Friday, August 04, 2006

Tales of a PDA geek

It's been almost 4 months since I switched from my Zire 72 to a new Palm T|X.

The T|X does not have a camera nor a microphone (although if you feel bold and geeky, you can retrofit one at the risk of kissing your warranty goodbye). But there are new features that more than compensate for them:

- More RAM, Flash based: your data does not die when the battery does.
- Wifi: includes WEP/WPA with increased range.
- 320x480 touchscreen: you can choose between (normal) portrait or landscape modes.

This is really a geek's dream come true! But to make your experience a more enjoyable one, I suggest you download and install the following list of applications. Most are free, others are fully-functional shareware:

* NVBackup from Alex Pruss software.

This free utility will copy the whole contents of your PDA to a SDCard (including the utility itself). Why use it instead of relying on the good old HotSync method, you ask?
Well, four reasons come to mind:
a) HotSync requires access to your host computer.
b) It is most likely you'll have to re-enter the activation codes for most of your paid software. This is not necessary with NVBackup.
c) Unattended and scheduled operation.
d) To restore your backup, you just reinsert the SDcard into the PDA, then run the utility which will be readily available (remember it copied itself to the card).

When you are downloading and trying lots of new software like I do, you are increasing the chance for a soft (or sometimes even a hard) reset. NVBackup provides you with a fresh image of your last known-working configuration.

* FileZ from NoSleep.

FileZ is a free file manipulation program. Move, copy, rename and delete files in your built-in RAM or a SDCard. Strange Palm didn't include something like this in the first place.

* MessageEase from Exideas

Free utility that replaces your standard on-screen keyboard with another specially tailored for fast input in a small area. You'll wish you had something similar for your desktop computer!

Note: This utility is compatible with mySkin. Not only can you access the MessageEase keyboard layouts, you can merge them with other components (the statusbar, for example).

That is all for now. More ideas to come.

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