Handspring Treo 180

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Handspring Treo 180

Friday 23 May 2003

Handspring Treo Handspring Treo I lost my Motorola v60 cell phone, the last of the dedicated hardware style of cell phones.

I feel so foolish that I didn't have our home number engraved on it.

Handspring Treo We were faux cross-country skiing through the Powell and Montgomery MUNI stations a few days ago and I guess it popped out of my pocket. How annoying. The lost-and-found department doesn't return phone calls. Great service.

What to do? Buy a really cheap phone, like I did before we switched to this carrier? Or get something more my style?

I jumped over to eBay and picked up a Handspring Treo 180 for a tiny fraction of the retail price. It'll be here in a few days. In the meantime I've read a dozen reviews, gotten the software updaters from the company, found pointers to places which have free (and for-cost) ringtones, etc. I didn't want to pay full price for it when Devin and I spoke about it ages ago; I'm doubly thrilled to have one coming now. Yeah! And it's a world phone, so it'll work overseas on our impending trip to Scotland & Germany.

Handspring Treo (Six weeks later) Having taken the Treo on our trip, and relying on it for my connection with the outside world I have some opinions.

Let me start out with a positive note: it was able to keep me connected (most of the time). I was using it for personal email to family and friends, hobby email keeping track of plans and preparations for Burning Man 2003, and the occasional web access for news, eBay, and to visit the some of the online communities I value.

Now for the slightly less positive: the hardware is slow, Palm OS today (in 2003) is still terribly inferior to Newton OS I used overseas in 1995, the software seems half-baked at best, and there seemed to be some major disconnect somewhere in the chain between the handheld and my cellular carrSatier (also my Internet service provider), T-Moblie (Deutsche Telecom).

My voice service during our 2003 Scotland & Germany trip never faltered, but for the last few days at least (since 9 August 2003) the data portion of my service has been plagued with intermittent refusals to connect or spurious reports of my account not being enabled for GPRS (general packet radio service) (how TCP/IP is done on the Treo). What's truly infuriating about this is that I'm unable to change nothing with the [locked] network configuration on this end, and the problems come and go.

I'll obviously have to arrange for a modem-based local ISP in each contry the next time I'm travelling. This setup is clearly not ready for prime time.

Even stranger, even though I've told the Treo to re-connect with the T-Moblie network, sometimes I wind up using the Vodaphone D2 PRIVAT network, through which I don't seem authorized to pass packets. Bothersome.

If I had to depend upon this setup for my professional life, I'd be forced to dump it by now. If these problems persist after we return to San Francisco I'll have some new item of hardware about which to report :-/

Wednesday 3 September 2003

I finally figure out what's causing all the connection drops, service interruptions, and other flakey behavior on the Treo 180: it's the tiny plastic door which holds the SIM card! I replaced it with one from another unit and all of a sudden my phone is much, much more reliable. It's pathetically sad what poor execution on engineering can do.

Thursday 24 October 2003

My Treo 180 has been struck by the dreaded Dead Speaker Syndrome! Suddenly I hear nothing from the speaker, making the phone somewhat less useful ;-) Sadly, the problem is yet another poor execution on engineering: the wires which connect the speaker to the logic board, wires which go through the hinge, aren't designed to withstand the stress of the phone opening and closing. Detailed repair instructions document the steps to replacing the wires.

Saturday 1 November 2003

It's that damned door again! It's been acting loose and causing the SIM card error warnings once more. I'm so incredibly underwhelmed by the incredibly poor engineering and execution. Sigh.

Friday 20 February 2004

On one otherwise fine day during our "2004 Gran Canaria" trip I lean on my new fanny pack and immediately get a bad feeling. I've broken the hinge on my Treo, which fools the unit into thinking that I've opened the door and entered some numbers, when I've done neither.

Let's see what'll happen between now and the time I return home, and what I'll find to repair or replace this Treo 180.

Friday 16 September 2005

After spending the intervening months with an ancient Nokia 3395 cell phone I acquire a Palm Treo 600.

Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me email. Thanks!

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