[I think this may be of some interest here, since the device was discussed
at some length a while ago (and even though a new model has appeared). I
hope I didn't miss answers to any of the issues I comment on here. This is
actually a copy of email sent to the guy in Akihabara who sold it to me.
Actually a nice guy--and I give him extra credit since he did NOT recommend
that I buy this WS003SH device, AKA 003. He actually cautioned me about it,
but I'm stubborn, so... I'm publicly posting it here (and elsewhere) mostly
because I'm furious at Microsoft. However, if you can correct some of my
misperceptions or provide constructive solutions, of course I will be
First, USB charging is apparently impossible. I hope you haven't sold any of
those big USB chargers for this device, since that will not work. I think
the problem is that the AC adapter for this device puts out 1,000 mA, but
the USB specification is only 500 mA for one USB port. I believe the
voltages are the same, so this is something that I tried to discuss with
Sharp, but I wasn't able to get a clear answer from them. It would seem to
be possible to make an adapter cable to take the 5 V from the USB port and
put it on a plug like the 003 uses for charging. Since the other USB port
would not be drawing any current, then the two ports averaged together would
(at least in theory) be below the 500 mA of the spec. Perhaps this is a
danger to the computer? However, I'd be willing to risk it with a USB hub.
(A 4-port powered hub is supposed to have a 2,000 mA power supply...)
Anyway, the bottom line is that the power consumption is bad, as you noted.
Suggestions or solutions apart from carrying the AC adapter everywhere? (But
that's what you said you do.)
Next issue is Opera. When I went to the WillCom shop to ask about this, they
recommended against it, saying it makes the machine flaky. However, there is
a newer version of Opera available, and the IE browser is pretty terrible.
Recommendations? And do I have to pay for Opera if I do install it?
With regards to the earphone, I'll report that the earphone without the
speaker also disables the microphone. That earphone is okay for listening to
music, but for making phone calls in slightly noisy places, I got a 200 yen
earphone with mike, and that works moderately well. However, overall it is
pretty poor as a phone.
Minor annoyance regarding incoming email. Sometimes it receives it, but
other times it just indicates the email is there and I have to manually
force it to finish the download. I have not been able to figure out any
pattern on this.
Next question regards firmware updates. How can I tell what's installed on
the machine and whether or not I should update? (I think that I confirmed
that I had the latest firmware as of a month ago.)
Keyboard report: Mostly useless. Apart from the size, the layout is odd
enough that I need to see the keys to use it, but the lighting of the keys
is terrible. In very bright light, it's okay, and in very dim light, it's
not as good, but at least fairly visible. However, in between, there is a
wide range of lighting levels where the keyboard is not readable. I think
that turning off the keyboard light would be very helpful most of the time,
but this is apparently not possible. All you can do is dim the display,
which also dims the keyboard, but which makes the display too hard to see.
Suggestions? (This is the major flaw that I would blame Sharp for. The rest
of the problems are mostly Microsoft's.)
Data transfer report: Bloody hell. I fought with that part for weeks before
I managed to get everything copied over. At least I think so, though I can't
be certain that some information wasn't lost along the way. An important
step that you should have told me about was the need for visiting the
WillCom shop to transfer the data from the old phone.
However, I was more concerned with the PDA data--and Microsoft makes that
part VERY difficult. I am unable to believe that Microsoft can be so
incompetent by accident or by naivete, so right now I believe that this is
deliberate incompetence. Microsoft's strategic goal is probably to cripple
the PDA market, and they don't mind losing some money there to protect their
Windows monopoly. To Microsoft, the losses are relatively trivial--but no
legitimate PDA company can stand the bleeding.
Search problem report: The data search ignores the body of the To-Do items.
Confusingly called $Bh=Jf%3!&(Bin Japanese. Only the title of the To-Do is
searchable. Please check to see if I'm mistaken, but I think this is another
example of a deliberately crippling design choice by Microsoft.
Text input report: Terrible. As already noted, the keyboard is generally
unusable because it's not visible enough. I expected that, but I thought I
would go around it with the 'block recognition' input system when I'm
working in English. According to reports, that input mode is basically like
Graffiti, and using Graffiti, I can input about 30 wpm in English.
Unfortunately, block recognition was removed from the Japanese version of
the device. Again, Microsoft deliberately crippled the functionality. The
Japanese input is usable, though slow--and I have to use it for English,
Fallback position is to use the scribble note system (in memo). That works
moderately well, but the memos are often mangled when transferred to the PC.
That basically means I have to take the time to transcribe the notes to get
much use out of them, which is increasing my work, not reducing it. Again,
design and implementation incompetence by Microsoft.
Microsoft Office software report: Worthless. The file format confusion is
especially annoying. I'm only interfacing the data to Microsoft's own
products, mostly Word and Outlook. Microsoft has succeeded in making all
parts of this pretty much worthless. However, I suppose Microsoft regards
that as successful, since this is the main area of feeping creaturitis where
Palm was induced to commit suicide.
Microsoft Internet Explorer report: Awful (though not completely worthless).
Much inferior to the old Opera I had on my previous phone with the much
smaller display. Again, I can't believe that such implementation
incompetence is purely accidental.
Synching with computers: Worse than awful. Totally unintuitive, cranky, and
I really don't know how much data has been lost. Perhaps none, but I
certainly can't tell and I have no trust in it. Data and folders show up or
disappear, and I still haven't discovered any clear patterns. I'm really
curious about the insane limitation to only two computers. Did God send
Microsoft a stone tablet inscribed "Thou shalt sync with only two
computers." In contrast with the Palm experience, quite unacceptable, though
I'm forced to accept it. All Microsoft had to do was copy Palm's approach,
and not make things worse. If this is accidental incompetence, then I'm a
monkey's uncle. The really amazing thing is that these problems are highly
visible, have been going on for years, are widely discussed--and remain
General stability: Satisfactory, though I think any credit probably belongs
to Sharp. The device does sometimes get flaky and need rebooting. Some data
may have disappeared, or maybe it's just moved somewhere else?
Overall report: Expensive learning experience. Microsoft has succeeded in
destroying the utility of PDAs, but excuse me for not throwing
Received on Thu Jul 20 13:02:47 2006