This week I will perform a no tear-down tear down. Nothing less. But before getting into the guts of the patient, a Palm Pilot, a bit of remembering. Yes, this is the PDA form 1997 that I am sure many of us used back in the days. Small, lightweight, rugged and effective, these assistants could really fit in a pocket and be useful. It was even possible to develop your own apps – assuming you were ready to do real code, and not assembling samples from here and there before pushing it to an online store. If my memory serves me well, you could use the CodeWarrior IDE or even the GNU Pilot SDK and GCC. Really nice devices. In addition to its personal information management role, the Palm Pilot was a great tool for more professional uses. Symbol Technologies, for example, added their bar code scanners into these terminals.
This is how the SE 900 scan engine, performing up to 39 scans per second, got integrated into the SPT 1500. You could run all day long in your warehouses and manage your stocks with this tinny device in your hands. With its visible Laser Diode at 650 nm, it can handle scan angles of 53 degrees with a minimum print contrast of 25% absolute dark/light reflectance. In other words, it was pretty good in harsh environments. The model I am tearing-down – without tearing it down – is a demonstrator model with a clear case. It is pretty cool. And I cannot resist quoting Dr. Evil: “You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here! What do we have? “. Enjoy the view.