PalmPilot

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The PalmPilot Personal and PalmPilot Professional are the second generation of Palm PDA devices produced by Palm Inc (then a subsidiary of U.S. Robotics). These devices were launched on March 10, 1997.

Contents

Specifications

This generation of devices uses the Motorola 68328 processor at 16 MHz, and has 512 KB (Personal) or 1024 KB (Professional) built in memory.

This PDA has a plastic casing which is 4.7 x 3.1 x .7 inches and weighs 5.6 ounces. On the front of the device there is a 160x160 pixel monochrome touchscreen LCD, with a Graffiti input zone below it. Under this there is a green button for power and backlight control, four application buttons (Date Book, Address Book, To Do List, and Memo Pad) and two scroll buttons. On the left side of the device there is a contrast control, and on the top right side of the device, there is a stylus slot. On the back, there is a memory slot door, reset button, battery door (two Alkaline AAA batteries needed) and serial port (for use with the PalmPilot Cradle).

The memory is located in a memory slot under a plastic cover on the back of the PDA near the top. A 512 KB ROM chip contains the Palm OS 2.0 operating system and resident applications. The RAM is available in 512 KB, 1 MB or 2 MB sizes. The hardware limit is 12 MB of RAM and 4 MB of ROM.

Usage

For PC connectivity, two versions of Palm Desktop were available, one in 3.5-inch disk format (for Windows 3.1) and another in CD-ROM format (for Windows 95). Palm Desktop is also available for Mac computers. Linux has various open source software packages that support the Pailot (Linux is one of preferred development platforms for Palm OS).

The hardware is similar to the first generation of devices (the Pilot 1000/5000), but added a Backlit Screen, more RAM, an updated version of Palm OS (2.0), enhanced PIM applications, expense management software and, for the PalmPilot Professional, the new TCP/IP-based network synchronization capability. This feature allows access to computer networks and, for users of Microsoft Mail, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Outlook, or Lotus cc:mail, allows them to create new messages, reply to or forward messages, and manage the contents of their desktop mailbox remotely.

Accessories and pricing

Palm also sold the 10201U modem at 14.4 Kbit/s, introduced at a price of $129 (this modem is also compatible with the Palm III and Palm IIIx devices). An upgrade kit was also available, which allowed users of the earlier Pilot 1000/5000 devices to upgrade the OS, ROM, and RAM to match the PalmPilot Professional. Initially suggested retail prices upon launch were $399 for the PalmPilot Professional, $299 for the PalmPilot Personal, and $199 for the Upgrade Kit. Upgrade kits were also available to existing registered Pilot users for $99 for a limited time after the launch. These kits included IR capability, a new plastic memory door to accommodate the IR diodes, a memory card with 1 MB, the new ROM for Palm OS 2.0, and a CD ROM with updated desktop software.

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