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2004-12-23

More PDA advice: Latest PalmOne PDAs not suitable for amateur packet radio, or to cable to cell phone for Internet service

Earlier this month, I posted a few tips about PDAs. I had a question today at AllExperts.com about PalmOS connectivity which leads me to enhance my earlier suggestions. Someone asked about using the Tungsten E from PalmOne to connect to a cellphone, so they could get e-mail and browse the web.

The T|E* does not have PalmOne's Universal Connector, or the serial connector of earlier Palms. It only has a USB connection (with a mini-USB socket), plus does not have adequate intelligence on board to control a USB device, such as a USB-serial adapter.

Therefore, unless PalmOne's support line can tell you another way to do this, the T|E, or any PalmOne device with the mini-USB connector, does not seem suitable to cable to a cell phone for connectivity, or to a TNC for packet radio. This also applies to the T|5.

Any PalmOS device which has a serial hot sync cable should, AFAIK, work. These include many models of the Zire, and Tungstens up to the T|3.

Now, browsing from a Palm is a limited experience at best, so make sure to use Skweezer to pre-render the pages for maximum speed. Also consider downloading the free Eudora Information Suite from Qualcomm. Their text-only browser is a speed demon compared to other PalmOS browsers, and the e-mail package supports STARTTLS/SSL, required by some POP3/SMTP e-mail servers.


*(T|E reviews here: C|Net, InfoSync World, PC Magazine, and PDA Buyer's Guide).

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