August 7th, 2007

marcus 2013

Now we are six...

...computers, that is; two PCs, the iBook, another PC which is currently in "strip it down for spares or rebuild it?" limbo, the iPaq, and the new toy, an HP Jornada - the 710 model that doesn't have a modem but is otherwise identical to the 720, since it was a little cheaper and I don't have a dialup account anyway. Got it for £71, and bought a 1gb CF card to go with it from SVP for another £7. Both arrived on Friday, and I've been playing with it on and off since then.

So far I think it's pretty good - it comes with the portable versions of MS office applications, the colour screen is rather nice, I can type on it reasonably fast, and battery life seems to be a good six or seven hours.

Cons are the size and weight, a bit bigger and heavier than a Psion V; the range of software and especially freeware available for it is rather limited; and there isn't a USB port on the actual machine - there's one on the docking bay, but only a serial port on the actual computer.

What this last means is that if I was to use it away from home for an extended period I'd need to carry the docking cradle and a USB cable as well as the charger, since my laptop doesn't have a serial port. In practice I think I'd probably just take the laptop. But for carrying with me on a long walk or something it's pretty good - I did this today, ended up eating lunch at Wagamamas in Kensington, and typed a few hundred words before and after the meal.

I'm vaguely thinking of adding a WiFi card, but it has to be a Cisco 350 series PCMIA 11b card, since that's apparently the only one that works reliably. They seem to be around on eBay at an average selling price of £12-15, which seems a little pricey given that there are 11g cards around for less, but I'm in no hurry to buy so maybe I'll get lucky. And of course if anyone reading this happens to have one going spare...

Update Got lucky on eBay and got one for £4 - hopefully I'll have it next week.

Anyway, I'm going to give it a couple of months and see how I get on with it; if it turns out I'm not using it much I'll sell it on, shouldn't lose much by it.

In other news, I broke the iPaq's stylus / pen gizmo the other day, and after looking at and rejecting the alternatives on offer ended up replacing it with a no. 5 plastic knitting needle, cut down to the right length to fit in the holder. I got two needles for £1.50 in a charity shop, I think I'll end up making six styluses from them - two from the actual needle ends, and hopefully four more by sharpening the rest of the needle with a pencil sharpener. If I can find the bloody pencil sharpener...