Got a HP Jornada 525 colour pocket PC as a gift at Christmas and am now wondering how I ever did without it. I was always one for working between a few diaries and writing things down all the time so this has made my life a lot easier. I use it daily mainly to keep note of my appointments, to 'tap in' tasks and notes and to look up telephone numbers. However, the 525 comes complete with Word and Excel installed - and surprisingly it is VERY easy to use the stylus (plastic pen type thing u tap screen with) - if you already have keyboarding skills then you will find it a doddle to work your way roung the screenbased keyboard with the stylus. One of the key features I like is the fact that you can create Word/Excel documents on the 525 and easily upload it to your main PC for viewing/editing etc through a special cable that comes with it - again this is very easy and straightforward. You can set it to alert you when an appointment is forthcoming which if you're like me is a VERY handy feature! It has a built in microphone too and can record short sound clips if required. Another of my favourite features is the Windows Media Player software that comes with it allowing you to play music files in format MP3, WMAs or WAV. However, at the moment I have still to upgrade the memory and purchase a smartcard & just the one track MP3 that I uploaded used up almost half the available space - so it would be advisable to invest in a smartcard. MP3's can easily be uploaded from your main PC to the 525 easily, again through a special cable. You can surf the web with the 525 too, although I havent tried this yet. When you purchase the 525 you'll find a CD-Rom which contains loads of additional programs you can use with it like Yahoo Messenger. Again, you will probably need to purchase a smartcard before you start installing loads of programs. I'm pretty content with the actual design o
f the 525 aswell - its nice and basic, compact and light and the main screen is large and easy to navigate through. It has a built in rechargeable battery too which can be charged by simply plugging it into another cable which is supplied. All in all I would definately recommend this product to those with busy lives & schedules and would say you dont have to be an expert on computers to be able to operate it - it really is nice and straightforward. I found the following websites most helpful aswell when I first started using it: www.pocketpcs.com www.hp.com/jornada/solutions You'll find tips and advice, user guides and additional programs here.
I got this palmtop about half a year ago and I have never looked back since. Its 256 colour screen is amazing for the price and the microphone included is good quality. The compact flash slot is very useful as you can buy anything from memory to wireless land cards to put in it and with compact flash cards from £40 for 128MB in some online shops this is incredebly useful. Most of the bundelded software is pretty standard but very good i.e. microsoft pocket word and excel and so good non standard software like its special calculator. Software is not much of a problem anyway since there is a huge amount of good free shareware for it on the internet. There are a few problems with it. Some of the rubber after a while comes peeling off. However you can just reglue it. Also the 16MB of combined ram and storage space is not very much but as I said before one can easily buy more. Another problem is the lack of space for the stylus on the plamtop however one can just keep it in the case. A final slight problem is the screen is only 256 colours so photoes do not work well. A great by if one can still find it with good features and few problems.
I have always preferred a small paper diary to carry about with me, instead of an electronic version, but I have finally dragged myself into the 21st century with my new little toy, the HP Jornada 525 colour pocket PC. It was actually a Christmas present from my hubby, as a result of a chance comment I had made a little while ago, about perhaps getting a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) in the New Year. General Information ------------------- The Jornada 525 retails for about £200. Compared to many Pocket PC?s on the market, which can be as much as £500 or more, I believe this is good value. It is attractive silver in colour. Included in the box, you get the pocket PC, AC adaptor, a serial sync cable for connecting to your desktop, a carrying pouch with stylus and the battery, which is obviously rechargeable. You also get a quick start guide and an accessory guide. Two CD ROMs are also included; these are one that contains the User Guide (which prints to well over 100 pages of A4. Print four pages to a page, if your printer lets you, in the interests of the rainforests); and the other CD Rom contains Microsoft Active Sync and Outlook 2000. Memory cards can be purchased, ranging in size from 8Mb to 128Mb. I currently have a 16Mb card, time will tell, depending on how much I utilise my Jornada. Other accessories include a car adaptor, serial cradle, power pack (extra battery life), spare stylus pens, and a variety of carrying cases, including leather pouches and hard covers in a variety of colours. The User Guide ------------------ I advise you start here, unless you are an expert in setting up these things. I am no Luddite when it comes to technology, but this little toy has tested the patience, ever so slightly. The manual contains ten chapters: (1) Welcome, (2) Getting Started, (3) Connecting to your desktop PC, (4) Connecting to the internet or to a network, (5) Configuring your HP Jornada, (6) Microsoft Pocke
t Outlook, (7) Companion Programs, (8) Accessories, (9) Troubleshooting, (10) Support and service. Software Included ---------------------- Included with the Jornada, you receive the following applications: Calendar, Contacts, Inbox, Notes, Pocket Excel, Pocket Word, Tasks, Microsoft Pocket Internet Explorer, MS Windows Media player, MS Reader, Pocketstreets, Omnisolve (scientific calculator), Calculator, Solitaire, Yahoo Instant Messenger. If you have used MS Outlook at all, as most of you will have, you will know the format of most of these applications. Details on other applications can be found at www.hp.com/jornada/solutions. I find the Pocketstreets software particularly useful to have. Maps can be downloaded from www.microsoft.com/pocketstreets. All major cities and towns are available for download via the Active Sync software. You can also obtain MS Money, which is another useful application to have, if you are on the move and need to keep track of finances. Set Up ------- The Jornada should be plugged into the mains power, using the AC adaptor provided. When it is first fired up, a welcome wizard appears. This allows you to set your city and time zone. You are encouraged to register your Jornada at www.hp.com/jornada. There are four hot keys on the front of the Jornada. These are to give you quick access to the home menu, contacts, tasks and calendar, which are the most commonly used applications. I started entering in a few tasks and a few contacts (I don?t have many as I am not working!!). A small soft keyboard is displayed, and you can enter information fairly quickly, particularly as there is word recognition software operating. When the Jornada is switched on each day, the user gets a ?today? menu, showing activities and tasks that are due. Text can also be entered by using the Character recogniser option. However this takes practice, as letters have to be written in a part
icular way. I gave it a go, using the notes software, and got some pretty wacky results when I converted it to text! Just be thankful I didn?t write this entire op in my handwriting, instead of just the title - Helen's Personal Digital Assistant, btw. To connect to your desktop PC, you first need to install the MS Active Sync software on to the Desktop machine. You will also need a compatible version of MS Outlook, again supplied with the Jornada. Active sync runs on all versions of windows, from Win95 onwards, and unless your PC is totally pre-historic, you wont have nay problems with the software hard drive and memory requirements. The serial cable should be attached to the back of the PC, and the other end connected to the Jornada. If you purchase the cradle, this might make things look a little tidier, but I can live with a loose cord living on my desktop when I am not using the Jornada! Once you have connected the first time, you will be taken through a Partnership Wizard, and from then on, when you plug in your Jornada, the two will synchronise! Voila! Once you are connected, you can use the Active Sync software to browse the Jornada, and cut, copy and paste files from one to another. You can also download ?favourite? websites, handy if you are swotting up on an organisation on the way to a meeting. In theory it is possible to connect to the Internet by using the infrared ports on your Jornada and mobile phone, but this seems like hard work to me, and I was not successful when I tried this. Customer Service --------------------- HP Customer Service is available on a National Rate Number during office hours, and you can contact them abroad, if necessary. Monthly magazines, include Pocket PC Magazine are available from newsagents and are useful in helping you get more from your PDA. Footnote ---------- I was wandering around the shops the other day, when I realised I had not got
a 2002 diary. I was about to look for one in the newsagent when I realised I no longer had a need for such an item. Changing your habits takes time, evidently!