Daily Giz Wiz 95: Franklin Rex

Episode 95 of the podcast

Subject: Review of Franklin Rex
Released:Friday 30 June 2006
Length:about 10 minutes
Download file:DGW-095.mp3 (4.7 MB)
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Short info

Back to the Classic Gadget Warehouse. This week, the Franklin Rex, a handheld kind of barebones PDA. This credit-card size personal digital assistance was most likely done in by the increasing presence and convenience of the Palm Pilot. Franklin, which produces organizers and translators, introduced the Rex in 1997. The software was from Starfish and the price was pretty good for such a tiny device in those days, about $150. Of course the small size of Rex created a big problem for users – there was almost no way for the user to input info directly into to the device. It had to done through a desktop interface or --- and I thought this was really neat --- the entire Rex fit into the PC card slot of a laptop! So laptop users had a more convenient way to enter info. Of course the screen was small and it wasn't back lit, so unless you had pretty good vision, the Rex wasn't for you. It started life as a Rolodex product, then Franklin Electronics took it over and then it went on to Xircom. There were several versions, but none of them let you input info easily. The prices dropped a lot toward the end. You could buy them for about $50 to $60 before they vanished completely.

Detailed information

The Rex started life with Rolodex in about 1997, which sold it to Franklin Electronics, and ultimately it went over to Xircom.  The size of a credit card, the Rex was an early form of the PDA, but input was difficult.  It had to be done via a desktop computer, and it fit right into a PC card slot.  Small screen, monochrome and no backlighting.  $150 back then.  The rise of the Palm Pilot ensured the Rex's demise.

Polaroid SX70

R T Cragen from Brooklyn, New York writes in to say that medical examiners still take Polaroid pictures (Episode 70), because it's difficult to manipulate Polaroid pictures.

The podcast that makes its own gravy ...

Leo brags, "We were Number 1 on Podcast [Alley].  That's all we care about.  So now, the rest is gravy.  It make its own gravy, this podcast."  This is to become their new slogan.

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