pugfarewell Hong Kong Palm User Group holds farewell meetingPalm OS handhelds were notable for the strong community which formed around them: the largest of the so-called Palm User Groups (PUG for short) were able to attract almost 100 members in their heyday.

Unfortunately, it looks like the end of the traditional Palm OS will also bring an end to Palm User Groups – the picture on the left side was made at the farewell/dissolution meeting of the Hong Kong Palm User Group.

As of now, nobody knows if the group will continue or will end forever – however, further images of the meeting can be found at the following URL’s (no English translation as of this writing):
http://www.hkpug.org/discuz/viewthread.php?tid=2141
http://www.hkpug.org/discuz/viewthread.php?tid=2142

The Palm User Group Vienna can well be considered one of the older Palm User Groups in existence. Ever since it was founded in 2003, Alexander Kozousek’s crowd had up to 10 visitors to its monthly meetings.

Even though attendance had dwindled in the last months, today’s meeting was very well-visited:
0a Palm User Group Vienna reactions

Most people followed the German Nexave news feed, which unfortunately was extremely slow even though it wasn’t updated a single time while we were there (so much about sending somebody there/about the new server):
1a Palm User Group Vienna reactions 1b Palm User Group Vienna reactions 1c Palm User Group Vienna reactions

Fortunately, my XPERIA X1 was tuned to Engadget…and quickly became the lust object for all attendants as news about the new boxen began to trickle out. General user sentiment was very positive – all attendants (yours truly excluded) were impressed by the “rich features” of the box:
2a Palm User Group Vienna reactions 2b Palm User Group Vienna reactions

Unfortunately, the announcement of EVDO-exclusivity did not go down well: on e user stated that he already was used to waiting, but now has “something to wait for”…

Other topics of interest involved Apple stuff, Nokia’s E-series QWERTY handhelds and digital cameras:
3a Palm User Group Vienna reactions

The BlackBerry was not liked too well:
4a Palm User Group Vienna reactions 4b Palm User Group Vienna reactions

Finally, here’s a collection shot showing all the attending boxen:
5a Palm User Group Vienna reactions

In the end, I left the place impressed by the enthusiasm Palm’s recent announcement managed to create. I myself was not too impressed: the world imho doesnt need another web-only platform…and the lack of even rudimentary Palm OS emulation is appaling.

What do you think?

The scenes at the PUG Vienna remind me of an Apple keynote – a variety of devices was used to keep in tune to various news services in a frantic fashion.

Overall responses to the device have been pretty positive, some have even declared that this is the device they have been waiting for “for years”. Most users have expressed interest to purchase the device if a GSM version is to be released in the future…

Further information on the box can be found at the URL below – hit the link below for the full scoop:
Live from the CES

The Palm user group is well visited:
P1080254t PUG Vienna   were waiting

We are awaiting news from Palm, but are not too hopeful – stay tuned for further info as we get it!

 Meet /me at the Vienniese Palm User GroupDear Readers,
just in case anyone of you is looking for a place to be while the Nova announcement comes in – the Palm User Group Vienna has decided to hold a special meeting during the press event (including our infamous kleptomaniac, who will be seated at the far end of the table :-) )!
3a Meet /me at the Vienniese Palm User Group

Should any of you feel like passing by, hit the Pizza Plus around 1900 or later. As usual, further information can be obtained at the web site of the organizer!

I will be there from around 1930 onwards, and will tug along my XPERIA X1, Nokia N96, BlackBerry Curve and MSI Wind U100 for sampling – see you there!

Like every first Thursday, the PUG Vienna met tonight. Don’t ask why, but I found the time to attend. Due to our recent theft problems and a kleptomaniac member (whose identity will not be disclosed to protect the fat and stupid), everyone brought reduced amounts of hardware…but we managed a pretty impressive show nevertheless…

Fortte cases
Fortte’s customizable cases were passed around and demoed – even though the colors weren’t too popular, the general idea of customizable cases managed to raise heads and got people talking…
0a The PUG Vienna met today

iPhone 3G
Herwig has always been our resident Apple nut…he unsurprisingly got himself an iPhone 3G:
1a The PUG Vienna met today

Cutting a long story short: he is extremely dissatisfied. The machine had to be replaced two times due to software issues, and T-Mobile’s support is lackluster at best. However, the motion sensor can be used for some truly innovative things…like an app that simulates beer:
2a The PUG Vienna met today

JayBird headset
JayBird’s excellent bluetooth headset was passed around – people were very impressed with it. Trial versions of Softick Audio Gateway were provided to interested third parties via Bluetooth…

Sony Clie TH55
Alexander (our organizer) tugged along a Sony Clie TH55 he purchased recently:
3a The PUG Vienna met today 3b The PUG Vienna met today

The device was passed around and caused a stream of nostalgia:
4a The PUG Vienna met today

In the end, the downward trend of the PUG has stopped somewhat – 5 people wasn’t the top number, but wasn’t too low either.

How is the turn-up at your PUG?

It is a long-established tradition to bring along rare or otherwise interesting handhelds along to the PUM. Last year, we had a transparent Vii and a Palm Tungsten x420. This year, we were treated to a Dana Wireless and a – strangely non-working – Janam XP30:

Dana Wireless
The Dana Wireless is among the most boring handhelds ever – one picture says more than thousand words:
0a Palm User Meeting 2008   Janam XP30, Dana Wireless

Janam XP30
Do not ask me where this box came from, but it was in the locker in the center of the room:
1a Palm User Meeting 2008   Janam XP30, Dana Wireless 1b Palm User Meeting 2008   Janam XP30, Dana Wireless 1c Palm User Meeting 2008   Janam XP30, Dana Wireless

A Nexave employee gladly handet it out to me – unfortunately, the machine didn’t power up. Nevertheless, here are a few comparison images next to a Treo 680:
2a0 Palm User Meeting 2008   Janam XP30, Dana Wireless 2a Palm User Meeting 2008   Janam XP30, Dana Wireless

Traditionally, the German Nexave Palm Community holds a nationwide meeting of Palm OS users on the Friday of the CeBit fair. This meeting is called PUM – and always brings along a few surprises.

This year’s big surprise was brought along by vivomobile – a huge crate full of broken handhelds, planars, parts,.. – they all could be taken home for free(loads of toys for tinkers):
0a The German Palm User Meeting 2008

Clemens Schuchart from the PUG Neuss Podcast held a 30min talk on how to use a Palm(and what to use it for) – while most of this wasn’t really interesting for professionals, beginners still could learn a lot here:
1a The German Palm User Meeting 2008

After that, Palm’s Mr. Weiss had a short presentation and answered a few preprepared questions from the Nexave team. Generally, Mr. Weiss’s answers were rather bland and did not contain anything new or especially interesting:
2a The German Palm User Meeting 2008 2b The German Palm User Meeting 2008 2c The German Palm User Meeting 2008

As always, a load of German Palm freaks was around:
3a The German Palm User Meeting 2008 3b The German Palm User Meeting 2008 3c The German Palm User Meeting 2008

This year, yours truly also had a small booth demoing various handhelds not running on Palm OS. The devices attracted a huge load of onlookers(including some very prominent ones) – many used the opportunity to look at Windows Mobile(and a jailbroken iPod touch):
4a The German Palm User Meeting 2008 4b The German Palm User Meeting 2008

Of course, some StyleTap consulting was also needed:
5a The German Palm User Meeting 2008 5b The German Palm User Meeting 2008

In the end, it was a rather interesting evening – I’ll try to make it there again next year:

Stay tuned for extra stuff(and some surprises) soon!

Update, 12/1/08: The iPod in question has just been returned. /me has been lucky for a change!

This month’s PUG meet-up was delayed due to the new year’s eve celebrations; the PUG Vienna thus met yesterday. As always, we met in the Pizza Plus – here’s what we discussed:

GSPDA M70
Group Sense’s Treo competitor went round and round; and was generally well liked. However, the subjective size advantage was not perceived as big as I initially felt it was:
0a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

Alexander stuck his 8GB SDHC card into the M70 – the machine wasn’t able to identify it:
1a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

hp 314 navigator
HP’s 314 navigator(via TamsPPC) managed to impress because of its included games and the huge, highres screen:
Christian tortured the voice gateway feature of the box a bit – the 314 can act as a hands-free with most bluetooth phones(not with Palm OS Treos, though):
3a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

QTEK 8500
A QTEK 8500 smartphone also popped up at the show – all of us agreed that the Windows Mobile Smartphone launcher urgently needs an overhaul:
4a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

Apple iPod touch
I brought along an Apple iPod touch I purchased in anticipation of the SDK release, only to have it stolen while it was on the desk there. I have no ideas how this amazing feat was accomplished, but the device was gone by the time I left the table for the first time. The “insurance” purchased along with the device does NOT cover theft – although the sales clerk told me that it did…

Anyways, the machine was well liked by many except for the dedicated home button(a thing that managed to piss me off significantly in the short time I had the machine):
5a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

For me(as the owner of the iPod touch in question), this meeting was a bit dissatisfying – but it’s almost bitter irony to have a gadget stolen at a gadget user’s freak. Anyways, I had a bit of fun and got a few interesting opinions on the devices…

By good luck and ill fortune, I managed to visit the vienniese PalmUserGroup meeting last Thursday. As usual, it was held in the Pizza Plus in Alterlaa…good food at affordable prices. There were four of us at the meeting – here are the topics:

Flush
Flush – a small freeware application that flushes the DB cache at power-off, was beamed around. Our Treo 650-users seem to like the application very much…on my Treo 680, it did nothing except slowing down poweroff by approximately 40secs:
0a PUG Vienna met last Thursday

Freedom Bluetooth Keyboard
Freedom’s classic bluetooth keyboard has served me well so far(especially while my Laptop was at Acer’s for an insanely long repair cycle). However, Alex didn’t particularly like it – its response to typing was too slow for his liking(he is an extremely fast typist):
1a PUG Vienna met last Thursday
1b PUG Vienna met last Thursday
1c PUG Vienna met last Thursday

HP ipaq rx4240 and StyleTap
Martin took a detailed look at the TamsPPC rx4240 – and gave StyleTap and the Windows CE GUI a workout:
2a PUG Vienna met last Thursday

Mini Laptops
Asus eee and the OLPC XO were also discussed to some extent. There is an OLPC XO demo in Vienna every Wednesday(expect info soon)… . The main topic of controversy was about the XO’s display…luckily, an ipaq running NotePad makes an excellent conflict resolution tool:
3a PUG Vienna met last Thursday

Treo Torch
Martin, the fearless Treo 650 modder, struck once again. After bringing us , he now integrated a torch into his 650′s antenna:
4a PUG Vienna met last Thursday

Weather applications
Alex and I got into a little quarrel about the best weather app – he preferred KMeteo, while I preferred TreoWeather. While the latter looks better(available in the TamsShop), KMeteo is free and supports a 10day forecast.
5a PUG Vienna met last Thursday

Add in the regular chit-chat about Apple and remote-controlled helicopters and the classically-well-done Pizza Plus food, and you have one happy bunch of Palm OS users…
Overall, I really enjoyed this user meeting. The next one is on December the 6th…not sure if I will make it…

The 5th of June once again was the first Thursday of the month – thus, the vienniese Palm User Group met in the Pizza Plus pizzeria in the outer districts of Vienna. We chose this location once again after meeting in the Salzberg for a few times as the food is better and the staff is friendlier – the free WiFi no longer is an issue now that almost everyone of us has GPRS internet.

I arrived a bit late – and found the user group assembled around the table where we usually sit:
0a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

The Nokia N71 was passed around and examined – the main point of critique was that the lid couldn’t be opened with just one hand:
1a The PUG Vienna met yesterday 1b The PUG Vienna met yesterday 1c The PUG Vienna met yesterday

Apparently, photographing a Nokia device next to a Palm device isn’t too popular among Palm users – my attempts were sabotaged all the time(=|):
2a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

Our Treo modder improved his Treo 650 even more by adding bands of tissue to its back. These bands allow you to type on the Treo while it lays on a table without the machine toppling over; it additionally improves grip:
3a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

His wife’s Tungsten C wasn’t safe either – it got a MiniUSB jack for charging and syncing, and also received a reset hole that can be operated with the stylus tip:
4a The PUG Vienna met yesterday 4b The PUG Vienna met yesterday

A 8GB memory card was available, too – but my Palm TX wasn’t too impressed with it(no reaction):
5a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

Last but not least, a few gadgets(including a GPS mouse) were available “for sale” – more on that GPS mouse soon!
6a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

Overall, I definitely enjoyed staying at the Palm User Group, and will be there again in September! What about sending us a meeting report from your PUG?

Yesterday was the first Thursday of the month, and thus the Palm User Group Vienna met again. Since our former pub(the Salzberg)’s free Wifi wasn’t important any more(many of us now have GPRS), we decided to switch back to our former meeting point, the Pizza Plus…after all, nothing beats decent food :-) .

I arrived a bit late and found the Palm User Group assembled almost completely. This came as a surprise, as we were just 4 last time:
0a The PUG Vienna met yesterday 0b The PUG Vienna met yesterday

Alex, the ‘PUM head’, played around with the ipaq rx4240 and was pretty impressed with it. The operating system worked surprisingly well, and the small size and great build quality didn’t fail to impress either.
1a The PUG Vienna met yesterday 1b The PUG Vienna met yesterday

Other visitors looked at the ipaq too – here’s a picture of the rx4240 in use in its Proporta leather case:
2a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

The real star of this meeting was a blue Treo 650. The 650 was airbrushed in a cool metallic color – and had a MiniUSB port added. That port allows its owner to leave the Athena USB cable at home – very handy, as he travels around a lot.
4b The PUG Vienna met yesterday 4c The PUG Vienna met yesterday 4d The PUG Vienna met yesterday

A wriststrap was integrated into the 650′s antenna to simplify handling and transportation:
4a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

Software was exchanged as usual, and various Palm related topics(GPS,..) were discussed. The sentiment has improved this time, people were less negative about the Palm platform’s future this week due to the Linux announcement:
5a The PUG Vienna met yesterday

Overall, this Palm User Meeting was very interesting. The visitor’s sentiment was much better than in the meetings before – I am sure that I will attend the PUG next time…

At the German Palm user meeting, many developers, hardcore freaks and web masters were present. Thus, the selection of freak boxen was pretty big – here’s a selection of everything that I found cool or weird:

Aceeca Meazura peripherals
The Aceeca Meazura supports GPS and RFID via the two modules shown below:
0 Weird, cool and new stuff at the german Palm user meeting

Both of the modules were completely operational at the PUM, although the case designs may still change a bit. Exchanging the modules is simple as usual – it was described a bit in the Meazura CF module review.

The fake iPhone
Someone “dressed” a tobacco bag up as a iPhone – confused me quite a bit at first:
1 Weird, cool and new stuff at the german Palm user meeting

The modding table
The Nexave organizers had a special “modding table” guarded by various Nexave administrators. The following devices were shown:
2 Weird, cool and new stuff at the german Palm user meeting

3 Weird, cool and new stuff at the german Palm user meeting
My see-through Palm Vii and the yellow Palm Tungsten E2

4 Weird, cool and new stuff at the german Palm user meeting
A WristPDA with a battery extension

5 Weird, cool and new stuff at the german Palm user meeting
A gold-plated, ancient Palm handheld

6a Weird, cool and new stuff at the german Palm user meeting 6b Weird, cool and new stuff at the german Palm user meeting 6c Weird, cool and new stuff at the german Palm user meeting
A Palm x420 – the prototype successor of the Palm Tungsten W. The device was fully operational, but well, touching someone else’s prototype usually is a bad idea =).

7 Weird, cool and new stuff at the german Palm user meeting
A Palm in a Lego case

The Palm Senior disposal site
Last but not least, the German enigma group Senior PUG, decided to declare a table their “gathering point”. So far so good, but the word Sammelstelle can be translated not only as gathering point, but also as waste disposal site. This made me giggle quite a bit and probably was intentional…
8 Weird, cool and new stuff at the german Palm user meeting

This is the last post on the german Palm user meeting – I hope that you enjoyed my reports!

Nexave�s Palm User Meeting was attended by many German Palm celebrities. I managed to snap a few photos of a few of them � they are posted here in no particular order:

0 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
Smutje � the maker of the Freaq�s cases

1 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
Thorsten – one of the meeting�s organizers

2 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
Oliver � TamsPalm author

3 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
MetaView � Palm OS celebrity, PalmPDF maker

4 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
AkkiMoto(member No1 and master-mind of the Senior PUG). Please forgive my weird facial expression(long story)

5 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
Vivo � independent Palm technician, Acceca distributor, really cool guy

Image removed
B@tze � Nexave celebrity

7 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
Luxusjob � TamsPalm author

8 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
Goocy � TamsPalm author

9 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
Skybert � german Palm OS tip site webmaster, music industry a**kicker

10 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
Tapf � Senior PUG Mascot

11 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
Gojira � Senior Pug Member no1(there are three of those =))

12 The Palm User Meeting   who is who
Koermit � cool guy, SeniorPUG member, PDAchat chatter

There were a lot more people there, but I forgot to photograph them(and a few insisted on not being photographed or quoted�funnily, it were those who could have easily afforded a PR manager�but who cares). If you feel left out and want to make it on here, just send a picture of yourself to Tamog AT gmx DOT at � and I�ll add you immediately!

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