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All About GUPI - the electronic guinea pig!

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Sky Soldier

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The incredibly small Utilikey

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AntiGravity picture frame!

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Real turbo-fan powered remote control Intruder jet!

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->> Clock

My Mobile Computing Journey

A little trip down memory lane... which PDAs have I owned over the years and why?

(Items shaded yellow represent the 'critical path' and indicate which were used as my main PDA for a while.)

Year Model Comments
1991 Psion Series 3
Series 3 'classic'
I was blown away by the original Series 3. It had grown up office software and was almost as good at multi-tasking as my company VAX.
1993 Psion Series 3a
Series 3a
Another classic design development from Psion, with better screen, more software, more memory, more of everything. This palmtop did the lot.
1995 Psion Series 3a/2MB Nirvana for a Psion fan. Two whole megabytes to fill with software. Don't laugh, in some ways a 3a/2MB could do more than many 128MB Pocket PCs today.
1996 Psion Siena/1MB
Siena
A brief fling with Psion's smallest palmtop. The size was perfect (similar to handhelds today), but the keyboard was horrible and I had to say goodbye in the end.
1997 Psion Series 5
Series 5
Somehow I got invited onto the Protea (Series 5 prototype) programme, eventually buying a genuine ROM 1.01 unit and forgiving it its size for the great keyboard and still impressive multi-tasking.
1998 Psion Series 3mx I couldn't resist owning a 3mx when I was offered one at trade price. A souped up Series 3c. I still pick it up today and remenisce.
1999 Palm III
Palm III
My first Palm. Good timing, the III was a classic model, with just enough horsepower and memory to make the concept fly. Palm OS was simple, elegant and best of all, the unit was tiny and easy to carry everywhere.
1999 Psion Series 5mx Again, I found myself with a prototype, though thankfully not lime green this time! The 5mx added grown up Internet support and a faster processor to the now established Series 5 design.
2000 Palm IIIc After seeing one of these with a colour (shock, horror) screen demonstrated at a user meeting, I fell in love and simply had to have one. A huge stride forward for handheld computing.
2000 Psion Revo Plus Finally, I get to keep a review machine. Though I have to say I hated the poor battery life and lack of backlight. And told Psion the latter to their faces at the launch.
2001 Nokia 9210 Communicator
9210
In theory, this was everything I, and others, had dreamt of. Colour-screened, keyboard computing, with phone and Internet thrown in. There were downsides, of course. The price was high at first, the 9210 had limited 'execution memory' (i.e. RAM) and there was no database software. But I grew to love it, especially when the price came down and decent software (including OPL) started to appear.
2002 Handspring Treo 270
Treo 270
I'd been watching the Treo 'all-in-one' Palm OS smartphone for a while and saw that a colour model was planned. A few pulled strings later and I was the proud owner.
2003 to 2004. Sony Ericsson P800/P900
P800
At the time, the ultimate balance of size versus function. This one unit helped me work, play, relax, communicate. You name it, it did it. There were few niggles, to be sure, but the combination of hardware and software elegance, plus the convenient form factor, made the P800 (or P900) pretty compelling.
2004 to 2005 Nokia 9500
9500
The Nokia 9500 combined the best of the old 9210 and the Sony Ericsson P800, then added plenty of tricks of its own, in one, incredibly sexy Communicator. Still in use as my main, all weather device.
2005 Nokia 6630
6630
Yes, yes, I know the screen's smaller and there's no QWERTY keyboard. But sheer size/convenience, a true Megapixel camera and great software (at last, for Series 60) wins the day quite often, making a nice change from the 9500 above.

Steve Litchfield,
October 2005

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