Thursday, October 28, 2004

Phone+PDA, Smartphone, PDAPhone, or what?

Ok, since I joined this new office, I have not been able to download my personal emails to my computer. Other than standard free web-based email, I also have a paid POP3 email account I frequently use, and have been downloading to my office computer at my former office. Now, as the policy goes here, you cannot access any other POP3 accounts other than the office account, and that's through Exchange, not direct communication with the email servers (where you have to input the POP3 server and SMTP server addresses for account setup). Now what happened is, I have hundreds of emails in my personal account that I have trouble opening, since connections other than my now-defunct CDMA phone or a broadband office connection tend to time out while contacting the server. So... there have been stuff I have not been able to do, since I depend on the POP3 account for a lot of stuff.. for instance, a routine translation project got held up for 2 weeks or so; luckily the company that gave the project to me also sends to one of my web mail accounts, so I have been able to pick up the pace again. But I'd still need constant access to that email account if I am to continue doing other stuff...

Since lately it has started being impractical to have a Bluetooth-enabled phone to become a modem for either my PDA or my computer, because sometimes the connection breaks off (I still don't know whether if it is caused by bad GRPS signal reception or faulty Bluetooth), I have begun thinking about changing my hardware to better suit my changing needs. The choices are:

1). upgrade the T610 to a K700i or something, and the PDA to one with built-in Bluetooth and a mail program capable of reading HTML (my current one cannot);

2). just upgrade the PDA, built-in Bluetooth, maybe a camera as well;

3). Sell both the phone and PDA and get a smartphone, like the P900; or

4). Go for a PDAPhone, like the HP Ipaq 6300 or Treo 600.

Let's compare the prices: if I let go of the T610, I would probably be able to sell it for Rp 1.3 million maximum; and the PDA, an ancient Palm m515, probably less than Rp 1 million. So, that would mean at least Rp 2 million as initial capital for future purchases (assuming, of course, I could sell both items quickly and at the same time, which is unlikely).

The K700i is currently priced at Rp 3 million, but I still think it's an unnecessary upgrade unless my line of work starts requiring me to test master tones (ringtones which are actually cuts of the real sound recording). So probably, forget about selling the T610, I still like it anyway, and perhaps forget about selling the Palm m515 if I don't want to sell it at a very very low price, so, forget about the Rp 2 million initial capital. Back to zero.

So the option is actually smartphone or PDA phone, where I'd have to let go of both of my former gadgets... and generally both classes of product are priced at least Rp 4 million, usually around the range of Rp 6 million.

Ok... now I'm starting to sweat. I don't think I have the power to spend such money, not when there's no direct benefit coming from the purchase (say, I can make at least Rp 6 million again after investing Rp 6 million for the new gadget)....

So I guess, I'll have to find another way around...

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