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Yawn! Time to get up and get a new phone?

August 11, 2014

My alarm goes off at 3:20 a.m. just to tell me I can sleep for three more hours!

Being without either a home or a drug habit there’s no one I need to phone who I can’t just email. So I see no need to put phone minutes on my old unlocked Palm Treo 680. Yet I still find reasons to use the Treo every day.

Mostly I use it as an alarm clock to wake me up every morning. But because I have it and because of the legendary long  battery life of Palm devices — and because it really is just a computer with a phone — I sometimes still use is as an alternate “device”.

The tired old phone I insist on still trying to use

Sometimes I use it as a music player — Pocket Tunes is still one of the best music management program I’ve seen. And the HanDBase relational  database manager is still useful. And sometimes I read books and text files on it. And of course I make notes on it.

Unfortunately I can’t sync it via the Palm Desktop in Windows 8 so I don’t bother using it’s relational contact management software, which is still awesome and I miss it.

I was able to find the necessary 64-bit USB Windows drivers for Palm Garnet OS (thanks Aceeca!) so Windows 8 recognizes the six year old smartphone and charges it but the Palm Desktop software doesn’t connect to it.

I can easily get files on and off the Treo without syncing if I need to, via the SD card but I hardly need to do that anymore.

In fact, if I want real Palm functionality I prefer to dig out my ten year old Palm TX handheld which is still about the finest bit of hardware Palm ever made and my TX is somewhat tricked-out beyond the original specs.

At one point in 2007 I even gave it a microphone so I could toy with using it with VoIP and mating it with a dumb phone in my pocket to give myself a Palm iPhone.

Palm’s management were morons swine short-sighted and had a way of leaving out necessary bits so as to hamper the functionality of otherwise great devices. So the TX didn’t have a built-in microphone but — it was discovered — Palm’s engineers had included microphone functionality and one of the pins in the data/charging connector was for that microphone.

Several hobbyist operations came out with microphone mods and I bought one — which I’ve since lost.

A world with unicorns and passenger pigeons

I like to imagine an alternate universe where Palm wasn’t run by useless former HP executives — where Palm wasn’t stingy with features and where they trusted their hardware enough to come out with the evolutionary phone they had it in them to make.


Between 2007 and 2009 many expected Palm to release a Treo like this. They didn’t.

Back in 2007 every diehard Palm user instantly recognized the first generation iPhone as the Treo that Palm never had the balls to release.

Apparently (sniff) I’m not quite over all that.

Get at least one new phone every century?

I really have to save up for a new phone. Right now the Motorola Moto G impresses me so far as price and hardware goes but I find the Android OS to be annoying and restrictive — admittedly less annoying and restrictive than the iOS — but still.

Hopefully the Firefox phone OS will impress me because as much as I still prefer the look, feel and functionality of the the Palm Garmet OS, I’m getting tired of carrying around the tiny shovel and little bag of coal I need to power the Treo. Click the image to enlarge it.

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