Our First Annual Car Boot Bargain Awards Picks Out Our Best Buys Of 2006
Ok, this is tongue in cheek, but I'll be picking out some of my favourite car boot bargains of the last year, and maybe that'll give you some inspiration to get up early on a Sunday morning, and get on down to your local car boot sale - you'll be amazed at what people sell, and how cheap!!!
This Strontium Dog (from 2000ad) signed picture I picked up as part of a job lot open our awards special for 2006.
Part of a job-lot, that included 35 annuals and another 2 pictures, that cost me £30, this one picture alone earned me £50 on eBay.
Buy why should it get an award? Well it was a good earner, that's true, but even if I only had it for a week, it was great looking at a piece of original artwork from my favorite 2000ad artist, Carlos Ezquerra.
Third place goes to the very special Psion 5 that cost me £20 from the local car boot.
I wasn't sure if my Psion should get an award, as it wasn't that much of a bargain, but after writing a couple of articles on it this week, it just has to get one.
The Psion 5 is a proper handheld PC - it has batteries that last for days, can by easily synced with your PC, and has an absolutely amazing keyboard, easily as good as any found on a desktop pc.
Psion's are absolutely rock solid when it comes to reliability- they don't crash, the applications do everything you could want on a small PC, and it's a crying shame that they don't make them anymore.
My Psion 5 didn't come with a sync cable, otherwise it could have claimed top spot, so the Revo is easier to attach to my PC. (I have to use a CF card reader.)
Get one while you still can, there are some great examples on eBay.
Our runner-up is the Psion Revo Pocket / Handheld PC I picked up for £10.
I don't use the Revo as a personal organizer - I work in an environment where it's plastic case wouldn't last long, I use it to write articles for my various web sites, then transfer them to Dreamweaver for publishing.
The Psion Revo has a very clear screen for a machine with no back-light, much better than it's bigger brother the Psion 5, much better contrast.
The keyboard isn't great, but once you get used to pressing on the top half of the keys quite acceptable speeds can be reached.
The thing that makes me really love the Revo is the way that it syncs with my PC via it's docking station. I write an article on the PC, sit my Revo on it's cradle, PsiWIn automatically detects the Psion and I can click on the Psion's memory and convert the Psion Word document to an MS Word document. I can then spell / grammar check it, copy it into Dreamweaver and have it on the web in about 10 minutes.
So i can take my Revo anywhere, quickly open it up and start writing, and just as quickly shut it down. If it had a bright, colour screen it would be perfect. (But that's a Psion 7!)
Our Winner has to be the XDA Pocket Pc Phone I picked up for an amazing £12. Why is it so good? Sheer usability. Since I got my XDA, unlocked it, and put my Orange SIM in, I couldn't imagine going back to a "normal" type of mobile or cell phone.
I keep all my contacts on the XDA, and can access them immediately. My diary is in full, vibrant colour. I can look at and edit Excel spreadsheets, write memo's and e-mails. SMS messages are easily written with either a handwriting recognizer or an on-screen keyboard.
Using the docking cradle my XDA syncs with my desktop PC, enabling keeping my diaries up to date on both devices.
The XDA has been in my pocket for almost a year. I've sat on it, dropped it, yet it's still working, just a few scratches on the screen from over zealous writing. I should have used screen protectors, but it's too late now, and it doesn't effect usability anyway.
If you're thinking about a Windows powered Pocket PC phone, get one. They are so useful its amazing. You could even plug a GPS receiver into it and use it as a Sat Nav in your car. It won't replace your laptop, but it will make your life a lot easier.
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