May 2002

Handspring launches two color Treos
Handspring today adds two new color devices to their Treo lineup. The first device was announced last year when the monochrome Treo 180 was launched. It is called the Treo 270, and it has a daylight-readable color STN screen and a backlit keyboard, something the 180 lacked. Physically it is the same as the Treo 180, except for its slightly lighter silver plastic body. Like the 180, it has 16MB RAM, a 33MHz Dragonball VZ, and a lithium-ion battery that offers 3 hours talk time and 150 hours standby. Unlike the 180, there are no announced plans for a Graffiti version, instead it will have only the keyboard for data input, and the stylus and toggle for navigation.

Perhaps an even more intriguing product is the Treo 90, a 4.0 oz non-wireless handheld, meaning it has no cell phone or radio at all; it's a keyboarded PDA with the same 12-bit (4,096 colors) color STN screen, the same RAM, and a nice, slim profile. It has a slimmer flip lid and--lo and behold--an SD card slot mounted top back center. Currently, the slot does not support SDIO (the ability to accept I/O peripherals like the Palm Bluetooth card). There is no toggle. It is a good user experience, however, and the slimmest and smallest of all Palm OS designs to date. Price for the Treo 90 will be US$299; prices for the Treo 270 will vary depending on the provider, but Handspring will be selling it for US$499 with service activation. Information is up on Handspring's site now. Come back tonight and tomorrow for my reviews, starting with the Treo 90 sometime tonight. -- Posted Monday, May 27, 2002 by sab

Intermec introduces rugged XScale-based color PPC
Intermec introduced the 700 Color, a new model in its 700 Series of rugged Pocket PCs. The 700 Color uses the PXA250 processor, has a 3.9-inch reflective TFT display, has IP64 sealing and a 5-foot drop spec, and offers a large number of scanning and communications options, including Bluetooth. See Intermec Color 700 release. -- Posted Monday, May 20, 2002 by chb

HanDBase Summit in Florida early June
DDH Software, makers of HanDBase database software will be holding the first annual HanDBase Summit in Ft. Lauderdale, FL from June 11 - 12. The summit will include an unveiling of HanDBase 3.0. Advanced registration for the summit is US$99. -- Posted Wednesday, May 15, 2002 by sab

More cross-platform games from DreamQuest
The PDA wars continue despite the tough market, meaning that there are many competing standards out there. DreamQuest seems to know that for a game to be truly successful, it should run on as many platforms as possible. They've just released more cross-platform titles in addition to their original Euchre: Championship Hearts and Championship Spades. Players can join each other at a virtual card table from either a wireless Palm OS device, a wireless Pocket PC, or a desktop Windows PC. Bundled as all three games for handhelds, the price is US$39.99. For desktops it's US$49.99. -- Posted Wednesday, May 15, 2002 by sab

Landware bundles WordSmith with GoType
If you're thinking about writing with your Palm device, you might want to look into Landware's keyboard/software bundle. Their popular GoType! Pro keyboards are available from the LandWare store for US$39.95 - 49.95, depending on model. For pure word-processing, WordSmith can't be beat. -- Posted Wednesday, May 15, 2002 by sab

Sony releases battery recharge pack for NR, T series has a review of Sony's new BC10 battery pack for their NR and T-series CLIEs. The little charger pack uses four AA batteries and costs US$40. According to the review, four Duracells drained themselves completely to give the NR70V a 75% charge. | | (link to PEGA-BC10) | -- Posted Wednesday, May 15, 2002 by sab

RoadWired offers new cases
RoadWired has several new cases worth a look. The Pod is a unique design for cameras and PDAs, with a large central pocket for a medium-sized digital camera, and several "hang-open" flaps for PDAs and accessories. US$49.95. R.A.P.S. are simple padded wraps for all manner of electronic gadgetry. US$12.95 for the small model, others to come. -- Posted Tuesday, May 14, 2002 by sab

Apple introduces rack mount servers
Apple today introduced its rack-mounted servers, called Xserve. Priced from US$2,999 to US$7,799, the Ultimate model sports dual 1GHz G4 Power PC processors, 2GB DDR SDRAM running at 266MHz, four 120 GB hard drives, and the Apple Care Premium Support Plan (24/7 support, according to the company, with guaranteed 30-minute response). And of course they run the Unix-based OS X. The slim, understated design is vintage Apple. -- Posted Tuesday, May 14, 2002 by sab

Good Technology takes on RIM 957
Good Technology has announced their new wireless email solution called GoodLink. The new system will work with existing RIM 950 and 957 devices, and also with the company's new Good G100 wireless handheld. The new handheld looks quite a bit smaller than the 957 and has a similar keyboard. "GoodLink is based on Good's patent-pending compression and two-way wireless synchronization technologies that free users from their desktops while keeping them continuously and wirelessly connected to company information." That includes email, database, intranets and Internet. The G100 handheld has a unique, center-mounted scroll wheel, a 212 x 136 pixel grayscale screen, measures 2.8 x 3.9 x .6 inches, weighs 4.7 ounces, has 8MB Flash and 8MB RAM, an ARM processor, a Li-Polymer battery, and notifies with audio, LED, and vibrate alarms. It uses Cingular wireless and is expected this Summer. For more see

-- Posted Tuesday, May 14, 2002 by sab

Boston Globe on PDAs
The Boston Globe published an interesting summary of where the PDA market stands. -- Posted Monday, May 13, 2002 by chb

iPAQ lives, Jornada name dies
As a result of Hewlett Packard's takeover of Compaq, the Compaq iPAQ will be renamed the "HP iPAQ Pocket PC." The Jornada name will be phased out over the next six months. Some Jornada products may be relabelled as iPAQs. While keeping the iPAQ rather than the Jornada name was predictable, it is but bad news for current Jornada owners who, in the 560 Series Pocket PC, finally had a world class product. The Jornada 720 H/PC is said to go on, whereas the fate of the Jornada 928 "phone" Pocket PC is uncertain. -- Posted Wednesday, May 8, 2002 by chb

Sony NR70V seen in Sony Metreon
Yesterday at the Sony Metreon in San Francisco, CA, the Sony NR70V Palm OS device was seen for sale for US$599. The NR70 has been seen elsewhere, but this is the first camera model seen by this reporter. They were in stock at the time, and one unit was seen purchased. -- Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2002 by sab

Handspring offers Treo tradeup program
New Treo purchasers can get US$100 rebate for "trading up" from their existing handhelds. The program appears easier for Visor owners, who can simply give the serial number from their current Visor, and the rebate is applied instantly to the purchase of the US$399 Treo (making it US$299). Owners of competing handhelds aren't left out, though: any Palm OS, Windows CE, Pocket PC, Symbian, Newton, RIM Blackberry, Casio, Psion, or Sharp handheld owners are also eligible. They need to place their order between now and June 2, 2002, and fill out the Web-based rebate form to get their rebate check. Only one rebate per customer. See the Handspring site for details. -- Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2002 by sab

Action Names School released
The latest version of iambic Software's Action Names contact management applictions is for students. Called Action Names School, the new app keeps track of homework assignements, to-do lists, and professors and friends. It also includes support for higher resolution screens, like the Sony CLIE line. US$19.95 -- Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2002 by sab

Future Apple OS X version to include InkPad
At today's Apple World Wide Developer's Conference, Steve Jobs introduced Jaguar, the next OS X iteration. The new version will include a slew of features, among them "advanced handwriting recognition," apparently derivative of Newton technology. It is unclear whether there will be a tablet introduced to compete with Windows XP's Tablet PC plan. Currently the note regarding the Ink feature on the company website ends with "Ink requires an input tablet." The new OS will be available this Fall, and also includes iChat, an AOL compatible chat engine, a new address book, Sherlock 3 for searching, and a Spam filter for the Mail application, among other things. -- Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2002 by sab

Transflective Color TFT for PDAs
NEC announced a 3.5-inch 240 x 320 pixel transflective TFT, probably for use in PDAs. The 256k color panel draws 25mW of power, uses six LEDs to light the display indoors, and offers 100:1 contrast indoors and 30:1 outdoors. The goal of a transflective display is to offer the great outdoor readability of a reflective display, but improve indoor readability by placing the light behind the panel instead of lighting it from the side. -- Posted Monday, May 6, 2002 by chb

New Snap n Type for iPAQ 3800 series
The new keyboard from TT Tech for the iPAQ 3800 series allows users to charge the iPAQ while typing, with or without expansion packs installed. The popular keyboard design has big keys, and includes buttons for the primary iPAQ applications. It is available now from the TT Tech website for US$39.95.
-- Posted Monday, May 6, 2002 by sab

Send a handwritten message with PCM's riteMail link
Give the new riteScript technology a try by emailing a friend with the amazing riteMail Java application. Pen Computing, in cooperation with riteMail creators Parascript Pen&Internet, offers this email service for free. Any Java-capable computer can receive, edit, and reply to riteMail messages. In addition to handwriting, one can just draw pictures, selecting colors and tools from the simple-to-use toolbar. Dazzle your friends by introducing them to advanced technology that they can use immediately, and without a manual. Press the riteMail button at right to get started. -- Posted Thursday, May 2, 2002 by sab

TDK launches three new Bluetooth apps
TDK Systems has launched three new apps to go with its Go Blue range of products: TDK Mobile, TDK Dialer, and TDK blueDial. TDK Mobile allows users to control and manage their Bluetooth-enabled phones from a PC; TDK Dialer allows Blue5 and BlueM sled users to dial their phones from a Palm device's Address Book; and TDK blueDial is designed to allow iPAQs using the bluePAQ adapter to dial phones from the Contacts List as well. Current owners of TDK Go Blue devices can download upgrades from In an effort to promote Bluetooth in the marketplace, TDK has also launched two new educational sites. The first,, advises users on compatibility issues, and the second,, guides customers to local Bluetooth retailers. -- Posted Thursday, May 2, 2002 by sab

RIM partners with BEA, also licenses radios
RIM (Research In Motion, Ltd.) has made an agreement with BEA Systems that will bring Web Services to their BlackBerry devices. To start with, they'll begin working on the framework that will support enterprise web services. "The creation of this framework is intended to enable ISVs and enterprise customers to easily develop mobile applications and allow carriers to offer new servicees for BlackBerry users," said David Yach, VP of Software for RIM. In seperate announcements, Panasonic and Melard are planning to embed RIM's OEM radio modems for GSM/GPRS networks into their rugged lines of mobile computers. | | | -- Posted Thursday, May 2, 2002 by sab

Pocket PC Summit to host Compaq iPAQ Developer event
The Pocket PC Summit, which will be held May 28 - 31 at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia, PA, will also host the iPAQ Pocket PC Developer Event on May 29. "The iPAQ Pocket PC's tremendous success is a tribute to our innovative third-party developers. We are pleased to offer the developer event as part of the Pocket PC Summit," said Cindy Box, Compaq's Director of Marketing for for iPAQ Mobile Solutions. Admission to the iPAQ event will be US$100, and registered iPAQ developers can get a four-day Pocket PC Summit pass for US$495, or 50% off the regular price. Register for the iPAQ event at -- Posted Thursday, May 2, 2002 by sab

NR70 appearing in stores
According to folks at, the Sony NR70 has begun appearing in Best Buy and other stores, though the NR70V, with the integrated camera, has not yet been seen. I have one here, however, and will put up a review soon. It's an amazing device, beautifully executed. More later. -- Posted Thursday, May 2, 2002 by sab

Fossil Wrist PDA Shipping
Fossil has begun shipping the Palm OS version of their Wrist PDA, available from their website for US$145. The watch can hold a subset of the information in the four basic apps on your Palm device, which it accepts by infrared input. It even tells the time. See our preview.
-- Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2002 by sab