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PDA Blogging Advice Needed:
I have been very happy with the service and pricing of T-Mobile over the past year, as well as with the functionality of my Treo 600. Nevertheless, I was considering moving to Verizon when Palm announced the Treo 700w (and here) that would access their 3G high-speed wireless data network. The problem with such a move was that the phone plan was more expensive ($70 vs $50 a month for 2 lines) and the data plan was much more expensive ($45 vs. $20 per month for unlimited data). And unlike T-Mobile which is GSM, Verizon does not work in many countries. I have used my Treo for email and web browsing extensively in Europe and recently in Singapore, so having a "world phone" comes in handy for me. And I have never had a practical problem with T-Mobile's national phone coverage.

A few weeks ago, however, I happened to discover that T-Mobile had already rolled out its EDGE network that renders much higher speed Internet than before. (While it does get between 100-150kbs, the bursts are sometimes interrupted, so the net speed is slower.) Though this is still slower than Verizon (which promises up to 300kbs), it seemed like it might be fast enough for me, but I needed an EDGE capable PDA. When I discovered that the Treo 650 GSM version was EDGE capable, I had an excellent reason finally to upgrade to what is a much refined PDA in several respects, e.g. better keyboard, much better screen resolution, and faster processor.

So far I am very happy with the Internet speed one gets from EDGE. It is great for surfing blogs. Where once I had to avoid any graphics intensive blogs, I can now go pretty much anywhere I like. I highly recommend this option. The only downside is the cost. T-Mobile does not sell subsidized Treo's and an unlocked one from Palm cost me $550. (I bought it at the Airport Wireless store in Logan.) On the other hand, T-Mobile is not charging any extra for access to its EDGE network so, at $20 per month for its Internet access, the service is cheap. And T-Mobile's national coverage for its EDGE network is far more extensive than Verizon's high speed data network, which is confined to major metropolitan areas.

I now want to start blogging from my Treo 650 but am not sure which client I should buy. This article reviews several clients (mo:Blog, HBlogger, Plogit, and Vagablog), but it is over a year old. Powerblogs uses the metaweblog API, so any client must be compatible. Does anyone have any recommendations? I know I can always download them and try them out for myself, but I thought I would see if any readers has working experience with these applications.
chuck jackson (mail):
I think that Verizon Wireless states that EVDO will TYPICALLY deliver about 200-400 kbps. The underlying maximum data DOWNSTREAM rate (which is usually shared among several users and declines with distance from the cell site) is about 2.5 Mbps.

The UPSTREAM data rate is lower—-with a maximum of about 150 kbps.

For a discussion see article on CDMA2000 EVDO
1.3.2006 3:35pm
Michele in NYC (mail) (www):
I'm a treo 650/verizon user who has tried various ways to blog to my MT site using my PDA. I currently blog on multiple blogs (3 at blogger and my main site at .munu) and have not yet found a good app that can manage my blogging between them as seemlessly as my PC. I've worked with 2 of the apps (Plogit &Vagablog) mentioned in the article and discussed them with heavy bloggers as it relates to ease of usage, features available and blogging style. My experience has been just as they indicated and as was pointed out in the attached article.

My most recent foray (last 4 days) has been with Vagablog. On the positive side, it's very easy to download to your PDA (small app), set up and use. I was posting within 1hr. However, on the down side it doesn't allow for edits of recent posts or upload of images. My Postcards from NYC site is a photoblog site that has been linked to by major travel sites so I need to have that feature.

Using Vagablog for my MT site required HTML tag knowledge in order to embed features not provided with the application. After reading about it's limitations and using it for several days, I've concluded I'll go back to my original set up (sans vagablog) as I need something more powerful.

In my original set up I used my browser to go directly into my MT blog, via the web portal interface, I have been able to blog directly into MT. However, if you're distracted or interrupted and your phone's power saving feature kicks in, you will lose your post. My workaround has been to create my post in my Treo's Memo app then copy (not cut), go into my MT site and paste it into my new entry. Then I can save it as a draft or publish. I've been unable to upload images directly, but that was because of the size of the images I used.

Hope this helps with what you're looking for. Thanks for the info on T-Mobile rates. I think I'll explore them when my contract runs out next summer.
1.3.2006 9:24pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Out of curiousity Randy, why did you avoid Cingular's 650? -- it is subsidized, GSM, and includes EDGE at comparable rates to TMobile (though Cingular customer service, like Sprint's, leaves MUCH to be desired).
1.3.2006 11:25pm
Randy Barnett (mail) (www):
I happily fled Cingular after years of frustrating customer service. T-Mobile's customer support is simply outstanding, and when I moved to T-Mobile a couple years ago, EDGE was not an issue. Besides, having an unlocked phone gives me flexibility. I was able to give my trusty Treo 600 to my son who is still on Cingular, and I could use an international SIM card if I ever want to.
1.3.2006 11:35pm
Eric (mail) (www):
Like Michele, I blog from my Treo 650. I just recently converted from a Tungsten C (the integrated WiFi was awesome everywhere but at work). My one real complaint is that the Tungsten had a much better keyboard than the Treo does. If the 650's keyboard is better than the 600 then it must have been fairly bad. I've put up a couple of recent posts on different PDA blogging and blog reading:

Very cool: Google's WML/WAP gateway
HowTo for Vagablog: HowTo PDA Blogging

Vagablog, unfortunately, only supports the blogger API, so it probably won't help. The developer support is also a bit spotty, but the price (free) can't be beat. I don't know what web interface looks like here, but you might be able to do what Michele does.
1.4.2006 12:25am
Waldense (mail):
Cingular will sell you a subsidized handset all by itself (i.e. not bundled with service and a multi-year commitment), at what Cingular calls a "no commit" price, and will unlock the handset for you at that time. Cingular also will unlock handsets obtained in bundled transactions, upon request, so long as you are current in payments and have satisfied the term commitment of any plan you're on.
1.5.2006 5:42pm
Waldense (mail):

Cingular will sell you a subsidized handset all by itself (i.e. not bundled with service and a multi-year commitment), at what Cingular calls a "no commit" price, and will unlock the handset for you at that time.

That should, of course, say "unsubsidized" rather than subsidized. Sigh.
1.5.2006 5:45pm
Eric (mail) (www):
Okay, after working my way through several different PDA blogging tools on my Treo, I finally settled on mo:blog as my solution. See this post and this one for some basics on why I chose mo:blog. Tomorrow I plan on putting up a detailed review of the four blogging tools I looked at and why I chose mo:blog.
1.6.2006 2:20am