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Re: Looking for a Wi-Fi PDA

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As others have pointed out, Palm OS devices (made by Palm [now part of
PalmOne], Handspring [now part of PalmOne], Sony and others) do sync with
Outlook.  It has done this from the beginning.  I am not sure if the Palm
software still uses PocketMirror as Bill pointed out, but that does not
really matter.  It syncs pretty well with Outlook.  There are some
"flaws".  It will sync darn well when doing contacts, notes, and calendar
items, but the built-in Palm software (at least version 4.x which is what
all my devices have used) does not have alarms in the ToDo application so
any reminders that you set for ToDo items in Outlook won't appear on the
Palm device (unless they have "fixed" that in v5.x of the software).
FWIW, I have purchased a program called ToDo Plus that DOES have
alarms/reminders, but it won't sync (the alarms won' uses the
same basic Palm database with a supplemental database for its unique
functions) with Outlook (at least I don't think so).

Palm devices also can deal/sync with Office documents.  There are a
variety of third-party programs that do this (the Palm software does not
support this by default).  The most common one (and the one that comes
with the T3) is DocumentsToGo.  It works extrememly well.  It might not
work as well as the support that comes with a PocketPC, but will be more
than fine for the vast majority of people.  The latest version of
DocumentsToGo will now sync Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files...and it can
do so in native Word or Excel file formats (rather than
"compressed/optimized" version...does not do this yet for PowerPoint).
You can then modify the files on that Palm device (still a limited with
PowerPoint files).  While I have never used a PocketPC device, it is my
understanding that it is a little better at "playing nice" with Office
documents (after all M$ wrote both the PocketPC versions and the Windoze

As someone else pointed out, it appears that the T3 does not come with
built-in WiFi support.  It does come with built-in Bluetooth.  It does
come with a SD card slot that will likely allow use of a WiFi SD card
(only found one such card on the PCConnection website, but it implied it
only work with PocketPCs...could not get to PalmOne's website for some
reason). At this point, I do know that the Palm Tungsten C does have
built-in WiFi support.

The biggest advance that Palm devices have it third-party software.  I
would suspect that PoctketPC is closes the gap some, but there is a LOT of
third-party software for Palm devices.  A good site to visit for Palm
software is

On it I did find a program (DXFV 2.4) that will view DXF files.  You can
zoom and pan in the files and apparently even get measurements from it.

Personally, I use a Handspring Treo 300 (although the new Treo 600 is
SERIOUSLY tempting to me...just can justify spending $500+...right now).
It does not have WiFi, but is a full SprintPCS phone.  With just the Treo
(and free EudoraMail for the Palm), I can check my email from anywhere
that there is SprintPCS service or even browse the web (the built-in
browser does have its limitations though).  Plus, with third-party
software I bought, I can hook the Treo up to my laptop by way for the sync
cable and use it as a wireless modem...and connect at 150k, 3 times faster
than a regular dialup.

I have a variety of third-party applications on it.  Some are freeware
such as Bigclock (a clock program that I use as an alarm clock when I
travel), HandyShopper (a shopping list program), EudoraMail (a free POP
email client) and Galax (a game...gotta have at least one).  I also have
some shareware/commercial programs...DocumentsToGo (the M$ Office file
program), FireViewer (for viewing photos and videos), ToDo Plus (a more
advance ToDo program that supports alarms and "hand drawn" sketches), Memo
Plus (a more advanced Memo program that supports "hand drawn"
notes/sketches), BugMe (a "Post-it" note type program which supports
"hand-drawn" sketches), and a few others.

Basically, I really like the Treo, but it has a few down sides.  It has
not memory expansion through card slots (the new Treo 600 does).  It is a
little more bulky than my old "just plain old" SprintPCS phone.  The flip
lid it a little fragile.  The battery is not user replacable/swapable.
The Treo 600 also has the little "fun" feature of a built-in camera (not
something that I need, but would still be fun to play with) and also have
more memory.

So, let's just say that I really like my Palm device (had a Handspring
Visor Pro before the Treo).  It is simple to use, yet still manages to
pack significant power.  The built-in PCS wireless access allows me to use
it instead of a laptop at times.


Ypsilanti, MI

On Sun, 7 Dec 2003, Dennis Wish wrote:

> I would like to hear from some of you who are using one of the newer
> palm or pocket PC devices that are Wi-Fi enabled. I am seeking one and
> have been considering the new Palm T3 or the Dell Axium(?) or the
> Toshiba new Wi-Fi?  I think that the new Palm is Microsoft compatible to
> accept the contact list and phone directories of Microsoft Office, but I
> am not sure. I like the idea that the T3 allows for a wider side view in
> case I want to load a spreadsheets. However, the Dell is a workhorse and
> I have always been partial to Dell as it is my main laptop (Inspiron
> 8500).
> All computers in my home are Wi-Fi connected to my DSL service and each
> of three computers so I can share files. It is important to me to be
> able to leave my office (including my laptop) and have my PDA next to me
> so I can jot down notes, check appointments and do some surfing without
> lugging the laptop into the bedroom and getting my wife ticked off.
> Furthermore, I enjoy reading novels on my PDA as there are a lot of
> choices on the Project Gutenberg Library.
> Your comments and opinions will help a great deal.
> Dennis S. Wish, PE

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