Join Date: Apr 2006
Thoughts on TX From First Time Palm User
As I first time Palm user I wanted to share some of my experiences after using a Palm TX for about 6 months.
My goal was to replace my Franklin Planner with the Palm. Iíve also been using Lotus Notes, so I wanted to use it for my calendar, to do list, and address book and be able to also have those available on the Palm. I use the Lotus Notes calendar extensively at work and had been spending a lot of time copying everything into my planner. I got Lotus Easy Sync Pro 4.23 and found that it works pretty well. Itís a little tricky to set up and unfortunately it deactivates most of the Palm Desktop program. You canít sync to both at the same time.
Iím using Documents to Go Premium v8 for my daily notes. I make a new document for each week of notes. At the end of each week I paste the document into the Lotus Notes My Journal database. Before I got Easy Sync I was using Memos and the Palm desktop. Iíve read thereís a 5000 character limit on memos, but I never had a problem and my memos were 8000 Ė 10,000 characters. Once I started using Easy Sync, it was truncating the memos to 5000 characters, thatís why I switched to Documents to Go. I like it better than memos because I can use bold, underline, and bullets. The premium version adds spellchecker, which runs very slow, and the Adobe pdf reader is much nicer than in the free version. One disadvantage is that with memos you can edit and sync with the memo open on both devices. With Documents to Go you have to close the document on both devices or it wonít sync.
I can search through my notes with the Find button. The search takes much longer once you add a lot of documents, so I donít plan on keeping a lot of other large files on the Palm. Again, if Iím near my computer, itís much faster to search the Lotus Notes database.
The Palm contact list pretty much duplicates the Lotus Notes personal address book. The Palm has more data fields, but I only use the basics.
The Palm task list syncs with the Lotus Notes To Do list. Iíve found that for recurring tasks, itís best to enter it in Lotus Notes and have it transfer to the Palm.
Same thing for the calendar. I make most entries in Lotus Notes. Having my complete calendar in the Palm TX with out having to re-write anything has been a big improvement for me.
I donít plan on ever using the TX for my Lotus Notes email, so I donít have that feature turned on in Easy Sync. But I do use Versamail for my personal e-mail at home.
The speed of graffiti input is my biggest limitation. It wonít work if you try to write fast or sloppy. You have to be very deliberate and write larger, slower, and press harder than normal writing. Thatís why if Iím in my office Iíll write my notes on my computer, not the Palm. It would be a big advantage if Palm could improve this.
The Palm TX hardware seems to have some problems. #1 the cradle is cheaply made. Both of the LEDís in it burned out after a few months. It occasionally makes a popping sound like a static shock. An LED should last 100,000 hours. #2 I also have trouble with the on off switch. For a while it didnít work at all. I think it was caused by some freeware games that I had installed. It worked again after a hard reset and not installing the freeware. But I have to push the switch harder and hold it longer than I expect to and then it doesnít always work. Itís much easier to turn it on with one of the other buttons and let it turn off by itself.
I had a problem with the battery frequently going dead over night and tried to work it out with Palm support and they were no help at all. Their suggestion was a hard reset, which did not help. Iím certain now that this problem is caused by a software conflict between Solitaire and the Automatic Keylock. If you activate the keylock and you play solitaire, the Palm TX will eventually lock up. If it stays locked up long enough the battery will go dead. This will happen overnight. Iíve verified this several times, but they didnít believe me. The solution is to do a soft reset whenever youíre done with solitaire, donít use the keylock, or donít play solitaire. I turned off the keylock.
The BoxWave Clear Touch Crystal screen protectors work great. They are much better that the Palm screen protectors. They come already cut to the right size. Theyíre easy to apply without bubbles. Be careful to remove all dust before applying because it will show up and canít be removed. The boxwave protectors are more clear and slipperier than the palm protectors. They also last at least 3 times longer. Too bad they cost 10 times as much.
The Papermate PhD multi is a great stylus. Using a full size stylus has really helped me a lot with graffiti speed. I also made my own stylus from a Pilot G-2 gel pen and the tip from a Wacom tablet pen. Take an empty ink refill and pull out the metal tip. Glue the Wacom tip in its place with some super glue. Iíd like to see someone make a stylus in the shape of a cross or parker refill, that way you could use your own pen. Why does a pen with a plastic tip cost more than a real pen with ink in it?
Iím also using a Linksys Bluetooth USB adapter for hot sync. Since I make entries on the palm and my computer I have to hot sync several times a day. With the Bluetooth I donít have to put it on the cradle every time. Iíve turned off the sync for all the applications I donít use, like Addit, so it doesnít take as long. I only use the cradle for charging, which takes less than an hour a day. The bluetooth range is at least 30 feet and will go though a couple walls.
I use Blazer and Versamail through WiFi and cable internet at home. Itís very nice to be able to check if I have any important e-mails when I get home since I can do this in less time than that it takes my computer to boot up. Blazer is too slow, so if I want to accomplish anything on the web, itís worth it to turn on the computer.
I have mp3 files on a 1 GB SD card for Pocket tunes. I think it works pretty well, but itís heavy for an mp3 player. If youíre serious about music, youíll probably want a separate mp3 player.
The only extra software Iím using now is Documents to Go Premium and Lotus Easy Sync Pro. I donít want to add anything else right now because Iím afraid it will cause more problems.
In summary, I find that the Palm TX works well enough to be useful and I donít plan on going back to a paper planner. Easy Sync does what I need to combine the Palm with Lotus Notes. I bought the Palm TX without trying it first or doing much research, but I think Iím satisfied with it. Next time I plan on seriously evaluating other options like pocket PC.