Archive for the ‘LIL’ PIM (E740)’ Category


The technology historians are about to notch the gadget timeline with a closing notch for the PDA. It’s hard to say when the opening notch was placed, depends on your perspective – for me it was back in 92 when Palm Computing was formed by Jeff Hawkins. A USRobotics Pilot was the first PDA I owned and if I remember correctly it cost more than $300 and it had a fairly limited feature set. The last PDA I owned was a Toshiba E740 PocketPC – it had a fairly sophisticated feature set including WiFi capabilities and Bluetooth support.
Toshiba, and more recently Sony, have already exited the PDA business and I think it’s only a matter of time before DELL and HP/Compaq exit. PDA sales declined for the third straight year in 2004 according to IDC and the recent exit of Sony from the business isn’t going to help – marketing dollars from Sony and Toshiba (now gone) helped support the market. What’s replacing the PDA?
A more full-featured cell phone (complete with a camera) replaced my PDA and I haven’t looked back. I think consumers are overwhelmed with technology and declining PDA sales represent the backlash and an effort to simplify lifestyles. I wasn’t really using my PDA for anything other than managing my contacts – everything else could wait until I had the time to jump on a desktop or a laptop. Browsing the web via the PDA or word-processing via the PDA never panned out and smaller more powerful laptops didn’t help either.
So farewell PDA – your closing notch is coming, it was fun while it lasted.
PDA timeline

Verdict – E740 Hard Case

E740 Hard Case?

I’ve been using the Innopocket Toshiba E740 Hard Case for more than a month now and the verdict is in. If you’re looking for a hard case for your Toshiba E740 this is the one for you.

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Toshiba E740 Hard Case

E740 Hard Case?

I finally found a hard case for my Toshiba E740. I don’t actually have it yet so I can’t comment on functionality or quality but I’m happy to report its availability.

I think it’s manufactured by a company called Innopocket but I’m not sure about that factoid. You can read a review of the product on the Gadgeteer website. I found mine on Ebay for about $20.

Belkin Charger for LIL’ PIM

My Toshiba e740 a.k.a. LIL’ PIM is a power hog in comparison to my old Palm V. I’ve been out of the office for a few weeks enjoying the holidays and the other day my LIL’ PIM started displaying a nasty message about the status of his power supply. I think he even told me that he’d trash my data if I didn’t feed him soon. This surprised me because I had only used him a few times here and there to get a phone number or build a list for the grocery store. How could his battery be dead?

I can think of a number of reasons why the battery may have died unexpectedly. Excuses LIL’ PIM might use if asked.

  • LIL’ PIM was “on” more often than I thought because he tends to activate himself while in my pocket. Why? I don’t know.
  • I didn’t actually charge him fully before leaving for the holiday.
  • LIL’ PIM is the PDA equivalent of a Suburban.

I’ll probably never know why the battery seemed to last all of about fifteen minutes over the holiday break. Time will tell. Perhaps LIL’ PIM stayed out late at a party or two. Or, perhaps he was using his IR port to talk to a sexy little Tungsten T without my knowledge. One way or the other, he needed juice and quick.

The cradle where LIL’ PIM usually gets his action was at the office and out of reach. A quick trip to the local Office Depot had me a little concerned about what it was going to take budget wise to solve the problem. Office Depot wanted $49.99 for the Toshiba brand e740 charger. Another $29.99 for a Toshiba brand USB sync cable. No way.

A trip to Circuit City accidentally resulted in one of those rare miracle solutions. I was browsing around, looking for some after-market duds for LIL’ PIM, and I browsed past the Belkin accessories section. Something called a USB Sync Charger caught my attention. Basically, a USB sync cable that would allow me to sync my PDA with any USB equiped computer, and a charger that hooks up to a 12v car adapter. Not bad for $19.99 but I hadn’t planned on charging my PDA in the car while out of the office. I don’t think LIL’ PIM would appreciate the winder conditions. Then the miracle happened. Circuit City also carries a Belkin USB Travel Charger that converts the sync charger into a full-blown AC powered charger for $9.99. So for a total of $30 I got a car charger, an ac charger, and a sync cable for my e740. Beats $80 worth of Toshiba brand accessories to do less.

Announcing – LIL PIM

It came to me last night; I guess I should say early this morning because it was about 2am. I’ve been looking for a name for my shiny and new (as yet un-named) Pocket PC. You see, I always name my computers, sounds nuts but I feel like it gives the usually impersonal things a chance at having a personality. It isn’t much but it’s a bit (no pun intended) of hope for the poor things. Here’s an example, my workstations are all named after the dwarfs from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. My home PC is Sleepy and my work PC is Happy. I had a laptop named Dopey but that’s another story.

Until early this morning, I was having a hard time finding a name that fit my Pocket PC; maybe because I just don’t feel connected to it yet. Or, maybe because he doesn’t have a wardrobe yet, don’t know at this point. So I was laying in my bed, staring at the white ceiling, wishing I had passed on the late night espresso and SHAZAM! it came to me. LIL PIM. My new Toshiba e740 Pocket PC had a name. The name fit my new toy perfectly. I almost shot out of bed to write the thought down but the plan faded quickly along with the espresso buzz.

Where did the name come from you ask? Or maybe (most likely) you really don’t care but you’re bored so you’ll keep reading this. I was cleaning up my favorites page and I came across and oldie but goody, I decided to give the link a click for old times sake and the 1st thing I saw was a web comic called LIL’ PIMP. I let the comic run its course and I even sent a link to my LIL brother but I left it at that with no further thought until last night; SHAZAM! A little espresso, a pinch of creative thought and LIL PIM was born.

Why LIL PIM? What’s the connection? Not sure yet, it’s a vibe. Maybe LIL PIM used his 802.11b wi-fi abilities to vibe the thought to me. I’ll never know for sure. He is LIL, although he could lose a few ounces, he knows a lot of phone numbers, he makes lots of calls and need be, he can handle cash transactions.

I’m not sure what my Pocket PC thinks of his new name but it fits his personality. LIL PIM

My Pocket PC Has a Partner

I thought only the politically correct could have partners? But it isn’t so, I established a partner for my (as yet un-named) Pocket PC today with my office computer Happy. Happy was a little hesitant at 1st but he eventually ended up shaking hands with the (as yet un-named) Pocket PC.

No, seriously, I’m talking about my 1st experience with Microsoft’s ActiveSync technology. The software that allows my computer and my new Toshiba e740 Pocket PC to talk to one another. The installation experience was pleasant although I’d have to say there are plenty of ways a novice could screw themselves up but compared with my previous Palm Synchronization experiences it was cake. I live in Microsoft Outlook and the ActiveSync feature was the only thing standing between me and a new Palm TungstenT and I stand by my decision. ActiveSync made the “switch” worth it.

My Pocket PC and I are getting to know one another. I’m looking at it and it’s looking at me and we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to work with one another. I can’t figure out which form of input to use; the Pocket PC platform supports four! The Block Recognizer is Palm like, the Keyboard is easy-to-use but it feels like I’m pecking at my poor Pocket PC, the Letter Recognizer is probably my preferred input method at this point, and the Transcriber is interesting but it’s going to take some getting use to. But I do like having the options!

Now I

Pocket PC Travels

My Toshiba E740 Pocket PC arrived at my home in Eugene Oregon this afteroon. It traveled all the way from New Jersey to it’s home in the Pacific Northwest.

I made the mistake of taking up on their “Super Saver” shipping option when I ordered the Toshiba on November 26th. It arrived today, Monday the 9th of December via UPS aka Brown. What’s up with that marketing campaign?

If you’d like to know more about my Toshiba’s trip across our great country, see the extended entry. It even spent some time on a train!

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palmIT is authored by Cale Bruckner [LinkedIn], President at Concentric Sky, and former SVP Product Development at Palo Alto Software.

Cale Bruckner

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