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View Poll Results: Have You Experienced Data Loss on your PDA?
Never! My PDA is rock solid and I trust it completely. 2 9.52%
Occassionally. But it's not a big deal. I still trust it. 5 23.81%
Sometimes. I either keep backups or just deal with it. 11 52.38%
Too often. I don't really trust it, but I still like to use it. 2 9.52%
Frequently, and I'm fed up with PDAs. Want to go back to paper! 1 4.76%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-16-2005, 03:57 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Poll: Do You Trust Your PDA?

What's your experience and attitude towards loss of data on your PDA? Let us know in this attached poll.

PDAs hold our most important data. We often talk about them holding our "life" in them. We enter notes and appointments and contact information that we can't afford to lose.

But on the other hand, there are increasing numbers of complaints about PDAs crashing and requiring hard resets (with loss of data). Even soft resets will probably lose whatever you were working on at the time, or make it impossible to capture whatever you were trying to enter.

And there's the dreaded failure of internal Flash ROM and/or external SD cards. I've experienced these failures (along with loss of data, and one card warranty replacement) at least 6 times in about six months. Personally, I don't trust my PDA anymore, but I'm hooked so I still use it!
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Old 05-16-2005, 04:16 PM   #2
Alexander Turcic
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As much as I love my PDA, I don't trust it. Especially when it comes to storing important data. Literally I had foam at the mouth the last time my PDA failed on me (it deleted all data in RAM, including datebook and contacts).

The problem is I don't trust my PC either. Nor do I trust optical media. Can you imagine to live with the constant fear of losing data? HORRIBLE!

But what can we do... we're all little computer people living in a digital world, right?
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:20 PM   #3
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I don't trust it either. I have seen a lot of software screw ups in my life (I won't even mention the hardware ones), and so all my contacts are in a paper textbook, as a backup.
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:45 PM   #4
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Completely

I trust my Zodiac completely... So far it has only failed me when I was tinkering with some nasty OS functions (like manually editing boot.prc), and as you can imagine I did a backup right before I started. Other then that, I'm doing a backup every night at 3AM, so the worst thing that could happen to me is that I loose one day's data, the chances that internal memory and the SD card fails during one day are much lower then the danger of accidently throwing away a piece of paper. And if all went wrong, or if I lost my Zodiac, there's still the most important data backed up on my PC via PalmDesktop.
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Old 05-16-2005, 06:03 PM   #5
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Hello:

I trust my PDA whole-heartedly. My first palm was a M500, I am almost a month into my TE2.

I try to back-up with BBVFS once a day. In addition, I find that if you push any PDA to the limit, it is bound to start tearing at the seams.

I am not so savvy lile Alex, however, through this site, and others one is able to learn the do's and don't.

Don't use hacks!

A lot of it is common sense; why do I get the distinct feeling that my reply will come back to haunt me.

dillon
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Old 05-16-2005, 06:04 PM   #6
lawizard
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Unhappy Lost info? You betcha

I have never had a PDA that has not had some problem that caused a hard reset or several hard resets. I figure that is why you buy Backup Man or some other such program. I also sync every day when I am near my computers (work & home) or backup onto an SD card.
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Old 05-16-2005, 06:38 PM   #7
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paranoid

I trust my PDA though have a fear of new technology as found in airports (x-ray machines, mystery security radiation machines) and elsewhere, in addition to places of environmental electromagnetism (under power lines, high-voltage transformers, even in an electric car potentially if the electric engine is creating a huge electromagnetic field). And I wonder how much equipment breaks unknowingly because of these hidden disaster zones, if any.

One thing I think PDAs have done well is made backing-up data into a routine procedure which creates redundancy (mirroring the PDA on computer, vice versa) and so at that level it is superior to a computer in terms of ease of use and ease of backing up.

The area I do not trust PDAs is with wi-fi in public areas using e-mail clients and sending passwords in cleartext, as with FTP, etc. And storing passwords in an encrypted file is helpful with a PDA, trustworthy to a point, unless someone successfully hacks the machine, then it is much worse than a lost or stolen wallet. I hope there more secure PDAs are a high priority if companies want to encourage people to carry around all their data.
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:25 PM   #8
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I trust my Axim x50, but I don't trust my PNY 1 GB SD card. It's erased data at least 4 times. Luckily, I religiously back up.

I don't trust wifi as far as checking my bank accounts or buying items online at certain sites.
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Old 05-16-2005, 11:23 PM   #9
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I don't really trust any PDA. Manufacturing quality these days is abhorrent - the "Zen of Palm" days are long since past, and Pocket PC has never been 100% reliable.

To the confident Zodiac owner - careful my friend. You can't dispute my love for the Zodiac, but I'm on my 3rd one and after a year it's become unstable and will randomly hard reset itself and lockup. It's not reliable at all. I'll probably be onto my 4th Zodiac soon as a result, and I won't trust it either.

Trust your important data to a PDA in these days, and you're asking for trouble.

PDA designers no longer give a damn about consistent quality control, form factor or reliability. It's all about stuffing as many "power" features inside as possible now (i.e. hard drives - yes that's what we need, a mechanical data storage part inside!), and producing it as cheaply as possible. Wrap it up with "customer support" overseas from people who learned English last week, and you've got your modern PDA. A fancy, powerful bucket of bolts waiting to become unhinged. Nice for games though, until you lose your hiscores and saves...

Sorry, but I am a little bitter about my Zodiac right now.

Prophet @ www.ZodiacGamer.com
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith75
I trust my Axim x50, but I don't trust my PNY 1 GB SD card. It's erased data at least 4 times. Luckily, I religiously back up.

I don't trust wifi as far as checking my bank accounts or buying items online at certain sites.

I have to admit, that Angelique just about sums it up for me as well. I haven't had TOO much of an issue with my handheld directly (but it is new, alas, so give it time to show it's quirks. :-) ). But the SD Card, even new, has been quirky and formatted about 4 times now because it just wont read on the computer through a card reader any longer. But works fine in a handheld. /sigh/
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Old 05-17-2005, 01:16 PM   #11
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@Prophet.

I'm on my second now, becasue the screen broke during an Airhockey game (mental note: when you put a PDA in your pocket, mak sure the screen faces your leg!). Anyway...

1. This is about data loss... and that I never experienced. Even when the screen broke, the backup still functioned, so it did a scheduled at 3AM and I had everything on card. A PDA can become unusable, but the data should still be safe.
2. About hardresets. There's a variety of ways to mess up your device. Overclocking, battery tinkering, MakeMeClie, JackFlash and so on. If you're using such tools then you have nobody to blame but yourself, because these tools can make a difference beyond the next hardreset!
3. Most people never wipe their device totally clean: HardReset, then installing everything one by one. This is the cause of 90% of all stability problems. You'll have to hardreset a PDA, just like you have to reinstall Windows every two months (not that I care, I'm on Linux). Doing a full restore after a hardreset won't solve any problems.
4. Sorry, about your Zodiacs. Allthough I'm 99% sure it is a software issue. Random hardresets are (almost) always a software issue or introduced through tools like the one in 2)
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Old 05-17-2005, 02:21 PM   #12
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One of the Reasons I love Palm OS

I have to tell you, reliability is one of the reasons I use and love Palm-based PDAs. I have had 4 Palm PDAs over the past 7 years, and I have lost data *twice*. I actually don't remember what happened the first time. The last time was when I was trying out the LightSpeed under/overclock utility on my Tungsten T3 and it somehow corrupted the Memos and To-Do databases. Of course, frequent backups and HotSyncs help, but I am always amazed at how reliable my Palm PDAs have been. They're always just there, waiting for me to look for something or enter something new.
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:33 PM   #13
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"4. Sorry, about your Zodiacs. Allthough I'm 99% sure it is a software issue. Random hardresets are (almost) always a software issue or introduced through tools like the one in 2)"

Nope. If you've seen my various threads at ZodiacGamer then you know I've tried everything possible. And I never heard of the programs you mentioned, nor have I OC'ed my Zodiac in many months (I only tried Lightspeed briefly around the summertime).

I am also not the 1st person to have something like this happen with their Zodiac. I have seen others with reset/lockup issues like mine. And we're talking AFTER hard resets and totally clean installs. I've even reflashed my ROM for gawd sakes.

At this point I suspect the battery has gone bad somehow. And since it's not removable, I only have the choice of getting a whole new unit.

Trust your data to a PDA, including a Zodiac, and you are asking for trouble. Which is why backups are so important.

But this goes beyond that - it goes toward the lack of quality in manufacturing. It's a very real issue for PDA's these days. Perhaps you weren't around when Tapwave launched - but speaking as one of the 3 founders of ZodiacGamer (I've been reporting on the Zodiac since before it was even named "Zodiac" and personally arranged ad deals & conducted interviews with Tapwave, and betatested the 1.1 ROM, so I'm not just some newb), I can tell you that Zodiacs very much have their share of hardware defects. I've seen and heard it all from many users. You're just one of the (hopefully majority) lucky owners who have had very stable units. I hope they stay that way for you. But my luck hasn't been so good. Yet I still love the Zodiac and really wouldn't want any other PDA at this time. Nor do I believe other PDA's have more or less hardware/manufacturing issues - I see complaints on every PDA forum, both Palm and PocketPC, to some degree. It's just the way things are done now - fast and cheap. And therefore untrustworthy IMO.

But as long as you are backing up, you will generally be fine.

-Prophet @ www.ZodiacGamer.com
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Old 05-18-2005, 03:19 AM   #14
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From my personal experience Palm OS devices are more reliable than Pocket PC devices. I own both and while losing data on the PPC has been a real nightmare lately, the Palm OS device just keeps on running... but do I trust the latter one? Not really. Once you've irreversibly lost some digital pictures of your last vacation you know what a lifesaver regular backups can be.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:02 PM   #15
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I have a reasonable amount of trust in my PDAs, but only because I back up _daily_, sometimes several times a day (it only takes a few minutes at my desk at work, so it's no issue).

I used my Clie for about 12 months before getting the ipaq, which I've been using now for about 18 months, and I've probably had a couple of hard resets on both in that time, so I can't say one is more stable than the other (and I'm a bit of a power user as well, so that can cause stability issues).

I agree with the previous statements about external memory. My biggest issues with data loss have always been related to memory cards.

Craig.
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