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The Palm Plunge: can I do it?

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  • The Palm Plunge: can I do it?

    I'd like to try using a palm-type device and could really use some advice, though I'm not really sure what questions to ask.

    I thought they sounded pretty neat when I first read GTD last summer, but was scared off when I started looking around online saw all the tech complaints. I'm not a complete technophobe, but I don't intrinsically enjoy lots of fiddling either. I'm just your basic user, and a late adapter at that. To be honest, my motivation right now is to try Life Balance, so I want something compatible with that.

    I was looking at the Tungsten E--I don't need or want any phone/web/email wireless stuff and anything that requires a monthly subscription or service fee is out of the question. I really don't know what else is available. Who else makes these things except PalmOne? Are there specific models or manufacturers I should look into or avoid?

    My current computer doesn't have a usb port, which seems to a necessity.
    My dad is a computer geek and is going to scrap together a new computer for me over the holidays. The thing is, he'll want to load linux on it. I'm not opposed to that, and don't particularly want to support microsoft by buying a new version of their operating system. Will palms, life balance, etc. work with linux?

    I also don't have an internet connection at home. I see that you can download a trial version of life balance, but is there any other way to get it? Could I download it to a CD and reload it onto my computer, or does it have to go directly to the computer you'll be using for some reason? Can you (gasp!) buy it in a store or by snail mail?

    If I'm going to try this at all, it will have to be over the holidays when I have some time. My dad does have an internet connection, but he lives in rural area and it's dial up. Does that pose additional problems?

    All suggestions, comments, and follow-up questions welcome!

  • #2
    Go for it!


    The Tungsten E is a great, stable, fast device. Definitely feel comfortable getting it.

    While I know there are a lot of Life Balance supporters, and I am sure it is a great product, but there is a steep learning curve, and it may be one you need not climb.

    Use the built in applications for a while, and see if you need to purchase anything else. No extra costs or subscritions needed!


    • #3
      From a long-time Palm and LifeBalance user:

      It seems like your questions boil down to

      1) PDA or not? - I use the term PDA because I think you're not at the point of caring exactly what device or software you get, per se, as long as it does what you want. Palm is one family of devices, PocketPCs are another, not compatible with each other, but they both "do the PDA things".

      2) LifeBalance use - LifeBalance is originally a Palm OS - based program, so if you want to use it, you should get a Palm PDA, not an iPaq or such. The companion desktop program comes in Windows and Mac versions, not for Linux. (I keep an eye on the LB website forums to see if they have started considering this possibility, since I am a Linux fan myself.)

      I would suggest that if you want to try LifeBalance, try using just the basic Palm apps (Calendar and ToDo Lists) first, and see if there is any value, for you personally, to add LifeBalance later.

      2a) Linux systems CAN sync data to/from a Palm... there are a couple of packages (pilot-link for one, ?jpilot? perhaps), that offer at least the ability to backup your Palm data. I haven't tried to find a Linux-based desktop program that works as a Palm desktop, yet. My Linux boxes are temporary affiars, that get set up, screwed with, and rebuilt regularly, so keeping my Palm stuff there just doesn't make a lot of sense for me.

      3) No internet connection - Once you have your PDA, there's no real need for any further downloads, not on any regular basis. I use just two of the built-in apps to run a full GTD system, so it's quite possible.

      LLamagraphics have provided for non-internet ordering.
      [Quoted from the LLamagraphics site directly:
      The information that we need in order to generate license codes for you is:

      * Contact information (name, address, email)
      * The names and platforms of the products
      * Payment information (credit card number and expiration date, check payable to Llamagraphics, Inc. in US dollars, or a PayPal payment.)
      * The name of the Certified Associate you are working with, if any.

      We'll be delighted to have you register however it is convenient for you!

      By Phone (to PalmGear):

      By Fax (to Llamagraphics):

      By Check sent by Mail:
      Llamagraphics, Inc.
      401 King Street
      Franklin, MA 02038-2339

      4) No USB port - most Palm devices have a serial port connection also available, but (and I don't say this to be chauvanistic, I understand the situation of running on a system a few years old) a USB connection is going to perform far better. I'd take advantage of that new system as much as you can.


      • #4
        Thanks for all the info!