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Remember the old Address Book that sat next to the telephone in the sitting room?
Remember your personal Diary?
Remember the Filofax that you could not be without?
Remember all the Business Cards filling your Wallet or Purse?
Remember all those forgotten appointments!
These days we all have mountainous amounts of information to cope with: Addresses, phone numbers of all descriptions, Computer Passwords, Children’s names, appointments. Email……………
In the past we used a variety of books, bits of paper, folders, address books, diaries etc. We then were able to locate all of this information within our Personal Organisers. At that point we all became Yuppies (Young upwardly mobile!) or in my case a Dinky (Double Income no kids) and we were pleased with ourselves in the absolute surety that life could continue as long as we had the Filofax. That is until you left it on the train or bus one day!
Recent additions to the Mobile Organisers are Digital Handheld computers. Working in IT I have always regarded these tiny machines with suspicion that is until I played with one that a colleague had. Enlightenment is a wonderful thing and for the past 4 weeks I have had my Personal Digital Assistant sitting in its cradle attached to my computers.
Let me explain:
The PALM M105 is a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), which is targeted at the middle price market, it costs £149.99. When you open the box you get:
A PDA, Stylus Battery, Cdrom, Instruction booklet Cradle with a serial connector for your PC.
I purchased another Cradle for my home PC at £24.99. In addition I bought a protective Leather Case that allows me to attach it to my belt if I want to look like a pillock! That cost £19. But seriously these things are fragile best not drop them and if you do, best have it protected.
The machine is easy to configure and the instruction booklet is straight forward, as does the Software Installation on your PC or PC’s.
~~ BRIEF OVERVIEW OF COMPONENTS The PALM m105 has a display window 4.5cm X 5cm. This is where you read all your data and input new data. You use the stylus to tap the software icons displayed on the display window or desktop to open the software utilities and basically this how the whole unit operates. The following gives details of what packages come with the base model and some other detail on what other goodies I downloaded from the Web and installed on it.
~~ KEYBOARD DISPLAY The unit has a full QWERTY keyboard display that can be used when entering information straight to the PA.
~~ GRAFFITI TOOL You can enter information directly into the PDA by writing on the Display Screen with a stylus. You have to learn a slightly different alphabet to do so, but it is not difficult and it really works.
~~ ADDRESS BOOK The instruction book details how to export your current email addresses from your Mail Software (I use Outlook Express) to your PDA. You can also enter new addresses using the stylus on either the PDA keyboard or by using the Graffiti tool. What’s more you can open the PALM software on your PC and enter the data directly. Then all you have to do is HOTSYNC.
~~ HOTSYNC This utility synchronises all data on your PC with your PDA. Additionally it backs up all data on your PDA and saves them as files on your PC. Therefore it is easy to restore the data on your PDA if you lose it and get a replacement or the battery runs out before you can change it! (You only get e minute to change the battery – a slight pain!)
~~ DATE BOOK Effectively a diary that links with your PC calendar and beeps you when you have an appointment.
~~ NOTE PAD If you need to quickly note down something you can use this utility to scribble the information directly onto the display screen using the stylus and save it as a file. Which you can later transfer to your address book or whatever later. I have several pictures of funny faces that my daughter drew!
~~ MAIL In a rush? Power on your PC connect to the web HOTSYNC your PDA and your email will be sitting on your PDA for reading and replying to on the train. When you get to the office hotsync again and your mail will deliver.
~~ OTHER STUFF There is a Memo Pad, some games and system security software.
~~ ADD ONS I have down loaded QUICKOFFICE that gives me a compatible WORD and EXCEL package that is fully interactive with the WORD and EXCEL on my PC’s. I have also downloaded a Password software, this allows me to store multitudes of password information, for Bank Accounts, Web accounts, ISP accounts, Phone Accounts – everything really! This little bundle cost me $32 or £25.
~~ COMPLETE MOBILITY I have not done this as I have no need but you can buy a compatible Mobile Phone that will allow you to surf the Internet and send/receive mail direct, wherever you are in the world.
~~ SUMMARY In a nutshell I love my PALM m105, can’t you tell? I am a gadget man and this is a gadget I would not, cannot do without.