Tungsten W and Clie TH55

Tungsten w and th55 I thought the Tungsten was a bit bigger than the TH55 but in actuality there is not much in it, the Sony is slightly heavier but that extra weight manifests itself in a a more solid feeling and higher quality device, dang, if only the TH55 had a slide out keyboard it would be even more superb than it is. I think you can see from the photo that the Sony screen is much crisper, the icons are sharper and clearer and there is a bit of blockiness about the Tungsten W ones up close. The W screen just appears a bit washed out. Could be down of course to a bit of wear and tear about the TW screen as it is a couple of years older.

The TH55 also wins handsomely on speed, applications open very quickly and it is devices like this that give the Palm o/s it's reputation for speediness and minimal lag. It is devices like the Tungsten W that don't, what possessed Palm (apart from cost measures) to stick in such an underpowered processor? The Tungsten C is far better to use in comparison and feels quite modern in useage.

Isn't it odd to see one of those sticky out antennas again? It does have the distinct advantage though of getting you a better signal, I personally don't think modern phones get such good reception without them. I can't recall having reception problems with phones until they started dumping the external antenna.

I actually find it quite annoying, if I could the best of the three devices I'd have a great PDA. Take the phone capability of the W, add in the size, solidity and screen of the TH55 and then the icing on the cake would be the C's keyboard and speed. Sadly it didn't happen and nor will it ever happen.


BlackBerry StockManager

You can get the free and rather good Bloomberg finance application for your RIM device via the AppVillage store. There are also several bits of software that purport to add some extra functionality if you are trying to track a portfolio of shares or funds, indeed some of them are quite pricey. I came across one that I think is quite good and which sacrificies a bit of the stuff that most people may not need, this makes it much cheaper and at $4.95 it is good value.

Stock manager The application is called Stock Manager and it gives you the ability to construct a portfolio on the home page which lists all your holdings whether they be listed on the FTSE or NASDAQ or wherever so there is cross exchange compatability. If you click on each holding you are taken to a page providing a lot more info and related news on that particular share, well you would be if you were able to get a working internet connection. I can download the latest prices on the opening screen no problem but when I then try to get more info and news on that share it tells me that I need a working internet connection. Hmmmm. I have edited the application "permissions" to no avail. Another example of one of the BlackBerry o/s oddities, how some apps can connect automatically with no settings changes and others just refuse to do the same.

Updates to prices can be set from 1 minute (yikes) to 60 minutes but I would like a manual refresh updating facility as I really don't need to check the values more than once a day (I ain't got that much invested to worry about). You can also add in Indices, such as the FTSE and Dow Jones and all the 'symbols" you need to add stuff in can be found by doing a search at Yahoo Finance.

I'll need to persevere trying to get the full application features working and if so I reckon this will be a very good little bit of software offering just enough features and info for the price. If you need all those graphs and in depth analysis then look elsewhere though, I don't so this is perfect although having the news updates would be useful.

Tungsten W……odd

I purchased a Tungsten W off ebay the other day, it was only £25 plus postage and for those interested, the guy still has a few left. Mine arrived quickly and is in excellent condition, far better than the wreck that is the Tungsten C which was also bought from eBay.

TungstenW This is a supremely strange device and I don't know what to make of it, it's the same form factor as the Tungsten C but the specs differ wildly. It runs Palm 4 as opposed to v5 which is a pain as some of the apps I wanted to install, such as Resco Neeews, Resco Backup and Uninstall Manager, only work on v5. Stuff like ListPro, SnapperMail, BackupMan and TMP work just fine though. It only has 15mb of free memory whereas the C has 51mb and has a small processor compared to the C too. The Tungsten C flies through the menus whereas the W can be a bit laggy. And of course there is no wifi on the W (there is on the C) but it has the SIM card slot and thus can be used as a phone, if you were truly desperate, or more importantly you can stick a SIM card in and get the internet access needed to run apps like Snappermail and 4Cast without having to worry about wifi. The screen is hi-res but does not match up to that on the TH55, less crisp and bright and of course smaller.

I stuck a T-Mobile SIM card in, one with web'n'walk, and turned the mobile on, half expecting it not to work but it did and even in the black hole that is our office, held a consistent signal with 3 bars which is pretty decent….these old style external antennas must give better reception. I've not got the headphones that are needed to make calls with and even if I did I have no desire to try out the phone capabilities. The darn thing is just too wide and big to use as a phone without looking like a bit of a diddy.

Battery life so far has been excellent, I think it has a 1500mAh (?) battery which is a good size and with the radio turned off most of the time it should last the pace comfortably. Still, the nagging thought remains that it needs the quicker processor of the Tungsten C and os v5 to make it more useable. It is however good to have a Palm PDA (as opposed to a phone) with a keyboard and decent sized screen that has the ability to get connected anywhere without needing to hunt down a wifi hotspot. Makes me wish for a slightly bigger-screened Treo that does not feel about a foot thick. I don't think I will use it over the TH55 but it is interesting to have one if for no reason other than to compare it with a Treo 680 to see how far Palm had advanced, at the time. And the 680 was a big step up with a smaller form factor, better screen, os5 (and thus better apps), camera, better keyboard but worse battery life.

So, I'm unlikely to use this much I reckon as it is not as good as the TH55 although it is good to have a keyboard to replace my dodgy graffiti skills and the built in wireless is very handy. One more for the Palm "drawer of death"?

DDH Software – HanDBase for Mac

DDH Software – HanDBase for Mac.

I think I saw somewhere that this has been updated (or was it just the iPhone version?) and it is about time too if it has as the original mac conduit was errr…..not that good.

Import and Export data into HanDBase using
the HanDBase for Mac program. Install files to HanDBase on your mobile
device such as an iPhone, iPod touch, or Palm OS device. Add and edit
records in your database, search and sort your data.

I have HandBase on my iPhone and use it now and again but the relative hassle of getting databases on and off the iPhone detracts. This claims to make this task a lot easier if there is direct syncing plus you can now edit records….or can you? Strangely though, if you read further down the page they say they have "big plans" for the mac desktop conduit including the ability to edit records. This obviously contradicts the bit posted above.

The iPhone version is okay but I find it to be a bit clunky, trying to change the width of the fields in the main display screen is a right royal pain although that is one of the things that may have been changed in the update, if I recall correctly (unlikely though).

HandBase is one of those apps that I have used for a while, starting off with the sterling Palm version, and down the years I have accumulated quite a few databases, all scattered around various laptops and desktops. I really must try and get them all together in the one place one day.

Posted in iPhone. 2 Comments »

BlackBerry App World

Shaun mggill Things have gone a bit quiet on the App World front, you don't read many posts on the BlackBerry sites extolling its virtues, probably with good reason as it may turn out to be a damp squib. The problem it is facing is that there is already a thriving eco-system in place for buying software via BlackBerry sites and the likes of PDA 247, whom I continue to prefer to use. I just don't see any advantage in suddenly changing to the RIM version as it has less software available, doesn't give me a 20% discount (cos I donated to one of the best sites for gadget lovers on the web) and doesn't send me an email when a programme has been updated with a direct link to the download page. What can the RIM store offer over and above that? Zip all, in fact less than that considerably.

Plus, with there being so many different BlackBerry models out there already not all the apps on the store will work with every device and at the moment I can't see a way to filter out stuff that isn't applicable to the Curve. Unless of course it knows what device I am using via the browser set up? Actually, now that I think about it, one of the best things about the Apple Store is that it dispenses with the need to store bloody registration codes, what a boon that has turned out to be for me.

Without wishing to preach to the converted, anyone who visits 247 should donate some dosh as they know they are going to get real value for their money and the main man will appreciate it. Anyone who runs a site knows how hard it is to keep going and it can be a real labour of love. I've kept this site ad free and pay all the costs myself because I enjoy doing it and I'm an opinionated so and so.

I did suggest to Shaun that a suitable bonus for donating to the 247 would be getting a "Jah" free comment version….anybody else think that would be worth paying for?

LittleSnapper for iPhone

App Shopper: LittleSnapper (Photography).

I use LittleSnapper on my MacBook Pro, mainly to capture screens of applications in action or to send visual instructions to my Dad in Aberdeen to try and help hime get to grips with his MacBook and the inbuilt software. If he is having trouble with say, iPhoto, I open iPhoto on my laptop, snap a few screens of iPhoto with LittleSnapper and then add some text instructions using the same software.

I see that there is now a version of LittleSnapper for the iPhone available but it doesn't appear to offer any syncing facility with the desktop version. It's unusual for an iPhone app that has a desktop equivalent not to offer some sort of cross functionality.

Take a photo, snap a webpage, or choose an existing image from your photo album and share it online via QuickSnapper.

tags, titles, descriptions, and ratings to your snaps before sharing
them. Once shared online, LittleSnapper allows you to view, email, or
tweet the link to your image.

– Built-in camera & photo album support.
– Webpage snapping.
– Easily add a title and description for your images.
– Set type, tags and ratings for images.
– Unlimited QuickSnapper account support.
– Built-in support for popular Twitter clients to allow easy sharing of snaps.

Pre Post

Palm-pre-classic apps The more I see of the Pre the more I would like one. The ability to use older palm apps under the classic mode is the clincher for me plus the new goodies on top are compelling reasons. I'm starting to wonder though if it will ever see the light of day over here, Palm are hardly a household name over here outside the old treo die hards and previous treos were hardly a raging sales success with the high street carriers. O2 had the original 180 and 270 models but shifted very few and Orange always seemed a bit half hearted with their 600 and 680 support, probably because hardly anyone bought one.

Why should things be any different with the Pre and how is it suddenly going to become the hottest gadget in town in the UK without some fairly major marketing behind it? I was going to say if Apple can do it then anyone can do it but of course Apple is a well know brand and had the huge advantage of a large user base already in existence via the iPod. I know Palm has a decent enough base of people using older Palm devices but that is the problem, they are older devices whereas people with iPods were toting the latest and greatest model due to Apple's continual upgrading of devices and therefore knew all about the products, they are contemporary whereas to most folk Palm is a company who were great about 5/6/7 years ago.

All shall be revealed shortly one hopes but I'm getting a bit fed up of reading all these posts about how wonderful this smartphone is when nobody has really been able to use it. Palm really needs to get its' skates on, if it was demo-ing a Pre back in January how the heck, three months later are we still waiting for it? What could be taking them so long to get it out and about? Makes me wonder if there is something wrong behind the scenes.