PDA News – NEC Quits Japan, Status of Clie CF Drivers, PDAs in Grocery Stores Study, Free TextMaker

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NEC is pulling its PDAs out of Japan

NEC Mobile Pro P300

The PDA market in Japan is fierce, much more so than in the US. NEC, which has a few models available, it apparently getting beaten up pretty good and will pull sales operations in Japan as a result. This announcement comes less than two weeks after word came out regarding a new handheld PC from NEC. DigiTimes has more:

Set back by weak sales, NEC has decided to temporarily pull the plug on its PDA business in Japan, sources said.

It is unclear when the vendor would return to the PDA market. NEC subsidiary NEC Computer International (NEC CI) will continue managing the company’s PDA business in other markets and selling existing PDA models the MobilePro 200E, MobilePro 300E and MobilePro P300 sources added.

According to sources, Taiwan’s Asustek Computer has stopped producing the MobilePro P300 for NEC. MiTAC International, on the other hand, is still supplying the MobilePro 200E and MobilePro 300E.

A ton of work is going into getting CF support for the Clie NR, NX and NZ series Clies – not by Sony though

Excerpt from a popular thread at ClieSource:

There have been a lot of questions raised in various threads about the beta, what’s possible and what’s not. I’d like to stop by here and tell everyone who’s interested about what’s going on and also what we’ve found. This should help answer a lot of the questions that have been raised about the beta and also quell some of the rumors.

Cards:
We have a wide range of cards in the beta program and overall it appears that most of them are being recognized (although some not perfectly) and are able to be read. Specifically beta testers report that they can read off IBM Microdrives (1 gig) and CF cards at up to 1 gig thus far.

Applications:
For those interested in applications being able to access the card here are the current (abbreviated) findings:
It appears that Zlauncher is working with the card to a great degree and we will be working with Zlauncher to make it even better if possible.
Kinoma player reads files off the card and can play them (with or without a Memory Stick in). Also it shows a CF icon next to the files on the CF card.
Audio Player, Voice Recorder, and Movie Recorder/Player do not recognize or use the CF card at this time.
AcidImage can read pictures off the card and view them but since the driver is read only at this time, it cannot write back thumbnails.
MSImport does not work with the CF card.

Wireless PDA software helps grocery shoppers

Someday soon grocery shoppers using a wireless personal digital assistant (PDA) may be able to interact with a store’s computer system to locate items and learn about special promotions.

In a field test of a prototype PDA system developed by Georgia Institute of Technology researchers, shoppers reported that the device made shopping easier and more efficient. Shoppers tended to avoid impulse buys and also found items in the store more quickly. On the downside, shoppers did not like holding the PDA while shopping, and many suggested a docking station on the shopping cart an idea explored, but not tested in this study.

“It’s still an unanswered question as to whether the PDA is the right device for use in grocery stores,” said Georgia Tech Associate Professor of Computing John Stasko, who supervised the project. “Our study clearly showed some potential. But the devil is in the details.” More from EurekAlert!

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