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      08.07.2000 03:57

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      During the first wave of handheld PC's, Philips introduced their stylish grey, sleek, compact and somewhat practical Velo 1, with it's economic green screen; as opposed to the power hungry colour models. Needless to say though, like all first wave palm PC's, they were all pretty pointless pieces of show-off machinery, which even still in their current carnation need to bettered. The Velo 1 however was one of the best of it's time. The machine ran on a cutdown version of Windows, called 'Windows CE' and came with a number of useful cutdown Office programs, all proceeded with the 'Pocket' title. 'Pocket Word', 'Pocket Excel', and the games are the best programs installed, as is the Inbox and 'Pocket Explorer'...But apart from that there isn't much software available for Windows CE, just novelty ones, particularly for Windows CE 1 which this machine had, making it date quickly (although it's pointlessly upgradable, as it doesn't meet the upgrade specification requirements). And the keyboard was small and terrible, you have to press really hard on each key to register a stroke, so speed typing is impossible, and unlike 3Com's PalmPilot there's no feature for writing on the screen with the stylus for handwriting recognition. Stylus recognition itself though is top notch after you train it for less than a minute. The unit comes with a docking bay for your PC and software which allows you to install software to the unit from it, as well as back up and synchronise documents, contacts and appointments between your PC and Velo 1, which is just a common sense inclusion than some other palm PC's which charge extra for this! Also if you have a mobile phone you can access the net. on the move, but now that WAP phones are making an impact, it makes the software on here seem dated and redundant. And you have to buy a seperate phone kit to use this feature anyway (*sigh*); you could use y
      our own phone line too. The screen itself is also rather unreadable unless you turn the power-consuming backlight on, even in good lighting conditions due to the display being faded in reflections or angle, and it's not justifiably big enough to be easy on the eyes. All in all, even though some of the software is good. There isn't much incentive to use this without cramping your health and losing productivity, so if you are going to get a PalmPC, make sure it's current wave, as old wave, particularly first wave was just a guinea pig phase. This is best left a souveneir of that, and with poor battery life, it's advisable you make regular backups if you have one of these. Luckily I don't own one of these, but got to tinker with one in college until the novelty wore off. I don't think the PalmPilot has to worry about losing in the mobile computing department just yet then.

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