Stuff about the Nino...(Re: It's heating up out there...)

"G–ran" Hultgren gohu at
Fri Feb 5 10:33:15 UTC 1999

Hi all!

The rest of this email is about PDAs and the Nino in particular.

---Dan Ingalls <DanI at> wrote:
> Folks -
> A couple of pretty interesting new PDA's on the horizon, allegedly
for spring delivery...
> The E-100 from Casio
> The Jornada 420 from HP
> Both have:
> Palm Pilot form factor

Comment: More important than you might think. My Nino feels quite big
and clumsy compared to a PalmPilot III, EVEN if it actually is almost
the same size! Realization: Just a small increase over the PalmPilot
makes a big difference...

> Win CE 2.1 and a pile of apps
> Audio speaker and microphone 
> One infrared port (lrDA version 1.2) 
> One RS232 serial port in cradle (allows synchronisation when unit is
> 1 card slot for Flash memory
> Lithium ion battery
> Both should run Squeak pretty well.
> But...
>     how is the display in bright light?
>     how long does the battery last with and w/o backlighting?

Up until now colorscreens really drain the power... And backlighting
too. I think there are two kinds of PDA users. People with order in
their life who actually remember to put the PDA in its cradle when
they come home from work or whatever - its probably not a problem for
them if the battery only lasts for a day or two.
And people like me who simply lug around my Nino in my jacket and
sometimes leaves it laying around for a week. Not so good, at least
not with a Nino...

>     what are the actual Squeak speeds?

Well, would you all be interested to know what the Nino squeaks out? I
could try the SmopStones or what they are called if you are
interested, I was going to but did not come around to it...
(The factorial method was approximately 50 times slower than a 233Mhz

> Anybody have any further info on these two or other similar machines?

Well, I can only answer stuff about the Nino-8Mb RAM, we bought 20 of
them in fact for all of us and the verdict is in short (or long if you

1. Some of us love it and use it a lot. Calendar and Contacts
primarily though. And it seems that those of us who use MS Outlook are
very pleased with the integration. Personally I have a problem with
any MS stuff so I ended up using my Nino almost exclusively without
the PC sync stuff.

2. Some of us THOUGHT we where going to love it (like me - it was my
idea...) but since my Nino lost all RAM twice due to me not putting it
in the cradle often enough (the backup battery CLEARLY does no do it's
job) I got quite annoyed and put it away in a drawer for a month. I
just recently started playing with it again - the reason: Squeak.
Note: The RAM failure thingy has happened to at least three of us. And
loosing your whole calendar is not a pleasant thing... I bought a
flash card but WinCE can for some inexplicable reason not use it for
Contacts and Calendar.

3. Some of us even got GSM phones with modems (SH888 and
Nokia8000-something) so that we could send email and stuff using
infrared. He. Geeky. It works. But come on... when would you use it?
:-) It took around 2 minutes connecting-sending hello world
email-disconnecting at 9600. Not so fun.

4. WinCE is nice in many respects but the UI feels quite clumsy
sometimes and slow.

5. Some of us almost tear our hair off trying to set up CE Services
(the PC sync stuff)... and for some others it worked like a charm!

6. The input method stuff in WinCE is pretty nice with a lot of
opportunities. Jot is a winner. Calligraph etc are very good in theory
but the "fix-the-errors-afterwards-way-of-writing" is quite annoying.
Anyway, the choice is yours and that is definitely a good thing in

Well, that's about it. I am still intrigued by running Squeak in a PDA
but the whole PDA thing did not really deliver for me. But I have to
admit that it would be immensely cool to run the Squeak webserver on
my Nino over the infrared to my GSM phone and being able to actually
surf in on it... 
Which brings me to a small question :-) Does the WinCE port have
networking support? :-)

regards, G–ran

G–ran Hultgren   | goran.hultgren at | OO Consulting
Inspire          | Hem: +46 8 54022950       |
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114 31 Stockholm | "All my opinions are MINE, MINE, MINE!!!"
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