I've owned a small selection of PDAs for several years now – starting when I was really anal retentive in the early 90s.

First up was the Microwriter Agenda; purchased in those heady days before PDAs became commonly available. It had a neat one-handed five-button keyboard, apparently like court stenographers use and also known as the CyKey system. This was great - but the Agenda has a very small screen and a tendency to crash permanently making it totally unusable.

Next up was the Psion 3a – a forerunner of the Psion Series 5. This was very useful, and a mainstay of my anal retentiveness for many years. I would still have it today if a Swedish guy hadn’t knocked it off my desk during a classroom discussion about ERP software; causing it to disintegrate into several pieces. The Series 3 had two major flaws – no backlight, and a ridiculously fragile hinge mechanism.

I got a Series 5 soon after. The Series 5 had a neat touch screen; so natural to use that I automatically try to press the dialog buttons on normal computer screens all the time (very embarrassing in public).

These days I am much less anal: and my Series 5 / PDA usage has dropped considerably. Looking back I wish I’d spent the money on therapy and beer and used paper notepads instead (like I do now) ...

Two years on from my original post and after two Psion machines and lots of paper, I am now onto my first Palm - the M500 don't you know!

The Palm is deficient in many ways – no keyboard, very poor handwriting recognition, occasional crashes and weird hang-ups when the battery drops below 50%. But three things make it an improvement on the Psion: a near perfect synchronisation with MS Outlook, easy-to-use form factor, and it works brilliantly with my Ericsson T68i mobile phone.

Oh! All those wasted years …