I am thinking of getting an old Windows PDA for use purely for bible study, looking for ideas amongst fellow IT pros on some ideas.
Often I rely on using biblegateway.com for searching for keywords on some scripture and a small device in which I can carry around in addition to a bible in a carry case would be good.
Now old HP/Compaq ipaqs and Dell Axims can be got for as little as £25 on ebay,
This is what I need,
Basic, cheap, reasonable battery life, clear screen, SD card slot, not scratch prone, some app to show bible (maybe multiple translations) easy to make notes on things, possibly a way to sync things from google calender via Activesync, usable on screen keyboard. 64Mb or even 32Mb would be probably be fine. Maybe a bolt on real keyboard.
What I dont need: iPhone/iPod Touch, these are great but wants some basic as its more or less going to be used for one purpose only, so I dont want to get distracted by messing about with some other things when I want to use it just for bible study. I dont need a phone (I have a basic one that suits me fine) I dont need wireless or bluetooth or MP3 or camera.
I want to stick with Windows just to stick with something mainstream.
Suggestions are welcome from anyone.
For the software, I recommend e-sword for Pocket PC. It has lots of translations, study tools, add-on modules etc, and is completely *free*:
My only minor criticisms are (1) the start-up time is poor – but then it is a comprehensive tool, (2) the facility for adding your own notes to the text is a little limited for my purposes – but I doubt anything else is better.
I used to have an IPAQ + loved it, but there are other great devices out there, too. The Microsoft PPC software scene isn’t in as good shape as it used to be, but there are still some great applications to be had.
As you said, go for a good screen and long battery life (older devices are notorius for reduced battery life). Don’t skimp on memory or processing power. A later OS is obviosuly better than an early one – absolutely avoid PPC 2002 and earlier. Bluetooth is a bonus if you want a real keyboard, but don’t expect to type an essay on these things – Pocket Word slows up quite considerably after a couple of pags of text.
The other alternative to all this is one of these fancy mini-notebook things (an XP one), but I have little experience in this area and they’re probably a lot more costly.
I’d be interested to know how you get on.