RSS icon Bullet (black)
  • Storm, or Bust!

    Posted on September 2nd, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Ok folks, it’s time to shift gears and talk phones.  For my long time readers (all two of you), you know that I have been a Palm OS and Palm hardware fanboy since 2004 (long before My Gadget, Game & Gizmo Obsession ever existed).  In fact, look at my archives, you will see this blog started as “My Treo Obsession” and was solely dedicated to the Treo 650 and his brethren.

    Well, it’s 2008 (for a few more months at least), and I’m in a different place (literally and figuratively).  I’m still rocking both a Treo 650 and a Treo 700p (more on the dual device thing later), but that will all end before all the leaves turn red and fall to their annual demise (at least here in Massachusetts).

    Yes that’s right, I’m done with both Palm OS and Palm hardware.  First, Palm OS….dude, it’s been four years since any real updates have come out.  You are still producing more products on that old-old-old school OS (i.e. the Centro).  Move on, get the new OS shipping for gosh sakes.  Second, Palm hardware.   I love Palm hardware.  The Treo 800w and Treo Pro are making me drool.  I could own one of them immediately if it were not for my employer.

    You see, I’m now working in the corporate world, and my employer has a love affiar with RIM and Blackberry.  So, unless I want to cough up $250+ for my own device, and $120 per month for voice/data, I need to comply.   And with those numbers, comply I will.  Why, you ask?  I’m cheap and I love gadgets.  Put those two together, what do you get?   Me saying “later Treo, hello Blackberry”.  Just like that.  Call me fair weather, but that’s how I roll.

    The Blackberry 9350 Storm is supposed to drop on Verizon (my current carrier) sometime this Fall.  I hear it’s looking to be in October.  It’s going to be CDMA and GSM, which is huge for my argument to my boss.  “Look boss, it can be used by our preferred vendor, Verizon, and it’s a world phone for when you need me to travel to San Paulo.”  NOTE:  I’ve never actually been to Brazil, but you never know.

    And for the gadget geek in me.  This is the first touchscreen Blackberry… …ever.  Can you say “bleeding edge”?  That’s where I like to live, except, I’m personally not so fond of the actual bleeding.  I’m going to get just about all the things I need in my next device.  Let’s list ’em for fun:

    • Touch screen
    • A2DP (bluetooth stereo audio)
    • Media player
    • Lot’s o’ storage space
    • snappy fast interface (we’ll see about this one)
    • high-speed data (i.e. 3G)
    • GPS
    • Wireless sync (mail, calendar, etc).

    Granted, I no longer will have a physical keyboard (no slider, nor front-facing qwerty).  It’s all on-screen (i.e. iPhone).  No keyboard will be hard for me to swallow, but what the hell….let’s see if I can handle it.  So, I will get to start some iPhone wars, which will be fun.

    I have to thank a few folks for this happening.  First and foremost, my employer for requiring only Blackberry devices to be allowed network access.  Second, AT&T for begin so dumb and losing my potential business by delaying the Bold month-after-month.  Third, Palm for not innovating….you know what Palm, my employer used to supply Palm’s and Treo’s to employees, but gave up when they just couldn’t complete with the Blackberry capabilities.  Now, my employer restricts Palm’s on the corporate network.  Fourth, Verizon.  If the rumor is really true, Verizon is stepping up for the first time in history (as far as I know) and being innovative with their devices.  It is a first time that I’m truly excited to be on Verizon.

    So, what say you users of Palm, Windows Mobile, iPhone, and BlackBerry?  Any excitement over this, or is it just me?  Are you looking forward to me and our Associate Writer, Pabel, to go head-to-head with the iPhone vs. Storm battles?

  • Kinoma Play for Windows Mobile

    Posted on August 25th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    So, some of you may have heard the name Kinoma before….but I suspect only Palm OS folks.  Well, Kinoma Play is a new mobile app for Windows Mobile, which looks to be a solid iPod Touch/iPhone media player competitor.  Kinoma Play is for use with music, video, photos, online services, RSS feeds, internet radio, podcats, Flickr, and on and on.

    I am a Kinoma user on Palm OS, and it’s a decent app for video.  I use it for online video, YouTube, Google Video on my Treo 700p all the time.  Though, this time around, it looks like the guys at Kinoma have really made a solid complete media player for Windows Mobile.  With really nice animation, background playing, this looks to be quite nice for $30.

    Deiter Bohn of WMExperts does a good review.

    I think it will easily replace the default Windows Media Player and going to make Pocket Tunes shake in it’s shoes.

    Check it out for yourself at

  • ROM Updates Released for Verizon and Alltel Treo 700p/wx

    Posted on August 12th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Just when I thought my days as a Treo user/reporter were dead and gone, I get smacked upside the head with some relevant and shocking news. The folks at TreoCenral have got the scoop on an update to the 700 series, both Palm Garnet OS and Windows Mobile.

    I’m truly in shock. Since the BlackBerry Bold hasn’t yet been released on AT&T, I’m still rocking the 700p on Verizon. Read the deets below, and check back later this week for my review, as I will be bricking updating my 700p later this week with the new ROM.

    From TreoCentral:

    Palm Infocenter is reporting that Palm has released ROM updates for the Verizon version of the 700p and the Alltel 700wx. Most of the folks reported in our forums of success with the last ROM update, 1.10, which was a Re-Release. Remember how the ROM update had been removed because of “Error 3000” (Data network is not available)?

    Unfortunately, many Sprint 700p owners bricked their Treos when they updated their devices last year. And whew, that was one heck of a saga. The Sprint ROM update only came about in the first place after TreoCentral forum member Bob-C organized a campaign and wrote an open letter to Palm asking for answers about the crap load of bugs on the 700p.

    Palm’s latest ROM update for the Verizon 700p is ROM version 1.11. This is a Radio Patch “for a phone reset issue that occurs under certain specific and rare conditions.” LOL, I’d like to know what those “certain specific and rare conditions” are.

    Do you need this update?

    To see if you need the update, on your Treo, press Phone and then press Menu. From the Options menu, select Phone Info. Look for the Software Version. If you see:

    • Treo700p-1.06-VZW: Before performing this update, you must update your device to version 1.10. This required device update is available here.
    • Treo700p-1.10-VZW: An update is necessary and will take approximately 30-45 minutes.
    • Treo700p_-1.10-VZW: An update is necessary and will take approximately 30-45 minutes.
    • Treo700p-1.11-VZW: No update is necessary.

    For more about the update, and for the download, go to Palm’s support site.

    Palm also released a Radio Patch for the Alltel Treo 700wx, version 1.12. This upate is also for a phone reset issue that occurs under “certain specific and rare conditions.”

    To see if you need this update, tap the Start tab, tap Settings, tap System tab, and then tap the Phone tab. Look for the Software Version. If you see:

    • Treo700wx-1.11-ROWEN An update is necessary and will take approximately 15-25 minutes.
    • Treo700wx-1.12-ROWEN No update is necessary.

    You install the 1.12 ROM update with an expansion card and reader. You can download the update at Palm’s support site.

  • The Greatest Smartphone that Got Hit with the Ugly Stick

    Posted on July 30th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Treo 800wOk, harsh title, I know…. Also, very harsh since I want to get this phone. I’m talking the NEW Palm Treo 800w…that’s right, Palm has something new. It’s been out a couple weeks, so it’s a bit of old news, but the folks are Palm Marketing as not the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree. They decided to release this INCREDIBLE smartphone (albeit not the coolest looking gadget) the same weekend that the iPhone dropped. I digress.

    Ok, why is this the “greatest smartphone”, and why do I call it “ugly”? Let’s get into it.

    Here are the specs and my opinions:

    Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
    Personal preference. I’m not currently a WinMo user, so can’t tell you if this is the best mobile OS or not, but as everyone will tell you, OS is a personal preference.

    EV-DO Rev. A CDMA network support
    Hands down, fastest “out-of-the-box” internet speeds of any phone on any carrier. Period.

    128MB RAM and 256MB flash ROM (about 170MB available to the user)
    Pretty common, no complaints.

    TI OMAP 2430 333 MHz processor
    Small processor, but what’s not advertised is the Palm “special sauce” that was put in to tweak the OS. EVERY review is saying that this phone is smoking fast, faster than iPhone 2, Tilt, etc etc….everything.

    110MB internal dynamic memory

    1.74 inch square 320×320 high resolution display
    Wonderful. I love high resolution. That’s a big reason why I’ve stuck with Palm OS. Now WinMo has caught up.

    Integrated 802.11 b/g WiFi radio
    In a word, SWEET!!

    Integrated Bluetooth 2.0 radio with A2DP
    In a word, SWEET!! Wired stereo headsets, buh-bye.

    Infrared port (Hmm, another device like the Nokia E71 with IR)
    Does nothing for me anymore, not gonna use it.

    Integrated A-GPS receiver
    In a word, SWEET!!

    1150 mAh Lithium ion battery with reported 4 hours of talk time
    I’ll be buying an extended battery that’s fo’ darn sure. BTW, try buying an extended battery for the iPhone.

    microSD card slot with microSDHC support
    Great, now I can get 8GB or 16GB of storage.

    2 megapixel camera
    No complaints.

    micro USB port for syncing/charging/wired headset
    Nice and simple, and standardized.

    Weight of 5 ounces

    Size of 4.41 x 2.28 x 0.73 inches

    Ok, WiFi, Bluetooh 2.0 with A2DP, and aGPS all on a device thinner than the Centro…..DUDE, Awesome. Plain and simple, the specs are freakin’ excellent. Yes, it’s touchscreen too….forgot to post that up top.

    Now, the “ugly” part. Not sure why, but Palm didn’t put in much of the pretty on this one. It looks like an updated Treo, as a Treo user would expect. What it doesn’t have is the “cool” look of the BB Bold, the iPhone, or the HTC Diamond series. The screen isn’t flush, it’s recessed, the color is blah-blue, the casing is typical Treo. Honestly, no complaints… just doesn’t say, “hey, I’m hot, check out my backside to see if the word JUICY is printed there.”

    I have been carrying around a Treo 700p brick with extended gigantic battery for over a year. So, I’m not so worried about the cool looking exterior. I need specs, and this baby has it. I really want it, and it’s super cheap (relatively) at $250 for new Sprint customers….which I would be a new Sprint customer (leaving Verizon). The only reason I don’t yet have it is work wants me to be a BlackBerry user, and I’m trying to convince them otherwise. Stay tuned for that saga…

    So, what about you? Are you down with the Treo 800w in all it’s spec’d out red-headed step-child glory, or are you moving on?

  • Back from Vacation

    Posted on July 23rd, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Back from VacationHello fellow readers. Sorry, for the 7 day hiatus. I was fortunate to have a short family vacation in the hills of New Hampshire (U.S.A. for my friends across the pond). I’m now rested, retired the family truckster, back online, and ready to catch up.

    Oh man, lot’s has happened in our world over the past week. Quick thoughts:

      Rock Band 2 announcements galore
      Guitar Hero World Tour announcements galore
      E3 and a crazy amount of Xbox, PS3, and Wii announcements
      More DLC for Rock Band released
      Treo 800w (hey, I know I’m currently obsessed with Rock Band, but can’t forget about my old school readers.)
      iPhone 3G….I heard a rumor that it was released. 🙂

    Ok, although I only have enough time for this blog to be a part-time obsession, I have so much to write about. So, keep close by or make sure to add this blog to your RSS reader. I’m fully caffeinated and ready to write.

    See you after the break.

  • Part 2: Not many reasons left to stay with Palm Garnet OS

    Posted on December 16th, 2007 Shawn No comments

    I’ve been slow to posting my Palm editorials and handheld news lately, but here’s something to talk about for a bit. Remember my original posting on this topic ( from April 2007? Well, I have to say that the Treo 700p will be the last Palm Garnet OS product that I ever buy. I’ve put a stake in the ground and can say that it is just too outdated for the stuff I want to do.

    Now, there aren’t many better OS options for what I want to do, but as of right now Windows Mobile 6 is going to take my money the next time around. Let’s see, what do I need on my next device: Bluetooth stereo (A2DP), 3G, WiFi, 320×320 resolution (or better), expandable memory, qwerty keyboard.

    That said, the iPhone is out (no keyboard, no 3G, no A2Dp). Nearly every other device is out because lack of WiFi support. To my knowledge, the only OS’s that support A2DP (with or without 3rd party support) is Palm Garnet and Windows Mobile.

    I still love the Treo form factor, and even like the Centro. But, I won’t spend another dime on a device that doesn’t have WiFi and that needs tons of 3rd party apps to make it look like it’s a product from the 21st century.

    So, as of now there is only one device that meets my criteria (HTC Kaiser [aka AT&T Tilt]) and one rumored (Treo 800w) to meet it.

    So, I’m now out of contract and not in a rush to get back into a contract. But, as is looks, the 755p and the Centro are really just a waste of my money at this point, and it’s time to join the masses of Palm OS exodus’.

    I’ll miss you Palm OS…you are going to lose. Palm OS II is now rumored to be available in 2009. I won’t be waiting that long, and will likely have jumped ship way before you ever arrive. Palm, who are you going to sell this new OS too?

  • What’s next for me?

    Posted on June 28th, 2007 Shawn No comments

    Well, I am rounding the final turn for my 2-year contract with Verizon…well, actually it’s only the “new every two” part of the contract. Of course, good ol’ Verizon hooked me into a contract till late 2008 because I made a change to my phone plan a while back.

    Anyway, with that said…I am spending my free time (~7 minutes per week), looking for my next device. I know your shocked, since it is so unlike me to waste my free time cell phone shopping.

    If I were to buy anything right now…..I would get nothing and stick with my Treo 650. Yup, you heard it right. Here’s why.
    1) I like the Treo 700p, because it uses all the same accessories as the 650. I wouldn’t have to buy new memory cards, batteries, cases, etc. It has Bluetooth 1.2 and EVDO. The two things the 650 are lacking. BUT, the Verizon version of the 700p is a dog and a year after it’s release, Palm STILL hasn’t release a ROM update for it. Leaving this device useless for us A2DP and multi-application users. They have released the ROM update for the Sprint version of the 700p, but then I’d have to pay a contract break fee to switch carriers.
    2) The Treo 755p…well, there is nothing exciting about this phone. It has the ever-aging Palm Garnet OS, which I still like. It has the newer cooler antenna-less form factor, which is nice…but no big deal to me. The bummer is that it takes miniSD (or microSD with a converter) and has a new battery. So, immediately I’d have to drop about $150 to get the 755p comparable to my 650 in battery life and data storage. PLUS, it’s currently only on Sprint…so, I have to wait until July for this on Verizon.
    3) iPhone or HTC Touch….sorry, I need a keyboard. Nuff said.
    4) Treo 750 (and 700wx) with Windows Mobile 5….240 x 240 screen resolution. No thanks.

    So, that leaves me forward looking at the Summer and Fall months….hoping something will be worthy of replacing the classic Treo 650.

    If Verizon and Palm release the ROM update for the 700p, I will buy one on eBay in minutes! But I’m not budging until they “fix the glitch”.
    I could always pay the fee and switch to Sprint…that might be a good idea since Sprint’s data plans are WAY cheaper and less restrictive…..hmmm, I sorta like that idea.
    Now, let’s talk about the rumor mill. The new Palm Gandolf. Supposedly there’s a Garnet OS and Windows Mobile version of this new smartphone. But, I will keep this short… touch screen. No way! Moving on.

    Here’s where I get a boner (did I say that out loud). The rumor of a Windows Mobile 6 Treo 800w on Verizon. 320 x 320 resolution. Native A2DP. Native WiFi. Native GPS. All in the great form factor of the newer Treo’s. To me, this is the ultimate device. Now, if it does come out in September (doubt it), I will jump all over this.

    If I can stay patient and wait until Labor Day, I think the 800w will be my next device…yup, I will leave the beloved Garnet OS but only because Palm has proven that they are no longer innovating this OS, and really haven’t shown us what’s the deal on the future Palm OS. So, Windows Mobile may be where I head too….if I can wait.

  • Not many reasons left to stay with Palm Garnet OS

    Posted on April 27th, 2007 Shawn 5 comments

    Why do I want to stick with Garnet (aka Palm OS)? Why do YOU want to stick with it?

    Do you just love the Treo form factor? If so, doesn’t Windows Mobile 6 BLOW Garnet OS out of the water?

    Let’s compare the upcoming Treo 755 series.
    Garnet OS755p – Garnet OS 5.x.

  • 320 x 320
  • HUGE 8GB SDHC card support
  • No WiFi, not an option
  • Gotta spend $ to get a nice UI
  • Gotta spend $ to get a nice media player
  • Gotta spend $ to get A2DP (stereo Bluetooth)
  • Default browser is blah
  • Windows Mobile 6755w – Windows Mobile 6

  • 320 x 320
  • SD or mini SD support, what size?
  • WiFi with added card
  • Decent UI, nice phone app
  • Decent media player included
  • A2DP included
  • Deepfish browser…looks real nice
  • I only see two reasons to stick with Garnet OS:

    1. expansion card capabilities on Garnet is WAY bigger, I think.
    2. lot’s of time, money, and love spent on Garnet/Palm OS over the years.

    Let’s rule out #2 right away. Palm is definitely not dedicated to staying on top with it’s OS, as proven by the 3 year old dull Garnet OS. Once Windows Mobile can support big expansion cards, then there will be no more reasons to stick with Garnet models.

    So, the 755p comes out for Sprint on May 14, and Verizon soon after. There is no rumored date for the 755w yet, but we know that we are just waiting for Palm and the mobile carriers to finish testing. Give it a month or two.

    Time is really running out for the good ol’ Garnet OS and Palm isn’t moving fast enough on it’s new Linux based OS to keep us all around. To be honest, I think the only dedicated Garnet OS users that will still be around when the new Palm OS comes out, will be the people still stuck in a two year contract with their mobile carrier. Everyone else….will have moved on to Windows Mobile or iPhone. iPhone

  • Treo 650 is da bomb. ‘F’ WinMo and iPhone

    Posted on February 24th, 2007 Shawn No comments

    Very quick update on the go. I now can state that in 2007, the Treo 650 is as good as new technology…of course, it’s all due too a retarded amount of OS hacks, 3rd party software, and accessories.

    I’ve successfully updated my ROM to allow SDHC cards. Today I am running with an 8GB SDHC card. You can’t get that on any WinMo device, yet. Oh, and it’s actually more usable memory than the upcoming $600 iPhone. So sweet! Thanks EasyE, Shadowmite, and the Grack guys for schooling me on custom ROMs.

    Thanks to the big ass 3200mah battery from Seidio, I can go all day streaming Internet radio without running out of juice.

    By now, you already know about my use of Pocket Tunes, Softick Audio Gateway, and ChatterEmail (R.I.P. – Marc best of luck at Palm.)

    I’ll update this post later on with some links.

  • MyTreo.Net talks about the Treo 750 with Windows Mobile

    Posted on January 11th, 2007 Shawn No comments

    Treo 750Palm, Inc. and Cingular Wireless today announced the first Palm Treo smart device running on Cingular’s 3G/UMTS network, providing mobile professionals with an exceptional phone experience and blazing-fast download speeds in U.S. markets and in dozens of countries around the world. The highly anticipated Treo 750 five-band world phone running Windows Mobile 5.0 with Direct Push Technology offers Palm’s exclusive usability improvements with powerful business features, including email, security, and web access on the go.Full Story

Get Adobe Flash player