I've long grumbled about the necessity of taking a laptop with me on every excursion away from the home office. But there's always e-mail to check, online phone books to refer to, and faxes to send and receive. That's why, for me, the critical mission with my Palm was to transform it into a connected device. What software does the job?
- Mobile WinFax ($44.99, http://www.symantec.com/mobile/winfax) An exceptionally useful tool, this software lets you send and receive faxes on your Palm, and the incoming and outgoing can also be easily synced to your desktop computer for archiving. Reading 8 1/2-by-11-inch faxes on a 4.1-inch screen isn't fun-it takes juggling-so receiving is something to do only when absolutely necessary. But sending is a snap-just write and connect, and the deed is done.
- AOL Mail (free, AOL Keyword: PDA) For AOL users, e-mail couldn't be easier to send or receive with this program. A few hitches: This app delivers only e-mail connectivity (no Web browsing) and, for now, there's no way to sync mail sent or received on the Pilot with your desktop PC.
- pdQsuite ($44.95, http://www.register.qualcomm.com/pdQsuite) From the makers of Eudora, a classic desktop e-mail program, this Palm suite provides an easy-to-use e-mail application plus a Web browser. You'll probably want only occasional browsing (the screen is tiny and monochrome), but at least you know that with this app, you can do it. And the e-mail app is tops for the Palm platform, syncing easily with Eudora.
- Desktop to Go ($49.95, http://www.dataviz.com) Guess what-it's easy to sync data from a personal information manager into a Palm, but forget toting Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, unless you use this dandy utility that transforms Office files into data that displays (and can even be edited) on a Palm.
- ExpenseDirector ($29.95, http://www.iambic.com/edsplash.htm) Need to keep tallies of expenses on business trips, or a more complete accounting of your outgo? ExpenseDirector is a full-featured solution that allows you to effortlessly keep on top of your money, and the info readily exports to your desktop.
Add up the outlays and that's just a notch over $150 . . . but for under $500, including the Palm and a modem, the resulting gadget is truly something you don't want to leave home without.
|It's Quality, Not Quantity|