PDA

View Full Version : DS as a PDA? Please advise!


Haoshiro
Jun 7, 2006, 06:26 AM
A friend of mine has a PDA and actually uses it. Hanging out for awhile really showed me how useful it can be, just even for quick reminders, notes, or looking up an address (when all you have is a phone number on your cell), or even holding a map.

But I've also been thinking of getting a DS Lite, so I wanted to know if anyone knows of what kinda of software and features there are on the DS that could be useful as a PDA-replacement?

I don't expect to get every feature a PDA has but I'd like to know what is possible. The DS Lite is also a bargain compared to the prices of many PDAs.

Thanks!

7on
Jun 7, 2006, 07:18 AM
Well, I'm selling a Zire 72 on ebay - you should check it out; awesome deal :p


That aside, I will be using my reg DS as something like that once the web browser comes out and I can access my .Mac from it.

Other than that the DS isn't a good PDA replacement. It can't store contacts, calendars or Maps. sorry

mrgreen4242
Jun 7, 2006, 07:35 AM
It has the potential to be a pretty decent PDA, but it hasn't been realized yet. There may be some homebrew software in the works to fullfill this need as well, and the webbrowser in conjuction with an online service like .Mac or Google calendar, etc, would do the trick (if you could cache it offline that is).

Personally, I'd get a DS for games and a cell phone with decent PDA features.

Haoshiro
Jun 7, 2006, 08:45 AM
Well I really want a very minimal set of features and I had planned on getting a DS Lite anyway and I'd definitely be gaming more then using the PDA functionality, but I prefer a single device.

I honestly rarely use my cell phone and unless it had a touch screen with a stylus I have no desire to use it beyond an actual phone and phonebook.

I had heard at one time of some PDA-like functionality on DS but cannot remember where I heard about it or what all it encompassed.

I am interested to see how Opera works on it, since web programming is what I do for a living it would be nice to know I could pretty much create any functionality I would need... problem with that is that I'd only have access to it if I was in a hotspot! heh.

I guess I'll just have to do some more looking... perhaps dig into DS homebrew...

GFLPraxis
Jun 7, 2006, 10:04 AM
I've hacked my DS to function as an organizer among other things, but I don't think it's worth it for you to go through the trouble.

sk1985
Jun 7, 2006, 11:05 AM
If you want a good cheap phone with light PDA performance (this sounds like your needs) then get the T-mobile SDA phone. It's rated really well and it's really cheap now. Currently the DS won't do what you want it to do without some hacking. Even then I'd doubt the stability of it's performance. I seldom trust a lot of console homebrew software.

DevilDog
Jun 7, 2006, 11:43 AM
Actually, for the longest time in the upcoming games list from Nintendo Power, there has been a mystery game called 'organizer plus.' I haven't gotten any new magazines for roughly 6 months, so could somebody look that up? I researdched it awhile ago and it wasn't made by a game company...

sk1985
Jun 7, 2006, 11:48 AM
Actually, for the longest time in the upcoming games list from Nintendo Power, there has been a mystery game called 'organizer plus.' I haven't gotten any new magazines for roughly 6 months, so could somebody look that up? I researdched it awhile ago and it wasn't made by a game company...
Seems dead nothing that I've seen on it has been updated since 2004 to very early 2005.

Dagless
Jun 7, 2006, 01:00 PM
Psychic prediction time.

Nintendo will release an organiser cart as part of the Touch Generations group. I reckon.

2nyRiggz
Jun 7, 2006, 02:53 PM
Nintendo should of done this a long time ago but they want to focus on games.....i think they will come around.


Bless

Timepass
Jun 7, 2006, 03:35 PM
I would say dont get a DS and use it like a PDA. Yeah it might beable to store contacts and stuff but you learn really fast that it not going to be any better than carring around a cell phone.

I would get a full PDA. I had mine for about 6 months now and I find it pretty helpful in keeping everything orginzed. I have it set to sync with Outlook on my desktop so the calandars say lined up and everything stays lined up correctly.

Contacts are stored in it but like most people I just use my cellphone for that infomation. BUt having when stuff is when and stuff is due really nice. Plus i only have to enter it/edit it either on my desktop or on my PDA and both places are lined up. (plus I sync wireless anywhere in my house to add to it

mrgreen4242
Jun 7, 2006, 03:42 PM
Well I really want a very minimal set of features and I had planned on getting a DS Lite anyway and I'd definitely be gaming more then using the PDA functionality, but I prefer a single device.

I honestly rarely use my cell phone and unless it had a touch screen with a stylus I have no desire to use it beyond an actual phone and phonebook.

I had heard at one time of some PDA-like functionality on DS but cannot remember where I heard about it or what all it encompassed.

I am interested to see how Opera works on it, since web programming is what I do for a living it would be nice to know I could pretty much create any functionality I would need... problem with that is that I'd only have access to it if I was in a hotspot! heh.

I guess I'll just have to do some more looking... perhaps dig into DS homebrew...

There's been talk since day-one about the DS getting a version of PalmOS. I think I remember reading Nintendo was even in talks with them about licensing, or Palm had bought a dev kit, or something like that. Hasn't happened, yet. Might still, but "outlook not so good" as my magic 8-ball would say.

You can check out gbadev.org for some good info on homebred DS software. There's also a new device from Datel that includes a GBA slot to CF card adaptor and a DS slot "pass through" card (allows the DS to execute DS code from the GBA slot). It's $40 w/o any DF cards, they also offer some expensive 1 and 2gb card bundles.

Before anyone jumps out of their seats to tell me this isn't new, I know! These devices have been available for a year or two now, and aren't anything new. But, this is the first large company I've seen offering one, so should be both easier to locate and have better warranty coverage, etc. Datel has actually been making something similar to this for awhile now, but it had a built in 4gb micro drive, so it was ~$200.

Linky: http://us.codejunkies.com/mpds/index.htm

mrgreen4242
Jun 7, 2006, 03:53 PM
I would say dont get a DS and use it like a PDA. Yeah it might beable to store contacts and stuff but you learn really fast that it not going to be any better than carring around a cell phone.

I would get a full PDA. I had mine for about 6 months now and I find it pretty helpful in keeping everything orginzed. I have it set to sync with Outlook on my desktop so the calandars say lined up and everything stays lined up correctly.

Contacts are stored in it but like most people I just use my cellphone for that infomation. BUt having when stuff is when and stuff is due really nice. Plus i only have to enter it/edit it either on my desktop or on my PDA and both places are lined up. (plus I sync wireless anywhere in my house to add to it

It's a bit off topic, but I have tried to use a PDA 2 seperate times (I don't mean used one twice, but rather I've owned 2 different PDAs and made an effort over several months with each to use it) and found that they're really fairly useless as planners/organizers.

What I have found much, much, much more efficient is using a cell phone or iPod as a digital repository of names and contact info, and also for a long term calendar. I then use a trusty pen and paper (there's a cool site with a neat "fold up" customizable planner that you print out and fold up to about the size of a credit card or a playing card to store in your wallet... there's also a site with opensource - creative commons licensed - PDA templates for all sizes of paper organizers).

I jot names, numbers, emails, notes, etc into my notepad, and transcribe what's important into iCal/Address book, which then syncs up to, in my case, my Nano (but you could use a cell just as well). If it's something that I only needed for the week, I keep it just on the hand written version and toss it at the end of the week.

I print a new one on Sunday, along with a synopsis of my calendar for the week that is made up of all the entries I made in past weeks from my little handwritten notes. It works well, doesn't run out of batteries (well, the iPod does, but I still have a paper version of most important things), is fairly tough (I can put it in my wallet, sit on it, etc), cheap (!), easy to use, and has a great instant on feature (;)).

Haoshiro
Jun 7, 2006, 04:35 PM
Appreciate the replies but it seems as though most missed a few points entirely:
- I already want a DS Lite
- I do not want a separate PDA or to replace my current Cell.

Now if someone can point me to a nice cell that has some good integration with Mac OS X then I might change my mind!

I have looked into gbadev.org (Long time visitor of that site but it had been awhile, back when I was going to start a gba project) and was pleased that some of the options have really improved and that DS dev looks very promising. With all the docs they have I could probably code up whatever I may need.

Organizer Plus was indeed what I was thinking of and I have e-mailed the developers to see what was up. Seems like it is vaporware, though, seeing as how old the last press release was (and that I could find no info about it on their site).

GFLPraxis
Jun 7, 2006, 04:51 PM
Appreciate the replies but it seems as though most missed a few points entirely:
- I already want a DS Lite
- I do not want a separate PDA or to replace my current Cell.

Now if someone can point me to a nice cell that has some good integration with Mac OS X then I might change my mind!

I have looked into gbadev.org (Long time visitor of that site but it had been awhile, back when I was going to start a gba project) and was pleased that some of the options have really improved and that DS dev looks very promising. With all the docs they have I could probably code up whatever I may need.

Organizer Plus was indeed what I was thinking of and I have e-mailed the developers to see what was up. Seems like it is vaporware, though, seeing as how old the last press release was (and that I could find no info about it on their site).

I've got DSOrganize and some text editors on my DS, works well enough for simple things. But you need a bit of homebrew equipment to start it up.

mrgreen4242
Jun 7, 2006, 04:57 PM
Appreciate the replies but it seems as though most missed a few points entirely:
- I already want a DS Lite
- I do not want a separate PDA or to replace my current Cell.

Now if someone can point me to a nice cell that has some good integration with Mac OS X then I might change my mind!

I have looked into gbadev.org (Long time visitor of that site but it had been awhile, back when I was going to start a gba project) and was pleased that some of the options have really improved and that DS dev looks very promising. With all the docs they have I could probably code up whatever I may need.

Organizer Plus was indeed what I was thinking of and I have e-mailed the developers to see what was up. Seems like it is vaporware, though, seeing as how old the last press release was (and that I could find no info about it on their site).

I don't think they've missed the point. For the most part, what you want isn't available, and where it is, it's not going to be easy, or particularly pretty/perfect. Since what you've asked for isn't a very good solution, other alternatives have been suggested.

Also, note that using a GBA flash cart and a DS "passkey" (or modding your DS lite firmware and using a GBA flash cart) - the only ways to run DS homebrew software, means that you will have a GBA cart hanging out the bottom of your DS all the time - the Lite is so small that GBA games protrude a centimeter or something around there.

All in all, the DS Lite will be a completely sub-par PDA.

Haoshiro
Jun 7, 2006, 05:11 PM
Yeah, I just asked about if there were good solutions for DS. I won't be buying a PDA.

I have considered the GBA cart "issue" but it doesn't bother me much, since I'd probably be carrying it around separately anyway.. with a DS game or two. :)

Organizer Plus is really what I had in the back of my mind when I made this thread, I was really hoping it (or something like it) had been released and someone would know what it was called and had used it. But alas, no luck!

Timepass
Jun 7, 2006, 06:52 PM
It's a bit off topic, but I have tried to use a PDA 2 seperate times (I don't mean used one twice, but rather I've owned 2 different PDAs and made an effort over several months with each to use it) and found that they're really fairly useless as planners/organizers.

What I have found much, much, much more efficient is using a cell phone or iPod as a digital repository of names and contact info, and also for a long term calendar. I then use a trusty pen and paper (there's a cool site with a neat "fold up" customizable planner that you print out and fold up to about the size of a credit card or a playing card to store in your wallet... there's also a site with opensource - creative commons licensed - PDA templates for all sizes of paper organizers).

I jot names, numbers, emails, notes, etc into my notepad, and transcribe what's important into iCal/Address book, which then syncs up to, in my case, my Nano (but you could use a cell just as well). If it's something that I only needed for the week, I keep it just on the hand written version and toss it at the end of the week.

I print a new one on Sunday, along with a synopsis of my calendar for the week that is made up of all the entries I made in past weeks from my little handwritten notes. It works well, doesn't run out of batteries (well, the iPod does, but I still have a paper version of most important things), is fairly tough (I can put it in my wallet, sit on it, etc), cheap (!), easy to use, and has a great instant on feature (;)).

Yeah I agree a PDA is not for everyone. I think it a person by person bases. I tend to be a very disorgized person over all. So I try to find external things to help keep me more oringized. My computer happens to be one of the few things that tends to stay very originzed in keep track of stuff plus I keep a lot of info in the calandard and task list. If I write something down I tend to forget to copy it over (the Palm prevents that problem for me.)

Unlike you, I dont like how the iPod contact list and calandar interface is. I kind of think of it as worthless and not well orginzed. Plus no ablilty to edit. That and I just dont carry my ipod on my much at all.
As for contact info yeah my cell phone is where it is all at. It stores the name and phone number for me and sometimes the email address but mostly all I care about for some one is there name and phone number. Wish it could sync up with my computer but that is a pipe dream for me right now.

But all that being said the PDA has been a helpful device for me personally in getting things together. I add homework assiments when I get them in class and when they are due. It really comes down to how the person uses them. I make great use out of mine and it has really helped me out.

More on topic what the guy seems to want I just dont see the DS offering it. Right now a Cell or his ipod syncing with his comptuer woudl be a good option. That or get a PDA which a good one can be bought for under 100. I have a Palm TX which I love but that is out side of his price range.

Haoshiro
Jun 7, 2006, 06:58 PM
Well I'd like to bring back up that a nice Cell/PDA combo that integrates with Mac OS X would really be enticing if I knew of one.

I recently heard there are pretty good rumors of Intel+Apple+Blackberry and that could be cool... plus the rumblings of an Apple Mobile Phone.

I guess I can get the DS Lite and if something comes up then great, otherwise just wait it out to see if Apple announces anything like rumors indicate could be possible.