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LinuxLaboratory.org: The Agenda VR3 from a Multi-OS User's Perspective

Jul 21, 2001, 15:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by solo)

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This is a hard but fair (from our own experiences) review of the Agenda VR3 handheld. Complaints center around speed, responsiveness, and documentation support while the author gives a favorable nod to the device as a developer favorite that will likely please Linux enthusiasts even if it can't keep up with other PDA's on the market:

"For a cost of $250.00US, I'd have to say that I got just about what I'd expected from the Agenda VR3. For a first time venture, Agenda has made a decent showing. Their original shipping date of April 30th slipped by 3 weeks, but at that time, they notified their customers of the new shipping date, and offered a nice nylon computer bag for our trouble. I'm happy to report that I did get shipping confirmation of my VR3 about a week after the second shipping date of May 21, and the machine and free bag are now in my possession. The Agenda VR3 has some nice innovations, and is a very unique approach to PDA design. However, for me, this is a hobbyist gadget that, hopefully, I'll be able to use to contribute to the Linux community in the near future.

Those of you who write code in Linux will have a blank canvas to try your work on with the VR3. Since I first discovered the VR3, Agenda has upgraded their web site for looks only. The content of the site is woefully slim, even at this writing. I'd like for Agenda Computing to make a liar out of me, and have a full featured AND full content site available for your perusal after you read this review. Actual, downloadable software, a full complement of instructions, and usage tips are the least that the company can do for the folks that have already made an investment in them. As it stands, this machine is yet more incentive for me to learn how to program (or at least port other applications over to the Agenda PDA). I do need more skills to accomplish that though, and to their credit, Agenda has links on the site for several developer's resources.

The bad news is that, for a newcomer, in a very aggressive PDA market, the Agenda VR3 (in it's current configuration) won't see wide acceptance from the average user. I've been reading the comments on the Agenda message boards, and the Linux faithfuls seem to love the VR3. Unfortunately, this is the equivalent of the preacher preaching to the choir... They were sold on Linux a long time ago. Having used FTP file transfer, serial network connections, and TELNET, in addition to frequently using a Unix/Linux workstation, these folks have computer experience that the average PDA user can only dream of."

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