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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  • Toshiba produced the first handheld device with a VGA screen, setting the stage for the PDAs and smartphones down the road. The e805 was light yet the most powerful mobile device of the time. It cemented the dominance of Windows Mobile in the handheld segment.

  • Sony was the company pushing the envelope regularly in the early days of mobile devices, and the line of Picturebook laptops was popular. The 8.9-inch screen made the Picturebook the smallest, most portable laptop to this day, and at less than an inch thick. The hardware components in the Picturebook made for a laptop that could compete with anything of the time. I used a Picturebook for a long time, and my oldest daughter asked to take it to college with her. It served her well as her computer at school, due to the included replicator bar that Sony included with it. She kept this replicator in her dorm room, and plugged the highly portable Picturebook into it to turn it into a full desktop computer when needed. She still has the Picturebook today, a testament to the build quality Sony was famous for back in the day.

  • The Tablet PC never appealed to the mainstream, but the innovative hybrid design of the HP tc1100 served me well in my mobile work. The ability to pop the 10-inch screen off the keyboard turned the tc1100 into the thinnest, lightest full Windows computer of all time. The active digitizer made the tc1100 into the perfect note taking machine, while the ability to snap it onto the keyboard to form a full laptop computer made it highly versatile.

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?
    jgm2
  • 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.
    BHHS Assistant
  • Typically Incomplete

    ....and showing American bias. Excludes the entire Psion range (which includes the true Netbook (TM)).
    zdnetaaaaaa23
    • 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