There is a good chance that you are looking at this photo and wondering just what the heck it is and depending on when you grew in the technology side that is understandable. This my friends is the Palm Tungsten PDA and no, the PDA does not stand for “public display of affection” but instead means “personal digital assistant”. Of course when I was using this device I will admit to loving it very, very much.
Even though its not pictured, my first PDA was the Palm Pilot Professional or the Palm IIIx. I got it as a gift from one of the Partners in a firm that I was once associated with. This had to be around 1999 and of course I was not a writer or aspiring photographer yet in the fashion that you all have come to know. I remember that when my job “ended” that my turd of a manager tried to get it from me citing it belonged to the company. That tool just wanted it for one of his flunkies but that was not happening. Moving along, when this device had served its purpose I stepped up to the Palm V which had more memory and a clearer screen than its predecessor. Mind you this was all in a light green with black typeface and not a color device. I had just started doing my writer thing and was using a new application called Documents To Go which allowed me to edit documents and sync them back to my home computer when I needed to. That was pretty cool.
When my needs grew as a writer I decided to make the jump and buy the latest and greatest Palm device of them all. This was the one in the photo above and called The Tungsten. It had a stainless steel case and took a knocking around in ones briefcase and not only was the screen larger but it was in color. At this point in time there were also PDA phones but I didn’t go that route as I already had a cell phone and I was not interested in mixing the two together. I was using the latest Documents To Go and would stockpile all of the works in progress that I had for the websites I was helping out on and would keep on using this until about 2008 when I moved to a Smartphone. I really liked this device and found it was much easier to jot down my notes right as the events happened when it came to concerts or updating the product review pieces on long train rides and work breaks.
The Palm devices needed you to use a stylus which is the pen like item you see in the photo above also. They were easy to lose but I somehow managed to keep the one that this came with. It also allowed for the adding of an additional memory card, and when I needed more memory I added a whopping 512MB to it. That amount of space is kind of a joke now isn’t it. I never used the device on my network as the WiFi card that you could purchase was a bit pricey for my tastes and I was a slightly disgruntled customer after having ordered this unit at a premium price with no benefits only to find it being sold with a free WiFi card, case, and additional stylus only a month later. Grrr.
I haven’t used my Palm Tungsten in over three years and maybe its even longer, but when I chanced upon it this afternoon while digging around for a memory card in a desk drawer I thought it would be the perfect thing to speak about in my Retro Techno series of PiercingKen blogs. I called it “Techno-Journalism” based on my counting on the abilities of this device as opposed to relying on the conventional pen and paper for the media tasks at hand. Thanks for listening.
Official Wiki Entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_%28PDA%29