I’d like to take you back aways – back to the days before the iPhone.
Rewind back to the year 2000 when smartphones were just emerging on to the scene and to be honest…were not all that smart.
Being in the biz I was in, this required (well not really but hey…I like my gadgets) me to stay atop of electronic devices trends. I had to have the latest greatest device of the day. I even still have, in the drawer beside me now, the first USB thumb drive. It was a whopping 32mb!!!
I remember the day well that I bought a device called the Jornada 720. You think laptops are small today? This thing was tiny. It had impressive statistics like a resolution of 640 x 240 w/ color display, compact flash slot, 206MHz strong arm processor, 56k modem and even wireless LAN capabilities. It truly was the first internet appliance.
Most importantly for me however, was the R232 serial port and…this beast even sported a smartcard slot. Now if any of you remember my past you will understand how important this was to me.
Before any one could say…”Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?”, I was already monitoring live wireless data being sent from handheld POS machines as used by restaurants and airports for billing your CC. If programmed correct, this device had the potential to duplicate CC’s on the fly. Not that I’d know anything about that or anything. 🙂
Around the same time as I was tinkering with the Jornada 720, a new product line came to market. It was called the iPaq by Compaq. Of course this was before they were bought by HP.
I bought the iPaq 3650.
This little gem was, in my opinion, the first “real deal” smartphone. Officially it was a PDA while it ran Windows and came with Office including a full desktop version of Outlook. Sporting a 240 x 320 TFT 4000 color screen, this tiny powerhouse had potential.
I honestly found that the best of the iPaq came from the accessories you could get for it including the magnetic card swipe addon. Ooooohhhhhhh….the potential. Then you could also buy a barcode scanner for it which rapidly put it in the hands of almost all commercial warehouses and delivery agencies.
It had wireless internet, 32MB RAM, 16MB ROM and get this…it’s docking station and port were almost IDENTICAL to the modern day iPhones. These were a war-driver’s dream machine.
Oh and before I forget…it ran NetBSD like a champ!
I often wonder if these devices of techno-past actually are worth anything today or are they destined to suffer the same fate as antique PCs? Either way I love reminiscing about them.
Now I’m having flashbacks of the TRS-80, Vic-20, AtariST 512 and the Amiga…oh God…please help me.