The vintage HPC by MyMobilepro - Why buy one?
HPCs, short for Handheld Personal Computers have been around since the late 1990s. They were the forerunners of the modern day pocketpc. The operate on various versions of Windows CE and are controlled by various central processors.
The earliest were monochrome with only 4 grey scales. They had only 2 or 4 mb of memory. They operated on CE1 or CE2. They had MIPS or SH3 processors.
As they developed, various versions of Windows CE developed. Beginning with CE 2.11, we started seeing the platform of Handheld Professional. With CE3 we saw Handheld 2000. With CE 4 we started seeing CE.NET. All of these were advances in the operating system. With greater power and potential, the hardware also developed.
A new processor entered the ranks, the ARM processor. It had more capability and greater commands. It was about this time that all SH3 processors, and its offspring, the SH4 processor went the way of the dinosaur. After a few years, the MIPS processor follows. ARM became the mainstay of both HPCs and pocketpcs.
Eventually in early 2005, the last HPC was discontinued, the Mobilepro 900C. And true to form, the pocketpc followed in a couple of years. Today, there is no manufacturer making HPCs or pocketpcs. They are ancient relics...but not necessarily worthless ones.
The HPC of yesteryear has some key advantages over anything you can buy today. First of all, they have very good battery life. You can run all day on a single charge. Consider when a normal laptop is telling you the battery is dangerously low after a couple of hours. The HPC is normally only halfway there.
They are instant on. No warm up time. You have something you need to jot down quickly, turn it on and do it! Just that fast.
They are smaller than a laptop. Some will easily slip into a purse or a pocket. Just like your smartphone. For those of you who use smartphones a lot, you know how handy it is to have it near and always ready...but imagine how much easier it is to enter data if you have a keyboard that you can actually type on.
They are inexpensive today. These same machines that cost hundreds of dollars in the past are often sold on eBay for less than $50 complete. What a deal.
They have an extensive software library. Years of development have provided for versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, database programs, clocks, games, utilities, you name it...it is out there...and it is for free!
There is still support available. Lots of hobbyist love HPCs. There are numerous websites in support of HPC only devices, such as HPCFactor or MyMobilepro and many others.
They fill a niche and meet a need. This is what they do best. They meet certain needs of certain people. They are not for everyone, nor do they interest everyone. They are best suited to meet the needs of college students and people on the go.
Investment in an HPC is not lost money. Far from it. I encourage anyone who is interested to give it a try and see what they think. If it works out for you...great! If not, you are not out anything. Just resell the hardware to someone else who may interested in HPCs. But even at that, look around and visit the websites I just mentioned. See what others say and see how others are using their HPCs. It may be just what you want...or it may not. You decide.