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Casiopeia E-115 I have owned a PalmPilot Professional and then a Palm IIIx. A few weeks ago I decided to upgrade to a colour device. I knew that if I wanted a colour Palm device then I would have to go for a Palm IIIc, however I got the chance to try a Casiopeia E-115 for two weeks. The Casiopeia E-115 is a colour PocketPC running WindowsCE. When it arrived, I opened the box and the first thing that hit me was the size, the silver case looked OK but when I picked it up I discovered it was very thick, and quite heavy. I pulled out the light plastic stylus (Could have been a lot better) and pressed the small awkwardly positioned ON button. The screen flashed up the Windows logo on the VERY clear and bright colour screen, the screen was far better that the Palm IIIc's. The cradle was a bit light and it was sometimes a little tricky to locate the PocketPC in, but it looked OK. Two cables plug into the back, one to connect it to the computer and one to charge the built-in battery, which I found lasted quite well. On the Casio website it says it has a battery life of 8 hours, well I would say it was a couple of hours less, but still OK. The strongest point of the Casiopeia E-115 is it's screen....at least it is when your indoors. The E-115 is a lot like a vampire, as you step out of a building and sunshine hits the computer, it explodes, turns to dust and runs through your fingers. OK...so I'm exaggerating a little, but the screen becomes useless in light. Windows CE The WindowsCE OS looks great, but is nowhere near as simple as the PalmOS. The START menu in the top-left of the screen drops down so you can access programs and the control panel. A clock is always displayed in the top-right. I began by going to the Microsoft Media Player, it had the same skinable interface as on your desktop computer and the sound quality was very good, especially through earphones. The way files are organi
sed on Win CE devices is far to complicated for a PDA and memory has to be shared between storage space and operating memory. Although this PDA has 32Mb of RAM, about half of it has to be kept for operating memory and 3rd party programs are so big that only a few will fit in the remaining space. AS for 3rd party software, there is nowhere near as many applications for Win CE as for the Palm and most aren’t as good, games for Windows CE benefit from the excellent screen and good sound though. Windows CE exchanges documents with Pocket Word and Word very simply and makes word processing on the E-115 better than on a Palm. I found the E-115 very good for multimedia, but after the novelty wears off, when would you want the multimedia functions? Pocket Word and Excel are very useful. Apart from the screen, the hardware has too many faults and Windows CE is too cluttered and complicated to get anything done. One thing that the E-115 has taught me is that TFT colour screens are no good outside, so, I have decided to buy a black and white Palm Vx and some garlic to keep away Windows CE.
Dark Angel is James Cameron’s latest creation; it is now showing on Sky One on a Wednesdays at 9:00. Dark Angel is set in the year 2020, in a “Post apocalyptic” Seattle. A group of terrorists have set off an electromagnetic pulse in the atmosphere of the world that has disabled all the computers on the east coast of America. This is a very clever twist added by Cameron, because although the disruption of all the computers has caused the economy to fall and caused a huge depression in Seattle, the show is still very ‘hi-tech’ thanks to the very rich, journalist Logan Cale. ‘The pulse’ has caused chaos and the government has become extremely corrupt, Logan Cale has made it his mission to expose the corrupt members, due to his wealth, he has all the latest technology available to him as well as many ‘people on the inside’. 10 years ago, before the pulse, a government project created a group of ‘super children’. These children were forced through life or death military training, were only the strongest survived. The children staged an escape attempt in which 13 of the children escaped. Dark Angel follows one of the escapees, Max, as she tries to find her fellow genetically engineered ‘brothers and sisters’. Lydecker, the soldier in charge of the “Manticore super children” project, is trying all that he can to track down and recover his gifted children, that escaped from him 10 years earlier. Max is greatly cynical and has a bad attitude, it is great to see her character when combined with the idealistic character of Logan Cale. Max ends up in Seattle, working as a bike currier. In her spare time Max becomes a cat burglar, to help fund her search for the other escapees. It is during a robbery that Max meets Logan. Logan promises Max information on the location of the other children, if she helps him to expose the corrupt members of the government. <
br>Dark Angel quickly became my favourite TV programme thanks to the amazing “Post apocalyptic” backdrop of Seattle, the great story in which we follow and learn more about both the good and the bad characters, and well, …. perhaps Jessica Alba who plays Max had something to do with it. :-) A great series, and if you get the chance, I would recommend watching the 2 hour long, pilot episode (The best episode yet). Max Jessica Alba Logan Michael Weatherly Lydecker John Savage
Last year I signed up to OnDigital. It was a good deal, you received an OnDigital box that you installed yourself, and subscribed to a choice of about 15 channels. The picture was much better than on analogue channels and the info guide that tells you what’s on is good. However, channels often 'break up' and sometimes vanish all together. This can be very frustrating, and for this reason alone, I wouldn't recommend OnDigital. The on screen TV guide on OnDigital is so slow that I use teletext on the old analogue channels. When I first signed up, I received a free monthly paper TV guide(That was very good), now OnDigital are forcing their customers to pay for a weekly guide. I am, and I would recommend that other people look at the alternatives such as Sky and Cable.
I have had my Ericsson for a week now and I am very pleased with it. The 3 line, backlit display is clear and has a nice font, and the menu system is easy to get around. Although it doesn't have all the features of a Nokia (Games,logos,etc.) you can put in your own ring tones and it also includes a calculator and alarm. The phone is very small but is a little heavy for its size because of the vibrating battery. The battery charges very quick and holds its charge for around 4 days. I have yet to buy one but a keyboard is available for the Ericsson T10, so that you can type those SMS messages quicker. The volume on the T10 can be turned up extremely high and sound quality is excellent.
What drew my attention to the Soulmate was the price! There is no other MP3 player that comes close to the Soulmate's £50 price tag. Although 64Mb Mp3 players are being released, you would be lucky to get one for £150. Even other 32Mb players cost more than the Soulmate, and it has 48Mb of memory. The Soulmate comes packaged with MusicMatch Jukebox. This software is very easy to use and organises your MP3s very well. It also converts mp3s to lower bitrates allowing you to get more music on to the Soulmate. MusicMatch Jukebox is also used to transfer music to the Soulmate, the software does this very well. Battery life is lower than other players because the Soulmate has to be turned on all the time to keep the MP3s in its memory. Unfortunately, when you come to change the batteries, all the music on the player is lost, as you only get about 3 seconds to change them. The sound quality is VERY good, it sounds better than my personal CD player. If you want a player that gives excellent quality sound and is very cheep, and you don’t need all the features of the latest EXPENCIVE players, then the Soulmate is for you.
I upgraded from a PalmPilot Profesional last year, to the Palm IIIx. The advantages have been huge. The first thing you notice is that the screen is very sharp, much sharper than that of the old Pilot series and the old Palm III. The reason I chose a Palm over any other PDA was the enormous amount of software available for it. Websites such as www.palmgear.com offer software from simple text editors to multimedia applications. The Palm IIIx supports 16 shades of gray, so can display photos and movie clips sharp and clearly. A big advantage over many other Palm products is that the Palm IIIx has Flash RAM. This Flash RAM can be used to store more programs, and best of all, when the battries run out, they are not deleted. Flash RAM can give you around 750k more space, bringing the Palm IIIx's total amount up to four and three quater megabytes. The only large problem I have found with the Palm IIIx is the speaker. As with all the other Palm products, the speaker is terrible, it can hardley handle a beep! I don't understand why Palm hasn't done anything about is, their flagship model is still using the same speaker that the very first Palm used.