Can Your Palm Read?

A class of devices seems to be sweeping corporate offices all over the world. Known as "handhelds" or "palmtops," many of these devices are smaller than a standard Daytimer-style organizer. They hold more information and give easier access to the information. One series of devices in particular is giving new meaning to the words "reading your palm." They are the 3Com Palm series of connected organizers, ranging from the PalmPilot to the brand new Palm IIIe.

There are many reasons the Palm devices are enjoying so much success. They are very easy to use. They fit comfortably in your hand or shirt pocket. They include several applications which are easy to use yet powerful. With a little amount of practice the "Graffiti" method of handwriting recognition makes inputing data easier than one would think on a device this size. Four buttons turn on the device and activate an application with just one press. A backlight allows them to be used under low light conditions. They run for weeks at a time on one set of two AAA batteries. An abundance of applications improve and extend the functionality of the Palm. Anything from word processing to playing tetris is available through third party applications. Getting large amounts of data into the device is easy through the use of its "HotSync" operation which synchronizes information between your PC and the Palm device. Best of all, with "HotSync" conduits third party applications such as Symantec's Act!, Microsoft's Outlook and GoldMine can synchronize with the device as well.

All of these reasons are contributing to the Palm's continued success. So the chances are that if you haven't seen one yet you will soon. Who knows, maybe then you will be "reading your own Palm."

August 1999

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