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There's an app for that ...

by Bill Osler / March 26, 2011 11:29 AM PDT

I finally had to abandon my old Palm TX. It is a "mature" product that is no longer adequately supported by Palm, and as a result the developers who write programs for it (like the Epocrates product I use daily) are not interested in putting much effort into maintaining it. I guess we live in a throw-away society?

I was surprised at how few PDA devices there are left on the market. Everybody is selling "smart phones" but I don't want a phone for this task, partly because phones don't work inside my office and partly because I don't want people thinking they can get me on the phone when I'm at work.

It turns out that the iPod Touch is one of the few PDAs left, and it is the only one I could find that will run the program I use. I was shocked by the price. Maybe my employer will pay for it. Maybe.

It's a slick little device, and it is sure fast compared to the old Palm, but I hate the idea that an electronic device made just a few years ago is so "mature" that it is useless. Maybe because I am also "mature"?

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and yet a radio
by James Denison / March 26, 2011 11:35 AM PDT

from a century ago can still get stations to listen to. Watch for digital radio in the future to end that also.

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There's a few others.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2011 11:38 AM PDT

There are now Android pads like the http://www.amazon.com/Archos-28-Internet-Tablet-Black/dp/B00422SGX0 which are sub-100 and have apps.

As to the Palm, I do not write new apps for that. Just maintaining and only if I get paid for the update or fix.

PalmOS had a great run for over 10 years. That's forever compared to most tech things.

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I looked briefly at the Android products ...
by Bill Osler / March 26, 2011 12:02 PM PDT
In reply to: There's a few others.

Some of the stuff I use is not out for Android, but the Android devices cost less and I suspect software support will improve with time. Maybe next time. After all, my iPod will be "mature" in a few years.

I wish Epocrates did not use an installation method that requires cable sync rather than allowing for wireless sync over the LAN. As clunky as my old TX is/was I hate throwing away something that mostly works. Unfortunately, the last database update trashed the program installation and I can no longer reinstall. The cable sync in Win XP Mode completely stopped working after a Windows XP security update a while back. Oh well.

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Other HotSync methods.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2011 12:19 PM PDT

As I authored a few PalmOS apps, you can imagine I've repaired too many hotsync setups and used other hotsync methods such as the BlueTooth one. If the cable fails on the TX we have BlueTooth but BT setup is so unintuitive that I never try that remotely. That is, we only do that in the office.

As to the Android software support I expect it to continue to worsen. Mind you I wrote "support" and not about the wide selection of apps. Today, with rare exception, support continues to worsen.

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I guess it was cheaper to upgrade than to fly you out here
by Bill Osler / March 26, 2011 1:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Other HotSync methods.

I wasn't able to get Bluetooth sync to work. LAN sync works just fine for everything on the Palm ... except the ONE program that I use daily.

In the end, though, it probably was time to upgrade. The current version of Epocrates runs at a snail's pace on the TX.

I understand what you are saying about the quality of support. The last time I called about the Epocrates App it was because of a database entry that reliably crashed my Palm. After several email exchanges and re-installs (because "your database is obviously corrupt") in which the techs didn't actually read what I submitted I finally called and convinced a tech to try the same series of steps on HIS Palm TX. His reset also. The company sort-of apologized for jerking me around, but they started the same cycle of junk responses with this last problem and I finally gave up. I wish I could say that the Epocrates folks were the only ones that provide awful support but it appears to be the norm rather than the exception. If there were a comparable product from another company I might buy it instead, but I don't know if another company would give any better support. Better the devil I know?

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(NT) Customer noservice
by Diana Forum moderator / March 27, 2011 6:28 AM PDT
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