3COM Palm Pilot – Review

The Palm Pilot is a small handheld computer. It has a high-res touch pad for "writing on" and mono LCD display (backlit for the professional) that is low-res touch sensitive for selecting text and apps displayed on the LCD screen.

The writing side seems very odd at first, but is very intuitive and I picked up most of the letters within 5 mins. You draw on the sensitive writing area of the Palm Pilot with a stylus (I use my fingernail most of the time!) You "draw" each letter on the pad. An A is / ie the middle dash is missed. and L is a L motion on the pad etc etc.

There are several apps included with the Palm Pilot. 4 of which can be quick started from 4 buttons on the front.

Calendar; allows Day, Week and month views. Has alarms, you can have appointments overlap, it changes the bar size to indicate a clash.

Telephone/Address; Holds addresses, email and phone numbers. You can store them under categories or view them all.

Todo; Great for all those things you need to be bugged about. 1-3 priorities can be set on each item. They can then be marked done and the old reminder backed up to the PC (more later).

Memo; I use this for notes on system configuration, IP address ranges for my workplace and other notes that don't really fit anywhere else.

Most apps allow you to attach notes to items within them. ie Notes about an appointment in the Calendar app.

Other programs included are calculator, expenses, writing game (giraffe), Memory manager and Security apps.

The professional has 1Mb memory. This nowadays doesn't seem a lot but I've only got close on a few occasions and that's only because I've uploaded some large e-texts of books (very handy sometimes, people think you are working on something technical when really you are only reading a novel )

One of the most useful apps with my job is the HotSync. You have a cradle and some software (PC or Mac) that you install. When you drop the Palm Pilot into the cradle and press a button on the base of the cradle, it also automatically wakes an app on the PC (I can't comment on the Mac I just know it's available) and syncs the databases to the PC updating either side with any changes. This also provides an image of the Palm Pilot which in my case is handy in case some bit of industrial kit damages it.

There is a large amount of freeware and shareware available on the www. There is also a moderate amount of commercial software. These vary widely both in function and quality. Some software as you would expect from shareware is very high quality. Currently I am using the following apps: AportisDoc (freeware text reader) HackMaster (allows other apps to gain access to deep innerworkings of the Palm Pilot) Fillup (petrol tracker for vehicles) JFile (database app) JShopper (shopping program)

FindHack (uses HackMaster to provide a far better find app than provided with the Palm Pilot.)

Other software out there that I'm looking at is: Bike computer (complete with a graph showing your current speed and average speed!) A datadase linkup that will allow my database program to sync up with Access databases.

I have the professional one that I use both at home and at work. I can only speak reliably on details for the professional unit. I cannot be held responsible for changes/omissions/mistakes in my review of the unit. Please make sure that the unit you buy has the spec and functions that you require.

On the whole the Palm Pilot has been one of my best purchases in a long time. My only negative comment about the unit (not just because I work in an noisy industry) even when you are in quiet areas, the Palm Pilots alarm volume just isn't enough.

For more information try these sites… IBM Work Pad Palm.com

Approximate Price £180 for the personal £220 for the professional. Available From PC World, Dixons?, Mail Order etc etc


1 Comment on "3COM Palm Pilot – Review"

  1. Appointment Software | August 19, 2009 at 4:32 pm |

    The process of appointment scheduling could be streamlined using schedule software. There are so many options out there to meet the needs of any office.

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