I don’t normally review books (actually this is my first time). But when I
was approached to review a book called How to Do Everything with Your Palm
Handheld, I accepted. This is a 607 page Palm handheld resource guide by Dave
Johnson and Rick Broida (of Tap magazine fame).
I’m not sure exactly how to actually review a book so I’ll just go over the
infomation contained in the various chapters with any comments that I may have.
|Chapter 1 of the book begins with a great Palm history |
lesson. It gives information on every Palm OS device beginning with the
Pilot 1000 to the Handspring Visor and TrgPro. However, the book was
finished before the Palm IIIc was released, so it does not mention it.
The book then goes on to give you some tips on choosing the best Palm
Chapter 2 and 3 help you get to know your new Palm device hardware and
software-wise. They cover everything from installing batteries and connecting
the cradle to your PC to working with the Palm desktop on your PC or Macintosh
and hotsyncing for the first time.
Chapter 4 tells you how to get information into and out of your Palm device.
It contains some great info on learning the Graffiti input method. Included are
reference pictures of the different letters and info on hard to enter
characters. The chapter goes on to explain beaming and installing of new
programs on your device.
Chapters 5 thru 9 lead you through all aspects of the built-in applications (Datebook,
Address book, To Do List, Memo Pad, and Expense. Plenty of "How do
I…" information is given along with screenshots, tips and observations by
the authors. Both PC and Macintosh details are explained also. If add-on
programs are mentioned, the text tells you where you can find them on the web.
Even seasoned Palm users will find interesting tidbits in these chapters.
Chapter 10 discusses the Palm’s security features including third party
application enhancements. The built-in calculator is also mentioned as well as
details on the Handspring Visor’s advanced calculator functions.
Chapter 11 gives you all kinds of beneficial info that you need to know when
taking your Palm device on a trip. Topics such as powering your device when
you’re away from home, using your device as an alarm clock, using your device
for mapping and navigation, and reading books on your device are covered.
Chapter 12 and 13 focus specifically on the Palm VII wireless model and the
Handspring Visor. Wireless applications for the Palm VII and Springboard modules
for the Visor are detailed.
Chapter 14 through 18 go into heavy detail on the communication aspects of
your Palm device. Every kind of modem whether land line or wireless is discussed
along with information on connecting your Palm PDA to your cell phone. E-mail
programs, instant messaging, web browsing, paging and faxing are also covered in
quite a bit of detail. One of the chapters is also devoted to infrared, remote
and network hotsyncing.
Chapter 19 helps you turn your Palm device into a total office tool. It
explains how to use your device to edit Word, Excel and database files. It also
goes over printing from your PDA.
Chapter 20 goes over HackMaster and other misc. utilities that can be found
on the Internet.
Chapter 21 shows you how to manage your time and money with your Palm OS
device. Topics such as using Quicken, tracking stocks, managing projects and
clients are discussed. One weird thing I had to chuckle at in this chapter was a
sidebar on the authors favorite rock bands. I have no idea why they wanted to
share this info, but it’s in this chapter.
Chapter 22 delves into gaming on your PDA. It goes over a pretty good
selection of popular game titles and where to find them.
Chapter 23 through 25 go over misc topics such as Graffiti enhancement
software and overlays, e-book reading on your Palm, photo albums, paint
programs, outlining programs, and music programs.
Chapter 26 gives you details on the different accessories available for your
device. Cases, styli, keyboards and other peripherals are discussed with
The last two chapters 27 and 28 are the troubleshooting chapters, they help
you resolve problems with the PDA and problems with your PC (relating to the
All in all this is a good reference book that reads well and conveys valuable
information for the newbie as well as the long time Palm user. I only have two
things to complain about regarding this book. One is that a CD isn’t included
containing the add-on programs that are discussed throughout the book. And the
other is the order of the chapters. I think I could have arranged them in a
better order. Other than that, it’s a good book to check out.
Price: $24.99 (or $17.49 thru Amazon.com)
Good solid information.
Lots of screen shots.
No included CD.