I got my Pandora much later than most other active users of the Open Pandora board. So I own it just since two months™. But since then it became a central point of my dayly life and I won’t miss it anymore. I were an active member of the open Pandora board even without the device because of the great community. It made fun to develop stuff for them even without Pandora. Because of this I already knew some use cases of the device, but I was surprised for what different things else the Pandora is useful for.
[ This is a guest article from Ziz, from the Pandora boards ]
Let’s start with a typically day with university and work. I study computer science, so the Pandora is the perfect device for me. It is quite small, so I don’t have to carry that much especially if I take the bicycle. Furthermore it doesn’t need ages for booting. I just resume from standby, connect to the university’s wifi and start taking notes e.g with Abiword or just Geany In fact most of my notes are just text files. I don’t need the features of an office suite for this. But even if I would like to use some professional typesetting software like latex or lyx I could! If I need to copy some drawings from the board I use mtPaint and the touchscreen, which is awesome. Furthermore of course I can view the slides of lectures or the pdf files of the exercises on the Pandora too without the need to print them out. 😉 If I don’t understand something or am just bored, I start Arora and surf on the internet. Even on my CC Pandora this works pretty well, even parallel. I could use my mobile phones for this of course too, but I hate not having the arrows keys, page down and page up while browsing websites and the need to enter urls via touchscreen. Furthermore most mobile websites are awful…
After university I often have to go to work, which is unfortunately quite far away, so I have to take tram and bus for nearly one hour – for each direction. With my Pandora this is no wasted time at all! Just know I write this text on my Pandora on my way to work. Furthermore with my mobile phone as internet hotspot I can continue surfing in the internet or reading and answering(!) mails. But even without internet connection I have full access to my mails thanks to Sylpheed, which I use on every of my PCs, so I had just to copy the .sylpheed-2.0 and my mailbox folder to my Pandora and everything worked out of the box. In fact I thought about synchronizing my mails on all my systems, but as things turned out this isn’t necessary: I just use only the Pandora for e-mails now.
If I don’t like to do serious stuff I also love to play homebrew games and with emulators. What exactly I play changes from month to month. At the moment I use Drastic quite often to play Pokémon platinum or PCSX ReARMed for a quick round Crash Team Racing. Or I play Microbes, try to beat Foxblock in snowman (he is better than me in my own game, what a shame!), play Starcraft or boson-X, a really hard, but fantastic game, in which I try to solve the last level at the moment. But as I grew up with Nintendo I also love to play Gameboy (advance) or (super) NES games from time to time. Furthermore I am quite surprised, how good Super Mario 64 runs on my old model with Mupen. Or I just watch a movie or series with smplayer2, which I may have downloaded before with FreeRapidDownloader or get-flash-videos.
At work then I use the Pandora as music player via Gmu, which I use for listening to audio books, too. They help my girlfriend to fall asleep faster. I put the Pandora under my pillow with just the front side looking out and she can adjust the volume with the tactile analog wheel without the need of opening the lid, which light would be very unpleasant if you in fact want to sleep. But back to work. Here I also use pidgin for chatting on IRC, with jabber and ICQ. At home I use my Pandora for chatting, too. Most of the time when I do the dishes, because I can take it to the kitchen an can answer while the dishes soak.
When I went to Romania the last two weeks I took the Pandora with me too for multiple reasons: It is lighter than my netbook, the battery lasts longer (I even have a spare battery) and it is small enough for my backpack vacation. I planned to use it for watching and deleting photos with the Pandora Image Viewer (what we did indeed), but I could use it for even more! I read my mails in the train from Germany to Romania and saw, that I didn’t get a confirmation for one of my hostels, so I just wrote a mail on the Pandora and while still being in the Czech republic I got my confirmation. Furthermore we really needed to sign up for language courses! The registration opens at a specific time and you have only a few minutes until the courses are full. Thanks to Arora my girlfriend now learns Swedish.
But in the hostels we could also use the Pandora and the free hostel wifi to plan trips or to have a look for the bus times. In one hostel the outlets didn’t work, but we really needed our mobile phones charged because of the gps map, so I loaded the phone in the night with the Pandora and just used the other battery the next day. Without the need of recharging the phone the Pandora would have surely last the whole vacation! On the way back to Germany the Pandora could help out in the holidays one last time: My girlfriend was able to read an important text for the university, which started the very next day.
The Pandora is a very handy device. Be it in the university, on the go, at work, on vacations or even at home. And it is so small, that you can always carry it with you – you never know, how the Pandora saves your day today!