Thursday, April 10, 2008

Combining a Cell Phone and a PDA

My first cell phone was the standard Nokia phone (kind of like a brick) several years ago. I have had several different models over the years. They are getting smaller and smaller.

I have used three different PDAs over the years. My first one was a Palm-based Handspring Visor that I used for a few years. I later sold it, and purchased a Toshiba Pocket PC. That machine died, and for the last couple years I have been using a Dell Axim x50v. As devices continue to shrink, the Dell Axim seemed to be huge. I used to carry it all the time, but recently I found myself carrying it only to chapel meetings or to church. Unless I was preaching somewhere, the PDA was the only Bible I would carry with me.

The problem was that carrying a cell phone AND a PDA was cumbersome. If I had the PDA in my pant pocket, it stuck out quite a bit. Normally I would carry my cell phone in the same pocket. If I had both in there -- well, you get the idea.

What if I could combine the two into one device? I checked with my cell phone carrier, and I was eligible for a phone upgrade. I found I could buy Samsung's Blackjack II in a refurbished model for a decent price. Actually I will be putting my Dell Axim on eBay in the next couple days, and expect to sell it for less than the phone cost.

A major use that I gave my Dell Axim was with Bible software. I have used both PocketBible by Laridian and the BibleReader program from Olive Tree. I had different Bibles that I used in each program. In PocketBible, I mainly had English Bibles (a number of different versions, including Study Bibles), and in the Olive Tree program, I had three Spanish translations, the NET Bible, and the Greek New Testament from Gramcord. A selling point in doing this is that I would be able to get everything the PDA did, plus what the cell phone did, for less money than what I could get for the used PDA.
I owned the Bible versions in electronic format. I thought this would be a proverbial piece of cake. The phone arrived yesterday afternoon, and I really do like it. It is quite a bit smaller than the PDA was. While its basic footprint is a little larger (height and width) than the cell phone I was using, it is a LOT thinner than my old phone. All in all, it's a very small package. I was backing up Bible files, to transfer to the new machine, so that I could put the PDA back to its pristine condition. Then I read, much to my consternation (on Olive Tree's website), that the Gramcord program does not run on a Windows Mobile Smartphone. I was not happy! The difference between a Windows Mobile Pocket PC and a Windows Mobile Smartphone is that the Pocket PC uses a stylus to tap on or to write on the screen, whereas the Smartphone does not. I guess the tapping on the screen was a big part of using Gramcord Lite. In fact, frequently I would tap on a Greek word, and then the lexicon entry would pop up on the screen with the morphological description of the word.

The bilingual readers (Spanish/English) among us will understand my next statement: "No contaron con mi astucia." Olive Tree may say that the Gramcord Lite program does not run on a Windows Mobile Smartphone, but I know differently. You can take a look at a screen capture I did of Gramcord running on my Blackjack II just before I went to lunch. As you can see, Gramcord Lite does indeed run on a Windows Mobile Smartphone. All is well with the world. The text shown is Luke 10:30, which was the basis for an excellent sermon preaching in our chapel today by a deaf brother, Jose Abenchuchen. The message was translated from ASL into audible English, or else I wouldn't have gotten very much out of it.
Now I'll always have my Bible with me, and it won't take up much room in my pocket. Life is good!

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