Some of the gadget websites I read have been noting the 10th Anniversary of the introduction of the first Palm Pilot.
I was not that early an adopter-- when I first heard about the original Pilot, I thought it was one of those dumb things that get advertised in the SkyMall catalog, the kind of thing you buy and use once and then it sits there gathering dust.
But it wasn't long before a friend of mine said "I bet you can't wait to get one of those." I initially scoffed, saying that it really was not of interest to me-- at the time, a mini Filofax was my obsessive organizational tool of choice. But my friend's remark piqued my interest, and it wasn't long before I was researching the possibilities, and I bought my first PDA in 1998. It was actually a Casio E-11, but a few months later, my friend bought a Palm IIIx and I realized how much better it was, so I bought one of those. I used it, adored it, and then one day, watched in horror as it fell to the kitchen floor and the screen cracked. I sent it off for repair, but realized that I had to have a spare! And so it began... over the next 6 years, I bought a total of 15 Palm devices! I've given 2 away, had one stolen, and sold 7 of them on EBay. When you factor in the price I paid, less the money I made on the ones I sold, plus what I spent on accessories and software, I estimate I've spent about $4-5,000 on Palms. Yes, it is scary when you actually add it up. Most of this was before I started using Quicken, so this is the first time I've really totalled it!
I've pretty much gotten over that craziness. I've been using the same Clie now for about 3 years. I have an extra one as a spare. If a really cool new one came out, I would probably upgrade again-- that's the scary thing, I didn't really stop buying new ones because I was being financially responsible, it was just because I didn't find any of the new models particularly sexy after Sony stopped making the Clie.
I can't say all $5,000 was money well-spent, but some of it was. I do find a PDA to be incredibly useful. I track my daily spending on it with Pocket Quicken (which syncs with the desktop version), and I use Documents to Go to run my real estate spreadsheets on the go. I also have a currency converter, which comes in handy, and I use the To-Do list to track my grocery list and what I have coupons for. I also have all my bank account and credit card details in a password-protected, encrypted database. Other than the money-related stuff, it's also a great way to streamline your life-- instead of carrying a Filofax, MP3 player, French and Spanish dictionaries, novels, gameboy, photo album, alarm clock, calculator and digital camera, I can just carry one device that does all these things. (And if I had a Treo, it could replace my cell phone too.) When I plug my Clie into its folding keyboard, I can do a lot of writing on it-- I do some of my blogging that way by synching the documents back to my computer and then uploading the posts. I'm sure it's made me better organized and more productive-- it may have even helped me save some money (though probably not enough to make up for the $5000). So happy birthday Palm Pilot.
Friday, March 31, 2006
Posted at 2:11 PM