What (cheap) PDA?

  Gaz W 23:07 14 May 04

I've been looking around Ebay at PDAs. I don't need anything amazingly excellent; in fact even something older with a black & white screen would (probably) do.

Basically I need it to have some sort of database application, preferably compatible with Microsoft Access (versions 97 to 2003 - I'm not bothered because 2003 saves in 97 format). This does need to be able to at least READ the database, although writing to it is maybe preferable.

The idea is this: I have a peanut allergy and if I can store all of the various lists on the PDA it would make food shopping a bit easier - anything I don't know about can't always be purchased until checked on the lists on paper/the internet at home. A database I think is probably the best solution, especially if the PDA software allows loading queries/forms in Access (if it exists).

Sorry if this posting is a bit long, but I don't know a lot about PDAs - all I know is that whatever I get will have to be very cheap; I'm talking a maximum of £30 second hand on Ebay.

I've seen a few Psion series 3 and 5 ones, but whether these would be suitable I don't know. I have half of one somewhere, but it doesn't work any more because the hinge has broken off and the screen won't come on. I have used this and I don't know whether it would be compatible with anything modern, even Access 97.

Thanks in advance,


  Gaz W 23:15 14 May 04

Sorry about the abrupt ending there - I always edit my postings because they never seem to make sense - probably still doesn't!!!

  pharte 23:28 14 May 04

Gaz, i own a ipaq (2nd one so far) and they are amazing for virtually anything.

As for what you want I saw a massive bunch of handhelds for sale at two recent computer faurs run by advance computer fairs in the north west area, they were priced at £20.00 each and obviously bulk buys but they would be ideal for you.

which area are you in and I will try and send a link for the fair organisers if they come to your area

  pharte 23:30 14 May 04

and here we go click here

  Gaz W 23:40 14 May 04

Thanks for you response,

I'm going to look into the specs of the iPaqs now. I realise that these vary in specs (or at least I think they do) so I'm going to look into it.

What were these hand held ones for £20 at the computer fair?

  Gaz W 23:44 14 May 04

I notice some of them come with Word, Outlook and Excel, but no Access. Is this an optional extra or is it available at all? Ideally I'd prefer it to be included with whatever I buy because I imagine it to be expensive.

  TheTerminator 23:46 14 May 04

no progs have access capability: look at documents to go:
click here

no access support, and I don;'t know of any progs which support access.

  pharte 23:47 14 May 04

yup, basic and probably a couple of years old but probably just what your'e looking for to start with anyway ...£20.00 a throw and a box full of 'em on at least two different stalls.

I have also seen the basic ipaq on ebay very cheap but make sure you get the software discs with them for syncronising and software etc.

you should have two discs with the ipaq, one with the sync software and one with the outlook software on it. they will be of no use without them so make sure they are included.

also the charger, cradle and jacket etc.

  Gaz W 00:16 15 May 04

So basically I can (probably) get an iPaq from the computer fair for £20? If this doesn't have compatibility with Access, would the TheTerminator suggests work with it?


I'm not quite sure what you mean - you have linked to that program saying no access support, but one of them says "Microsoft Access Database".

  pharte 21:33 18 May 04

look at a magazine called PDA essentials, loads of info etc in there, also plenty of software on the ipaq companion cd and links to pda software developers.

This site is good click here

and also microsoft.public.pocketpc is a newsgroup for q & a on all aspects of pda's.

remember the old addage "look before you leap", by the sound of it you need something better than a cheapo basic handheld if you want to run progs that you describe.

hope this helps further

  Gaz W 22:00 18 May 04

Thanks for the information.

If I'm not after a cheapo basic handheld, what sort of things am I looking at? By that I mean make, model etc.

Obviously if it could at least READ Access databases it'd still be useful.

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