Home / Issue Archives / Palm Tipsheet 15.0
Palm Tipsheet 15.0 / February 2001
In this month's Palm Tipsheet, guest writer Vladimir Campos of PalmBR.com will discuss Yahoo's online calendaring services and their synchronization with a Palm handheld. We'll also talk with British Palm user Kevin O'Rourke about his Visor Deluxe and Palm's popularity in Britain, home of the Psion.
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Gear Up for Winter Sports at REI! Skiers and snowboarders, is fresh powder calling your name? Now's the time to gear up for winter sports at REI!
Great Traveling Gear at eTravelPack! If you're a traveler, check out luggage, power adapters, travel guides and more at eTravelPack.com.
A Virtual Desktop with Yahoo! Calendar
The Tipsheet Interview: Kevin O'Rourke
Color Palm V Leaks? -- Late last month PalmStation received images of what could be a next generation Palm device. The images show a Palm V sized handheld named Palm m505, with darker metal case, color screen and SD card slot. This could be a Photoshop user's trick or a leaked mock-up image from within Palm itself. As always, rumors go best with a grain of salt.
Palm VIIx Price Drop -- If you've been considering a Palm VIIx but the price has been a factor in waiting, now may be your time to buy. Palm, Inc. has just reduced the price of the Palm VIIx to $400 from $450.
Palm Releases Palm Desktop 4.0 for Windows -- In January, Palm Inc., released version 4.0 of the Windows desktop software, with an improved user interface, vCard and vCal support, customizable views, year view, day view within month, business card view and resizable memo windows. Palm Desktop 4.0 requires Windows 95/98/2000/ME or NT, 8MB RAM, 20MB drive space and is compatible *only* with Palm branded handhelds.
Linux and Palm Information -- PalmPower's Jason Perlow offers a useful article for Linux users who want to integrate a Palm handheld into their systems, with information on sync and desktop tools for Linux.
Buon Giorno to Palmare, an Italian Palm Website -- If you're an Italian speaking Palm user looking for helpful resources in Italian, visit Palmare. The site provides news, articles, reviews, forums, newsletters and tips & tricks on Palm and PocketPC handhelds, all in Italian. Prima!
Palm en Tu Idioma at PalmR.com -- Spanish speaking Palm users, check out PalmR.com! This Spanish language site has separate sections for Spaniards and Latin Americans and provides news, articles reviews, forums and more.
It's Hip to Be Square at PDASquare -- If you're a PDA square, then have a look at the PDA Square website. This new website provides news, articles, reviews, forums, polls and more for Palm handheld users.
Get The Skinny on The Palm VII Series -- If you own or are interested in owning a Palm VII or VIIx series handheld, check out John Bartley's Unofficial Palm VII FAQ. The FAQ answers many hardware, Palm.Net and other common questions as well as offering Palm.Net price comparison charts.
Palm Articles for Lawyers -- If you're a lawyer interested in finding ways to better integrate a Palm into your practice, check out February's Palm Power Enterprise Edition. Read articles on Palm Solutions for Lawyers, Westlaw Wireless services, database choices, encryption tools and more.
Arabic On a Palm -- If you'd like to replace English with Arabic on your Palm handheld, check out ArabicPalm.com. Their Arabic Palm OS (APOS) provides Arabic support to Palm OS devices. APOS 2.2.1 provides support to Palm OS 3.5 for $25, while APOS 1.5 supports Palm OS 3.0 to 3.3 for $15.
Two HackMaster Replacements -- HackMaster users interested in advanced HackMaster replacements should check out LinkeSoft's freeware X-Master or TealPoint's $10 TealMaster. X-Master provides a great HackMaster replacement application with the ability to create startup sets, alter the hack sort order and check details, while TealMaster offers multiple profiles, hack priorities, delete protection, hack status and analysis tools.
Paint in Color With PalmPaint -- If you use a color Palm handheld and have been looking for a simple freeware color paint application, look no further than PalmPaint from Rahul Bhargava. PalmPaint provides a nice interface and handy paint tools and will only cost you a postcard. :-)
Use a Palm to Solve Crimes -- If you're a law enforcement officer looking for ways to incorporate your Palm handheld in investigations, visit the CyberCop Software website. Choose from tools such as: field interview forms, case management tools, incident management tools, subpoena management tools and more. Each tool costs $30; free demos are available for download.
DDH Software Releases HanDBase Mac Client -- DDH Software's new HanDBase Mac client converts Palm HanDBase database files to .CSV (Comma Separated Value) files and then links them with MS Excel, FileMaker Pro, AppleWorks, or SimpleText for further editing. The tool also converts .CSV files to HanDBase formatted Palm files. The Mac desktop is included with HanDBase ($25) while registered users of HanDBase can download the app for free.
Feed Your Solitaire Addiction With Acid Solitaire! -- If you're a solitaire fanatic then you need to check out Red Mercury's new AcidSolitaire for the Palm OS. This $10 game puts klondike-style solitaire in the palm of your hand with custom backgrounds for color Palm users. Linux for stability, Macintosh for productivity... Palm for solitaire! :-)
Powerful Calculators for Palm Handhelds -- If you really make use of a calculator in your business or personal life, then check out Infinity Softworks powerOne line of Palm calculators. These tools provide powerful financial, graphing or scientific calculation on your Palm and cost $20 to $50 each. Visor owners can buy Springboard modules containing powerOne calculators for $60 each. Demo downloads are available, or download and evaluate a copy of the powerOne Personal calculator for free.
Anatomy Flashcards for Med Students -- Kaplan-To-Go Anatomy is a handy flashcard application for first and second year medical students studying anatomy. This $15 tool provides flashcards by body region, allows for self-scoring, includes clinical notes and even lets you add personal notes to the flashcards. Requires Palm OS 3.0; a trial download is also available.
Use Your CLIE Handheld with a Macintosh! -- For those Mac users who purchased a Sony CLIE only to find it wouldn't sync with your USB Mac out of the box, Mark/Space is now providing the Mac Pack for CLIE. The package includes a USB driver, HotTime time synchronization software from Aladdin Systems, instructions for use with Mac Palm Desktop and $40 in coupons toward several other Palm applications. The Mark/Space Mac Pack costs $30.
Refurbished Deals at the Palm Store -- If you're in the market for a Palm with a low price tag, then refurbished Palm units from the Palm Store may be just what you're looking for. Stock may vary, though prices can be quite good and each unit comes with a 90 day warranty from Palm, Inc.
Find Treasure at the PalmGear Bargain Bin -- Another great place to find deals for your Palm handheld is the PalmGear bargain bin. Choose from Palm items such as styluses, cases, software, hardware and accessories. Prices are attractive but supplies are be limited on these specially priced items.
A Palm Keyboard in Half the Space -- If space is a concern for your text entry needs, then check out the Half Keyboard from Matias. This funky keyboard provides a complete QWERTY keyboard via special function key activated by your thumb. The Half Keyboard works with Palm m100, III, V, VII series handhelds as well as Handspring Visor, PCs and Macs and costs $100.
Compact Flash Cards In A Visor? You Bet! -- Visor owners will soon be able to use Compact Flash cards with their handhelds using the new $35 MatchBookDrive adapter and $10 FAFileMover software from Kopsis Engineering. The adapter plugs into the Springboard slot of any Visor or Prism and allows users to access Compact Flash cards up to 192 MB. Pre orders are being taken at the MatchBookDrive website; MatchBookDrive ships February 15, 2001.
The Visor Central MatchBookDrive Review:
A Virtual Desktop with Yahoo! Calendar
by Vladimir Campos
Before Palm Inc. started promoting their new MyPalm Portal, several other companies already had been providing online synchronization services for Palm handheld users. Palm's acquisition of AnyDay and WeSync demonstrates how important and valuable online services are to Palm handheld users.
Although Palm Inc. bought AnyDay.com and WeSync, Palm users still have the option to access other independent companies like Yahoo!, who provide similar synchronization services. Just imagine having Yahoo! services working together with your Palm handheld to store your information online. Yes, you can have all your contacts, appointments, to dos and memos available online at Yahoo! in complete sync with your Palm handheld!
The Services -- Yahoo! became popular because of its pioneer web index created in the early days of the Web, followed by other services like Yahoo! Mail and other acquired companies such as Geocities. Yahoo! now offers a complete suite of online tools which can sync with your Palm handheld, and are available from a web browser:
*Yahoo! Calendar -- An online day planner and to do list which displays and allows for editing of your Datebook and To Do application data:
*Yahoo! Address Book -- A complete online address book, which syncs with your Palm's address book and can be edited in any web browser:
*Yahoo! Notepad -- Provides a place to take quick notes while surfing the Web and to view your Palm's Note Pad data:
Although Yahoo! has other online services, these are the most important ones for Palm users, since they match the Palm Address Book, Datebook, To Do List and Memo Pad and can sync with them via conduits (provided by Yahoo!).
Additionally, all of these services are available in the Yahoo! Mail menu and can be easily used in conjunction with MyYahoo! and Yahoo! Companion:
A clear example of integration is the use of Palm Address Book contacts in Yahoo! Mail. In other words, the Palm Address Book data synchronized to Yahoo! Address Book can easily be accessed and used to send e-mails using Yahoo! Mail. Also, MyYahoo! and Yahoo! Companion can be used together with your web browser to give access to other important data synchronized from your Palm while connected to the Internet.
One interesting feature of Yahoo! Mail is that users can still use their own e-mail address together with Yahoo! Mail services. It is possible to change the 'reply to' information in Yahoo! Mail to use a company or provider e-mail address (for example: your_name@your_provider.com) and set the POP3 configurations at Yahoo! Mail to download e-mails from your_name@your_provider.com. These alternatives make it possible to use Yahoo! web mail services with any e-mail address.
Synchronizing -- There are two Windows-only conduits currently available from Yahoo! which may be freely downloaded and used to synchronize Palm and Yahoo! services:
Intellisync for Yahoo!:
TrueSync for Yahoo!:
In both cases, during installation and configuration of the software, the user must select the Palm, services, items, priority, etc. to be synchronized. More information is also available at 'options' menu in the Yahoo! Calendar.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is *very* important to backup the data stored on your Palm handheld before syncing with Yahoo services. Be sure to follow the installation instructions carefully! If you decide to remove these sync tools, be sure to follow the uninstall steps exactly as described on the Yahoo! website. Great care should be taken, since a small error in the setting of priority, equipment and/or items to be synchronized could conceivably erase your Palm's data!
Why Synchronize With Yahoo? -- The first benefit of synchronization is a permanent and constant offsite backup of your data. If you loose the data in your Palm or your desktop crashes, you will still have access to everything on the Web. Also, the information stored in the Palm device can easily be accessed and edited virtually anywhere; at a Cyber Cafe, school, friend's house, work, business or vacation trip, etc. Once it's set up, HotSyncing will transfer all of the data between these Yahoo! services and your Palm and from your Palm to the Yahoo! services.
Another interesting feature is the use of Yahoo! Mail SMS services for notifications. Palm Datebook appointments synchronized to Yahoo! Calendar can have alarms sent to a cell phones or an e-mail address as chosen by the user. Notifications can also be set to work together with Yahoo! Messenger and notify user while she/he is connected to the Internet. For those who work in group, it is also possible to share parts of the Yahoo! Calendar with other Yahoo! users within your work group.
Other Yahoo Services for Palm users -- Some Yahoo! services also have versions which can also be used in the Palm. There is a version of Yahoo! Messenger compatible with Palm OS and even an AvantGo Channel that reflects MyYahoo! configurations on the handheld. Yahoo! Mobile has more detailed information about these services:
Conclusion -- Finally, I encourage you to use your imagination and explore these and other Yahoo! services to turn you Palm (and data) into a powerful mobile tool.
Special thanks to Vladimir Campos of Mobile Site (www.mobilesite.com.br) for sharing his excellent ideas about ways to bring your Palm handheld information online. I'm sure his article will spark ideas for other Palm users who may not have been aware of these useful free services.
For Palm users in Brazil and Portugal, Vladimir has also posted a Portuguese version of this article on his website:
Finally, feel free to check out Vladimir's excellent handheld oriented website:
MobileSite.com.br provides comprehensive information to the Portuguese speaking Palm community, with news, reviews, and in-depth information on everything Palm.
The Tipsheet Interview: Kevin O'Rourke
This month's Tipsheet Interview features British user Kevin O'Rourke, and electronics engineer who has spent three years at Antarctica's Halley Research Station with the British Antarctic Survey. Kevin uses his Handspring Visor Deluxe to wake him in the morning, manage his life, read e-books, plan car routes and read e-mail on the go in conjunction with his mobile phone.
*PT: Kevin, thanks for sharing your Palm experience with the Palm Tipsheet.
It's a great opportunity to talk about one of my favourite things!
*PT: You live and work in Britain -- I'm curious to know how popular Palm handhelds are there. Have they been gaining popularity recently, or have you noticed them being used by people for a long time?
I can't say I've noticed all that many people using them in the streets or anything but they are very widely available now (in High street shops) and I know quite a few people in engineering and computing who either have one or plan to buy one soon.
I've seen at least as many people using Palm OS computers as I have using Psions, and Psion had a big head start here, since Psion is a UK company. I think the Palm devices filled a gap that Psions didn't, since they really competed more with Windows-based handheld computers. People wanted something that was really quick and easy to use, it didn't need to have a powerful processor or a built-in programming language.
*PT: When you're using your Palm, what kinds of reactions do you get? Are people intrigued? Do you have opportunities to 'evangelize' the Palm?
Most people seem to be intrigued by Graffiti at first and want to try it out. They usually seem to be surprised at how easy it is. I've persuaded a couple of my friends that they need to buy a Palm, just by letting them have a play with my Visor.
*PT: How does the Palm help you in your everyday life?
The main thing that helps me is waking me up in the morning! I use the Datebook alarm function as an alarm clock.
Apart from that it's saved me from being buried in sticky notes, since I can just scribble notes to myself on the Palm and on holiday I've often used my Visor with a mobile phone to retrieve email.
To retrieve email using my phone I use the infrared link between my Visor and my Motorola L7089 phone. To get infrared to work better I bought IrLink, which lets you select which programs have serial input/output diverted to IR. Palm OS dials up my internet service provider and I use Top Gun Postman to retrieve the mail into the Palm OS built-in mail program. There are probably better ways of doing it but this works well for the occasional short, attachment-free message.
*PT: Did you happen to have your Visor with you in Antarctica?
I didn't have the Visor in Antarctica, but I have used it for the past two months on holiday on the French sub Antarctic islands. Mostly for e-book reading, since reading French books is a bit too hard for me. Also, on the way out I found a free program called Metro, which is very useful for navigating around the Paris subway.
*PT: Are there any programs which you use daily and couldn't live without?
GSMtool -- which lets me synchronise my address book across to my mobile phone and send and receive text messages:
TG Postman -- a small simple email agent which uses the built-in mail application to read and write messages:
IrLink -- it lets my Visor talk to my phone by infrared:
Route Europe -- for planning road trips (like my recent holiday):
Metro -- a free route planner for subway systems around the world:
*PT: Are there any hardware or software items that you plan to buy in the near future? What functions will you use these for?
Possibly a landline modem (the mobile phone link is slow) and a 8MB flash Springboard module for storing maps for RouteEurope.
*PT: Would you share a funny story which relates to your Palm? :-)
Can't think of anything funny, but it's been strangely ironic that my friend who went on holiday with me started off by slagging off my dependence on my Visor but is ended up using it for at least an hour a day himself!
PT: Thank you for taking time to share your Palm using experience in Britain. Are there any final comments you'd like to share with the readers?
Just spread the word, the more people who use Palm OS the more likely your dream application is to be written. Or even try writing it yourself!
Interview Slots Still Available! -- If you're a Palm user outside of the US and are interested in being interviewed by the Palm Tipsheet, I invite you to send an email to email@example.com for consideration.
Currently the confirmed list of Palm users includes those from:
Turkey, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Costa Rica, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Israel, Switzerland and Canada.
If you're from a country not represented in this list, please feel free to apply for consideration. Thanks!
Well, we're at the end of another issue of the Palm Tipsheet. I hope Vladimir's article on Yahoo services will encourage you to evaluate Yahoo's calendaring services more closely for your needs. Thanks again to Kevin O'Rourke for sharing his thoughts and experiences in the Tipsheet interview.
Hungry for more? I invite you to check out the Palm Tipsheet website for archived issues, article and interview listings, Tipsheet FAQ, the Tipsheet AvantGo channel and the handy search tool:
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Copyright 1998-2001 (C) Mike Rohde. All rights reserved. There is no guarantee of accuracy in articles. The mention of a product or service does not imply an endorsement. Company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies. This document is freeware and may be redistributed freely without modification with written permission. No portion of this document may be altered, reprinted, or sold to any person or entity without written permission of Mike Rohde. This copyright applies to all versions of the Palm Tipsheet, whether in plain text, HTML, AvantGo or Palm doc format. Remember, it's always fun until someone loses an eye.
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