I refuse to let go of my palm pilot

The technology of my Tungsten E2 is so…. 2005! Having a seven year-old PDA perhaps makes me a dinosaur in this age of Galaxy IIIs, but I have compelling reasons for sticking with it, and the one at the top of the list is:

It does what I want, and I’m happy with it.

The E2 has a great scheduler, organizer, and address book. I have something against attempts to replace products with new ones when the old ones worked just fine. And I think it’s sad that the tech industry has such a nasty habit of getting rid of decent technologies just because it’s a few years old. The tech industry will continue to play on your fears of “falling behind” or “getting out of date” for as long as they feel they can get away with it, and for as long as you continue to be seduced by their latest gizmo that does the same thing as your last gizmo, except that it has more memory, or a bigger screen, or more eye candy, or something.

One of these days you will slowly realise that the 8 year-old Blackberry still keeps schedules, or that LifeDrive still plays MP3s with the same sound quality, and that to “upload” new music, just replace the SD card. Really, does every freaking device you use actually need an Internet connection? And you realise that when you re-use your old non-Internet enabled devices, you notice that it isn’t killing you. Ain’t life full of surprises?

But another compelling reason for not letting go of my E2 is that it has a stainless steel case at a time when just about all cellphones and PDAs these days are made of plastic and couldn’t survive a 3-foot drop. There was also an aluminum case to house the E2, making everything sturdier, and making idle accidents with the glass screen reduce to near zero. Since I use a backpack, my devices regularly take a lot of punishment, and I really need sturdy cases on everything, and feel paranoid about things like my laptop which has a plastic case and a spandex-like cloth cover.

The cloth cover trivializes the fact that I spent over $2000 on the laptop, and deserve a more protective cover. But the same can be said of all new devices, when what passes for “protection” for a $400 handheld device becomes a soft leather case or rubberized plastic case, with little to no protection for the most vulnerable part, which is the screen.

They say that old devices are often subject to having support removed for them. Well the fate of the E2 is worse: the Palm corportation no longer even exists! I never had time for tech support anyway. Tech support is reportedly often insulting to the user’s intelligence, and staffed by script monkeys who become flummoxed once your problem deviates a centimetre from their prepared resposes. User-driven discussion forums are still the best, and there is a really good one for Palm devices which still exists, which is run by Hewlett-Packard. I consider that a kind gesture for a large corporation such as them, even though all they are really doing is offering a web portal for users like myself to discuss their issues, and letting the site essentially maintain itself. But even then, they didn’t have to do that, so kudos to them.