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Gadgets, Technology

DeathDrive

August 29th, 2007 by Jeff | 4 Core Dumps

Alas, my beloved LifeDrive is out of commission. This past weekend, I was at a local park where my parents were throwing a combined party celebrating my dad’s retirement, my mom’s birthday, their anniversary, and my dad’s birthday (which, coincidentally, all seemed to happen at once and in that order). I was helping clean up after most everyone had left when the LifeDrive was knocked off my hip and took a dive into the concrete floor of the shelter.

A year ago, I probably would have panicked. I had heard so many horror stories about how fragile the LifeDrive was compared to other PDAs, with its internal moving parts (i.e. the hard drive). By this point, though, my LD had taken so many tumbles onto so many hard surfaces that I barely batted an eye. Perhaps I’ve been one of those fortunate few to have found a sweet and juicy apple among bushels of lemons… or perhaps there are fewer soured former LD owners out there than everyone thinks and they’re just more vocal. At any rate, I was more annoyed at the inconvenience than concerned. It had taken far worse roller coaster rides than this thanks to gravity. I picked it up, snapped its clip back on my hip, and went back to my business.

It was when I got home that I noticed this wasn’t a run-of-the-mill bump. When I tried to use the LD the next day, I found the digitizer was no longer registering correctly. The digitizer, for those who aren’t familiar with PDA anatomy, is the sensor that overlays the LCD screen and detects taps and drags with the stylus (or finger, or pen tip, or whatever impromptu pointing device you choose). The digitizer continued to sense the stylus, but the location was grossly off, so badly in fact that the built-in calibration utility wouldn’t work. When I tried to recalibrate it, the taps would be so far out of place that the utility could not register them and would never exit. I did a careful inspection of the case to make sure it wasn’t bent to the point where it pressed against the digitizer and thus interfered with its operation, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

So by now it should be on its way to be repaired. Recalling the death and resurrection of my Tungsten C, I contacted Chris Short again, and he should be receiving the device shortly. I once again heartily recommend his services to those who need PDA (especially Palm) repairs.

Of course, it could have been worse. I count my blessings that my cats’ mouths are too small to do that kind of damage.

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