07 December 2012

My personal handheld history

Casio Pocket Organizer
When I was in elementary school I acquired a small Casio pocket organizer that was probably more calculator than organizer. That was my introduction to pocket handheld devices. It had a little 12 character alpha-numeric LCD display and could store names, phone numbers, birthdays and little else. It also had a password protection feature (very important). I'll have to have my folks dig around in my old room to see if this thing is still lying around. I would love to find out an official model number and get a picture of it.

Palm IIIe (abt 2000-2001)
This is what I would consider my first real handheld. At one point I rigged up the serial sync dock to a 56k dial-up modem and ran AOL Instant Messenger on it. Yes, I chatted using a stylus and graffiti. This poor device was dropped and even in it's Body Glove neoprene case, managed to land right on its corner and the screen shattered. I believe my dad replaced the screen on it, but I had moved onward and upward to the next newest low-end Palm, the m100.

Palm m100 (abt 2001-2003)
I don't recall much about this device other than that its screen seemed significantly smaller than the IIIe. It was slightly faster and had a newer version of Palm OS. I don't think I had this one for very long before I sold it and upgraded to the m505.

Palm m505 (abt 2003-2008)
Back-lit. Color. Screen. The holy grail of handhelds. I purchased this device used and probably a year old, but it was fantastic. It had an SD card slot and a rechargeable battery. I sold this in 2005 right before I left for my 2 year mission for my church. It survived my freshman year in college though.

Nokia N800

Apple iPod Touch 2nd Gen 8GB (2008-present)
After returning home from my mission I needed something to replace the m505 that I had previously. I considered the Palm Tungsten T since I was still anti-Apple from my religious upbringing in an Intel household. After trying out an iPod Touch, though, the decision was easy. At some point in 2010 or early 2011 I dropped my iPod and the lower left corner of the screen cracked. By this time the sleep button at the top had stopped working as well. I decided to keep it, though and now let my 2-year-old son use it to play games.

Amazon Kindle 3G Keyboard (2010-present)
The 3rd generation Kindle finally came down low enough in price and added unlimited 3G with a decent enough web browser that I could justify using this as my first cell-network web device. As a poor college student I couldn't possibly afford a smartphone with a data plan. I still use this device today to do all of my reading. Since this device has a (albeit robotty) text-to-speech feature that can be sped up, I use it quite a bit to listen to my books while driving to and from work.
I am very picky about my devices being flawless. I had this particular device replaced by Amazon under warranty 3 separate times because of defects. The first time, the device locked up and couldn't be recovered. The second device formed some weird, visible bubbles underneath the screen. The third had battery issues. Finally the fourth one was just right and has worked great ever since.

HTC Thunderbolt (2011-2012)
This was my graduation present when I got my Bachelor's Degree. I had it for all of a year before it met its demise as I dropped it while riding my bike and it got run over by a car before I could rescue it. The screen protector kept the screen together and the digitizer was in tact, but none of the wireless modules would work anymore. I was able to power it up and back everything up to the SD card which was still intact.

HTC Rezound (2012-present)
This is my current phone and is about 9 months old. I haven't destroyed it yet.

Nexus 7 8GB (2012-present)
Ever since the iPad made tablets popular I had been waiting for a sub-$200 tablet to be released that had a very specific set of features. It needed a front-facing cam for video chat and bluetooth. A friend of mine brought the announcement of this gem to my attention in June of this year and I pre-ordered one almost immediately. I currently use this for 75% of the computer-related things I need to do at home.

I can't see myself staying with Verizon much longer after the spring of 2014 when my current contract is up. Until then, hopefully, this will remain unchanged.


  1. I remember having a Casio organizer, too. I think I also remember trying to hack your password-protected one.

  2. I remember having a Casio organizer, too. And I think I remember trying to hack into your password-protected one. Not sure what I intended to find. All your secret friends' names, apparently.


  3. Cool article, always wanted to write the same story about my phones)
    Glad to see that someone else is thinking the same way and did it.
    That's cool!
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