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"Zoomer" is a marketing name for the Tandy/Casio Z-PDA 7000. This is a pocket computer, essentially an IBM XT, with a touch screen. It ran PC-GEOS, a now-antiquated operating system (In the same way that Windows 3.1 is an operating system) which was also available for the Commodore 64. The operating system and applications were prepared by Palm Computing, which was later acquired by 3Com, and then spun back off into its own company. It was also sold as the AST Gridpad 2390. I have owned both the Casio and AST branded units, and they are identical save for the labels.


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The Zoomer has a V20 CPU running at 10MHz. Hacks were available to double this speed. It has a 384x512 LCD display supporting multiple levels of gray. It has 1 MB of RAM, 640KB of which is used for executing code, and 384KB of which is used for data storage. It has no hard disk, and no backlight. Any stylus can be used on its touch-sensitive screen. The unit has exceptional audio for a palmtop, featuring 4 channel, 16 bit 44.1KHz stereo sound. It has one serial port and one infrared communications port. It has one Type II PCMCIA slot. It also has a keypad and buttons labeled "A" and "B".

Physically, the unit has quite a bit in common with a Casio watch. It's made out of black plastic, and the outside of the case and the flip-over cover are coated with a grippy black rubber with a matte finish. The infrared window is never covered by the flip-over lid. There is a headphone jack, a volume knob, a sliding power switch, and a small serial port on the sides of the unit. Presumably the hardware technology came from GRiD Computing by way of AST, who acquired them. GRiD had quite a bit of experience with handheld computers. The case is pure Casio, however.

The software shipped with the zoomer included a currency converter, 20 language translator including esperanto, a sketchpad/notepad supporting vectored graphics and vectored, variable-size fonts.

PROJECTIONS

(AST unit depicted; to imagine Casio unit, picture it saying Casio where it says AST, there is no other difference.)

Top View


                                Latch --.         Lid --.
                                        |               |
                                        V               V
            ___________________________________________________________
    ___----|--------------------------OOOOO----------------------------|----___
.------------------------------------"""""""--------------------------------------.
|                                             HEADPHONE                      .-`  |
|                                               / _ \                   PEN / .--.|
|_______________________________________________|'_'|______________________|  |  ||
|   ____________________________________________|___|_________________      \ `--'|
|  |                                                                  |      '-._ |
`--------------------------------------------------------------------------------''
                             A
                             |
              Battery Door --'

Top View


    ___----|-----------------------------------------------------------|----___
.--|       |                                                           |       |--.
|  ```---__|___________________________________________________________|_---'''   |
|          |              __.---,----------------,----.__              |          |
|          |             |  |   |                |    |  |             |          |
|          |             |  |   |________________|    |  |             |          |
`__________|_____________|__|_________________________|__|_____________|__________'
                    A                    A
                    |                    |
            Hinge --'                    `-- IR Sensor/Transmitter

Front and Right Side Views

    ,---------------------------.                 .-._____
.--|.---------------------------.|--.            /|o  |   `.
|  |    |                   |    |  |           |||   |    |
|  |    |                   |    |  |           |||   |    |
|  |    |                   |    |  |           |||   ||   |
|  |    |                   |    |  | <---.     |||   ||   | <-- Volume
|  |    |                   |    |  |     |     |||   ||   |
|  |    |                   |    |  |    Lid    |||   |    |
|  |    |                   |    |  |     |     |||  .|.   |
|  |    |                   |    |  |     `---> |||  |-|   | <-- Power
|  |    |                   |    |  |           |||  |-|   |
|  |    '                   '    |  |           |||  `|'   |
|  |   |                     |   |  |           |||   |    |
|  |   |                     |   |  |           |||   ||   |
|  |   |                     |   |  |           `||   ||   | <-- Contrast
|  |   '                     '   |  |            ||   ||   |
|  |  |                       |  |  |            ||   |    |
|  |  |                       |  |  |            ||   |    |
|  |  |                       |  |  |            ||   |    |
|  | '           AST           ' |  |            ||   |    |
|  ||                           ||  |            ||   |    |
|  |'                           '|  |            ||   |    |
|  |                             |  |            ||   |    |
|   \____________________________/  |            '|   |    |
|              | --- |    .......   |             '|  |    |
|              '-----'    :::::::   |              |  |    |
`-._______________________________,-'              '._|___,'
                  A         A
                  |         |
          Latch --'         `-- Speaker

Read and Left Side Views

    ,---------------------------.                 _____.-.
.----|     .--'------'---.     |---,.           .'|  |  o|\
|    `-----'             `-----'|__|| <-------> | |  |   |||
|                           -=| |__||   Card    |_|  |   |||
|   _                           _  .|   Eject   |.   |   |||
|  / \          AST.           / \ ||           ||   |   |||
|  | |         ......          | |.'|           | .  |   |||
|  | |                         | || | <-------> | |  |   |||
|  | |                         | || |   Card    | |  |   |||
|  | |                         | || |   Slot    | |  |   |||
|  | |                         | |`.|           |.'  |   |||
|  | |                         | | ||           ||_  |   |||
|  | |  Legalese               | | `|           |'=  |   |||
|  | |  and FCC ID here        | |  |           |(o) |   |||
|  | |  .....................  | | .|           |----|   ||'
|  | |  .....................  | | || <-------> |    |   ||
|  \_/  Serial No. here        \_/ ||   Serial  |    |   ||
|                                  `|   Port    |----|   ||
|    .-------------------------.    |           |    |   ||
|    |          ------         |    |           |    |   ||
|    |           ----          |    |           |    |   ||
|    |            \/           |    |           |    |   ||
|    |                         |    |           |    |   ||
|    |                         |    |           |    |   |'
|    |                         |    |           |    |  |'
|    |                         |    |           |    |  |
`-.__|_________________________|__,-'           `.___|_.'
                        A
                        |
         Battery Door --'

"Folky acoustic electronica from a crazy German."

Vocoder-lovers are in luck. Zoomer is the second full-length album from Dirk Dresselhaus, aka Schneider tm. Instead of keeping with the same instrumental only tracks like he did with his first album Moist, Schneider tm has determined for himself a strange crossover of electronica with a crooning folk flavor. The break that really brought this album into fruition was the release of the Binokular EP (2000) where he collaborated with Kpt. Michi Gan covered The Smith's "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" giving it a glittering robotic veneer as "The Light 3000".

Released on City Slang on September 23, 2002, Zoomer is like listening to the imagination of a robot. With Zoomer, Schneider tm fuses real instruments and a melodic charm with scattered loops and broken beats. Though he has been compared to a range of artists, from Aphex Twin to Depeche Mode to Beck, his lyrical tangent make him come across with more warmth and soul than many of his electronic peers. Though this album has been categorized as technically electronica, it leans into the strange genre of blip pop.

Songs such as "Reality Check" and "Frogtise" have curious graphic zoomorphic imagery comparable to Beck's usual heartfelt yet nonsensical lyrics, while "DJ Guy?" has the Kraftwerkian repetition that will either drive you insane or groove your freakin pants off.

"You've got to keep your heart open" Dirk says straight up, with his typical bulls-eye brevity. "When you're in a certain heightened state of sensitivity, you feel all the different sounds, melodies, and words. The trick then is to keep your ears open for the right moment when it all just happens to fall together and then get it on the hard drive. That's one of the main points of this record."

TRACK LISTING:
1. Reality Check
2. Frogtoise
3. Abyss
4. DJ Guy?
5. Turn On
6. Hunger
7. 999
8. Cuba Tm

Reference: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A832853
Reference: http://www.musicomh.com/albums/schneider-tm.htm
Reference: http://www.technomusic.com/reviews/schneider.html

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