Q

Running PDAs on Macs

I have a Mac G4. It seems that fewer and fewer PDAs will run on Macs. I'm specifically interested in the Sony CLIE, or better yet, a Mac PDA. My TREO doesn't support one of the main programs for which I use it -- none of the Handspring products do. Any ideas?
Ah yes, the old bugaboo of supply and demand. Unfortunately, when new PDAs are developed, vendors will target the largest user base for initial deployments and sales. In this case, it's the IBM PC camp, since these represent the largest base of users worldwide. The PDA makers will also target leading email and information management platforms as well, which includes Microsoft Outlook, Exchange and Lotus Notes. A few years ago, there were rumors circulating that Apple was working with Palm on a strictly-fruity PDA. Unfortunately, these plans never came to fruition (sorry about the fruit puns!). Meanwhile, Apple does seem to be entering the PDA zone with its iPod, which is being used by some aficionados as a calendaring and personal information management device -- although it beats me as to why! Apple R&D now claim there is little chance the company will come out with its own PDA, since the market is so glutted and it would cost way too much to establish any kind of a beachhead at this point.

One thing you might try is installing Linux on your Apple system and then adding one of the many Linux-based PDAs

that are bouncing around the market. Samsung and Sharp have some pretty neat models, and there are a few that are very similar to the Apple iPod in nature. You can check some of these out at http://tuxmobil.com/pda_linux.html. Hey, just be glad we're still not stuck in a CP/M world!

This was first published in October 2003

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