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On The Net - Issue 01

On The Net is a regular Internet column for handheld computing magazine Palmtop User. The column is put together by the FileSaveAs team, and we'd like to thank Palmtop User for allowing us to include back issues on our site.

Focus on ...

In each issue's On The Net, we'll be taking a look at one of the top-name PDA sites, and delving around to see what the site has to offer. In this issue, PDAGeek comes under the spotlight.

Parent site caters for a vast area of geekiness, with sections called ChipGeek (riveting discussion of chipsets and computer processors), GameGeek (the latest for gamers, including news of an MP3 player for the Gameboy), and Geek Support. We're obviously interested in the rather large section aimed at the PDA-aware geek subculture.

Probably the biggest pull that the site has, comes in the form of its news section. Most PDA sites offer news, but one is better than most - bang up-to-date, and very comprehensive, it's well laid-out, and an enjoyable read. Today's headlines included details of an amazing new energy-saving lightbulb that's powered by radio frequency (RF). Radio signals plucked out of the ether make the bulb's gas glow brightly. The only problem is that they play havoc with wireless 802.11 networks. What sets this site's news apart from others, is that readers can post their comments in response to a story. One bright spark (no pun intended) suggested a solution to the problem of radio-sucking lightbulbs - encasing them in lead.

The site also excels with its review section, covering user impressions of the mainstream PDA products on the market (complete with marks out of six propeller-heads to indicate a product's  quality and geekness)

Another section worth a look is the PDA features area, with pages of informed articles from the site's users. As an example, the article entitled "Chic Geek" provides vital advice for the geek-about-town. My personal favourite, however, has to be "PDAHorror", where worldwide users explain the daft things they've done with a PDA, and the subsequent mortality rate. Topics in this section include: ‘Palm Scooter Safety', ‘PDA plop', ‘Home trampoline tragedy' and ‘why man only has two legs'. Well worth a read when you're in the mood for a chuckle.


Newsgroups and websites have been humming over the last few days, following the announcement of some big changes at popular handheld site, PDABuzz. Wes Salmon, PDABuzz's Founder and Senior Editor, has been "let go" by the owners Handheld Media Group, who acquired PDABuzz this March. The new owners claim that the site vows to continue with a new editorial team, although without the founder, and following the resignation of all of the forum moderators, only time will tell...

O2's XDA exposed

Yes, the Pocket PC powered phone has been on a market for a matter of weeks, and it's already been dissected. This time, not by an owner looking to see what makes the device tick, but by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in the US. The story of the innards, complete with the a rather large ‘Sony' moniker, can be found in the news section of the popular Pocket PC Thoughts site, together with a link to the FCC's site which contains much more on the internal workings, giving some clues on the amount of effort it makes to get a product through the rather rigorous approvals process.




Article from Palmtop User Issue 01. Click here for Issue 3's article


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