Sharp OZ750 Operation User manual

Sharp OZ750 Operation User manual
Thumbs Up
for Handhelds
Linda Kennard
recently stockpiled a set of nine handheld computers that
would leave any gadget collector drooling:
Illustration: Jeffrey Pelo
• Casio Cassiopeia E-100
• Compaq Aero 1530
• Handspring Visor Deluxe
• Hewlett-Packard Jornada 430se Palm-Size PC
• Hewlett-Packard Jornada 690 Handheld PC
• Hitachi ePlate HPW-600ET
• Palm Inc. Palm V
• Palm Inc. Palm VII
• Sharp Wizard OZ-750
Why would anyone need nine handheld computers? No
reason at all. In fact, for most people, owning one handheld
computer would probably suffice. But then, I didn’t say I owned
these products, did I? They were loaners (alas). Seven vendors
agreed to send the products so I could test and review them on
behalf of NetWare Connection. (For a brief description of the
unique highlights and low-lights of each handheld I tested, see
“Something To Talk About, Something To Think About” on
p. 18.) To that end and for several weeks, I evaluated the handhelds by carrying around one or two at a time and shamelessly
flaunting them as my own.
Handhelds, as the name suggests, are computers that are
small and light enough to hold in one hand and that, at the
very least, serve this purpose: to help you stay organized inside
and outside of the office. To do so, handhelds provide easy
access to daily-use information that you constantly check and
change—information such as telephone numbers, task lists,
and perhaps most important, your daily schedule. Of course,
many handhelds enable much more, but the point is that none
of them enables less.
During the 3 1/2 weeks that I evaluated handhelds, I discovered a few key points of comparison that you should consider if you are in the market for a handheld. If you think
you’re not in the market for a handheld, be warned: I didn’t
think I was either. However, if you spend a few hours or a few
weeks (like I did) using one handheld (or nine), you may join
the millions of handheld users worldwide who consider these
personal digital assistants absolute necessities they can illafford to lose. As for me, I remain undecided as to whether or
not I actually need a handheld, but in any case, I want one.
NetWare Connection
June 2000
Most of the key points of comparison among handheld
computers revolve around which operating system they run:
Palm OS from Palm Inc. (previously Palm Computing, a 3COM
subsidiary) or Microsoft Windows CE. Other than the Wizard
OZ-750, all of the products I tested run either the Palm OS (3.1
or higher) or Windows CE. (For more information about Wizard
OZ-750 and the other products I tested, see “Something To Talk
About, Something To Think About” on p. 18)
Specifically, the Palm V, Palm VII, and Visor Deluxe run the
Palm OS. The Cassiopeia, Aero 1530, and Jornada 430se PalmSize PC run Windows CE 2.11, which is for palm-size Windows
CE products. The ePlate and Jornada 690 Handheld PC run Windows CE Handheld PC Edition 3.0.1. (See Figure 1 on p. 12.)
This preponderance of only two OSs is no accident: Palm
OS and Windows CE products dominate the handheld computer market. In fact, according to Jill House, an IDC industry
analyst, of the 5.5 million handheld computers that shipped
worldwide in 1999, more than 75 percent of them were running either Palm OS or Windows CE.
Of the two OSs, Palm has the most solid market share.
House reports that in 1999, Palm had 55.5 percent of the
market, and Windows CE products had only 20 percent. Of
course, as Hewlett-Packard (HP) product manager Elaine
Gasser points out, Palm’s dominance is limited to the market
for products with a palm-size form factor. When it comes to
products with the slightly larger handheld form factor, products
commonly known as handheld PCs (H/PCs), “Windows CE
has the lion’s share,” Gasser says. House supports Gasser’s
claim, reporting that in 1999, Windows CE had 89.5 percent
of the handheld PC market.
Asking which handheld OS is better, Palm OS or Windows CE, is like asking which cola is better, Coke or Pepsi.
FEATURE H a n d h e l d s
Interested in Pocketing a Pocket PC?
Microsoft has two separate lines of the Windows CE OS: one
line for handheld PCs (H/PCs) and another line for palm-size
products. On April 19, Microsoft released the latest version of
the Windows CE OS for palm-size devices. This latest version,
called Pocket PC, is radically different from its predecessors. For
example, Pocket PC features a new (and most people would say
improved) interface. Although this interface actually took me a
bit longer to get used to, it is unquestionably better suited for
handhelds with a palm-size form factor.
In addition to including all of the applications Windows CE
2.11 included, such as Pocket Outlook, Pocket PC includes the
following new applications:
• Pocket Excel
• Pocket Word
• Pocket Internet Explorer
• Microsoft Windows Media Player (so you can listen to music or
anything else recorded in MP3, WMA, or WAV formats)
• Microsoft Reader (so you can read electronic books that you
download from the web)
Think about the implied benefits of the new Pocket PC programs. For example, while creating large Excel and Word documents on a palm-size product might not be a realistic option (at
least, not without an external keyboard attachment), viewing
and editing Excel and Word documents is clearly viable. And
with the Pocket PC programs running on your palm-size product,
viewing Word or Excel e-mail attachments is possible for the first
time, and browsing the web is a reality.
Pocket PC also adds another option for data input in some
of the programs, namely Pocket Word, Tasks (when adding
notes), and Notes, which is the latest version of what was
formerly called Note Taker. To use this data input option, you
select the pen input method, write on the screen, and your
writing appears and remains on the screen like electronic ink,
Subjective answers aside, the answer to
the question, of course, is that neither
OS (or cola) is inherently better than
the other. (Although Palm OS and Windows CE fans, like Coke and Pepsi fans,
will argue with me on this point.)
A better question is “Which OS do
you prefer?” Like your cola preference,
your handheld OS preference may well
rest on which of the two OSs you taste
first. If you were one of the millions who
purchased the first Palm Pilot back in
1996, you are probably a die-hard Palm
fan. On the other hand, if you’ve been
using Windows on your desktop for as
long as you can remember and are new
to the handheld market, you’ll probably
prefer the familiarity of Windows CE.
Beyond the question of familiarity,
you should consider the applications
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June 2000
as it did in Note Taker. However, now after you’ve completed
your sentence, paragraph, or page, you have the option to tap
Tools and then Recognize, and your writing is converted all at
once into typed face.
Using an HP Jornada 545, one of three devices in the HP Jornada Pocket PC line, I tested this feature in Notes. I found tapping Recognize worked well for me, which I must admit surprised
me. For example, when I wrote, “Can it recognize my normal
handwriting?” and tapped Recognize, this handwriting transcriber
converted my words and the question mark without any errors.
I tested the HP Jornada 545 about one month after testing
the products discussed in the main text of this article. The HP
Jornada 545 has an impressive sleek design that is small enough
to fit in your pocket. The device is .3 inches smaller in depth
than the HP Jornada 430se and weighs only slightly more (9.1
ounces compared to 8.8 ounces). Like the HP Jornada 430se,
the HP Jornada 545 ships with a lot of extra software, including AOL Mail and Yahoo! Messenger, which would enable AOL
and Yahoo! members, respectively, to check their e-mail messages directly from their Pocket PC.
Depending on the CompactFlash modem you purchase, you
can also check your e-mail wirelessly. For example, if you plug a
Digital Phone Card from Socket Communications Inc. into the
Jornada CompactFlash Type I slot and plug the card’s cable into
your mobile phone, you can set up a wireless connection to the
Internet. The Digital Phone Card is advertised in a brochure that
ships with the HP Jornada 545. (For more information, visit
This brochure describes several other accessories as well,
including the Targus Stowaway Portable Keyboard. (For more information, visit This
keyboard weighs only 8 ounces and folds up to about the same
size as the HP Jornada 545. But here’s the exciting part: When
unfolded, the Targus Stowaway is a full-size keyboard. This keyboard includes a cradle in which you can stand the HP Jornada
545 (or any other Pocket PC product) and thus render possible
the until-now myth of creating documents on a palm-size PC.
each OS offers and which applications
you need. Both OSs ship with many of
the same applications, including a calendar, address book, memo pad, task list, email application, and calculator. However, the Palm OS includes an expense
application; Windows CE does not. In
addition, the Palm OS boasts thousands
of downloadable applications; Windows
CE devices can claim only hundreds.
(For a list of applications available for
the Palm OS, visit
For a list of applications available for
Windows CE, visit
However, Windows CE products include more built-in applications overall
than Palm OS products include. For
example, all Windows CE products include the Microsoft Voice Recorder ap-
plication. This application (along with a
built-in microphone) enables you to record snippets of your own or others’ voices. When you synchronize a Windows CE
product with your desktop computer, you
can convert these recordings to WAV
files and store them or attach them to email messages.
For most applications, Windows CE
also features more options than Palm OS.
For example, unlike the Palm OS, Windows CE includes the following options:
• The ability to view a whole year in
the calendar application
• The ability to categorize address book
entries as either business or personal
• The ability to highlight and delete
whole blocks of e-mail messages without having to open them
In addition, Microsoft recently released the latest version of Windows CE
called Pocket PC, which offers more applications and features. Pocket PC had
not been released when this article was
written. However, by the time this article is in print, HP, Casio, and Compaq
(as well as other vendors of Windows
CE devices) will have available new
palm-size products running Pocket PC.
(For more information, see “Interested
in Pocketing a Pocket PC?” on p. 8.)
Palm fans are unimpressed with the extra features and applications built into
Windows CE (commonly referred to in
Palm circles as “WinCE”). In fact, when
confronted with the Windows CE pizzazz,
Palm fans ask “So what?” and are likely to
point out the costs of this pizzazz. For example, the more features you add to a
handheld, the larger it becomes. Not surprisingly, Windows CE products are typically larger than Palm OS products.
Case in point: The smallest Palm OS
product I tested was the Palm V, which
weighs only 4 ounces. The smallest Windows CE product, in contrast, was the
Aero 1530, which weighs 5.2 ounces. (Incidentally, the Aero is a full 3.6 ounces
lighter than the next lightest Windows CE
product I tested, the Jornada 430se PalmSize PC).
Pizzazz also takes a toll on battery life:
Windows CE products typically last fewer than 10 hours compared to Palm OS
products, which commonly last more
than 100 hours.
Of course, when this pocket fuel issue
is raised, Windows CE fans ask “So what?”
The hours of battery life indicate hours
of continuous use, and every time you
synchronize your handheld with your
desktop computer, you can recharge the
battery. How often will you use your
handheld for 10 hours straight—without even synchronizing? (I’m not being
rhetorical here. You really should think
about the answer to this question.)
The operating systems are also both
alike and different in terms of the data
input methods they allow. For example,
both OSs offer an on-screen keyboard,
which you can use by tapping the tiny
keys using the devices’ stylus. (Every
handheld features a slot for storing its own
stylus, which looks like an inkless pen.)
Only the Windows CE products offer
what amounts to electronic ink, which
you use in the application called Note
Taker. In Note Taker, you write or draw
on the screen, and the images remain
exactly as you wrote or drew them. When
you synchronize with your desktop computer, you can save these files to your
desktop and later open them in Word,
where the files open as graphics.
Both Palm and Windows CE also offer
their own handwriting-recognition sys-
Texuries or Techcessities?
If you’ve never actually used a handheld computer, you may
think that they are technological luxuries—what my brother-inlaw calls texuries. Texuries are electronic gadgets, such as digital
cameras, that you want but can’t convince anyone, including
yourself, that you need.
To millions of people worldwide, however, handhelds are unmistakably technological necessities—what you might call techcessities. Techcessities are gadgets that were once texuries, but have
proven their usefulness to such a degree that they are now practically as essential to daily routine as running water is. Microwave
ovens and cordless telephones, for example, were once texuries,
but are now techcessities to most of the people who use them.
Such is the case with handhelds. To anyone who uses a handheld, working without one is like relaxing without a television remote control—a foolish disregard for basic techcessities. Case in
point: Had I asked my friend Ace Sannier whether his Palm V falls
into the category of texury or techcessity, I’m certain he would
have said “techcessity” without hesitating. Instead I asked, “What
would you do without your Palm V?” to which he answered, “I
couldn’t do anything.”
As the vice president and general manager of e-services at
tems. Products running the Palm OS ship
with a handwriting-recognition system
called Graffiti, a Palm OS application.
Most Windows CE products ship with a
handwriting-recognition system called Jot
from Communication Intelligence Corp
(CIC). (For more information about Jot
and CIC, visit The
Jornada 690 Handheld PC is the only
Windows CE product I tested that did not
include Jot, offering instead its external
keyboard for data input. (For more information, see “Something To Talk About,
Something To Think About” on p. 18.)
To use Graffiti and Jot, you write
characters in the manner prescribed by
the program in a specified area on the
screen. As you write, the characters are
transcribed into type. You probably want
to know two things: Which of these two
handwriting-recognition systems is easier
to learn, and which system enables you
to write faster?
The answers to these questions are
difficult to prove empirically. However, I
conducted a little unofficial test. I spent
30 minutes viewing the Jot tutorial and
using Jot on the Cassiopeia E-100. Then
I spent 30 minutes viewing the Graffiti
tutorial and using Graffiti on the Palm
V. I found that after this brief introduction, I felt more confident using Jot than
I did using Graffiti.
I initially thought my lack of confidence using Graffiti may have stemmed
Engineering Animation Incorporated (EAI), Sannier travels a lot
and uses his Palm V as a traveler’s guide, among other things.
For each trip, Sannier’s administrative assistant loads all the
information he might need, including ticket and rental car information along with a destination map. Consequently, with his
Palm V in hand, Sannier claims to “go from being a very poor
traveler to being sort of excellent at it.”
Sannier has lost and replaced a Palm product three times
within the past three years. “I lose one each year,” he points out,
“usually at some critical time, so it’s some desperate effort to
get it replaced.” For example, he once realized just minutes
before a meeting, that he’d left his Palm on an airplane seat
and asked his administrative assistant to help him replace it.
“She dashed out to the store, snatched up a new one, snapped
it on to the existing cradle, and was able to restore the [Palm] as
though I’d never lost it in under an hour.” In this instance, his
Palm V “was critical to [his] success,” says Sannier.
When you talk with Sannier, you get the idea that he believes
his Palm is critical to his success in any instance. Sannier has
only one suggestion regarding a potential improvement to Palm
products. If they “came with chain[s], like those wallets,” Sannier says, “that would be a good addition.” He’s joking, of
course—at least I think so.
June 2000
NetWare Connection
FEATURE H a n d h e l d s
(U.S. $) (LWD)
Compaq Aero 1530
Display: Gray-Scale
5.1˝ x 3.1˝ x .49˝
Weight: 5.2 oz
Windows CE
16 MB
One rechargeable
lithium-ion battery
One backup lithium battery
Initial Charge: 3– 4 hours
Life: Up to 14 hours
Yes Yes
Casio Cassiopeia
Display: Color
5.125˝ x 3.25˝ x .75˝
Weight: 9 oz
Windows CE
16 MB
Rechargeable lithium-ion
battery pack
One backup lithium battery
Initial charge: 5–6 hours
Life: 6 hours
Yes Yes
Hitachi ePlate
Display: Color
8.7˝ x 6.3˝ x 1.2˝
Weight: 29.6 oz
Windows CE,
Handheld PC
Edition 3.0.1
16 MB
Rechargeable main battery
One lithium backup battery
Initial Charge: 4 hours
Life: 4–9 hours
Yes Yes
HP Jornada 430se
Display: Color
5.1˝ x 3.2˝ x .9˝
Weight: 8.8 oz
Windows CE
16 MB
One rechargeable lithiumion battery
Life: 7 hours
Yes Yes
HP Jornada 690
Display: Color
7.4˝ x 3.7˝ x 1.3˝
Weight: 1.1 pounds
Windows CE,
Handheld PC
Edition 3.0.1
32 MB
One rechargeable lithiumYes
ion battery
One coin-cell backup battery
Life: 8 hours
Yes Yes
Palm Inc. Palm V**
Display: Gray-Scale
4.5˝x 3.1˝x .4˝
Weight: 4 oz
Palm OS 3.1
2 MB
One rechargeable lithiumion battery
Initial charge: 4 hours
Life: 4 weeks
Yes No
Palm Inc. Palm VII
Display: Gray-Scale
5.25˝ x 3.25˝ x .75˝
Weight: 6.7 oz
Palm OS 3.20 2 MB
Three alkaline AAA
Life: 2–4 weeks
Yes No
Handspring Visor
Display: Gray-Scale
4.8˝ x 3.0˝ x .7˝
Weight: 5.4 oz
Palm OS 3.1
8 MB
Two alkaline AAA
Life: 6–8 weeks
Yes Yes
Sharp Wizard
Display: Gray-Scale
6.375˝ x 3.22˝ x .78˝
Weight: 220g
Sharp OS
2.5 MB
Two alkaline AA
Life: 120 hours
Serial USB IR
*You can purchase a serial synchronization cradle separately for the Handspring Visor Deluxe.
**The IBM WorkPad c3 PC Companion, which is available in a 2-MB and 8-MB model, is virtually identical to the Palm V in terms of its function, form, and
price. Like the Palm V, the WorkPad 2-MB model is available for U.S. $329 and runs the Palm OS 3.1 with all of its associated applications. The WorkPad’s
length and width are identical to the Palm V. The WorkPad’s depth (.45 and weight (4.2 ounces) are virtually identical.
Figure 1. Each of the nine handheld computers tested is configured differently.
from using Jot first, and that may be the
case. However, I took a short timed test to
see which of the two I could use more
quickly. To test myself, I wrote the following sentence: Of the two handwritingrecognition tools—Jot and Graffiti—
which is faster?
I found that whether I was using Jot or
NetWare Connection
June 2000
Graffiti, I took 1 minute and 45 seconds to
write that sentence. (That is admittedly
slow, but give me a break. After all, this
was after using both tools for only 30 minutes each.) However, using Jot, I had only
four errors. Using Graffiti, I had 13 errors.
Despite my discoveries, Palm fans stand
by Graffiti and swear they can fly through
it. Palm claims that accomplished users
can write as many as 30 words per minute.
Neither of the Windows CE representatives I spoke with at HP and Compaq
were able to tell me how fast users could
hope to become using Jot. However,
Amanda Butler, Compaq product marketing manager, stated that she would
Product Name
Web Access
Connection Device
Compaq Aero
Modem Optional
MSRP: U.S. $158
Casio Cassiopeia
Modem Optional
MSRP: U.S. $150
HP Jornada 430se
Modem Optional
MSRP: 400
Hitachi ePlate
Internal 56 kbps
HP Jornada 690
Internal 56 kbps
Handspring Visor
Modem Optional
U.S. $129.95
Lotus cc:Mail
Windows CE
Palm-Size PC
Sync App
Yes, via
Sync App
Windows CE
PC Edition
Sync App
Yes, via
Sync App
Palm Desktop
via HotSync
Sync App
via HotSync;
for True Sync,
Sync App
via HotSync;
for True Sync,
Sync App
Palm Desktop
Via HotSync
Sync App
via HotSync;
for True Sync,
Sync App
via HotSync;
for True Sync,
Sync App
for Palm OS
Palm OS
(with Modem)
Palm Inc. Palm V
Modem optional
MSRP: U.S. $169
Palm Inc. Palm VII
Wireless Access
via Palm.Net
for Palm OS
Palm OS
Sharp OS
Sharp Wizard
Sharp Edition
*With third-party software, RuppLynx 6.0 (U.S. $99.95), you can synchronize scheduling, address book, and task list data from Outlook and other desktop
PIM software (including Lotus Organizer) with your Sharp Wizard OZ-750. (For more information about RuppLynx 6.0, visit
**The modem for the Jornada 430se is available from third-party vendors, such as Xircom (, who sell CompactFlash cards for
Windows CE devices.
Figure 2. Each of the nine handheld products has different synchronization and Internet access features.
estimate that the speed would be the
same or faster than you could hope to
gain using Graffiti.
Incidentally, I also find it interesting
that while Jot is available for Palm OS,
Graffiti is not available for Windows CE.
Of course, you should consider other,
equally important points when comparing handhelds. For example, how do the
handhelds synchronize with desktop per-
sonal information management (PIM)
In terms of simply hooking up the products for synchronization purposes, the
products, regardless of OS, are comparable.
With the exception of Visor Deluxe,
which connects via a Universal Serial Bus
(USB) port, all of the handhelds I tested
connect to your desktop computer through
a serial port. To connect your handheld to
your desktop computer, you complete the
following basic steps:
1. Turn off the desktop computer and
the handheld.
2. Plug one end of the provided synchronization cable into a serial port on
your desktop computer.
3. Plug the other end of this cable into
your handheld or, more commonly, its
synchronization cradle. (A cradle is a
small stand upon which a handheld
rests on a desktop.)
4. Power on both the desktop computer
and the handheld.
June 2000
NetWare Connection
FEATURE H a n d h e l d s
I also found the actual synchronization process to be equally simple (although different) for both Palm and
Windows CE products.
Palm HotSync
Palm OS products use a synchronization tool called HotSync. When a Palm
OS product is in the synchronization cradle, you can synchronize with your desktop
computer at any point by pressing the external HotSync button on the cradle.
The information that is synchronized
between your desktop computer and the
handheld depends upon how you configure HotSync. For example, using HotSync Manager, you may indicate that you
want to synchronize the following Palm
applications: Date Book, Address Book,
To-Do List, Memo Pad, and Expense.
There is a catch, however: You can
synchronize Palm applications on your
Palm handheld only with Palm desktop
HotSync also enables you to synchronize the Palm Mail application with the Inbox (and Outbox) of the following desktop e-mail programs: Exchange 4.0 or
above, Windows Messaging 4.0, Outlook,
Outlook Express, Eudora 3.03 or higher,
and Lotus cc:Mail (2.5, 6.0, or 7.0).
Synchronizing with these applications
enables you to download e-mail messages
and respond to those messages on your
handheld. The next time you synchronize
your handheld with your desktop computer, your desktop e-mail application will
send your responses.
HotSync does not synchronize with any
of these applications’ other features. For
example, if you are using Outlook Calendar or Contacts, you cannot synchronize
the information in those applications with
the information on your Palm OS product.
However, HotSync does enable you to import address books from these applications.
(Unfortunately, I tried unsuccessfully to
import the address book from Microsoft
Outlook 98 to the Palm V.)
Of course, you can purchase conduits
for your Palm product. A conduit enables
you to synchronize your Palm handheld
and other desktop PIMs. In fact, some
OEMs, such as IBM, include such conduits
with their handhelds. For example, the
IBM WorkPad c3, which is virtually identical in form and function to the Palm V,
includes EasySync 1.0. EasySync 1.0 enables you to synchronize the calendar,
tasks, and address book applications in
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June 2000
Lotus Notes 3.0 with corresponding applications in the WorkPad c3.
Windows CE ActiveSync
Windows CE products use a synchronization tool called ActiveSync. To use
ActiveSync, you install on your desktop
computer the ActiveSync software included on the Windows CE services disk
that comes with your Windows CE product. Next, you enable a connection between your desktop computer and the
handheld by connecting the synchronization cable to a serial port as described
earlier. Ever after, your handheld and
desktop computer synchronize automatically whenever you connect your handheld to the synchronization cable.
At least, automatic synchronization is
the default setting. You have other synchronization options. For example, you can
configure ActiveSync to manually synchronize, enabling you to synchronize only
when you choose to do so. You can also
configure ActiveSync to synchronize automatically only when changes occur—
either on the desktop or handheld.
But here again is the catch: ActiveSync synchronizes the Contacts, Tasks,
Inbox, and Calendar applications on
Windows CE products only with Microsoft Outlook desktop applications.
All of the Windows CE and Palm OS
products I tested share one problem:
They synchronize with only one desktop
program. HotSync synchronizes Palm
applications (excluding the Mail application) only with Palm desktop software,
and ActiveSync synchronizes Windows
CE applications only with Outlook.
What do you do if you use a different
PIM or e-mail application, such as Novell
GroupWise? You can install a third-party
application to take care of your synchronization woes, and there is none better for
the job than Puma Technology’s Intellisync. Intellisync enables you to synchronize your Palm OS or Windows CE handheld with any of the following desktop
applications, among many others: GroupWise 5.2 and 5.5; Lotus Notes 4.5 and
4.6; Outlook 97, 98, 2000; Schedule+
7.0, 7.0a, 7.5; and Exchange 5.0, 5.5.
If you use Puma Technology’s Intellisync, synchronizing between your desktop
application of choice and handheld works
the same regardless of the desktop application or handheld OS you are running.
I checked out Intellisync by synchronizing Outlook 98 and a Palm V, and all I
can say is “Wow.” I started opening the
shrink-wrapped Intellisync box (which incidentally is rather large, considering its
contents—a CD-ROM and 32-page guide)
at 12:17 p.m. By 12:40 p.m., I had installed and synchronized the Address
Book, Date Book, Mail, and To-Do List
applications on my Palm V with the corresponding applications in Outlook. The
whole process worked as easily as the Puma Technologies’ marketers lead you to
believe, leaving me more than pleasantly
surprised. In fact, Intellisync’s simplicity
and flawless performance floored me.
For many of you, at least one other
point is worth considering. If you can’t
imagine facing, much less organizing, the
daily grind without Internet access, you’ll
want to consider how the handhelds you
are interested in tap into the Internet.
Of the devices I tested, the Palm VII
has the most exciting Internet solution:
The Palm VII offers wireless Internet access through Palm.Net services. After you
activate your Palm.Net account and
charge the Palm VII transmitter (by loading three AAA batteries and waiting 70
minutes), you simply raise the flat, singlearm antenna. You’re now ready to use either iMessenger, a wireless e-mail application, or a web-clipping application.
Web-clipping applications enable you
to request and receive certain information
from web sites for which web-clipping applications have been written. When you
launch a web-clipping application, it
prompts you to enter certain search criteria. After connecting to a host web site, the
web-clipping application finds and returns
the information you requested. It’s not
exactly web browsing, but it’s still handy.
The Palm VII comes loaded with several useful web-clipping applications, including Yahoo’s PeopleSearch, MapQuest
To Go! and TrafficTouch. In addition to
these applications, you can choose from
hundreds more available for download on
the web. (See
The whole process of connecting to the
web sans wires and downloading only the
information you need is slick—or at least,
I assume it is. I wasn’t able to test Palm.
Net services because I am not in a covered
area. In defense of Palm.Net, I live in the
middle of nowhere. In my defense, however, I was willing to drive at least 35 miles
to what I consider the nearest somewhere,
the state capital. Unfortunately, neither
the state capital nor anywhere else in my
state is covered by Palm.Net services. I
would have to drive 300 miles to raise the
antenna on the Palm VII and connect to
the web via Palm.Net services.
If the Palm VII Internet access solution is potentially the most exciting,
Internet access solutions for the ePlate
and Jornada 690 Handheld PC are the
most fun. These two products feature
built-in modems and run the Windows
CE Handheld PC Edition, which includes Pocket Internet Explorer.
Using my existing Internet Service Provider (ISP) account information, I created
a new connection on both the ePlate and
the Jornada 690 Handheld PC in precisely
the same manner I would have using desktop Windows. After I established the connection, I launched Pocket Internet Explorer, which feels the same as its desktop
sibling minus a few features (which you’re
not likely to miss). And what’s left to say
about browsing the Internet on a computer you hold in one hand? It’s just cool.
As for the remaining Palm products
and the palm-size Windows CE products I
tested, they all provide similar access solutions, namely optional modems for abbreviated web access via web-clipping applications or, for Windows CE products, Mobile Channels. (See Figure 2 on p. 14.) I
didn’t have a modem for these products,
but from what I read about Mobile Channels, they sound conceptually the same as
web-clipping applications. (For instructions on creating a Mobile Channel from
any web site, see
Over five years ago, NetWare Connection posed the question “Will PDAs Succeed in the Horizontal Market?” (NetWare
Connection, Jan./Feb. 1995, pp. 28-37.)
(PDAs are personal digital assistants, a
category of the newer, much broader category of handhelds.) A year later, Palm
Computing (now Palm Inc.) launched the
first truly compelling handheld computer
and answered that question with a resounding “Yes.” According to Handspring
product manager Michelle White, during
the four years the Palm Pilot has been on
the market, it can claim a faster adoption
rate than any other electronic device, including telephones, televisions, and VCRs.
(See “Texuries or Techcessities?” on p. 10.)
The question now is not whether or
not handhelds will succeed but how big
they will succeed. According to House,
IDC speculates that 18.9 million handhelds will ship in 2003, at which point,
Windows CE products will have gained a
slightly stronger hold in the market than
they have now. Specifically, House says
that by 2003, Windows CE products will
claim 38 percent of the market (up from
20 percent in 1999), and Palm OS products will hold 50.8 percent (down from
55.5 percent in 1999).
The only questions that remain for you
to answer are whether or not you will buy
a handheld and, if so, which handheld OS
will you choose? As for me, I’ve answered
both questions, and the implied answers
are penciled in on my letter to Santa.
Linda Kennard works for Niche Associates, a technical writing and editing firm.
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