Dave’s iPAQ community grows to 20,000 members

Back in 1991 I purchased my first PDA in which was the Apple Newton Messagepad. Quite the device in its time and personally I thought it still has the best handwriting recognition around! Apple just didn’t really understand the real consumer price tag and unfortunately was the downfall of the device. As many did back in 1995 I jumped the 3COM bandwagon and had to have the Palm Pilot Professional. Some of my first impressions were that the handwriting recognition really was terrible (who wanted to re-write the alphabet a certain way) also the battery life was considerably poor. I have to say that this could’ve been the reason why I might have dropped using PDA’s in general, thank god I continued my search.

During 1998 I noticed that the direction of Palm was becoming repetitive, come out with the same device but give the end user 4 models to select from but really get the same thing. Until I started searching the web and noticed Philips who released a Nino 300 Windows CE device. I ran to my local electronics store and grabbed the first Nino I saw and told the salesrep, “I’ll take it!” I drove home and ran inside my house and ripped apart the box and took the Nino out of the plastic rap. All I could say is that I was amazed by the OS (eventhough if you look at it now you’ll chuckle) it came with the following installed applications T-9 keyboard as well as Calligrapher for input in rom, bFax exress, btasks, bview, Audible, AvantGo, CoolCalc, Nino Image and Nino Voice as well as Expense Manager. Wow thats all I needed to become a Microsoft FAN! I woud become a HUGE fan of Blakespot! Blake Patterson become one of the early evangelists in the WindowsCE environment. I remember going to his page to read all about the newest programs and gadgets for the Nino. It was by far the best Nino page on the NET. (Thanks Blake Patterson). Heck, I even ran out the next year and purchased the Nino COLOR 500!

November of 1999 was a monumental day for me, it was the day I purchased the Compaq Aero 1520. The Aero 1520 is the thinnest and lightest of the P/PCs available in its time. It used a 70 MHz MIPS CPU with 16 MB of ram making it one of the slowest of the latest generation of P/PCs. On the left side you would find the voice recorder button, up/down and action lever, and the exit button. Along the top you the Aero had a 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, type I CF+ CompactFlash slot, alarm led, infrared (IrDA) port and stylus. WOW what else could I ask for. When I first saw the Aero I was first taken by the thinness of the device. Yes, I was prior using a color dispay but really didn’t mind going back to a greenish/brownish screen. It was worth the sacrafice! I remember walking around work and showing the Aero off and everyone saying wow that looks pretty easy to use. Most of my co-workers were using the Palm and never saw WindowsCE. Over time I progressed and purchased the color Aero 1550 and made every Palm user complain why they cant get color on their PALM.