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Thinking about getting into HPC...

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abyssknight
abyssknight Page Icon Posted 2005-07-25 11:07 PM
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I've been reading up on HPC's and have been considering taking the plunge on an older model just to get a feel for them. I've had my fair share of devices, ranging from my old iPaq 3135 to my current Axim X3i, but never an HPC. I've tried getting a lightweight notebook (my iBook 12" but even that isn't satisfying my need to get connected whenever I feel like it.

Basically, I guess I'm asking you all what might be the best, and cheapest HPC for me to consider buying. I'm a web-developer and student who has this insatiable need to get gadgets, regardless of the need. Honestly, the biggest reason I almost never use my Axim is due to the lack of a keyboard, and that the browser is only in portrait mode (PPC2003, not SE). It's really difficult to use a PPC to browse when you can only see 1/6 of the page at once.

Also, I currently own a CF wifi adapter, a 128mb CF card, and a spare pcmcia wifi adapter. Could I use these with an HPC? As far as software goes, I really only need a decent browser, and maybe some multimedia apps. Currently, on my PPC, I really only use Netfront, and the notes tool. An IM client would be great, but not really all in all required.

Anyways, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind, I'm in college, so I'm relatively broke, but hey, I could spare a few hundred for a sweet device.



Just as an aside, how is the development for these devices? I'm guessing .Net compact framework is the main tool, I may be wrong. I've heard of Linux running on the Jornada series, but not much else.
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Yoldering Page Icon Posted 2005-07-25 11:47 PM
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Welcome to the forums! I think it is great for you to go for a HPC. I would recommend you go to tigerdirect.com or usedhandhelds.com for a good deal. Tiger direct has the Jornada 680 for $99.00 now, and the MP 780 for I think $130, if you are worried about size I would say the J680 is the way to go. Although if you are wanting to do more with it you would want to go with at least a strongarm processor. If you search around this site a while I am very confident you will make a good choice.
The 680 is great and for $99 you can’t go wrong.
Edit: Here is the link http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Category/category_tlc.asp?C...


Edited by Yoldering 2005-07-25 11:52 PM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 12:49 AM
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abyssknight:
yay! an HPC will suit you really well! you'll see....
why do i think so? well, if you're not satisfied with your laptop for the reasons you mentioned (just like me), and want a keyboard and can't stand browsing on a wm2003 ppc.. then you don't have any other choice other than an HPC!

things you'll need to decide about:
- OS: nothing under hpc pro, please. i don't recommend hpc pro either... i'll tell more about it soon
- size of the hpc: do you badly need portability or don't mind a larger one? screen resolution is relevant too. (hvga, vga, wvga, svga...)
- all the other stuff...

you should get at least a hpc2000 device (i recommend ARM but MIPS isn't too bad either) as you'd like to have a more or less decent browser. you can use even netfront 3.0 on it! (no go for hpc pro, only hpc2000.) just get it (trial version) from my site when you receive your new hpc! in my opinion IE4 on its own isn't too bad but an alternative browser which is as good as netfront (especially in java and js), can help a lot. it can't be easily used as the only one browser though (again, imo)..
hmm, about the browser question again. i don't know what your exact needs are. it might be that IE4 (maybe with Netfront3) will fit them, if not then you'll need to spend a little more on a ce.net device. you can't complain with a ce.net IE5.5/6.0 then!!
IM clients exist aswell. not only one! as for multimedia.. you mean audio? just get an hpc with stereo capabilities video.. most of the hpc's have a dstn screen but apart from that they're OK for video too
you have a fair chance that the CF wifi will work. if you give us your wifi card's exact model we can confirm it (you can try confirming it in the HCL but that isn't a complete list especially in the case of wlan adapters)... the pcmcia wifi could work too, provided it isn't a cardbus!
development.. well you can install .net CF, and other stuff too, i can't give you more info on this, others will help
linux still needs improvement in some areas but jlime is being *actively* developed!

Edited by cmonex 2005-07-26 12:52 AM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 1:00 AM
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Yoldering, you're right, 99$ is a great price but i suspect IE3 in hpc pro wouldn't be perfect for him (just a guess though). worth a try maybe but i'd rather try a hpc2000 or ce.net HPC
abyssknight: oh and yes, it's strongly recommended you (and everyone else interested in HPC's) go through these forums here. maybe ppcmag forums too.

ok, i'll try to mention the best HPC's (my humble opinion only!!)..
hpc2000: jornada 728 (720 isn't worse of course!), intermec 6651/sharp telios hc-7000 (the same), NEC MP 900 (can be upgraded to ce.net easily).
ce.net: all of them (you just have to decide which one you'd like the best... isn't too easy! i know from experience...) there's not many ce.net HPC's unfortunately.. i don't count the webpads now as you need a keyboard.
but maybe i'm wrong and price is more important than i thought.. (i'm a student too, but i can always spare a little money for hpc's )

Edited by cmonex 2005-07-26 1:09 AM
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wallythacker Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 1:31 AM
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Welcome!

You will find this the best site with truly the best people and information. (shucks...)

Everyone has something valuable to add, I have learned much here and hope I've given some back. Once in a while we needle each other about our platforms but it's all in a good spirit.

I'm the avid Intermec 6651 (mips hpc2000) devotee here. I preach from my soapbox about how well it suits me, and the marvellous things it does for me.

IMO, a nice Jornada 72x or Mobilepro 790 might be the place to start. Why do I recommend other platforms? The 72x series nearly fits a pocket, is powerful and there are plenty of programs for it. It will run NF3 as mentioned, and you may be able to run many of your other ppc programs as well. The MP790 is cheaper, still runs NF3, less software choices, but loved by owners for the keyboard. Most of your accessories you listed should work with either device.

If, after owning it a bit, you find it too small to view or type on, then consider something like a 6651, which is 2x the size and weight of a 72x.

I think you'll never go back once you get in
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 7:35 AM
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Based on what you have said so far, I think that I would lean towards advising you go for a CE4.2 device, something like the Smartbook. It'll handle multimedia (specifically video) fairly comfortably.
Stepping down to HPC2000, something like the Intermec - but I would suggest you stick to StrongArm / XScale processors in all honesty.

As you've only mentioned needing the Notes part of the PIM, you're put in the unusual situation where it doesn't matter whether you go for Pro, 2000 or 4.2, none of them have native notes support.
This can be augmented through HPC Notes Standard (or Pro if you don't need MS Outlook sync) http://www.hpcfactor.com/qlink/?linkID=81 or through Pocket ON Schedule, which covers the works - tasks, calendar, contacts, notes and so on.

The two key questions are
Does size matter - are you after a pocketable substitute for the PPC?
How much does video feature in your multimedia aspirations?
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abyssknight
abyssknight Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 11:45 AM
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Wow, quite an active community. That's always a good sign...

Well, price is in fact the biggest issue, and I would like the larger keyboard. Being able to pocket the device isn't that much of a concern as I usually have pretty big pockets, or a backpack. Really the thing that I love about CE is the instant on. Being able to just open it up and use it without the wait is great.

I am wondering though, how much would the J728 or the MP790 run me? I've really only looked at Tiger Direct (MP780/J680E). It would be nice not to spend over $200, and preferably less as this is really going to be a toy for me, but of course I will probably want a warranty etc, etc, etc. I'm guessing HPC2000 is what everyone is agreeing on as the 'standard' for app compatability and the like.

Oh, and the CF adapter is a Dlink 802.11b adapter... can't quite remember the model number. As far as the PCMCIA card is concerned, I have one Dlink 802.11b+ and a Linksys 802.11g, but I'm sure I could pick up an Orinoco gold card for an alright price if I needed to.

Multimedia really isn't that much of an issue. MP3's are really all I'd need. Video has always been a fun 'check this out' feature, but never really a practical one for me.

Anyways, thanks for all the input, and I hope to hear more from you all!
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 1:55 PM
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hum, there's a rather non commital answer.
In that case by heading for a HPC2000 device you'll save yourself some money over a newer 4.x device (a statement that is not exclusivly true).
A 728 is basically the most saught after device - and I just looked on eBay America and there aren't any.

There are a few resources posted on this forum for where to get good deals on 790's.
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Hurricane John Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 2:15 PM
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Well the 720's are going for about $245 USD on eBay, so I'm going to guess that the 728 will probably cost you about $350 plus!!

Sounds like both are selling for more than you are willing to pay...... you probably should be looking at a HP 680/690 or the NEC 790 in your price range.
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 4:22 PM
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C:Amie - 2005-07-26 7:55 PM

In that case by heading for a HPC2000 device you'll save yourself some money over a newer 4.x device (a statement that is not exclusivly true).
A 728 is basically the most saught after device


hehehe, yes, 728 is cool but i think MP900 is becoming more and more sought after too

why isn't it exclusively true?

so if money really matters (and size doesn't).. maybe the MP790 is the cheapest hpc2000 hpc (but it's MIPS..), i think it can be had for less than 200$
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abyssknight
abyssknight Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 5:25 PM
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I've been eyeing the MP780 over at Tiger Direct mainly because of the price and the warranty options. The only things I've noticed about it that I'm not too keen on are the OS (HPC Pro), and the screen. Apparently the screen looks grainy or something, but I could live with that.

Sorry if I sounded rather non-committal earlier, but I am very open to suggestions regarding gadget purchases. This is how I shop for new gadget: Do the research, talk to the owners, and make an informed decision. I haven't been led astray yet.

From what it sounds this community is very active, which is really amazing and reassuring. I was actually referred here by someone over at Brighthand. It's great to get so many responses so very quickly. It makes me a lot more confident in the devices as well as the support for them.

I will have to look around and see if any MP790's are out there for sale online. If all else fails, the MP780 is still looking tasty.
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corporate
corporate Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 7:26 PM
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abyssknight - 2005-07-26 3:25 PM

I've been eyeing the MP780 over at Tiger Direct mainly because of the price and the warranty options. The only things I've noticed about it that I'm not too keen on are the OS (HPC Pro), and the screen. Apparently the screen looks grainy or something, but I could live with that.

Sorry if I sounded rather non-committal earlier, but I am very open to suggestions regarding gadget purchases. This is how I shop for new gadget: Do the research, talk to the owners, and make an informed decision. I haven't been led astray yet.

From what it sounds this community is very active, which is really amazing and reassuring. I was actually referred here by someone over at Brighthand. It's great to get so many responses so very quickly. It makes me a lot more confident in the devices as well as the support for them.

I will have to look around and see if any MP790's are out there for sale online. If all else fails, the MP780 is still looking tasty.


Speaking from a 790 perspective (close enough hardware wise to the 780) the screen is somewhat grainy - you will notice the step down from your x3i's very beautiful screen (let me tell you, I sure did). However, the extra real estate more than makes up for it.

As for the OS, do as numerous others and I will very strongly urge you to and get an HPC2000 device. The 790 will run you more money, but HPC2000 will be more than worth it.

Edit: Yay, happy 100 posts to me!

Edited by corporate 2005-07-26 7:28 PM
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Yoldering Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 8:28 PM
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The reason I only suggested was the price. I understand price. Also if you buy a 680, you could help develop a new Web browser. That would be cool. I love my J680 it is a great tool. Sometimes I wish I had a bigger keyboard like the MP, but overall the 680 is great for school work. I would also recommend the HCL to see if your WIFI card is compatible with what you buy. All of the other suggestions are great, but when you factor in the price, you come up with my first post. In the “for sale, trade” section there is a MP 780 for $120 free shipping in USA. Well the last time I checked anyway. Good luck!!!
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abyssknight
abyssknight Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 8:43 PM
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I just placed an email to the guys over at usedhandhelds.com asking about any MP790's that they might get in stock soon... (They have them priced at $149!).

I'll keep looking around I guess. It's mostly about price point with me, but HPC2000 is seeming more and more like a must have. All of my apps were built for CE 3.0 or higher as even my first device was PPC2000.

Also, as an aside, I have noticed that NetBSD has been confirmed to run on quite a few H/PC's which is quite impressive. I wonder if you could get a few security tools loaded on to one of these to do pen-tests...

Anyways, if anyone spots any sweet deals, shoot them my way. Until then, sweet dreams of NetBSD and ultra-mobile computing.

Of course, more advice is always welcome.
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Yoldering Page Icon Posted 2005-07-26 8:54 PM
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Hey abyssknight check your PM inbox!
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