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Re: OT: Laptops

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Bill -

I guarantee that the PocketPC version of Excel (and PocketWord for
that matter) is a waste of memory.  *However*, check out
www.softmaker.de.  They have word and excel (100% compliant as
far as I've tested) work-alikes for the PocketPC.  Price runs around
$50-$60/each.  They just released the Excel work-alike (Planmaker)
after a very extensive period of public beta testing.  I did some
beta on it and it was pretty sound from the start and only got better
from there.  One warning:  as far as plotting goes, it's not a typical
desktop excel.  The plots can be hard to see and sometimes harder
to generate because of the dinky screen on a PocketPC.  However, if
your major goal is to run a spreadsheet calc in the field, this will
float your boat.  I've used the beta to do calcs in the lab since I
got hold of it.  I plan to buy a copy just as soon as my beta runs
out.  ;-)

I *believe* there is a beta available for the PocketPC that's good
until 6/15 if you already own a PPC.  One caveat:  working on this
little screen can give you fits.  I recommend JimmyX or Nyditot
for virtual desktop capabilities (scrollable screen).  I use Nyditot
with my iPAQ 5555 because JimmyX hasn't released (at least that I'm
aware of) a version compatible with Windows Mobile 2003 and later.
I've heard that JimmyX is a better piece of software, however.
Nyditot has its clunkiness, but I'm getting used to it.

On the thread of the "sub-PCs/palmtops", many of them run windows
CE, so some software is not directly compatible.  My fiancee's mother,
however, has a Sony VAIO (I forget the model) that is 2x the size of
my PocketPC and runs WinXP.  She's an interpreter and translator, so
the processor gets some very heavy database usage.  She likes it,
although I doubt she'll ever put it to the kind of computational
abuse that most engineers would.

Charley

--
Charles Hamilton, PhD EIT               Faculty Fellow
Department of Civil and                 Phone: 949.824.3752
    Environmental Engineering           FAX:   949.824.2117
University of California, Irvine        Email: chamilto(--nospam--at)uci.edu




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