Palm Thursday: Throwback Tech from the early days of PDAs

More digital treasures unearthed from the depths of my office desk

In the second installment of “What’s in Keith’s Desk?” (as part of our weekly “Throwback Thursday” photo series of “old” tech gadgets), we proudly return to the halcyon days of the Palm Pilot, when people walked around with a small device in their pocket that couldn’t make phone calls, but you could find a phone number on it and also use a hard plastic stick called a “stylus” to draw or write on the display.


Seen here are three different Palm versions I unearthed from my office desk drawer. From the left we have the Palm IIIxe (2000), my first official Palm that the company bought for our department (back then, I was working in the features group of Network World). We then jump ahead about a year to the Palm m505, the middle device in the photo.

On the right side is the PalmOne Tungsten T5, which was introduced in October 2004. By this point, smartphones were becoming more popular in the PDA space, which led to these devices being assigned to their new home inside my desk drawer.

As a bonus, here’s a “Palm Holiday Commercial” from 2002, to show you how these devices were being marketed! Apparently you could read a book, look at pie charts and check out stock reports. Oooooh!

What else is in my desk? You’ll have to wait until next week to see what goodies we discover. I promise, no old food.

Keith Shaw also rounds up the best in geek video in his blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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