS 5, which of course came with the upgrade to ARM-based CPU’s. This one used a 200 mHz Xscale. A little light on Ram with 16MB, this device still shone. It outran my NR70 easily. The other goodie this device had was a CF slot, alongside the memory stick slot. Out of the box, this was only usable with Sony’s WiFi card, but there were hacked drivers available so you could use a CF storage card.

treo600_sprint_cdma.jpgTreo 600 – One of the easiest upgrade decisions, ever. Even though my Clie was fantastic in nearly every way, I still wanted an all-in-one device. I had to sacrifice in a few areas – the most obvious being the screen. I still miss my Clie’s screen. But the combination of a very capable PDA, phone, and wireless data in one device helped me get over it. In fact, my wife also got a Treo 600 shortly after me! This device lasted me for quite some time, until my addiction struck again.

treo650.gifTreo 650 – If everything else stayed the same, and the only upgrade with this device was the 320×320 screen, I still would’ve done it. The Bluetooth and other enhancements were just icing to me.

Well that’s my story, long and winded. If you actually sat there and read the whole thing, then kudos to you! I don’t want to add up how much I’ve spent on PDA’s / smartphones over the years – I’d get very depressed I think.
I’d like to hear your story too, if you’re telling. How did you come to be a Treo user?

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