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Do You Hate Your Palm Pilot?

Written by homebusiness  |  25. June 2001

Have you abandoned your Palm Pilot? Have you lost that lovin' feeling for Palm OS? Well, to be completely honest - so have I!! Well, better to say I did! Yes, I admit I did abandon my Palm and sent it to the Land of Misfit PCs where all the unwanted computers go. I just couldn't stand it! Hey, nobody wants a Charlie in the Box, right? I really didn't see too much use for my Palm weeks after I purchased it. I found it to be quite cumbersome when entering data, and just another piece of equipment to carry around alongside my cell phone, beeper, and laptop. I really didn't like the Palm Desktop because ACT! was my contacts database. So what could I do but find myself entering less and less information into it until it eventually became my office paperweight. Well, now with some greater effort and enthusiasm I scoured the net in search of some great business apps. Has your Palm been collecting dust? Well get some fresh batteries and let's get reacquainted with the power of Palm OS. Breaking Down The Communications Barrier So you have Palm OS, but your customer has a Pocket PC and you want to beam him information. In the past you could have just forgotten about it, but today there is a program called SynkTalk. It allows the device - device exchange of information between all major brands of PDA operating systems. You can download a Demo version of the software, or you can purchase the software for $29.95 directly from their website. Securing Your Data Now securing your PDA just got easier. Now CIC has introduced a new signature recognition program, Sign-On, for PALM OS 3.3 and higher. With this program you create a signature file which records your signature and remembers it in an encrypted file. Then, when you want to access your Palm you just enter your signature. The Software matches the signature against its templates and allows or denies access to your data. Quickbooks and Palm OS For the business professional always on the run you can capture expenses, billing, and reporting to and from Quickbooks Pro. The incredible software from Zoskware called Zoskware Pro Pack captures all these essential items. It allows you to export customers, projects, expenses, etc... into your Palm software, and then easily import your data back into Quickbooks Pro. All I can say is - "great tool!" Taking It To The Street We've heard about the famous Documents To Go (DataViz) for Palm OS. It brings together your Word and Excel files onto your Palm for easy upload and transfer and can be found included with the Palm m500 series PDA. With the revolutionary "Docsync Technology" it guarantees that information is updated properly in the original documents, even if the formatting is not supported on the Palm (i.e. picture formats.) Another great tool is QuickOffice by Cutting Edge Software. This program is much like Documents To Go enabling you to view, create, edit, sync and print your Office documents. Another handy tool for those who are more a visual type of person is Quickchart which comes with the QuickOffice package. It allows you to chart data in various layouts within your spreadsheet, and is viewable from within your spreadsheet with a simple tap of a chart cell. Going Beyond The Wire! Going wireless can be costly, but if your always on the road and want the power of a PC without the bulk of a PC then why not go wireless on your Palm. Many companies offer data via wireless Palm like Earnings.Com which provides stock quotes and earnings information. UPS offers package tracking via a wireless Palm. So as you can see going wireless on your Palm can be a very powerful tool when you need information on the fly. So let's take a look at some of the PDA wireless providers to see what they have to offer. 1.) GoAmerica which offer the Go.Web wireless internet access provides a compression technology that enables you to surf faster and supports the most popular types of security technologies so you can perform e-commerce functions without worry. Hey, shopping online is in these days! Anyway, you get an e-mail address from GoAmerica, and can easily set up to retrieve your current pop3 e-mail accounts. Of course, if you are wondering, it does provide simple web surfing like most wireless services. Pricing can get pretty steep, but they do offer a "Pay As You Use" or unlimited access per month. Now something cool for small businesses is the "Mobile Office Small Business Edition" which allows you to: a. Go.Web Wireless Internet Service b. Access email and corporate intranets c. Access a virtually unlimited Internet-not just clipping applications d. Document Manager e. Email and fax frequently used documents and files f. Read wireless email attachments- g. Compose and deliver formatted business letters 2.) If you would just like some standard wireless access you might want to try OmniSky. They provide your basic services for wireless access and you can access various e-mail providers that are on their supported list. Again, it's pretty expensive service, but it might be worth it. 3.) Last but not least is Palm.Net. Now you didn't think Palm was going to let everybody else take all the wireless credit, did you? Palm provides some nice tools that pretty much mimic the others. It does have a nice calendaring feature and a simple to use interface. For more info. check out the Palm.Net list of services.. My suggestion is this. Shop around for a provider, give them a call and see what they can offer regarding monthly, yearly, or "Pay As You Use" service. If you're not using a PalmVII, then see if they can offer some competitive modem pricing. These modems can be quite expensive reaching costs as much as $300 - $400. Also, make sure that the area of coverage is enough for you to live with. These services don't extend everywhere and like cell phones can get poor or even dropped connections. For more Palm and other PDA info/software/etc. . . check out Palm Boulevard

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