This is the first colour model in the Palm PDA line. It is an excellent colour pda with a good selection of software to help you get organised.
This is quite an old model of PDA as there have been several hundred different colour PDAs since. The operating system is incredibly easy to use when navigating through information and the search function is especially useful!
My only gripe is that I had some problems with one of the buttons as it wore out quite quickly.
It synchronizes with the Palm Desktop software which is similar to microsoft outlook for windows and allows you to put memos, to do list and memo data in along with other bits of information you may need.
This is an inexpensive PDA, if you can get hold of it. I would recommend this if you can get it cheaply as it is an excellent colour introduction into PDAs.
not more. But this fistful is a real helper to most of the daily challenges; maybe finding a parking-lot is not easier with that thing... What thing? I am talking about the Palm IIIc Handheld. It's darkgrey, it has a color-display, no stereo-sound, no cable-tuner, but 8 megs or memory, a touchdisplay and a serial sa well as an infrared interface. Oh, and it's produced no longer- interested in an investment, that might be qorth more later when those devices becom rare? Go ahead, mail me... A keyboard? Keyboards are for wimps- the tough guys use a touch screen that understands handwriting. This handwriting recognition is called "graffiti" and reads letters you "paint" on the screen. It really works! If you want to, you can also use a virtual keyboard- but this keyboard covers most of your app and is very slow in use. You better really learn graffiti. Why do I have it? Well, to be honest, I am anything but organized. Usually my girlfriend can tell me, where some stuf of mine is hidden before I find it, and usually I had to write down adresses about three times before I could use them; depending on which of my adress books I had with me. So my boss came up to me and showed me his PALM the first time. I was about the same impressed as a citizen of Lonodn is about the Tower Bridge. The second and third time he showed it I ignored, but somewhen, somewhere between the late 300 and the early 400 I surrendered: I got one at ebay. It cost me a little more than 500 deutschmarks; it was before the euro. "What- (about 170 pounds) for that little thing? But it's only got 8 megs! WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE? Any CE-powered bucket has at least double the memory!" I think- that is not the right question; the question should be: Why does it need only 8 megs? Quite simple: no sound, no video, sorry, no MP3. What do you need that for? What I wanted to have is something to *work* with (yes, of course you ca
n play games with it, too). And for that job the palm has more than enough memory. And Palm OS compared to WIN CE concerning the resource-requirements is pretty thin. THAT'S WHY! Even the display sucks a lot of power, I can use that thing for about half a week without recharging it. "Uh-hu- and what can you do with it?" my dad asked me. Well, my dad: anything with less than at least 250 moveable parts is some sort of suspicious to him, he still wants to live in a time, when rubber-boots were made of wood. Anyway, I had to tell him the truth: scheduling appointments, dates, meetings, write memos to me, organize to-dos, well- (I better not did mention the games shipped with the device, and by the way: they are shitty- b/w) "And that's all? Uh-hu." End of message. Well- no. That's not all you can do with it. This little thing runs under Palm OS 3.5.x (the last recent one is 3.5.3, I think), and therefore you can find plenty of good (and sometime free) software in the web (sites like tucows.com or palmgear.com have a lot of pretty good stuff). Here's a list of my favoured- just to show you the versality of that little computer: - First of all: jPilot. THis fine piece of soft makes your palm communicate with linux, so you can close your windows. - For owners of SIEMENS-cellphones a tool named "S25-util" is very helpful: you can beam logos and sounds via infrared port from your PALM to the cellphone- totally free. Even if you don't like the ones shipped with the software, you can create your own logo or sound and convert it with a little tool (also included) into the PALM-format; I did one "HANDS OFF!!" Very imoressive. Really great software- and free. You can also find software that works with NOKIA-phones, but those usually have to be purchased. - "Netzmonitor" This software, that allows the palm to calculate your position by querying the GSM
-transceivers that the connected phone is currently booked in. Something like GPS for deprived cellphoners. Perhaps it even works in the UK (I only tried it in germany) - IR-monitor: check IR-remote-controls. - OmniRemote: Use your palm as a programmable remote control! This one is really useful- but not free. Too bad it deactivates itself after a short trial-period. - HanDbase: a database application, very intuitive and easy UI, plus the possibility to password-protect your data. I do so with my banking-account-numbers and pins. - Abacus: an Excel-like worksheet-applikation. A lot of functions, but very slow. Still in beta-state, but usable- and free. - Entertainment? Yes! My favored is "HotPipes": Put as many tubes together in a matrix before you un out of time. - Ace: Anyone who knows "Super Dogfight" from the Commodore C64? Anyone? No? Too bad. Well, two planes, each equipped with a machine gun, (up to) two players. I just swept my boss from the sky. Great. - Galax: A pretty good GALAGA-clone: the aliens are on the top of the screen, the gun on bootom is yours, and did I mention shoot? No? Shoot. - And a pretty good FROGGER-clone. As you can see, that little useful thing can help you in a lot aspects of your life: As a personal database and organizer (which is supposed to be generic use of those devices), as an alarm (I define them as alarms, is more comfortable than programming the cellular und turn it off on saturdays when you want to stay in bed longer..), as gameboy-substitute, for example during endless hours of waiting in frustatingly long lasting jams, even as a flashlight: it shines far brighter than those tiny lamps in some carkeys, and even brighter than an active cellphone. ... There are just few things that you cannot use this little companion for: lighting cigarettes (I'm a non-smoker), finding park- (oh, I already mentioned this? OK), a
nd of course opening bootles w/o a "twist to open"-cap (Ever seen a blonde dancing around to have beer? That's why.) Thanks for reading, Kraut.
I logged onto www.dabs.com for 210 pounds you get the palm iiic a keyboard,charger, wallet, and car adapter charger. So what's it all about. I'm a children's author, however when I'm on the go and I want to write down my ideas, I find pencil and paper not good enough, and that's where the Palm IIIc comes in What is it? Its a computer with 8 meg ram (8 million characters), colour display which you can write on with the stylus, with handwritting analysis, this turns to letters on the screen and they appear. It comes complete with the cradle, which allows you to connect to the PC and send over documents and software, from games to educational products to internet (with modem) Can I really write documents on it? With the stylus, not really it is far too tedious, however add on the keyboard, download a word processor (I used wordsmith) download afterburner (speeds up the computer) and I can touch type at 65 wpm quite happily, the screen is quite readable and does not give me headache. The only thing you have to make sure of is to put the keyboard on a flat surface, e.g. a folder will do fine. It weighs near to nothing compared to a portable computer, the battery lasts about 2 weeks with average use(lithium battery, and if you put the screen to the darkest and turn off sound lasts even longer) And that's about it, a serious alternative to a laptop for wordprocesing. OH did I tell you the keyboard folds away, into a tiny winy size and is very very light.
I bought my first Palm III a couple of years ago, but after a while I need more memory so I upgraded to the IIIc and I've never regretted it. It's fast, the colours are vibrant, games and apps just take on a new dimension! Talking of games, it's fantastic! It's not Gameboy class but even so the range of colour games is constantly increasing. Once you've seen a game in colour you'll realise that black and white just "doesn't cut the mustard". It could be lighter; it's not something you can put in your shirt pocket comfortably. The battery life is pretty good; on an average use of 2 hours a day I had almost 3 weeks work out of it.
I've had my Palm IIIc since Sep 2000, and it has turned my life around. You see, I'm the forgetful type. I'm always missing tutorials at college, forgetting to buy certain things, forgetting everything from TV programs to people I have to phone! So I decided to get myself a personal organiser, and being a bit of a gadget-head, it just HAD to be electronic. After looking around for a while, I decided to go with the colour option. To start with, these things are pretty expensive, for a student anyway! Here in Ireland, before last summer they were IR£400, so a friend of mine who was going back to Singapore for the summer offered to get me a cheaper one from there (IT stuff being INCREDIBLY cheap there!). So I got mine for the equivalent of IR£300 - quite a good saving. (Subtract around 25% to get the sterling price (Mar, 2001). The basic funtions are: Datebook (for planning your day and reminding you to do stuff!), Addresses, Memo Pad, Calculator, Expense (for mananging your daily spending, although I never use that one), and a couple of other less important things like an image viewer. I get most use out of the date book. I has an alarm function (VERY important!) and basically prevents me from forgetting to put on my left shoe when I leave the house every morning! Data can be entered either using the software provided and doing everything on your desktop before sending the info to your Palm IIIc via a cradle (which is also supplied), or you can use the Graffiti option - actually 'writing' the letters in!! This takes a little getting use to, but provided you write clearly and use capitals for most letters, it get easier and easier. In no time at all, I was a dab-hand. The battery lasts a surpringly long time, considering this little beauty has colour capability! Of course, this depends on how much you use it. Provided you don't spend too much time playing games, you'll probably only need
to charge it (via the included charger!) once a week. Charge time is a bit weird. If the battery is completely wasted, then in only about 10 minutes you can charge it enough to last you through the whole day. However, to charge it fully from empty takes about four hours or so, I think. In any case, I have never had any trouble in relation to poor battery power! Did I mention that the Palm IIIc can display 256 colours? No? Well, I just did. The real beauty about any Palm product, is that you can download literally thousands of free programs to expand it's capabilities. Since the IIIc has 8 mb of memory, there's plenty of room for most programs. There are dozens of cool games available, but you'll be disappointed if you get TOO excited about them. My favourites are the really old arcade classics which look great on the Palm - versions of PacMan, Galaga, Space Invaders, Missile Command - those beauties from the 80's!! There are various puzzle games available too. All these games benefit from the colour of the IIIc. If you're interested in making your own programs, you're in luck, even if you're a beginner like me. Apparently, it's quite easy to program the Palm and there are various resources on the Web to help you. My favourite and most useful program (apart from Datebook!) has to be ePocrates, which is a free drugs database available from www.epocrates.com. This program allows me to look up any drug available in the US (no UK version unfortunately) for details of dosages, contra-indications, trade names, prices, side-effects, etc. Being a medical student, this program never fails to win favour with consultants on the wards! It's a huge program, but it's absolutey fantastic. You can even add your own notes to any entry. Other favourites (apart from the games) is a program featuring Yoda from Star Wars, who will answer any question that happens to be on your mind. It's also possi
ble to download document readers from the Web, allowing to freely download classic literature from www.palm.com. I've read most of Shakespeare using this freedom. (Ok, not to everybody's taste, but I'm a bit weird alright?!) My biggest gripe in the size and weight. It's not the worst, but the IIIc just doesn't look as sexy and sleek as the Palm V as I'm sure everybody would agree. It's a bit too heavy to be carried in a shirt pocket without pulling that side of your shirt downwards and making you look like a right nerd!! And it's a little awkward puting it in your back pocket. I normally keep it in my back pocket, but it really doesn't feel right there, if you can understand that. Palm have just started selling the Palm m505 in the States, which looks like the Palm V and is much lighter than the IIIc, has much the same features, but also has 65,000 colour display, along with an expansion slot which can serve as a sort of discdrive when needed. All in all, I think this WAS the best PDA on the market until the Casio something something came out, and as I've mentioned the new Palm m505 is better, but both these options are more expensive. If I had a bit more money, I'd trade my IIIc in for a Palm m505, but I can't have everything can I? This lovely little thing will certainly do for the beginner in the world of PDAs, as it's exciting enough, but it doesn't break the bank enough. Now, got to go and break my high-score in Galaga! ---***---***---***--- Update: 24/04/01 - corrected some spelling mistakes. Also, forgot to mention another gripe, which is that in order to charge the Palm IIIc, you need to first put it in it's cradle and then plug the recharger into the cradle. This means it's a bit bulky to have to drag around the cradle AND the recharger if you're on the go for a while.
Since I have had the IIIc I have actually been organized for the first time in my life!!! But don't think its just a organizer with a few extra's this is a small computer with lots of extra's!!!! The main advantage the 3c has over other palms is that it's colour which is a BIG advantage when playing games which you can download hundreds of!!!! Then you have it's IR facility which enables you to do all sort's of things: - Play IR games with other palm owners - control other things that use IR ie TV, VCR, DVD... - Print to printers with IR capabilities ie HP laser 6p - Syncronise with laptops or PC's with IR The IR is one of the things I love about the 3C but not the only. The Graffity pen is a very handy tool it let's you write on the screen with the pen provided and it turns your handwritting into text! Or if you don't like that idea you can bring a keyboard on screen and type on that, and if your still not happy put the Palm in it's cradle connected to you PC and type direct into your PC then syncronise and it's on your Palm. Overall there's not much the 3com PalmIIIc can't do... If it's not allready on the palm ten minutes searching the web you should get what your looking for! And because of the size of these programs you can install loads onto the palm! Most applications are between 10k and 80k and the 3c has 8Mb of memory so there is loads of room for all the cr*p you can find. It has a 256 colour screen which you can look at photo's from your PC on or even moives from your PC!!!! Very worthwhile!!!!!!
The Palm 3C Well what can you say.I have had one for about 4 months and it has helped me organize my life a lot more that a pocket diary. It has a lot of usefully things such as Date Book Address Book To Do List Memo Pad Expense and a very easy to use operating system and full synchronization with your PC through the cradle which is included or through the inferred port for your laptop. The palm size is only 5.06" x 3.17" x .67" and only 6.8 oz in weight. The display is 8 bit Colour 160x160 TFT Display and even though it is colour the battery life is very good it contains a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that automatically recharges in the hot sync cradle. On normal use of about 3-4 hours per day it lasts easy over 1 week. The palm 3C has a storage capacity of 8MB and that is more than enough, as the software packages are so small. The beauty of the palm is, its well established and there is absolutely hundreds of free software out there on the web. There are also lots of add-ons such as a digital camera and full size fold up keyboard for this little computer so it is the full thumbs up from me!!
Time to buy my first hand held organiser but which one to go for? These were my thoughts when I went to choose my IIIc recently. It seemed to me that the Palm IIIc was the best and cheapest colur option. It also had 8MB of memory which surpassed some of the other options and equalled the more expensive handhelds. The colour screen is very clear and easy to read and the applications are easy to use and work well. There is also a lot of software available for you to download such as games and other useful applications, from the palm website. Setting up the Palm to talk to your PC was straightforward and the software is easy to use. All in all I think the Palm IIIc is great value for money and easily outdoes the monochrome screens of its closest financial rivals.
After spending several weeks researching the relative merits of PDA's in my price range of £100 - £300, I recently chose to purchase the Palm IIIc, and have not regretted it yet! Firstly, I'll get the bad points out of the way: 1/ Bordering on the large and bulky side (compared to other Palm OS models), the IIIc weighs in at almost 7 oz, and measures about 5 x 3 inches. 2/ Although a colour model, it has many less colours than the Visor Prism, and Windows CE PDA's at the moment. Now that's out of the way, I'd better say that although large and weighty, it is in fact perhaps the lightest colour PDA around just now (0.1 oz less than the Visor Prism). As for its colour capabilities, it can display 256 colours on screen from a palette of 4096 colours. This is much, much less than the other colour PDA's which can show 65,000 odd colours but really, how many colours are necessary for a handheld to be worthwhile? Originally, I was all set to get a Visor Deluxe (black and white, and about £200), with all of its nifty body colours, and Springboard expansion slots. Then after research, I realised I could afford a Palm IIIc for only £40 more. I was still hankering for the Handspring, until I found out the prices of these Handspring modules! A MP3 module costs in the region of £150 and the Digi-camera plug in costs around £200!! Accuse me of being a stingy Scotsman if you like but I could buy seperate units that did the job better, for that much if not less!?! At this point I chose the IIIc. Spec-wise, the Palm whips the rest of the Handspring range, apart from the Visor Prism as mentioned, but that is a £400 machine, and if you have the cash to spare go for it! As for the Windows CE handhelds out there, they are also in the £400 area, and are fighting over that price range. The Palm on the other hand, is the big fish in its own price range. After a bit of shopping around, I picked up mine for £220.... a bargain! Software-wise, its spoilt for choice, with a wealth of companies developing applications for the Palm OS. It also has 2MB of built in Flash ROM, something the Handsprings do NOT have. This basically allows for easy OS upgrades. The colour abilities come into their own for some games as you can imagine, document reading (nice to have black text with white background) and also for image viewing if you should have any. I also managed to connect via infra red, to my Nokia 6210 with its inbuilt modem, to the internet! Some pages dont load and other pages are obviously cut down, but it is impressive to see (using the free avantgo viewer)! On the whole, I'm very happy with it!
I’ve owned just 3 handheld computers in my time, starting with a Newton Messagepad, and then a Newton 120. Unfortunately a combination of Apple discontinuing it, plus a huge repair bill following a cracked screen in an accident I was involved in, I decided to move on to a Philips Velo .Windows CE palmtop computer. It was OK, but the screen and battery life was very weak. I then moved on to the Palm III – which was bought cheaply at a Dixons sale. I enjoyed using it a lot, and found the entire product to be worthy of being called my favourite so far. However, the screen was poor in dark conditions, and a little difficult to read. Palm then launched the IIIc – a fully lit colour display, and I knew I wanted one!. A little under a year ago, I popped into my local electronics store, took one look at it, and immediately walked out with one. Since then it’s been put through several paces, keeping my diary, surfing the internet on long train journeys (thanks to the Global Pulse kit from TDK), and playing the odd game. The unit is sleek, although just not quite as sexy and slim as the Palm V series, and fits neatly into the hand during use. The buttons are conveniently placed, but the power button could do with being a little higher up the unit. Mine came with just one metal stylus, so I soon ordered some replacements (I’m prone to loosing these very quickly!), along with a Serial port cradle. Since I often use my Mac for synching up the Palm, I decided to buy the rather expensive Mac Pack with USB cable. At £350 (when I first bought it) I would have expected a few more extras in the box! The screen is incredibly clear, bright and easy to read. Although few Palm compatible applications support Colour these days, it’s nice to have the backlighting, as opposed to the reflective LCD screens of the previous models. The drawbacks to the unit are more inherent to the direction Palm has taken as op
posed to Windows CD products. Firstly, you cant upgrade it beyond popping in new software or plugging a GSM mobile cable in the bottom. Secondly, it only has 8mb Ram, but this is fine – as Palm applications rarely need a lot of memory, and the Operating system is very efficient. Thirdly, you don’t get very sophisticated sound effects. Mainly beeps, and clicks. SO unlike most PocketPC handheld that use Windows CE, you cant play videos or MP3s. Finally, the handwriting recognition takes some getting used to – entering character by Character. It’s far more accurate than the natural handwriting recognition of most other organisers, and far more precise than the Newton ever was! (I remember an episode of the Simpsons when Nelson Munce sat in the audience of a play, with his Newton, and repeatedly got poor results!). But most of these don’t actually detract from the usefulness of the product in general. Palm organisers are about simple, fast, efficient functionality rather than having absolutely every function imaginable crammed in all at once, even if they’re not really needed. Pocket PCs cater for the gadget freak, Palm organisers cater for the people that need function over spec sheets. All in all, the Palm IIIc is the best of the bunch that I have used, I have enjoyed using it greatly and look forward to using it even more now that I have bought the Palm Keyboard and Mobile Internet kit!
In my opinion, the Palm IIIc is the best PDA 3Com Palm have ever produced. It is a real masterpiece. Basic features on the IIIc include a Date Book, Address Book, E-mail feature, To Do List, Memo Pad, Expense, Calculator, Security, Games, HotSync technology and drag and drop links to Microsoft Word and Excel. Do you think that is a lot? Then you are wrong! There are millions, literally millions of applications waiting to be downloaded from hundreds of sites worldwide. Most applications cost money but some are free. My favourite sites are: http://www.handango.com/ http://www.palm.com/ http://www.palmgear.com/. The Palm IIIc has a Colour Active Matrix TFT display, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, infrared port, 8mb (which stores about 10,000 addresses, 5 years of appointments, 3000 to do items, 3000 memos, 400 e-mail messages and lots of additional applications, books, language translators, image viewers, dictionaries, games and a whole lot more! Inside the box there is a Palm IIIc connected organiser, synchronising HotSync cradle and battery recharger, metal stylus, Palm Desktop organiser software, handbook, getting started guide, Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (internal), adapter, protective flip lid and a Palm III series accessory catalogue. If you want to add a little colour to your life, the Palm IIIc organiser is perfect. In combines speed with elegance, with advanced screen technology that renders a clear cut colour display. The Palm IIIc is probably the smallest of colour handhelds on the market today. The lithium-ion battery usually lasts about 2 and half weeks and takes just minutes to charge. An optional recharger kit is great when you are away from your computer and the this little organiser is perfect for road warriors and mobile professionals alike. Palmtop computers have come a long long way, and now they are near-perfect. This Palmtop can just about do anything! For example, if you are lost, whip out your Palmpil
ot and have a look where you are going using many different mapping programmes. Stuck as to what a word means, once again whip out your Palmpilot and search it up using one of many different dictionary programmes. Other uses are to play games during boring meetings, or boring classes in schools. Use it as a mirror to check how you look during the day. However, this small compact advanced organiser does have its disadvantages. Firstly, price is a concern. A device like this could set you back something like £250.00! Then you have to add up the cost of purchasing programmes from the internet. If you want to check your e-mail from a remote location, you'll have to buy a wireless portable modem. An annoying thing that occurs from time to time, is that the Palmtop comes up with an error message and then you have to restart the Palmtop which makies you lose all your data. However, a simple hotsync with your computer should fix the problem. Also remember that a Palmtop is not a PC. It is very difficult to surf the web on this device, as you are only likely to get a wap browser. Other disadvantages is that this PDA isn't that small in size and it is very difficult to get free programmes. The advantages however, escalate the disadvantages and this still is a brilliant organiser. If you are looking for a superb colour screen, top notch advanced compact organiser, look no further than the Palm IIIc....
To be honest, I was a little skeptical when i first received both the Palm IIIc and Vx organizers. Why should a customer lash out between £200 and £225 when a appointment planner and an address book had done the job of organizing personal data just as well previously? After all, the latter can be bought in any stationers shop for about £15 and they only require a pen to be used. However, the small electronic partners soon convinced me as both devices offer a lot of useful additional services and can be upgraded with a whole bunch of software. Palm pilots are the absolute market leaders in this field. However, other manufacturers such as Casio or Handspring have realized the potential for these products and are now trying to claim a part of the market.. What impressed me most was the intuitive use of the functions. After switching the device on, the screen displayed the basic functions of the Palm IIIc. The functions 'Address' and 'Date Book' are certainly the ones that are mostly used. Let's me tell you a little about the Palm Vx. This basically has the same functions as the color model, Palm IIIc - except that these are shown using a monochrome display. I expected the higher model number (V versus III) to mean more, but it would seem that the improvements are restricted to the size of the device and its weight. The Palm Vx is not as long or wide as the Palm IIIc, however the display's diagonal size is the same on both devices. The weight and thickness are different, namely about half that of the Palm IIIc. Users that want to get started straightaway will ask themselves: 'Do I have to enter my entire list of addresses, or is there an easier way?' In fact there is - the Palm's software offers the possibility to exchange its data with that of the most common email programs Microsoft's Outlook and Outlook Express. It's possible to simple transfer the addresses and telephone numbers to the Palm. Lotus Notes
users and mobile phone users are also catered for. The www.palm.com website contains numerous links to corresponding suppliers - and most of these packages are for free. When the classic PC user looks at a Palm the first thing that's noticed is: there's no keyboard. How is that supposed to work? In fact, data can be entered into the Palm in one of two ways. Palm supplies a plastic pen with each PDA which is used to write characters, numbers and symbols into the lower half of the display. Both Palms incorporate a character recognition function, the so-called Graffiti alphabet system. Entering text with the pen worked surprisingly well. Without a doubt the Palm IIIc with color display and the Palm Vx with monochrome screen are mature products that convince with their intuitive menus and functions. Despite their high price of at least £200they offer all the functions that a user needs in a personal organizer. They are smaller and weigh less than a classic day timer from the stationary store. The manufacturer tries to simplify the task of transferring the user's addresses and telephone numbers from the PC to the small electronic organizer. If you still keep your address list in a book, you will need a lot of time to fill the small handheld. Once that's done you are ready to go. If you do a lot of business traveling with your notebook, you will find that the Palm IIIc or Palm Vx are ideal companions. These small PDAs fit in every suit pocket, and unlike the laptop they do not need time to boot. Of course the Palm IIIc or Vx are not a substitute for a comfortable word processor, spreadsheet or Powerpoint. Then the laptop clearly is the better choice. But the Palms are ideally suited for appointments, tasks or notes, especially since you can transfer all data and entries to your PC or laptop. In a field test the rechargeable battery of the Palm survived three days under normal conditions. This excludes draining the battery by playing a
lot of games. Especially the Palm IIIc with color screen only runs a few hours if the display is on all the time. However, even after one week with 'officially' empty batteries no data was lost. Therefore, these new Palms seem to keep a little energy reservoir to store data by not allowing the display to come on if the battery is not charged to a certain extent. When the first models came out a few years ago many users complained that the data simply disappeared when the battery was empty
I’ve fancied a decent PDA for years. I though I’d quenched my desire for one last year, when I picked up an old Psion Series 3 for £25. I thought that would get the bug out of my system. No such lock. All it did was make me see the fun I could be having if I had a more capable machine. So, having a few DooYoo points to spend, I decided to look around for something new. In my price range, (somewhere around the £200 mark) I had three options – one of the Palm systems, Some kind of bottom of the range Windows CE device, or a Psion Revo. I really fancied a machine with a keyboard, which put the palm and Windows CE machine that I could afford out of the picture. However, looking at the Psion Revo I was disappointed to learn that it had a smaller screen than the ‘proper’ 5 Series, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to use all the software available. I came around to the idea that a keyboard wasn’t really a necessity, as the machine would in all likelihood end up being an expensive toy. Checking the specs of the Windows machines I could afford wasn’t very promising. The machines looked good, especially the ability to play MP3s, but in my price range, I was mostly stuck with mono machines with not much memory. Besides which I still harboured doubts about having a Windows machine – so many different amounts of memory and speeds of processor – I was worried that I a couple of years it would be like owning the equivalent of an old PC – not capable of running any useful software any more. So, it looked like some kind of Palm OS machine was what I wanted. The Palm IIIe and M100 looked good value, but for a tinkerer like me, 2Mb would never be enough for all the programs I would be wanting to play with. The Handspring Visor looked very tempting, with it’s USB connectivity, and expansion slot making it worth the few quid more than Palm’s similarly specced IIIxe &
#8211; both having the 8mb of memory I craved. But then, lurking just out of my price range was the Palm IIIc. Not only did it have the 8Mb, one of Palm’s faster processors, but also a colour screen! This was what I needed! Until recently, the IIIc had been very expensive – around £300, but competition from Handspring has seen palm dropping their prices a little. Although the machine still sells in Dixons for £300, shopping around sees the price fall to below £250. With a discount voucher, I managed to get hold of a Palm IIIc for £210. It’s only Rival, the Handspring Visor Prism does display more colours (65535 rather than 256) and have a faster processor, but costs around £400, making the IIIc look something of a bargain. So, what do I think of it now I’ve got it? The screen is great. Really bright, and usable in all the lighting conditions I’ve needed to try so far. For a ‘toy’ I’ve found it more useful than I though I might, keeping track of cash, faced with a week away from my PC over Christmas, I used it to carry some revision notes (simply converted from Microsoft Word) and can even check my email using my infra-red mobile phone as a modem. The real fun comes from the literally thousands of applications available from the internet. A quick search is bound to find just the program you need, and because of the simplicity of the machine, program sizes are tiny – most download in a few seconds. Now I can use the Palm as a diary, to make notes, as a scientific calculator, to play games, keep track of my accounts, and even to control my TV. A favourite piece of software is Avantgo – software that downloads internet content onto your PC and transfers it to your Palm – meaning I can take a newspaper, TV listings and even read The Onion wherever I am. Any downsides? Well, I find the handwriting recognition system Graffiti a little hot and miss. Sometimes I seem to be able t
o get along with it just fine, and othersI can hardly write a word. It’s certainly not a machine to do much writing on, however proficient at Graffiti you become. It would have been nice to get a decent case in the box. The machine comes with a flip up plastic lid which just swings out of the way of the screen. Apart from protecting the screen from scratches, its not much use. Unfortunately, all the best Palm cases (offering some resistance to knocks) only seem to be on sale in America. A USB connection cradle would have been nicer than the serial one provided, but it’s not a major problem – even loading the Palm up with several programs only takes a minute or two. The IIIc is a bit slower than the other machines in the Palm range, due I think to it having to handle the colour display, but software such as Quickbits will soon speed it up again. Overall, I love my IIIc, it’s turned from a toy into something genuinely useful that I need every day that also provides a lot of fun.