LifeDrive Notes: It’s Not All That. Yet(?).

All three of you (OK, I exaggerate, all none of you!) who have been following my LifeDrive adventures will have noticed that I haven’t written about the bugger for some time.

That’s because I haven’t been actually using it much. Yet.

Primarily I have been watching videos. I also use the Calendar and Memos.

The only apps I’ve put on it are SmartDOC (no longer available; an Palm OS 3 program!), MiniWrite (which I bought when I had the TE), Filez, TCPMP, and tejpwriter. I haven’t investigated the other software I’ve noted in this blog. I think I’ll leave the DIA alone. I don’t want to invite crashes.

I’ve used Filez and shockingly, Palm’s own built-in Files application is better! I’ve Moved massive video files from the SD to the LifeDrive partition using Palm’s Files and it’s taken a fraction of the time that Filez required! So well done there, Palm.

I haven’t used tejpwriter yet.

Video has gone mostly well. Even AVIs that are 720HD have played, using TCPMP. Not without some frame drops, but I’ve been able to put up with that. The alternative is converting the damned things. I’d rather just plop them on the SD or into the LifeDrive partition and watch them right now. The choppiness is minimal, though noticeable.

I’m going to give WiFi another go soon. I’ve downloaded a beta version of the Universe browser. Maybe I’ll be able to see some of the web without crashing like Blazer likes to do! But WiFi is not a priority for me on the LifeDrive. (Although if I do indeed boycott the iPhone, it could be!)

Even with the CompactFlash replacing the MicroDrive there are lags. One second after closing a SmartDOC file. One second after closing a Memo. One second to call up the on-screen keyboard, etc, etc. And, sometimes, up to fifteen seconds when I’ve done a lot of things and then switch between apps or try to get back to the Launcher. The one-second delays are annoying, even though I keep telling myself that my information is being made nice and safe in persistent memory that won’t send everything to Electron Hell should the battery zero-out.

Speaking of the battery, I think I could get at least four hours of video watching done. I’ve done over two hours at times and still had about 60% of power left (and it doesn’t seem to matter if the video is on the SD or the LifeDrive partition). And, yes, I’m still using the battery it came with. I don’t see myself getting a fatter one. Nor do I see myself getting the battery extender that uses 4-AA batteries, available on ebay. I don’t feel either one is necessary right now. (I did have the extender for the Toshiba GENIO PPC — and it needed it!)

The two things I don’t like about it are its thickness and weight. I notice it more in my shirt pocket than I noticed the CLIE. And it’s really close to being a brick in my hand. I think Palm could have made it slimmer.

I keep wondering if I should get a Tungsten T3 instead. That machine is wicked fast. But I’m lazy and haven’t done the necessary research to see if I could use it. I’d have to find out about the fatter battery for one thing. And then there’s the whole issue of digitizer drift. Plus, there are the two damned files for the DIA that always have to be put into RAM after every hard reset. And I’m not sure how large an SD it can use. Still, I like the idea of having something in my pocket that is less tall — plus that breathtaking speed! We’ll see.

The weather has been lousy lately. I’m not out as I would usually be. It’s when I’m out that I have the most need for a PDA. I need the weather to get better.

I don’t regret having the LifeDrive. I had to turn on the CLIE S320 briefly to beam over some Memos and was shocked at how slow it was by comparison. I don’t ever want to go back to the CLIE!

More updates when I get to really using it…

Comment in the LifeDrive thread (yes, it’s still open!)

Previously in this blog:
LifeDrive category

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