I got my first PDA over 10 years ago, a PalmPilot 5000. I spent the better part of a weekend mastering Graffiti. I took it everywhere and kept track of my contacts, tasks and appointments. I even took notes on it. I sync’d it at least twice a day and charged overnight.
A couple years after that, I got a Handspring Visor Deluxe with the clear case. I put so many applications onto the 8MB of memory it was downright silly. One can only use so many tip calculators. I bought the springboard module for backup. Enough other people had Palm PDAs that I could actually use the infrared port to beam contacts to each other.
A little while later, I upgraded to the Visor Prism with full color support. Now I had games with me and they were actually good enough to kill time.
Then I got stylish with a Sony Clie which had the thumb wheel that powers Blackberry users everywhere. The Clie died quickly because it was horrible.
Back to Palm with the Tungsten C and I was all about WiFi, in the few places I could find it. Wireless sync never worked but Bejeweled and Ms. Pac Man rocked. I tried to get some music on there, but thankfully I had an early iPod. When the Tungsten died after less than two years, CompUSA tried to give me a refurb one, three times. They were all DOA.
So they gave me store credit for the original retail price, and I got myself a Treo 650. Now we were talking mobile email and browser and camera phone and a lot of mysterious device resets. I edited Word docs, viewed PDFs, created spreadsheets, and played more Bejeweled. I used that thing to death. And I sold it on Ebay after almost three years in action for close to $200. (The buyer must have been crazy.)
All of these previous PDAs were all part of an evolutionary process. Each one got slightly better than the previous.
So when the first generation iPhone came out, all of my friends said that they were going to wait until version 2 of the iPhone was released, when the kinks were out. I told them that I was going to wait until the third generation of the iPhone was available, but I be happy with the first generation while I waited.
Perhaps the PDA is dead now, replaced by Blackberries, Treos, iPhones and soon the Android phones. I’m looking forward to the next 10 years. Something tells me that it won’t be a Zune in my pocket.