iPAQ? Well Packed!

It’s here!!! There’s a parcel van just pulled up, so with baited breath, I spy on him from the upstairs window… Boo!!! That’s a huge box and so can’t be my parcel. Hang on – he’s coming to our house. What the… ?

When I sign for the parcel, I notice the Paypal invoice stuck to the top: yep definitely mine. So how come the box is so large? To give you an idea of the size of the thing, here’s a picture complete with a Coke can for scale (click all pictures for a bigger version):

Big package

Big huh? All of that for a hand-held organiser, albeit boxed with a few accessories. How big are my hands supposed to be? Ripping the parcel tape off the top revealed a solid mass of unknown “stuff” wrapped in plastic:

Mystery stuff

After much pulling, twisting and generally getting annoyed, I manage to pull a solid lump of foam out of the box and realise how this has been packed.

There’s a bottom layer of polystyrene chips, about 2” deep, with the electronics on top (which had been wrapped in bags in big bubble wrap). Then, there’s a plastic liner, which has been filled with expanding foam to make everything snug.

Polystyrene chips

Taking the foam outside shows a beautifully formed lump around the electronics.

Foam mass

All-in-all, very well packed and that suddenly makes the £12.50 P&P seem very reasonable. What actually came out of the box was the following:

New kit

I’ll post stuff here as I play with it more.

New Toy Number 2

Last night I won an eBay auction for an HP iPAQ h5550 PDA. I’ve been looking at getting such a device for a short while and this one came up on the global tat bazaar for a reasonable-looking price. Included in the package is the iPAQ, a spare high-capacity battery, two docking stations, two mains chargers, a car charger, a case, plus an external folding keyboard (also in a case), all fully boxed with the software bundle.

This was an absolute bargain at just £50 including P&P. When they were first launched (mid-2003), this was the state-of-the-art PocketPC machine to have: fingerprint scanner, wireless connectivity, bluetooth, SD expansion capabilities, plus a massive 128MB of RAM. List price was a hefty £500 though.

After a quick exchange of e-mails with the seller last night, he’s going to post it today and I should have it by tomorrow.


New Laptop

My trusty workhorse of my IBM-supplied ThinkPad T42p has finally bitten the dust. After several months of the fan sounding decidedly rough, it simply failed to start one day with some ominous BIOS beeps and the “Fan Error” message, followed by an automatic power-down.

Luckily, I’ve now been issued with a replacement model: a Lenovo W500. This isn’t a bad machine, but it does lack some of the tactile niceties of the more solid T42p. Sure, the screen is wider (running at a resolution of 1920×1200), with a much faster CPU (Intel dual core 2.5GHz) — thing is, though, I don’t really need this horsepower and I certainly don’t need such a high-resolution screen. With the T42p I used to work all day with the screen, whereas I think this display may get a little tiring on the eyes after a while. Only time will tell.

There are some neat touches with the system: it does have a fingerprint scanner (which isn’t just a gimmick) and built-in GPRS connectivity for mobile internet, should I ever decide I want to use that.

Of course, I currently can’t boot my old system, which means my data is currently stuck on the old hard drive. Yes, I have a backup, but it is now 30 days old (having been on holiday for a week and working at home for a while before that). The files which I need now are the ones which I use every day, hence they are the ones which are not up-to-date in my backup copy.

According to PC Pro though, it’s a highly-capable laptop so I shouldn’t complain: review here.

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