A cat by any other name

Beam me up, 3Com


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Meow at me

I own a Palm Pilot and have for a few years now. Hey, I'm a nerd, and nerds love gadgets. It's part of what makes us so unique, see. And I really did have a good reason for getting one - I was lugging around this huge and weighty appointment book and I had gotten to the point where I really wanted to downsize to a smaller purse and that meant the date book had to go, and, well......Palm Pilot. Ahem.

These little things are pretty handy for a number of reasons beyond the fact that they weigh lots less than that cumbersome datebook, and fit in a smaller purse. You can *beam* things at people! A few weeks ago at work, a few of us were comparing our various Palms and the discussion of beaming (using Infrared to transmit information) came up. Turned out none of us had tried it yet. So a small group of us stood around, beaming little test messages to each other (And you wondered how it is that nerds entertain themselves). Besides the amusement factor, that beaming thing has come in pretty handy to pass info back and forth, like business cards. I'm still working on learning how enter data using the 'handwriting' method, and there's only so fast you can type using the hunt and peck mode with that teeny little stylus they give you. So beaming over a long list of contact numbers, for example, is a major plus.

Anyway, while I have adored synching this thing up to my computer so that all my email and snail mail addresses are current, and both my desktop and my handheld machines ding melodiously at me when I have something coming up, I really haven't pursued adding any additional programming to the thing. Oh, I know there's little expense tracking tools and a plethora of versions of solitaire out there but I really didn't see the point in cluttering up my lovely little toy with all that sort of junk. I've already got four versions of solitaire on the darn thing and how many versions do you really need?

Ha ha. Silly clueless me. I made a dreadful mistake today. I went to the Palm Pilot website and checked out what they have to download.


There's all sorts of cool stuff out there! Databases to track all kinds of things. Things to calculate expenses, divvy up a dinner check equally, list out collections, create shopping lists. Page after page of downloadable software to liven up my handheld organizer.

I found a few programs that I just had to upload. There's one to track which of the state quarters I have, so I don't have to go rummaging through the slowly growing pile in my purse pocket to see if I have whatever the latest quarter is that I happen to find. And if it can track that, I'm sure I can get a similar database to track things like book titles, CD's, and other important lists like my Dad's Pez collection so that next time I'm in front of a display of Pez dispensers I can see at a glance whether he already has the Blue Ninja Turtle before I fork over my 99 cents.

Then I got to the games. Like I said, I knew there would be card games. And there were - tons of 'em. But what I wasn't expecting were the other games. Real games. Action and role-playing games. For a Palm Pilot! Wow!

I excitedly told my friend about this stuff as I was happily downloading executables.

"You're lost," he groaned. And after a pause, he added "It was nice knowing you."

Aw, c'mon. It won't be that bad. Really. My friends have no need to worry. I'm not going to be playing these games night and day...um....really. They ought to know when it is that they should start to worry.

See, these little handheld gadgets can be set up for wireless internet.....mainly for downloading email and surfing the web. Frankly, I really have no desire to do that on my Palm - I'll stick to the desktop for that. But the minute these little suckers can handle a solid and fast telnet connection and I can mush on my Palm.....

Then I'm lost. Definitely.