Playing with New Old Gadgets

  • Wherein we have a lot of fun playing with gadgets, without spending any money, unless you count the £1.49 for a tube of Super Glue.

Our PDA and phone expenditure has been pretty much zero for quite a while now. I bought an iPaq hx4700 when they first came out, and used it for quite a while. When I was at home and Sam was out at work, though, I gave it to her – her need was greater than mine, and I had a tablet PC to use around the house. For quite a while now, she’s been using that in conjunction with a Nokia 6111 phone, and I’ve been using my Orange SPV M1500.

The iPaq is getting a bit worn out, now, with chipped paintwork, a badly damaged charger, and a peeling corner to its touchpad. My phone/PDA still works, but the digitiser (the touchscreen) has stopped working a couple of times, and Windows Mobile 2003 doesn’t cut it for a few programs I’d like to be able to run.

A friend kindly donated an O2 XDA Executive to us – it’s not a current generation, but it’s Windows Mobile 5, and has a fairly decent keyboard. Sam took it, so I grabbed my old iPaq back, along with her little Nokia.

Although the old iPaq ran Windows Mobile 2003, it could be upgraded to Windows Mobile 5. There are some big performance problems in doing so, but some workarounds sounded like they might make it bearable, so I decided to go for it. Unfortunately, HP seem to have stopped selling the upgrade, so I couldn’t buy it. Fortunately, that doesn’t stop it existing, so I just, er, acquired it by other methods. It took a long time, but left the machine running Windows Mobile 5 perfectly well. It is quite a bit slower than before, but quite usable, and worth the trade-off to me.

I’ve set Sam’s old Nokia 6111 up to act as a bluetooth modem, just as she had it, but it now has a Hello Kitty theme 😉

Sam found the XDA to be a great PDA, especially with the keyboard, but didn’t like it as a phone. After a couple of experiments, she’s now using an old Orange SPV C500 as a phone, with the XDA connecting to it over bluetooth when it’s out of WiFi range.

We both have new toys, and have had a couple of fun days playing, without having to spend anything – great value!

Well, ok, I bought a tube of Super Glue – I’ve got the iPaq’s touchpad surround held down with sticky tape at the moment, but glue should be neater.

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