Several factors recently came together that lead to my purchase of a PDA. Mainly -- I decided there were enough situations in my life where I needed info at my fingertips -- notepads, pens, and clipboards were no longer cutting it. I already had a laptop at home, but there were situations when it became inconvenient to cart around. Plus, it is also much easier to share information with people in speaking situations when you have a small handheld device as opposed to a notebook computer. Walter Mossberg from the WSJ recommended the Handspring Visor Edge. Since the Edge uses the Palm OS, there are already thousands of free and shareware programs that you can download from the internet to use with your new PDA. This seemed like valuable advice to me. Another factor was that, since we also sell this brand (but not this model) where I work -- I found the need to be versatile when demonstrating the PDA -- owning one was only the next logical step. I ordered mine directly from Handspring, at their website, and it arrived in a timely manner. The main factors in my selection were size, expandibility, connectivity, and battery life. A color screen was not important to me, so I went with the Edge, which has a grayscale screen, instead of the Prism. The Edge is less than a half inch thick, weighs under 5 ounces, and can be expanded by plugging little modules into the slot at the top of the device. It connects easily to a PC or Laptop by means of a Synch Cradle, and mine is of the USB variety. The Edge also has a long life battery that is easily recharged when you place the PDA in its cradle. The main advantage gained by purchasing the Edge, as opposed to the Platinum or other Visor models, is that you will not have to purchase copious amounts of batteries to support your PDA habit. I will not talk too much more about the hardware aspects, other than to say that so far I am pleased with my PDA. The only fault that I
can directly point out with my Handspring is that the backlight failed me immediately. The backlight is supposed to illuminate the text to make it more readable at night, in a dark room, or in dim light situations. The fact that this feature has failed has not hampered me much, but I do plan on testing Handsprings customer service by requesting a replacement for the one I have. A PDA can be a useful device, but only if you know what to load on it. You'll find below some of the things I have loaded on my Edge, and I'll mention some web sites of interest to the new PDA user. Area Codes v2.0.4 SHAREWARE Area Codes is pretty self-explanatory and essential for the person on the go. Write down the area code in question in the numerical quadrant of your Graffiti area, and Area Codes displays the Time Zone, and cities in that Time Zone, or, search by country or city to locate the area code. Can be downloaded from http://www.intrepidsoft.com. AvantGo v4.0 FREE Basically, AvantGo will let you download and archive web pages to your handheld with the touch of a single button. What's on mine? news from Beyond2000.com, articles from the CNet website, hardware specs from the Gateway website, zipcode-based movie listings and screening times from Hollywood.com, customized searches on Moreover.com that are updated every time I synch, mobile versions of MSN Mobile, Nando Times, and NY Times, National Weather Service forecasts, the Palm Infocenter.com website, PalmPower Magazine, the Savannah newspaper, my horoscope from Swoon.com, my SiteMeter pages, USA Today, the Visor Village Channel, and ZDNet To Go. My only gripe about AvantGo is that there is a cap on the download size. Since this is a free service I can't complain though. It's nice to have a lot of current information to read at lunchtime, plus I can forego buying a hard copy of the newspaper. Can be downloaded from http://www.avantgo.com.
Pocket Chess Deluxe v2.0 FREE (Limited Play) or pay $ for the full version. This is an excellent chess game that you can carry around. It's You vs. the PDA. This software reflects every little nuance of the game, the games can be transferred from your PDA to your computer, and you can record the games and play them back from first move to checkmate. Can be downloaded from http://www.pocketexpress.com. FireViewer v5.3f1 FREE or pay $ for the full version. FireViewer can display photos or videos on your PDA. I downloaded some nice photos of Dido, Aimee Mann, and Madonna from RollingStone.com and can show them with FireViewer on my PDA when I want to demonstrate the versatility of the device. Imagine carrying around all your photographs with you, wherever you go. If you tap on the photo you can roll it around inside the viewing area to see the whole thing... would be perfect for scanning and storing roadmaps on. FireViewer can display a photo as larger as 8'x8'. Images are layered, zoom in and out on them with a simple tap of the stylus. FireViewer is a product of FirePad. It can be downloaded from http://www.firepad.com. MLB 2001 v1.0 FREE, or SHAREWARE Aside from maybe AvantGo, this is my favorite thing I've found for my PDA so far. As near as I can tell, it's put out by a software developer, Michael J. Huntley. It has the whole Major League Baseball Schedule for the Year 2001. Find out who is playing where, and at what time. Makes travel planning easier too. If you pay the shareware fee, you'll also get updated statistics and standings on a regular basis. It can be downloaded from the web at http://www.pdaschedules.com. My DVD Rack v1.0 SHAREWARE Catalog all your DVDs. Show by title, list important facts such as widescreen or pan and scan, who stars, extra disc features, price paid, etc. Most importantly, helps you to avoid buying duplicate copies.
It can be downloaded from the web at http://www.palmsoftware.com. PalmReader FREE WITH ANY PURCHASE Shortly after buying my Edge PDA, I managed to find the PeanutPress.com website (company since purchased by Palm) and bought some e-books from them. Download whole novels, short stories, and magazines to read on your PDA... own a virtual library in your pocket. The first time you pay for a download, you also get to download the reader for free. Port-A-Bush FREE (Limited Play) or pay $ for the full version To BUY a full version of PortaBush, which will unlock all sorts of "Dubya" Bush humor, go to http://www.portapets.com. For only $4.99, you'll have your very own digital President, forever. Make Bush eat BBQ chicken, jug LoneStar beer, yammer on his cellphone or pick a fistfight with Al Gore. Hey, we we're all screwed by the SCOTUS, but at least we can laugh about it. PC-cillin v1.0 FREE This is a free virus program from Trend Micro, Inc. You can download it from http://www.antivirus.com/wireless. I don't know how long it will continue to be a free product, so download it now. Of course, your chances of getting a virus on a handheld device are practically nil right now, but this should protect you just in case. In closing, I would like to invite you, if you know of any good applications to use on your PDA that I haven't listed, to drop me a line at the email addy in my profile. Some Good Websites for PDA Info http://www.eurocool.com http://www.handspring.com http://www.nearlymobile.com http://www.npug.org/links.htm http://www.palmguru.com http://www.palminfocenter.com http://www.palmstation.com http://www.palmtipsheet.com http://www.pdabuzz.com http://www.pdastreet.com http://www.pimpoint.com http://www.purepalm.com/site http://www.twomobile.com http://www.visorcentral.com h
ttp://visorguide.online.fr http://www.visorvillage.com http://www.wiredguy.com/wired