Thursday, October 1, 1998

Traveling with your Palm organizer


By Bob Freud

A friend of mine, in an attempt to recapture some of his youth, got himself a Triumph TR7. It is an incredible car, full of attention to detail. While it handles very well around town, it really shines when he takes it out on the road. The same could be said for my Palm III. Veteran of numerous short trips and an extended sojourn to China last summer, my Palm III is always one the first items on my packing list.

The whole point of the Palm III is that you leave your home or office but still have information with and computing tools with you. Many Palm III users spend a lot of time traveling, often in foreign countries. This article suggests some tips and makes some software and hardware recommendations to make your trips more productive and enjoyable.

Nothing new

Don't install new software right before leaving on a trip. Otherwise, there is a good chance that the interesting program you just downloaded will cause you to do have to do a hard reset and erase all your data while you are en route from Frankfurt to Poznan. My own rule of thumb is that nothing new gets added to my Palm III for at least two (and better three) weeks before a trip. I have learned this lesson the hard way. Maybe I do need two Palm IIIs.

Backup to avoid the blues

Backup your Palm device frequently and learn how to do a remote HotSync. A remote HotSync will let you restore the data to your basic applications over a modem. You'll need to teach someone in your office or home how to turn on your computer and set it up for a remote HotSync, but if your data is lost and you won't be back home for several weeks, you will be glad you took the time to do this.


Consider using the services of PilotMail while you are away. PilotMail

provides a convenient way to access your email just by doing a modem HotSync from your hotel room. There are other ways to get your email, but this solution has worked well for me.

Bring a battalion of batteries

Bring several sets of AAA batteries with you. You may not need to change batteries while your are away, but few things are as annoying as not being able to HotSync because of low battery power.

Be prepared with a paper clip

For people who don't have a Palm III stylus, paper clips are a must! If your unit locks up, sometimes the only way to reset is by doing a soft or hard reset, which requires a paper clip. A useful PalmPower tip which appeared a few weeks back suggested that users tape a paper clip to the back of the Palm device for handy access in the event of a reset.