This page is intended to be a reference for myself and others. While my particular Palmtop is a 3Com Palm IIIc, most of the information on this page should be valuable to users of other similar Palmtop devices. I will describe the software which I have chosen to add on to my Palm Pilot. I describe why I have chosen these particular applications, what makes them useful, where you can find them and other such details. I also provide a list of other web sites which I find to be valuable resources in learning more about Palmtops. They are wonderful hand-held tools.
My goal is not to write reviews of all the products, telling you all the features and such. My goal is to point you to products that you may want to consider. I encourage you to follow the links, read about the products, download the demos where available and check them out. Your feedback would be appreciated. Let me know if I can post your feedback as an attachment to this page. Wouldn't you like to benefit from the opinions of others, and not just my recommendations?
The following list is offered so that return visitors don't have to read through the whole web-page to see what has changed since their last visit. I'll do my best to list recent additions and/or updates here. Links in this list take you straight to the new information.
3 Apr 2002 - I put this page up on the web in Feb 2001, but it was and regrettably still is incomplete. As I revisit portions of this document, I am trying to update info related to which version of various software I am using. I am still adding links to the software that I use. If you see a title that you want more info on, you can either drop me an e-mail and I'll try to update that particular title next. Another alternative is for you to go to PalmGear and search for the particular title yourself.
Constructive Feedback is greatly appreciated. I'm particularly interested in hearing comments on the Navbars and their usefulness. I'd appreciate hearing how I can make these more helpful.
These links were all valid when I put them in. I try to check them on a regular basis. If you find one that is broken or out-of-date, please let me know. Likewise, the prices listed were verified when I put them on the page. Please visit the publisher's web site to verify that the pricing info is current and correct.
Before I moved to a Palm Pilot, I used an HP200LX Hand-held computer. That was a very valuable tool for me. I used it for everything from keeping my calendar and phone book to reading Project Gutenberg E-texts. When I got my first pilot (a Palm IIIx), I wanted to do all that and more. Truth be told, there are some things I still have not duplicated on the Pilot, but there are even more things which I can do easier and with the smaller and more convenient device. In January of 2001, I upgraded to a Palm IIIc, with the active matrix color screen and twice the memory of the IIIx. I'd have to say that was a very good move.
When I had my Palm IIIx, I used DateBk3 (v3.0u). Now that I have a Palm IIIc, which runs PalmOS v3.5, I upgraded to Datebk4 (v4.0d as of 6 Mar 2001) and now to Datebk5 (as of 20 May 2002). There are lots of changes in DateBk5, the most significant being greatly enhanced color support. There is a 45 day free trial offer. You owe it to yourself to check this out. This is the most valuable piece of software on my Palm IIIC. I am on their announcements mailing list so I hear about all future releases.
DateBk5 has added many capabilities to the built-in calendar
management. The remarkable part is that they did this while
remaining compatible with the built-in application. What this
means to you is that you can still add, update or delete
appointments with your existing desktop tools. The added data
needed to support DateBk4's capabilities is stored in the first
several characters of the note field. As long as you don't
erase the note on the desktop, all the added data is retained
for use in the Pilot Application.
Shareware DateBk5 $25, Upgrade from DateBk4 is no charge, and from DateBk3 is only $10
When I had my Palm IIIx, I used Launcher III (v1.5.2), a
Freeware product by Benc Software. However, that application was
not compatible with OS 3.5 devices, so I upgraded to
'Em by Synergy Solutions.
NOTE: Launcher III v3.0.5 is available as Shareware for $10 and is compatible all existing devices with the OS 3.0 or newer.
These two packages are replacements for the built in Launch
menu. The big difference is that both Launcher III and Launch
'Em use Tabs (look like file folder labels) to group
With Launch 'Em, there is also a set of tools at the bottom of the
listing of applications that allow you to drag and drop packages
to beam them to others, learn more info about the application or
even delete a demo copy you decide is not worth keeping.
Launch 'Em has many features which were not in the Launcher III
application. Launch 'Em is also available in a German version.
It is well worth the very reasonable $15 shareware price.
This is a replacement for the built-in MemoPad application. This is far and away the most impressive software package I've ever installed on any type of computer. Those are strong words, but they are true. Paul provides better customer service than any software publisher I've ever had any experience with. There is an active user community, know as "The peditors Forum, that not only uses the program(s) but also provides support for new users and advanced users alike. I know that I have not yet discovered all that this software can do, but I am very impressed and pleased with what I have learned how to do with it. It's only fault is that it does so much, one may never learn all that it can do for you. This software is as handy as McGiever's pocket knife.
The software comes in several "flavors" (my word). I'll let you
visit Paul's website
to read about all the choices and which one might be best for you.
I have registered the 'peditPro' version of the package and it
suits my needs wonderfully. See also the
LapTopHack application listed below.
peditPro Shareware $32
In Nov, 2000, Palmspring acquired "Mobile Generation Software"
and became Handmark. This package of theirs is one that I needed
to have in my line of work. It stores passwords and other kinds of
sensitive information, such as bank accounts, PINs, Login-IDs,
etc. but it stores them as encrypted data. Have you ever had
trouble remembering what login name and password you used when you
registered as a user at PalmGear? This software lets you keep
track of all such accounts and passwords. A single password is
required in order to access the stored information. This has to
be a password you won't forget. Handmark also has a PC based tool
for accessing and maintaining this information.
Commercial w/Demo available: $24.95
A "Hack" (in reference to PalmOS) is a little bit of code that gets between you and the O/S. "Launch 'Em 2" uses one such hack to keep track of which applications you have run most recently. Hacks can also be used to modify the behavior of various things.
For example, AppHack (v1.01) lets you redefine what the hardware application selection buttons do. Yes, you can adjust which Datebook program you call under User Preferences / Buttons. But with AppHack, you can define which application to call when you select two of those buttons. On my Palm IIIx, when I pressed the Memo button followed by the To-do List button, it would start the HandyShopper application.
The HackMaster application itself is marketed as Shareware.
Several of the "Hacks" one might use are Freeware or Shareware
themselves. Some applications (like Launch
'Em above) come with a "Hack" component to add some
Hackmaster - Shareware: $5 Suggested
For tracking Serial numbers, Purchase Price, and replacement
value. I'm actually running version 1.1 which is distributed as
Freeware. It lacks the conduit for importing data from MS
Windows, but since I use a Linux desktop, that's fine.
Commercial w/Demo available: $7.95
I realize that this type of tool may not be for everyone. That's
why this is not in the "Got to Have" section above. The Fitaly
Stamp is a tool that replaces Graffiti. It is a commercial
package but worth every penny of it's price. I'm going to ask you
to visit their website to learn more about this application as I'm
sure I won't do it justice.
Commercial: $35 direct from Textware Solutions
If you own an external keyboard, this package can add laptop
computer functionality to your Palm computer. Like the
Fitaly Stamp, this application is not for
everyone, or it would be listed in the "Got to Have" section
above, right next to Paul's pedit
LapTopHack Shareware $14
If you think you are using all of the memory on your Palm, think
again. This tool moves programs/hacks/databases into Flash
memory. On my Palm IIIc running Palm OS v3.5 I was able to make
use of approx. 576K of Flash memory.
Commercial: $14.95 as of 5 Apr 2001 at PGHQ
Answers the question "What is taking up so much of my memory?".
Have you every tried to move 15 address entries from one category to another. Mass Transit lets you move entries within the Address Book, Memo Pad or To Do List.
A Shared Library used by many palm applications. It provides
several mathematical routines needed for various calculations.
He has several other
The standard by which other "Web Scraper" applications are measured. You connect to their web page and sign up for various "Channels" of information. Then you synchronize your palm-top using a desktop tool with Internet access configured and the updated information from the selected sites is downloaded to your palm-top. You can then browse this information when your waiting for the Doctor or Dentist or during the commercials while watching your favorite Star Trek episode.
I have v2.83 installed. This application provides time in
several time zones, offers several display formats, has a few
configurable timers and 4 alarms. It is rather handy. I have
used it as my traveling alarm clock on more than a few occasions.
Freeware (under the GNU General Public License)
"MyRoots" is written by Thomas Ward. I have version 1.64 installed on my pilot. This is a neat Genealogy program with a Windows desktop and a palm-top component. You can import a GedCom file using the Windows desktop to create a database which you then install onto the palm-top. You can then browse the family tree on the palm-top, edit data, look at Ancestor listings and descendant listings. Please visit their website to learn more about this very handy application.
The about screen for this package says that the latest version
is available at PalmGear
HQ. A search on Google found a "Handyshopper Users Group"
This is a very handy little shopping list manager.
As of 30 Mar 2002 the current version 2.3.
The author refers to his software as "Postcard-Ware" in the
He asks very nicely for you to send him a postcard if you use
A super outliner, task manager, and hierarchical checklist
package. This program could easily replace the built-in To-Do
application. It is great for Task Lists (ie. simple project
management), Checklists and organized note taking. It is simple
to use and very costomizable. I'm using version 1.5.0 which was
released 28 March 2001.
This one is listed first because it is the game I play more than
any other on my Pilot. Everyone has a favorite version of
solitaire. This is mine! I'm running v1.2a. which looks great in
Commercial w/Demo available: $11.95
This one is number two on my list of favorites. This is a
somewhat addictive strategy game/puzzle. There is quite a story
behind the game and there are versions available for all sorts of
different platforms. Visit the
Homepage to learn more.
I have a Linux version on my desktop at work (just no time to play
Commercial w/Demo available: $9.95
A handy utility for tracking several categories of paid leave.
It will automatically calculate your paid leave balances for you
either currently or at some future date. Requires
Thanks to Marshall Gilliam for telling me about this one.
Quartus Forth is a full blown programming/development environment
that runs entirely on the palm-top. Until I found this package, I
had not programmed in FORTH since about 1987. This may give me
the chance to develop some of the tools that I wish I could find
but have not. The manual for the software is available online in
HTML format. There is also a web based discussion area
Commercial (w/Demo available): $69.95
Uses HackMaster (mentioned above) to
implement a small keypad over the graffiti area on your palm-top.
It replaces the number side and uses the edge of the character
side of the graffiti area. When you pay for the software, they
will mail you some overlays which are then placed onto the
Update: 24Jun2001 - I decided against this package. Instead, I went with the Fitaly Stamp (listed above in under utilities), a full-blown keypad for numbers, letters, symbols, and so much more. TapPad is a nice package, but I decided to go one step further and replace graffiti altogether.
On my old HP200LX, the database was a feature that I used as much or more than any other. I have not found myself using such a functionality as regularly on the Palm. One neat thing about this package is that there are literallyhundreds of MobileDB databases available for download.
I do sometimes sync. my palm-top with the MS Windows based desktop tool that ships with 3Com Palm Pilots. However, I am primarily a Linux Desktop User. The system on my desk at work is running Fermilab's own distribution of RedHat Linux. I have found the following software valuable for backing up my pilot and accessing some of it's data from the desktop.
I have had a few folks talk with me about broken screens or other repair needs for their hand-held. Whether you use a Palm, a Visor or some other hand-held, the folks at GetHighTech are someone you will want to know. Not only do they carry replacement screens, buttons, shell cases and more, they will buy your broken unit if you don't feel like pursuing the repair.
This site bills itself as "the Web's premier collection of free Palm e-books". When I first visited their site on 2 Feb 2001, their library contained 4156 free Palm e-text titles. They also offer an E-book of the month feature and a mailing list to keep up on new texts that become available. The do have their own e-book reader product, the QVADIS Express Reader
As of 22 Jan 2001, they claim over 7,000 documents
I first heard of PayPal.com when they offered a palm-top client that was a sort of Electronic Wallet. Back then, you could beam a payment from your palm-top to someone else's palm-top. The next time you would sync to your Internet connected desktop, the transfer of funds would be updated at their service. It was a very interesting concept. PayPal has discontinued support for it's palm-top application. Apparently there was not a lot of interest. They are developing their software for use with WAP (Web Accessible Phone) equipment.
You send still send payments (for shareware fees, etc.) via e-mail using their service. You can also use their service to accept payment for items you might sell via a website or on an E-bay or Yahoo! action. This allows you to accept credit card payments from others. The buyer does not need to have their own PayPal account if they wish to use a credit card. The really cool part is that they will give you $5 just for signing up for their service and completing their validation process. I have used this to send payments to others (mostly for software or services registration via e-mail.
This section provides referances to other on-line resource and reference sites. The first grouping is places where one can go to find software and accessories to download and/or buy. The second grouping provides links to on-line magazines and other sources of information about Palm-top computing in general.
This document was started in Jan. 2001. I am attempting to update it on a very regular basis. Questions, Problems or constructive criticism should be reported to the author, Ken Schumacher.
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