A while back, I posted an article about my beloved Palm T/X and how it was doing after a couple years of use. (See the article here.) One major finding was the loss of calibration that was driving me crazy- I had to literally tap the very bottom edge of the screen to access the lower row of buttons.
Released in November of last year, the latest offering of Opera Mini, version 4, hasnâ€™t really sent shockwaves through the World of cell phones. Whilst the iPhone browser (which I think is very annoying!) has been hailed as a revolutionary success, Mini has taken the sidelines slightly, but as I have learned, this isnâ€™t really a position it deserves.
I have been a really good boy this last year. A really, really good boy. I swear I had nothing to do with the Gadgeteer site crash incident!
Anyway, here is my list of the utilities I think you should bring all good Palm users. (I did thank you for the Palm Tx a couple years ago, didn’t I?). In order to keep the list manageable, I have broken it up into sections. Here is the Palm Utilities section.
Being an overweight diabetic is a pain in a lot of ways, but one of the biggest is the ongoing job of trying to lose weight- which always seems to find its way home. I welcome any tool in the fight, and CalorieKing’s Handheld Diet Diary was brought to my attention as a possible ally.
One of my favorite MS-DOS applications was a program called InfoSelect. InfoSelect gave me a functionally endless stack of small note cards and a great search tool. Make a note, any kind- contacts information, scheduling details, grocery list, books to find, phone messages, etc.- and InfoSelect would store it for you, and find it in a heartbeat. To sweeten the pot, you could create reusable forms, color-code things, and much more. It was sweet.
Many of the new Palm software titles over the last couple of years have been targeted for the medical field. You would almost think that every doctor, nurse, technician, and other health-care provider is issued a free Palm upon graduation (which might be a way to boost the sagging visibility of my favorite electronic device!) OK, I was a certified EMT in my state back some 20 years ago and actively teach various first-aid and CPR courses. Why not take some of these texts for a test drive?
Since the advent of the handheld device, the quest for easy input of data while on-the-go was always the Holy Grail of mobile computing. In my earlier Gadgeteer review, I went down that path, looking at the excellent handwriting recognition software, PhatWare’s Calligrapher. Calligrapher did a great job of taking my scrawl and translating it into digital form, performing just as advertised. However, just as there are all kinds of PDAs and handheld platforms today, so too are the means by which developers have devised ways to input your data.
In my house, I am the Master of the Five Remotes, Not Including the Universal Remote We Rarely Use or the TV Remote That We Don’t Need Because We Can Control It With the TiVo Remote Besides The Batteries In It Are Usually Dead. The massive responsibility lies heavily upon my kingly head. Just keeping track of all of the remotes is bad enough, but since I have kids, none of my remotes have battery covers. (If you have kids, you’ll understand. If you don’t, thank God your batteries are not always in danger of falling out.)
Julie asked me a couple weeks ago if I would be interested in reviewing Easy PocketNAV’s OnCourse Navigator GPS software and I didn’t have to be asked twice! Understand that I am a novice when it comes to GPS and GPS software but the technology behind it just fascinates me. My previous experiences with GPS were with HP’s Navigation System (the GPS Bluetooth unit and software bundle) that I used with my HP hx4705 IPAQ and after I upgraded to Windows Mobile 5 on that unit, I bought OnCourse Navigator 5 (OCN5). I have since sold my IPAQ and GPS unit over a year ago and I let the OCN software sit to the side…that is until now.
I’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes. I am a bit overwhelmed with the flood of information- both that I need to learn, and that I need to now learn to track. I have already learned a few things.
A. Diabetes is sometimes called the “data disease” because the more you understand it and track it, and know what it is doing, the better you can manage it.
B. It is really depressing to be a diabetic.
C. If ya gotta deal with the data involved, ya may as well make it work for you.
This month, my review focuses on another program that has a
large following in the PDA community…PhatWare’s
PhatNotes. In earlier reviews on note-taking programs, I
mentioned that the PocketPC was made for note-taking. Most
note applications are singular in their focus of taking
notes. PhatWare took that one concept step further,
really giant steps forward, in how notes are taken and
organized. The folks at PhatWare utilize the database
approach to organizing data, syncing it to outside platforms and
adding functionality within the “note” like voice or images.
All in all, PhatNotes sets the standard for note-taking and
others to emulate. Let me try to explain how I’ve come to
Some people love them, some hate them. I tend to be one of those who load one, fiddle with it forever, then eventually give up and go back to the simplicity of the Palm interface. A few years ago, I did head-to-head comparisons with most of the major versions, and at one time or another owned a valid copy of Launcher X, MegaLauncher, Silver Screen, and others. I settled on ZLauncher, but mostly because I spent enough time with it to make it work how I wanted. If you want to argue that one of the other ‘standards’ is better, I won’t disagree. It is just a matter of personal preference.
This software review is on PhatWare’s CalliGrapher which has to be on the “must-have” list of utilities for any serious PDA junkie’s collection. Setting aside the Casio B.O.S.S. I used only briefly, I consider my first handheld to be the Apple Newton MessagePad. What was the big attraction of the MessagePad device? It was its handwriting-to-text translation, the earliest ancestor of today’s CalliGrapher. The inventors of that software was not Apple but actually some creative Russian programmers and the company they eventually formed called Paragraph International.
I use my Palm Tx for a lot of things- even as a fancy alarm clock and mini-MP3 player. I usually use the default player if it does what I want and the installed version of NormSoft’s Pocket Tunes v3 Basic Edition did a decent job for me. Easy to use, fun skins, sleep timer, etc. I was pretty happy with it… until they released Pocket Tunes v4 a few weeks ago.