By S. Fred Green a.k.a. Fredlet
I came back from PalmSource with the new toy I won, a pre-production model of the TRGpro from TRG, which is supposed to be shipping sometime this month (just in time for the holidays). If you'd like to see a picture of my beaming face, visit http://www.palmpower.com/issues/issue199911/palmsource001.html. I called my mom to give her the good news. Our conversation went something like this:Mom:
"I think you should give it to me."Me:
"I was in labor with you for 25 hours..."Me:
"No you weren't, you told me all about it last Thanksgiving!"Mom:
"...and in gratitude to your poor old mother..."Me:
"Mom, you aren't old."Mom:
"... I think you should give me your TRGpro."Me:
"No way. You used this argument last year when you wanted that new jacket that I bought."Mom:
This continued on for a little while... Mom and I have rather strange conversations.
Well, she hasn't gotten her hands on it yet, but I have yielded before to the force of her guilt, so I'd better write this review quickly.
What is the TRGpro?
The TRGpro is basically the Palm IIIx in a slightly different dinner jacket. Well, that and it has this swank little port in the back for CompactFlash cards, which you can see in Figure A. Need 340MB of space on your TRGpro to store all those chapters of The Complete Works of Shakespeare as Retold by Joe Bob Briggs?
No problem.FIGURE A
Here's a look at the TRGpro with a CompactFlash card. (click for larger image)
What are the specs?
The base unit (without any extra cards) has 8MB of storage, 2MB Flash Memory, Palm OS 3.3, enhanced sound capability, and three built-in applications (FlashPro, CFpro, and CFBackup) to manage your applications in Flash Memory. I know that I have 24,000 addresses, 10 years of appointments, 6,000 to-do items, 6,000 memos, and 800 email messages -- not to mention all my games. Oh, alright... I only have 20, 073 addresses. Picky, picky, picky.
Hardware details include the Palm IIIx screen with the 160x160 resolution and the reverse backlighting (with the option to go back to the original, of course) and the newer Motorola DragonBall EZ. Strangely enough, I didn't take this little puppy apart the minute I got home. TRG's FAQ states that it's based on the Palm IIIx so I assumed that it has matching innards, too. One obvious benefit that the TRGpro has over the Palm IIIx is that the CompactFlash cards are the method of upgrade. I don't really see an easy method of upgrade for the Palm IIIx.
They've stored these built-in applications in the Flash Memory. When you use the FlashPro software to store applications, they are retained even if you completely lose power on your unit. That can be a very handy thing when you're as easily distracted by shiny things as I am. I have only done it once, but losing all my databases to my applications that weren't completely backed up was a big pain. You can read more about the FlashPro software in the May issue of PalmPower at http://www.palmpower.com/issues/issue199905/flashpro001.html.