Re: Creative Uses for Palm Devices?

Subject: Re: Creative Uses for Palm Devices?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 21:15:08 -0800

Andrew Plato wrote:

> You're not going to believe this - but I actually got a Palm for the sole
> reason that it impressed people when I went out on sales meetings. They see I
> have a Palm and they think I am appropriately wired so they're more comfortable
> dropping a quadzillion dollars on the security solution I am pitching to them.
> In reality, the whole thing is blank and 1/2 the time the batteries are dead.

I avoided PIDs for a long time because I viewed them as just another
yuppie toy. My reasoning was that, if I couldn't get organized on my
own, dropping a few hundred dollars on the latest trend wouldn't

However, as my work grew more complicated, I found myself spending
an increasing amount of time leafing through my daytimer and my
notebook for the right note or the right phone number. I kept trying
to reorganize, but that took increasing time, and often resulted in
the accidental loss of information.

A month ago, I caved in. To my surprise, I really did get more
organized. I still don't religiously record every appointment.
However, I do have alarms for due dates for advertising artwork and
production schedules. Even more importantly, I can find phone
numbers and keep notes where I have a chance of finding them. Of
course, I could also keep notes on my computer, but, I find it
easier to switch to another device than to another window; I use a
portable keyboard, so inputting a note only requires swivelling in
my chair.

The Palm is also useful on an airplane. If you've travelled with a
laptop in Economy, you may recall with very little fondness the
contortions required to retrieve the case from under the seat in
front of you. Usually, I hook a foot into the strap, then slowly
drag the case forward and up until I can drag it - and then my spare
mouse and battery usually tumble out when I open the case. By
contrast, I can pull a Palm out of my pocket, without contortions
and work without any fear that the battery will die halfway through
a transcontinental trip, leaving me with nothing to do except to
contemplate the personal hygiene of the person beside me. I've
written the better part of an article and even a poem using the
graffiti alphabet.

And Andrew's right about the reactions to Palms. It's not just that
having one impresses some people. If you take whip one out in the
middle of a discussion and scribble something (even just your To Do
list), you can seriously disconcert people - and if you have a
wireless internet connection and can call up information while
around the conference table, the impression you make is even

If I ever find myself in serious negotiations, I'm going to make
sure that one person on my team has a Palm out and a stylus poised
for action while staring intently at whoever on the other side is
speaking. Done properly, this tactic should result in some serious
concessions. :-)

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"From the hag and hungry goblin
That into rags would rend you,
And the spirits that stand by the naked man
In the book of moons defend you."
- Steeleye Span, "The Beggar"


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