ThinAirMail Review

Program Requirements:
Device:
Palm VII
6 K free RAM

I’m in heaven! Obviously, I’m a gadget nut. Why else would I be reviewing things here?
So, when I picked up my Palm VII a little over a month ago, I was overjoyed to have one of
the hottest new gadgets on the market (for the moment, at least). I immediately signed up
for the extended plan with 150kb of service. The more I used it, though, the more I
realized it was little more than a neat toy. Sure, being able to check stock prices or
sports scores from a bar is neat, but it didn’t overshadow my love of my PalmV form
factor.

thinairmail1.jpg (3560 bytes)thinairmail2.jpg (4784 bytes)

Then, I downloaded a little PQA (Palm Query Application) called ThinAirMail, made by
ThinAirApps (www.thinairapps.com). Ever since, my Palm VII has become a permanent part of
my daily routine. I work in the Internet industry, and I travel quite a bit, so access to
my emails is at least as important to me as access to my voicemails, but booting up my
laptop, or hooking my Jornada up to a phone line can be inconvenient at least. I heard
about a beta of ThinAirMail, which is an internet e-mail program for the VII. Of course,
the iMessenger e-mail service is there, but the only way you can get your corporate
e-mails is by having the messages forwarded to your Palm.net mailbox, which is a huge
pain.

Once I got the beta for TAM, I put my Palm V down for good. This is a very intuitive
program designed to work with POP3 or IMAP internet mail protocols, as well as HotMail.
Now, when I’m in an airport or in a cab, I can just flip uo my antenna and retrieve all my
e-mails. Of course, with the Palm VII’s less-than-great pricing plan, that could get
expensive. Luckily, Palm just added a new Volume service plan, which includes 300kb of
service for $39.99. I’ve been using it since 9/1, and I haven’t come close to using it up.
The key, of course, is not relying on the Palm for all e-mail retrieval, just when I’m not
at my computer. To make downloads less costly, TAM downloads just a portion of each
message, leaving it up to you to download the whole thing. I’ve been able to keep up with
my office e-mail, both retrieving and sending, from all over the country, wherever I
happen to be. Also, since you have the ability to have up to 4 accounts, I have my
corporate e-mail, by HotMail for those private messages, and even my wife’s HotMail. Now
this is true wireless communications.

thinairmail3.jpg (4071 bytes)thinairmail4.jpg (3767 bytes)thinairmail5.jpg (1982 bytes)

To access your mailbox, you need to go through the TAM server. ThinAirApps also offers an
enterprise version, TAM SecureServer that would be installed on your corporate e-mail
server. In enterprise-wide deployments of Palm devices, this is a no-brainer.

TAM is not perfect, though. You can’t delete message off the server. This is good and bad.
It’s good because you can’t delete messages my accident. Its bad because if I’m flying
around from one airport to another all day, I’d like to delete the useless messages I get
so I don’t have to download those headers every time I check my inbox. I know they’re
working on this for a future release, though. The ability to manage folders is also an
important feature that is missing. It would also be nice to have signatures when you’re
composing a message, but hopefully those features will also be released in future
versions. They do, though, have a nice little helper application coming soon that will
allow you to choose To and CC addresses from your contact list.

Obviously, I really like ThinAirMail. It finally takes the Palm VII to the next level
of functionality, and it’s very easy to set up and use. Oh, yeah, and its free.
SecureServer will costs, but it will be worth it for those organizations using lots of
Palm VIIs.

Price: FREE!!

Pros:
Wireless access to POP3 , IMAP & Hotmail accounts.
The ability to send and receive messages.
Multiple mailboxes.
Very easy to set-up and use.

Cons:
Can’t delete messages.
No folders.

More of our stories that you'll enjoy:


17 thoughts on “ThinAirMail Review”

  1. I love Gadget bags but can you imagine the cocophony of noise as you pull open the different velocroed pouches to get to your stuff.

    Not one to hold your gadgets on your cat burgulary jobs!!

  2. I can imagine as your wrapping up your undercover sting operation..

    *RIIIIIIIIIIPPP* 1..2..3.. Police! Freeze!

    I wonder what people who use this bag for its intended purpose think?

    As many pockets as my Waterfield cargo bag has, I’m always game for more, however I’ll get thrown out of class if I use this one. I’m always reaching into my bag.

    Great review though, thanks for shedding light on a new gear bag. 🙂

  3. Bags like this are handy for transporting misc gear to and from the range/staging area. For an actual assault, your primary weapon is already in your hands. Your gear is attached to your tatical vest. You almost never have a use for anything you are carrying until after the shooting starts. Velcro is amazingly quiet when compared with gun fire, flashbang grenades, and sirens. 🙂

    All that said, I plan on purchasing one of these, my day to day job is programming heating and cooling systems. Mechanical rooms are noisy and I’m happier having my gear secure rather than quiet.

  4. I agree that it all depends on where you’re going to be using the bag. I take mine with me to my day job which is in an office setting. I’m sure people 3 aisles over could hear when I open a compartment. 😉

  5. 10 years ago, I saw a US Army solicitation for “quiet velcro” research. There was a fair bit of funding available, I wonder why nothing has “leaked” to the civilian side yet…

  6. How much does the bag weigh? It’s very important for me that the bag not add much to the weight of everything I have to carry.

    I love Velcro, so this might be the bag for me!

  7. This would be a great ‘duty’ bag for any LE officer out there. I used a larger bag for a few years carrying all my stuff. This bag would have been perfect for carrying:

    Extra accident forms, report forms, fam violence handouts, citations :), my 30 round mag for my glock, extra ammo boxes, road flares, my personal (not dept. issue) handheld scanner/radio, handcuffs, plastic cuffs, hog tie, clipboard, cell phone, PDA :), traffic vest, etc., etc.

    Nice adaptation to the gadgeteer ladies!

  8. Originally posted by astrosfan
    [B]This would be a great ‘duty’ bag for any LE officer out there. I used a larger bag for a few years carrying all my stuff. This bag would have been perfect for carrying:

    Extra accident forms, report forms, fam violence handouts, citations :), my 30 round mag for my glock, extra ammo boxes, road flares, my personal (not dept. issue) handheld scanner/radio, handcuffs, plastic cuffs, hog tie, clipboard, cell phone, PDA :), traffic vest, etc., etc.

    Nice adaptation to the gadgeteer ladies! [/B]

    Good Heavens! LE Officer or Rambo! 😀

  9. Rambo? not me.

    I’m sure any other cop out there can vouch for what’s listed as normal stuff. And to be honest, that isn’t near the amount of stuff that my other buddies have in their bags.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *