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  • What's new in my pocket computers pages?

    Friday, October 15th : Ricoh RDC i-700 received
    Device securised this morning! No page for it yet; will be one some day.

    Wednesday, September 15th : Sharp MI-10 added
    Created a page for the Sharp MI-10 i've received.

    Friday, July 23rd : new homepage, new machines listed
    My collection reached 49 units yesterday as i've received 2 new watches. Added them to the list (no pages yet) and changed the homepage to a weblog format.

    This feature will soon be available

    Pocket computers museum
      Welcome to this small and virtual Pocket Museum!

      When i first created this page, it was more of a hall of fame for weird machines i thought i'd never have a chance to add to my collection.
      As time passed, i was surprised to see that i have finally been able to collect most of them!
      As a matter of fact, this page is not really a PDA history; but i'm planning on building a real one some day. This historical part would include history for both pocket computers and PDAs, how they finally merged into modern devices...
      In the meantime, here's a selection of devices that have a special place in the PDA history.

      I'm also always looking for new machines to expand my collection! If you own a pocket machine that you think could interested me, please do not hesitate to !

      The CASIO IF-8000 is the world'w first sensitive screen databank/organiser! Released in France in 1987 (not sure about the release date in other countries), at a time when graphical user interfaces were not common at all and required powerful computers to be run; it's "sensitive screen" feature was seen as a gadget.
      The main use of the sensitive screen was the possibility of entering hand-drawn data with the help of the stylus. It was also *slightly* used in the user interface as a way to select an entry in a list.
      The IF-8000 offered a 16KB memory and a 96x64 pixels graphic screen.
      This machine is very rare, and i'm proud i own one of these in my Pocket computers collection!

      Click here for details about the Casio IF-8000

      Released in 1991 in Japan, the KYOCERA REFALO (below) is an interesting idea. Within a filofax design, it is a MS-DOS compatible computer (NEC V30 CPU) with a 240x320 dots screen. Using a filofax metaphor, extensions are added as pages and dialog via magnetic induction with the computer. One can also add real paper pages.
      The memory is 4 MB ROM and 256KB (up to 512KB) RAM, and the machine has two cards slots for memory or applications, and a RS-232 interface.
      It is also a very rare machine, especially outside Japan (i don't think it was ever released outside Japan, although it was planned for a while)... I've had the chance of adding one to my collection, so if you want to know more about this machine, click here for details about the Kyocera Refalo.
      I don't know the release date of this product. The SONY MAGIC LINK is a machines that runs MAGIC-CAP, a GENERAL MAGIC OS dedicated to pocket computers. The OS uses an office metaphor through a grey-levels graphic user interface, and was able to handle faxes when connected to a telephone. Several machines were created using this OS, they were quite all the same. At that time, MAGIC CAP was an attempt to create a standard for pocket computers. It brought up plenty of good ideas that still live in todays machines.
      Interesting to remember what Sony was into before the entered the Palm-OS market. For instance, despite Sony power on the personal electronics market, they've chosen to use a third-party OS both time when entering the PDA business.
      Added value was also a keyword for both of their PDA lineup.

      I own a Sony Magic Link in my Pocket computers collection!

      Click here for details about the Sony Magic Link

      The EO Personal communicator appeared in 1994. The EO company was created for this product and died with this product. As the name suggests, the EO communicator was designed as a mobile communication device. You can see two machines here, one of which is equipped with a cellular phone. They run the Penpoint OS from Go Corp with handwritting recognition. They run as a fax, a telephone, a text processor, scheduler.... and they can be connected to a PC. Features : 640x480 dot sensitive screen; 4 MB RAM, 8 MB ROM.

      Interesting dinosaur, dating back from the time when Industry was feeling that mobile communication would be a rush, but when technology had yet to evolve into low-cost, small-sized communication offers.

      The EO personal communicator may still be found on the second hand market in the USA. I'd be very happy to find one, so if you ave any idea where i could get my hand on this, please !
      The SIMON concept, from IBM, developped for the Bell South telecom company, also appeared in 1994. As well as the EO, The idea is to mix a portable computer and a cellular phone into a portable communication device.
      For this machine IBM prefered including the computer in the phone rather than adding a phone to a computer (the EO concept). I think the concept appeared just too early, maybe at a too expensive cost, and most certainly in the shape of a too large device.
      Less than 10 years later, in the early 21st century, the "smartphone" concept is the emerging buzz in the mobile phone business. And it's just the same idea; only with internet communication replacing faxing.

      The SIMON uses a backlit B&W screen, 1 MB RAM and 1 MB ROM.

      I now own an IBM SIMON in my collection! click here to get to the Simon detailled page

      I consider the SHARP POWER ZAURUS (right) is an enhanced version of the first PDA of the modern era!
      The Color Zaurus was actually the first Color Screen PDA, and the Power Zaurus offered enhanced capabilities. The Color Zaurus, released in 1996 in Japan (and maybe also in the USA?), also sported multimedia ability, internet connectivity when connected to a phone, and a digital camera optionnal extension, years before Palms and Pocket PCs introduced similar features. Just think the first Palm Pilots were presented the same year, and it took years before a color version appeared, yet without internet connection...
      At that time, the Sharp Zaurus line was famous in Japan an in the USA for it's solid state, well-designed PDAs.
      Later, Sharp decided to abandon it's development on it's specific Zaurus-OS system; and announced a Linux-Based family of products. Manufactured under the Zaurus name-tag, those products did not stand the competition against Palms and Pocket-PCs offering more standard platforms, and Sharp eventually decided to stop distributing the Zaurus outside Japan, and continued the development of newer Linux/Java based Zauruses for the Japanese market.

      I now own a Sharp MI-10 Color Zaurus in my collection! click here to get to my MI-10 detailled page

      Inserting a computer into a cellphone is an idea Nokia exploited in an interesting way with the NOKIA 9000 communicator, released in Europe in 1996 or 1997.
      The result is a weird and attractive device! A regular (although quite huge!) cellphone at first glance; it will open to reveal a complete pocket computer with a very high quality grey-levels screen.
      Apart from the regular phone function, the communications features include : web and e-mail ability, faxing (send, receive), optionnal telnet and other additional software...

      The Nokia 9110 also offers complete PDA functions; and also offers the possibility of installing additionnal software (the machine runs the GEOS OS).
      One very good machine, and one of the most complete communication device of it's time!
      I do not have a Nokia 9000 in my collection, so if you think you can help me find one, i'd be glad to know more! Please !

      Although i do not own the 9000 model, i own two of it's children, in my Pocket computers collection : the Nokia 9110 and the Nokia 9210. The 9110 runs the same GEOS OS and offers very similar specs; where the 9210 introduces a color scren (computer part), a different application set, and a Symbian OS.

      Click here for details about the Nokia 9110 Communicator

      More oldies, vintage PDAs and pocket computers in my collection here