Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

Summary: James Kendrick of ZDNet Mobile News takes a trip down memory lane to showcase the most important mobile gadgets that have impacted his life.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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  • The Palm xv was the PDA that cemented Palm's dominance in this new device category. With the pictured Omnisky modem snapped onto its back, the Palm xv became the first handheld device with a connection to the new thing called the Internet. This combination was the first handheld method to get email on the go. I was one of the first mobile professionals able to get and respond to email from anywhere, thanks to the Palm xv and Omnisky modem. The data connection provided by the Omnisky was insanely slow and tremendously expensive, but it was the first of its kind.

  • The Apple Newton didn't last long, but it pushed the envelope in so many areas for mobile devices. The first device to offer true handwriting recognition, the Newton focused on intuitive input methods that competed with the constrained Graffiti input method used by Palm Pilots. The Newton was extensible with accessories such as modems and keyboards that turned the device into a full-fledged computer. There is an active Newton user community on the web even today, and the devices have even been hacked for Wi-Fi connectivity. You may have been impacted by the Newton handwriting recognition technology, as the team behind it went on to develop Evernote.

  • The E-125 was one of the first gadgets in Microsoft's Pocket PC product category, and it became a wildly popular PDA. The Casio was built like a tank and had features not found on any other product of its type at the time. The Casio E-125 would fit in a shirt pocket yet could handle a surprising spectrum of business tasks due to the rich support of the Microsoft Office platform.

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Topic: Mobility

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  • So, basically a plug for the Evo 4G then?

    "The big screen, a first with the EVO, and the high-speed connectivity was groundbreaking, and has led to a number of like configured phones."

    Ya, awesome.
    jgpmolloy
  • Nice walk through the memory lane

    Could have included the manufactured year or the year when you used them too.
    satish_appasani@...
  • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

    Newton but no iPhone 2g? the one device that truly changed mobile...
    Hasam1991
    • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

      @Hasam1991 As the title states these are devices I have owned.
      JamesKendrick
      • No Blackberry or iPaq?

        @JamesKendrick Obviously not an early adopter!!
        mattmuir
  • Love that 100LX

    What a great machine. Ran every DOS program that my desktop machine did. Lotus 123 and HP 12c built in. Amazed co-workers as I could keep meeting notes or do spreadsheets and have them emailed out before the meeting broke up.

    Still have my 100LX, and my analog Startac phone. Can't think of giving them away.
    APH3
  • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

    @jameskendrick
    imho, you have lead a sheltered life...<br><br>What about the Psion 3c, or an earlier Palm (III?) (which I used to surf the web from... both mobilely and from a fixed line) - and had the Kodak Camera attachment for...
    argon0
  • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

    Wasn't the Atari Portfolio the first portable DOS computer?
    jgm@...
  • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

    I am reading this article, and typing this reply, on my HP TC1100, which now has a SSD and an ExpressCard memory module. I use it with a field case when traveling, a plug in keyboard at the office. I consider the newer tablets and laptops, but it still keeps doing what I need it to do. Next, upgrade to Win7?
    giantcedar
    • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

      @giantcedar
      I have three of these tablets and considered an SSD drive but was limited to 750mb ram. Please tell me about ExpressCard memory. Does it increase system ram? The form of this tablet has served me for years. People still ask what it is when they see the tablet.

      Thanks
      SynergySolutions
  • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

    I still have that Casio E-125. It's work too slow, so I get back to Palm 3c, which still working now. I very curious how long that Palm 3c battery will leak, what technology they use that time ?
    Voltus
  • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

    Too bad you never owned an Audrey by 3Com. If you look back on the form, features and functionality - it was ahead of its time I guess - kind of like Apple's Newton. That never really caught on and then a few years later USR rolls out the Palm Pilot and everyone goes nuts for it! I view Audrey as an early predecesor to today's tablets - the apple Newton of its day so to speak. Based on the tech available back then (2000-2001), Audrey was pretty slick. Over time, I'm sure the form factor would have improved, features and functionality added and would have naturally evolved into the tablets of today. You can still find some on eBay now and then if you'd like to add it to your list of gadgets you have owned - for nostalgia sake anyway. ;-)
    ejburckle
    • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

      @ejburckle I'm fascinated with vintage internet-able devices. I use an Audrey, and several Windows CE computers to the extent that they can be used online. It's surprising how much can still be accessed once you accept their limitations.
      CE signal
  • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

    Great trip down memory lane, but I think there is a bit of hyperbole in a couple of the descriptions. While the HP 100LX was possibly the earliest handheld to run a desktop OS, I don't really think it was the first to be a "full programable computer". Someone else has already mentioned the Atari Portfolio, which came out 5 years earlier. Radio Shack also released several "Pocket Computer" models during the early 80s that could be programmed in BASIC and several other companies had very similar devices at the time, including Casio and Sharp which actually manufactured some of the Radio Shack devices and also sold them under their own names.

    Also, I'm pretty sure that the Internet-connected Palm VII pre-dated the Omnisky modem, although you could probably make a reasonable argument that the Omnisky did provide a more complete experience.
    JeffGr
    • HP95LX was the original !

      @JeffGr<br>100LX? pffft! we hardc0re road warriors jumped in with the 95LX way before the 100LX.
      warboat
  • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

    For me the list would include a programmable calculator which could store 10 numbers and 100 opcodes in RAM.
    Back in the 70s. 10 years or so before I had a PC.
    This was the device that inspired me to become a computer engineer many years later.
    Scrabbler
  • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

    I would have expected one of these also to be listed here
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Casio_SF-8000_Digital_Diray.jpg
    jeanshack
  • RE: Memory lane: Most important mobile gadgets I have owned

    Loved, loved my HP Jornada 680. Carried it for years.
    PPR Assistant
  • Typically Incomplete

    ....and showing American bias. Excludes the entire Psion range (which includes the true Netbook (TM)).
    zdnet@...
    • I think he said these are things he owned, not things created

      @zdnet@...
      do you own 1 of everything ever made?

      Thought not.
      William Farrel