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Cost breakdown of PDA e-mail options

Jan 1, 2003
From Ocean Navigator #119
January/February 2002
Cost breakdown of PDA email options

To the editor: I enjoyed Lawrence Husick's article in your last issue (Correspondence, Issue 118 Nov./Dec. 2001) regarding use of the iPaq and Internet solutions. I would like a breakdown of the stated $950 of the iPaq and an estimate of the cost for years he has owned the equipment.

Also, can this technology be fed into a normal laptop versus the hand-held computer? I find this a very interesting change to wireless Internet access.

Roger Ford lives aboard his PDQ36 catamaran in Baltimore, Md.

Lawrence Husick responds:

The costs break down as follows:

* Compaq iPaq 3630 $500

* Compaq PC Card Sleeve $150

* AirCard wireless modem $300

* The service, unlimited and nation-wide, costs $40 per month.

The same modem can also be used in a Windows-compatible laptop with a PC Card slot, but for some reason, which is not abundantly clear, the service becomes more expensive on a monthly basis.

Obviously, with competition, the costs will fall significantly over time for the airtime. I have already used the SprintPCS AirCard, which, while slower (14.4 Kbaud versus 19.2 Kbaud for the CDPD modem) was also free from Sprint and has a lower monthly service charge.

Lawrence Husick, a technology patent attorney, lives in Valley Forge, Penn.