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Re: [Czechlist] COMPuters: Czech alphabet on iPAQ H38xx

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  • Jirka Bolech
    Dear Jamie, thanks for your response to my iPAQ query. I obviously want to buy an iPAQ for my work of a translator while on the go. Two top reasons for my
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 25, 2002
      Dear Jamie,

      thanks for your response to my iPAQ query.

      I obviously want to buy an iPAQ for my work of a translator
      while on the go. Two top reasons for my choosing just an
      iPAQ are:

      1. display with superior brightness that allows working
      outside even if it's sunny (allegedly, anyway);
      2. large choice of accessories and add-ons, such as a
      foldaway full-size keyboard, which I am planning to buy too.

      You may find the other features that I need in other pocket
      Personal Computers as well: Microsoft Pocket Word and Excel
      for compatibility with formats used by my clients, and other
      software, such as a web browser and mailer; in iPAQs H38xx
      all in Read Only Memory. I'd also rather have a large enough
      Random Access Memory capacity -- there's never enough of
      that. There's one feature I'm considering but am not sure
      about: Bluetooth (iPAQ H3870). I just feel it may be useful
      in some situations I sometimes get to as this interface is
      most likely to become very common soon.

      One factor may also be that iPAQ is probably being marketed
      in the Czech Republic most visibly of all handhelds,
      Personal Digital Assistants or whatever you cell them. It
      occured to me I could buy one in the United States since I'm
      going there soon and they appear to be about 25 % cheaper
      there. On the other hand I should pay a customs duty so I
      may finally decide to make my purchase in the Czech
      Republic.

      One way or another, it might be useful for others too to
      exchange some information on these devices, especially if
      somone has had some hands-on experience.

      Jirka Bolech
    • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
      ... They definitely do have very bright screens, but PDAs using the Palm OS have screen illumination you can turn on and off. In other words, you have a
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 25, 2002
        In a message dated 6/25/02 8:49:23 AM, jirka.bolech@... writes:

        >1. display with superior brightness that allows working
        >outside even if it's sunny (allegedly, anyway);

        They definitely do have very bright screens, but PDAs using the Palm OS have
        screen illumination you can turn on and off. In other words, you have a
        choice as to whether or not to drain your batteries on illumination.
        Frankly, I never had any problem reading a Palm display on a sunny day. I
        should take mine outside and see if I can stand some way that will make it
        illegible. My experience is that ambient light just makes the screen read
        clearer when the illumination is turned off.

        >2. large choice of accessories and add-ons, such as a
        >foldaway full-size keyboard, which I am planning to buy too.

        These are available for almost every type of PDA.

        One thing to keep in mind about the iPAQ (I think I mentioned it to you off
        list once) is that it only runs about 3 hours on a charge. So if I had one
        and was working on the train between Marianske Lazne and Prague, I could work
        most of the way there but not on the way back. (This short battery life was
        what finally made my student sell hers and go to the Palm OS.) The Palm PCs
        with Windows CE can do great things, but often not long enough to be that
        useful.

        When you get to the US, take a look at what can be done with the Palm OS
        models. There are word-processing and spreadsheet programs available for
        them whose files can be imported into Word and Excel, the newer ones have
        full-color browsers and wireless Internet access, and if you get the right
        type there is a whole array of accessories for them. Mine writes in Czech,
        and even has Czech handwriting recognition. You can build and customize your
        own system and applications rather easily.

        One thing I would check out on any PDA is whether or not the Czech text is
        Unicode or some proprietary thing that won't transfer to another system.

        >I just feel it may be useful
        >in some situations I sometimes get to as this interface is
        >most likely to become very common soon.

        It's still not the dominant OS in PDAs yet, at least in the US. Market share
        in the CR is a different story even with desktop computers, though.

        Probably the main thing keeping the Windows platform from reaching dominance
        in PDAs is that battery life problem. Palm-based PDAs can also interface
        with Windows, and they run weeks on a charge, instead of just a couple hours.

        Jamie
      • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
        Jirka, another thing you should not underestimate when thinking about buying a PDA (or anything!) for which you want foreign language support, here in the US,
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 25, 2002
          Jirka, another thing you should not underestimate when thinking about buying
          a PDA (or anything!) for which you want foreign language support, here in the
          US, is American's absolute stupidity here when it comes to dealing with
          languages other than Spanish. (They're even stupid about French nowadays!)
          My experience is that anytime you need non-Spanish foreign language support
          here, the sales and support personnel know nothing, you are sent down a lot
          of dead-end streets, and you get treated as a once-in-a-lifetime eccentric
          from Mars who is bothering people with surrealistic demands and requests.
          Why the hell would anyone want to write in a foreign language anyway? Can't
          their relatives in the Old Country speak English? What the hell is wrong
          with them? (Hispanics are usually excused for not speaking English, but not
          people of other nationalities.)

          This problem is compounded when you want Czech support, because people don't
          know what on earth Czech is. You may have to repeat it a couple times before
          the staff realizes it's the name of a language, unless you insert the word
          "Prague" into your explanation. Often people will think it's the language of
          Chechnya or the former Yugoslavia, or even that it's the same thing as
          Russian. Basically, no one will know how to help you, and most of them will
          not want to.

          Anyway, I think it may be worth paying the extra 12% or 25%, or whatever the
          difference will be in the end, just to get sales and support people who know
          what "Czech" means and will not give you the brushoff for bringing it up.

          Don't forget also that if you buy it here in the US the battery charger will
          be for 110 current and have a North American plug. That means you'll have to
          pay to replace it in the CR.

          Jamie
        • Jirka Bolech
          ... 25%, or whatever the ... support people who know ... bringing it up. It may really be better for me to get one here in the Czech Republic. ... battery
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 25, 2002
            > Anyway, I think it may be worth paying the extra 12% or
            25%, or whatever the
            > difference will be in the end, just to get sales and
            support people who know
            > what "Czech" means and will not give you the brushoff for
            bringing it up.

            It may really be better for me to get one here in the Czech
            Republic.

            > Don't forget also that if you buy it here in the US the
            battery charger will
            > be for 110 current and have a North American plug. That
            means you'll have to
            > pay to replace it in the CR.

            This should be no big deal since iPAQ should normally have a
            charger operating at either United States (110 V / 60 Hz) or
            European (220 V / 50 Hz) power. I even have a plug adaptor
            from US to Czech (unlike the other way round if I wanted to
            use it in North America).

            The battery capacity versus consumption is an issue though.
            A problem is that each manufacturer may give this
            information in a different way. Does someone know how large
            the battery in an iPAQ H38xx is in terms of typical
            operation time between charges.

            Jirka Bolech
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