Palmcricket Frequently Asked Questions

  Which Palm handheld models are suitable for Palmcricket?  


There are three important features that determine a Palm model's suitability for scoring cricket matches. These are:

  • Visibility: When scoring while umpiring, the screen must be clearly visible in direct sunlight. Monochrome (black and white) screens are quite adequate. Some colour-screen models (Zire 31, Z22) that work perfectly well indoors are completely unsuitable for scoring while umpiring, as their screens appear to "blank" out in direct sunlight. If one is going to score from inside a building or from under a tree, then the screen must (also) be clearly visible in the shade. Monochrome models perform quite well under normal shady conditions, but become less visible under very gloomy or dark conditions, unless there is some kind of back-lighting. Colour models that use the latest TFT technology (for example the Tungsten E2 and the Treo 650) have clear displays, indoors or out.
  • Battery life: The unit should be able to last for a full days' cricket without access to an external power source. Unfortunately, certain high-end Palm models have insufficient battery life to last a full day's play (see below for a list). High resolution colour screens, digital cameras and bluetooth capabilities consume more power, making these models less effective than the more modest black and white models, for scoring at venues without electrical power (or while umpiring). It seems that technology regresses, sometimes.
  • Cost: Budgets are tight! Cricket associations, clubs and schools mostly operate with limited resources, so one should look at units that provide value for money and represent the most economical solution, especially where many teams must be supplied.The latest "gee-whiz" model may well be able to record a video of the lunar eclipse, while playing Beethoven's 5th Symphony, but does it make sense to buy 10 of these units at $500 each? Our experience indicates that most scorers use their handheld units for cricket scoring, and nothing else. So unless one is a "power" PDA user, all those extra functions are a waste of money and they just use up scarce battery resources. Inexpensive models can also be replaced relatively easily, when necessary.

The software was originally developed for the baby M100 (with only 2Mb memory). This low-cost model worked perfectly and was almost tailor-made for cricket. It had great visibility in direct sunlight and came with a back-light that could be switched on when it became gloomier. Even with the back-light in full use,the batteries lasted long enough to allow scoring for an entire day. Using two long-life AAA batteries, one could comfortably score 3 ODI matches without battery replacement. Thus any Palm handheld with similar capabilities to the m100 would be more than adequate. From a memory point of view, Palmcricket was designed to operate in an environment of limited resources. Even with all ten archive matches stored, the Palm would use no more than 700 kb of memory in total.

To overcome battery life limitations, one can try the following remedies:

  • Recharge the unit during lunch and tea breaks, using an available electricity outlet.
  • Use more than one fully-charged handheld during a match, and transfer the match via beaming to the other model(s), in good time before the batteries expire.
  • Buy a third-party "battery extender" to increase the battery life.
  • Have a look at Steve Gibson's remedy, which we discuss in more detail here

The best bet, of course is to use a model that has sufficient battery life. Models known to have enough battery life for scoring a full day's play are listed below:

  • Palm IIIx
  • Palm V
  • Palm m100
  • Palm m105
  • Palm m500
  • PalmOne Zire.
  • PalmOne Zire 21.
  • Palm Tungsten E2. See our review .
  • PalmOne Zire 31. Caution: Display NOT visible in direct sunlight, thus NOT suitable for scoring while umpiring, unless overcast conditions prevail. Otherwise a reasonably good choice for scoring in the shade or indoors.
  • Palm Z22. Caution: Display NOT visible in direct sunlight, since it uses the same screen technology as the Zire 31. Positive: Does not lose data when the battery expires. See our review .

Models with insufficient battery life to score a full one day international (as reported by users) are:

  • PalmOne Zire 72 (battery expires after approximately 80 overs, but the display is visible under most lighting conditions)
  • PalmOne Tungsten E (battery expires after approximately 60 overs, but the display is visible under most lighting conditions)

Models with almost zero visibility in direct sunlight (i.e. they can only be used for scoring indoors) include:

  • PalmOne Zire 31.
  • Palm Z22.

We can compile a more comprehensive list of suitable and unsuitable models, if Palmcricket members send us an e-mail detailing their experience with particular models.


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This page was last updated on 24 May 2010 at 10:54 South African Time (GMT + 2:00)