Ken's Palm Pilot

Overview

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.

Goals

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?

Contents

This document contains the following sections:

What's New

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.

How you can help

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 If you find one that is broken or out-of-date, please let me know.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.


What's on my Palm Pilot

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.

Got to have these on my (and possibly your) Palm OS Device

DateBk5 by Pimlico Software

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

Launch 'Em v3.5 by Synergy Solutions

Launch 'Em Icon

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 Launch '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 applications together. 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.
Shareware $15

peditPro (v5.82) by Paul Nevai

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

Mobile Account Manager (v2.11) by Handmark

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

HackMaster (v0.9) by DaggerWare

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 functionality.
Hackmaster - Shareware: $5 Suggested

Serial Watch (v2.0) by Torlesse Systems

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



Valuable Utilities

Fitaly Stamp by Textware Solutions

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

LapTopHack (v5.82) by Paul Nevai

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 application.
LapTopHack Shareware $14

JackFlash v2.0.2 by Brayder Technologies, Inc.

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

Ram Hog found at PalmGear.com

Answers the question "What is taking up so much of my memory?".
Freeware

Mass Transit by Matthew D Moss

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.

MathLib by Rick Huebner

A Shared Library used by many palm applications. It provides several mathematical routines needed for various calculations. He has several other nice applications.
Freeware



Misc. Useful Applications

AvantGo

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.

BigClock by Jens Rupp

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)

My Roots from Tapperware

"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.

HandyShopper by Christopher Antos

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 Readme.txt file. He asks very nicely for you to send him a postcard if you use the software.
Freeware (Postcard-Ware)

Planetarium by Andreas Hofer Software

My Tapes and Disks by Armando Neves

IOU Mate by MobiMate

ShadowPlan by Jeff Mitchell (aka. CodeJedi)

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.
Shareware: $12.99



Games/Entertainments

Freecell by Electron Hut

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 color.
Commercial w/Demo available: $11.95

Sokoban by Electron Hut

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 Sokoban Homepage to learn more. I have a Linux version on my desktop at work (just no time to play it!).
Commercial w/Demo available: $9.95

HardBall

Hearts

Minehunt

Pocket Chess

Puzzle

SolFree

SubHunt



Software I am Evaluating

PaidLeave by Rick Glunt of Glunt Computer

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 MathLib. Thanks to Marshall Gilliam for telling me about this one.
Shareware: $5

Quartus Forth v1.2.1e by Neal Bridges

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 available.
Commercial (w/Demo available): $69.95

TapPad v1.10 (released 30 Aug 2000) by John Brochu

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 pilot.
Shareware: $19.95

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.

MobileDB Lite (v2.0) by Handmark

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.

SmartDoc


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Desktop Tools for Linux based Palm Users

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.


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Palm-Related Services

Repair, Parts and Accessories

GetHighTech.com - "The PDA Parts, Accessory & Service Specialist"

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.

E-Text Libraries

QVADIS

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

MemoWare

As of 22 Jan 2001, they claim over 7,000 documents

Wallet/Payments

Note that this service that is no longer directly related to Palm-tops

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.


Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!
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Links to other reviews and link collections


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Links to Other Internet based resources

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.

Where to find products for download and/or purchase.


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On-Line Magazines and Other Resources


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Created by XEmacs editor! 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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Last modified: Mon Jan 1 09:25:27 CST 2007
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