Keeping in Touch
Unless Im on a bona fide vacation, I need access to my email and, frequently, the Web. Its much easier to stay connected now than with earlier Palm models, but your mileage will definitely vary.
On the hardware front, youll need some type of modem. You can purchase Palms clip-on modems for its devices (the Palm III or Palm V), or Handsprings modem, which plugs into the Visors Springboard slot. Depending on your location, you can also look into wireless offerings such as the Palm VII or the OmniSky modem. The former plugs into a phone line to connect to your ISP; the latter requires that you sign up with a wireless access plan, which can range between $30 and $45 per month.
With software, there are two possible routes to take. Using a program like Top Gun PostMan, you can dial into your ISP and grab your messages, which appear in the built-in Mail application. However, Mail is a bare-bones mail client: You get minimal filtering functions, and theres a limit to how many characters each message can contain. Also, if you use a Macintosh, theres no built-in support for synchronizing mail; however, you can purchase MultiMails HotSync conduit, which synchronizes in and out box messages with Eudora, Outlook Express, and Claris Emailer.
Programs such as MultiMail Pro and One Touch Communicator offer more robust filtering, and even limited support for email attachments. You can also receive email from an AOL account using PocketFlash, without needing AOLs specialized software.
A (Small) Window to Your Data
The Palm organizers small screen works surprisingly well for checking ones calendar and other bits of information, but for some applications its limiting. Word processing is no problem, and you can even do spreadsheet work using software like Cutting Edge Softwares Quicksheet 5.0 (though youll find yourself scrolling frequently). You dont need a 14-inch active-matrix color display for everything you do, but it is easier on the eyes over long periods. Still, I did newspaper layout for years using the 9-inch screen on a Macintosh SE, so working on a smaller screen is feasible.