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Once in a while a software or hardware product captures the imagination of the general public like none has before. The original Apple IIe did this with its graphical user interface and innovative design. Of late, 3Com’s Palm Organizer has taken on this mantle. Since its introduction in 1996, there have been nine new models, including one with a translucent case, and over 4 million units sold. It is by far the market leader in handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs). In fact, the original Pilot revitalized a fairly moribund industry dominated by Sharp and Psion.
Software is a crucial element in the war for PDA supremacy. Like consumers, software developers have also fallen in love with the Palm, authoring over 4,000 applications for the device-many of them freeware or shareware-ranging from business productivity applications to classic arcade games. You can download these applications from numerous sites on the Internet. Some of the more comprehensive sites include: www.palmcentral.com, www.pda-archives.com, www. pilot zone.com, and www.palmos. com.
Not everyone has the time to search through and test thousands of programs to see if they really make the Palm more usable. Below we’ve selected a few that will certainly enhance your PDA experience. Some of these programs are free and others ask that you send a registration fee to use the product. Many operate on the honor system, so if you like a program, don’t forget to send the programmer his just deserts. After all, isn’t being able to impress your friends by changing the channel on your TV with your Palm worth a few bucks?
This is absolutely my favorite program for the Palm (not including games, of course). Silverware’s LinkPak 1.5 lets you create links between memos, to-do lists, appointments and contacts. No more tapping to find a phone number for that next appointment. Just link the two records, and each time you pull the appointment up, the phone number of the person with whom you’re meeting will be displayed as a link. Download the demo at www.silverware.com. For all four links, you’ll need to pay $24.95 to receive the unlock code for your Palm product.
Actioneer is perhaps one of the most useful programs available for the Palm. It allows you to enter information into your unit without ever having to open the unit’s built-in memo, calendar or to-do applications. It quickly and effortlessly captures and organizes critical information-e-mails, appointments, ideas-and automatically stores it in the appropriate applications. For instance, writing “conference call at 2 p.m. on Wednesday” on the Actioneer screen automatically puts the information in your calendar. It can also add data to more than one file, such as the calendar and to-do list. The program can also be trained to work with your natural ways of storing and parsing information. This program is the ultimate shortcut. The demo is free, but it’s $19.95 to purchase.
BugMe! v 2.71
Haus of Maus
Need a Post-it(r) Note for your Palm? Get BugMe! It lets you quickly jot a note, then set an alarm for