Peachpit Week: Palm Organizers Visual Quickstart Guide, 4th Edition

by PocketGoddess on August 19, 2005

Palm Organizers Visual Quickstart Guide, 4th Edition
The Now You Know series is a great start for a beginning user, but intermediate to advanced handheld users need something a little “meatier”–which is exactly where this book comes into the picture. The Palm Organizers Visual Quickstart Guide is chock full of information, so much so that it may be a little overwhelming to the beginning user. Each bit of information was generally presented in an easy to understand style, usually with numbered steps or bullet points, and there are lots of screenshots accompanying the text, though none in color. I like the fact that when a particular illustration is referenced in the text, a parenthetical reference in bold gives you the appropriate figure number so you don’t get lost.
No matter what you’re looking for when it comes to Palm OS handhelds, you’ll probably find it in this book. There are three parts and seventeen chapters, as well as a handy appendix on Basic Troubleshooting that is really quite helpful. Here’s a brief table of contents for the book, so you can see what is covered:
Part 1: Using Palm Organizers
Palm Basics
The Palm OS
Tasks, Memos, and More
Calculator, Expense, and Clock
Part 2: Communicating
Web Access
Part 3: Your Handheld, Your Life
Images and Multimedia
Long Texts
Games and Entertainment
Managing Your Money
Managing Your Time
Managing Your Data
Protecting Your Data
Appendix A: Basic Troubleshooting
This book covers all Palm OS handhelds, including the Tungsten, Zire, and Treo. That means you’ll need to read a little more carefully than if this were a volume dedicated to a particular organizer. Some of the steps may be different for your particular handheld (if you have an integrated keyboard on a Treo instead of a traditional Graffiti area for example) or some features may not be available because you don’t have a wireless connection. That doesn’t make the book any less useful mind you, but I did want to mention that particular stumbling block.
One thing I like is the fact that it isn’t limited solely to the built-in applications, but offers hints and tricks related to a variety of third party software programs. This has plusses and minuses however, as the author’s bias comes through in a few of the selections. DateBk5 is mentioned several times for example, but Agendus and DateMan are not listed as possible alternatives. In other words, you can get an idea of the sort of applications available from this book, but you can’t really get enough information to make your own choice about what applications work best for you and your needs.
Palm Organizers Visual Quickstart Guide, 4th Edition, by Jeff Carlson and Agen G.N. Schmitz, is published by Peachpit Press. Soft cover, 396 pages, ISBN 0321287665. List price is $19.99, but you can likely get it for less than that at an online store. (Even better, support your local bookstore, or it may not be around much longer!)
4 out of 5

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