Trepidation

Had a chance to pause and reflect. I have been considering purchasing a smart phone. The idea of having a pocket computer and a phone all-in-one had some serious geek-appeal to it. After all, the iPhone is the biggest thing since slice bread, according to the media hype. The thought of getting a smart phone has been on my mind for a while, especially since my love-affair with the TX has taken hold.

My daughter’s cell phone died, and, luckily, it was still under warranty and I just had to go to the cell phone office to exchange it for a new one. While there, I had to wait for a customer representative to serve me. This gave me a chance to really play with the smart phones. After about 20 minutes of poking and prodding the various mix of Windows CE and PalmOS phones, and Blackberries, I came to the conclusion that the TX was for me.

Advantages I saw for having a Palm TX and a cell phone separate, and not having a cell phone:

1) You can have the TX to take notes on while you are on the phone.

2) WiFi. I didn’t see a single phone advertising WiFi. They all want you to buy a “data” plan to have internet access. This could get to be expensive considering how much time I spend on-line.

3) Size of the screen. The phones are big compared to any cell phone. Compared to the TX, they are small. I have a wonderfully big, bright screen on the TX. Most of the screens on the smart phones were about half the size of the screen on the TX, if not smaller.

4) Impending failure. When electronics go, they usually take a bulk of data with them. I can easilly back up my TX. Backing up these cell phones require the addition of software/hardware to accomplish the same task.

Question answered. I can now go on with my life. No smart phone for me. I just need a phone that I can text my wife with (she is usually in meetings away from her computer), and my TX.

The TX, what a versatile device. I wish Palm would see the advantages to having a handheld computer and develop an updated system, continue to develop the smart phones, but don’t abandon the pda line.

Loving my TX

Jay C. Theriot

Slow Reader

I am a horribly slow reader. However, the TX helps with this.

For the Easter Holidays, I was at my in-laws home, out-of-state. We had some down time from time to time and because of my TX, I had a chance to read.

My wife asked me not to bring it, but I didn't listen. I didn't make a show of it, but I kept it with me the whole weekend. Whenever my brother-in-law would fall asleep, I took advantage of the time and read. When laying awake at night because I'm uncomfortable in a strange bed, I took advantage of the moment.

What's nice about the TX is the screen. Unlike a normal book where you have to have a light to read, you can read a book in total darkness. Wife snoring, let her snore. Whip out the TX read a little and I was snoring too.

The book – Semper Mars. The reader – eReader from the palm website.

I also make my own books by using html files from the gutenberg project and MobiPocket Creator.

Awesome application of technology for a low-tech problem.

Loving my TX,

Jay C. Theriot

Religious Side-Step

To begin. I’m Catholic. Not a very good one, but still I claim to be Catholic. Ever since the birth of my 5 year old, making regular Sunday Masses is a challenge. So this is no holier-than-thou speach.

I like the Rosary. I found VRosary from www.virtualrosary.org.

Excellent program. Color photos, various rosary types, mysteries that pop up with the correct beads.

Lots of Bible readers are available for a cost. I found Bible+ from www.sourceforge.net and BibleReader from aOlive Tree (www.OliveTree.com). Both come with free translations. BibleReader has paid versions of the Bible. I think I may get a Catholic version next payday.

It is my hope that the existence of these books and prayers on my Palm will encourage me to become a more practicing Catholic.

I do like books, and I do like reading. I have several books on my Palm already. I really like reading on my Palm. The fact that I don’t have to lug heavy books around waiting for me to have time to dedicate to reading facilitates reading much better.

I really like my Palm. I’m putting everything I can find on my Palm. What I am finding is that the more you put on it, the more you use it. The more you use it, the less you are tied to loftier alternatives.

I can check email where ever I can find a WiFi connection. I can read books anytime I have peace. I can meditate the Rosary anytime I want peace. I can study the Bible anytime I feel peace.

Loving my TX
Jay C. Theriot

Backup to SD Card

I have been having intermittent issues with my TX that have been causing me to do a hard reset. I attribute this to using aged programs that were written for the 3.x series of the PalmOS. However, sometimes Versamail and Blazer will cause a freeze that a soft reset will only result in a freeze at the Palm logo. The only way to get out of this screen is to perform a hard reset.

I use my palm at work, but sync at home. So, when I have to hard reset at work, I have no access to my programs until I get home that evening.

This is not a major issue at work because I primarily use it as an email client and when I re-sync the mail with the Exchange Server, I get all my email and attachments back. The problem is when I get home and have to re-install all my programs. I may have mentioned in some of my earlier blogs that I don't get that much access to my computer at home. Time is of essence.

I have more than enough space to store the entire 128 MB on my 2GB SD card. I searched the web. I found an excellent article at http://palmaddict.typepad.com/palmaddicts/2005/11/the_value_of_an.html.

Downloaded the suggested programs and performed a full backup in preparation for the next hard-reset. I had to google "vfsbackup" to find an alternate download location because the link in the article was broken. I downloaded the programs and now I am protected.

Love my TX!

Jay C. Theriot

SlideShow on the TX

Yesterday was my god-daughter's wedding shower. About 100 people attended. My sister (her mom and hostess of the event) asked me to take a barrage of photos, which I did. I ended up taking about 150 photos.

Now, you have to realize that I have children in the house. I don't get alot of time at the desktop, but the TX is all mine. To preview the images, I used the TX in slideshow mode. The bright hi-res screen rendered the pictures beautifully. I'm going to take it to my sisters today and show them to her on the TX. Now, I have to burn them to a CD.

Digital Camera + Palm TX = happiness!

Jay C. Theriot

Day 1 of RhinoSkin use

I put the RhinoSkin through its paces today. I took it out to show my school's secretary and dropped it. She said, "That's why you need it."

It fits into my back pockets on my slacks just fine. I thought that the cover would get in the way while I was writing, but that isn't the case. The cut-outs are not limiting. You don't have to go through any special movements to get to your stylus or recharge. Everything is accessible.

When playing music, the back speaker plays through a matching hole in the hard case. The combination of the hard case and the slight angle that the case sits because of the raised area for the screw, actually plays the music a little louder. Before, when I would play the music, the stock microfiber cover would cover the outlet and the music was barely audible. It was nice to have Metallica play while I was eating my lunch alone.

I really like the replacement stylus. The stylus' cover removes to reveal a ball-point pen. It writes well. I now don't need to keep a separate pen to write on old-fashioned paper.

With the state mandated testing over, I look back on this week as one that proved the Palm TX's worth. The school has a secured wifi network (thanks in part to yours truly). I used this network to check my email where ever I was without the need to sign into a desktop computer. To facilitate multiple grade levels of testing, teachers are clumped together in grade-levels. That way all the 7th graders finish their test at approximately the same time, and the same for 8th and 9th graders. It's a simple plan, but gives some technology hurdles. Hurdles that the TX jumped effortlessly.

During testing, I would plug my TX into a wall outlet and set my email too auto-sync every 5 minutes. After that, with less frequent use, the TX would have enough battery to last the remainder of the day.

I'm still looking for a program that lets me write "LaTeX" on my palm. I used to have one years ago. I thought it was called PalmTex, but I must be wrong. I've googled it several times, but I am coming up with goose eggs.

Love my TX

Jay C. Theriot

RhinoSkin

Got some new goodies for my Palm TX. I usually fret and fret about getting something for myself and then end up never getting it. Well, I successfully defeated the urge to forget it and I bought some new things for my TX. All these purchases were from Amazon.com.

This was the first time I ordered something from Amazon and it will not be the last. I found there website to be very helpful in making my purchases. I was just looking for a RhinoSkin hard case for the TX, but Amazon's links on their website said "Those that purchased this also purchased …" This is what I got:

A 2GB SD card, around $8. You can't even get that deal at Wal-Mart.

The RhinoSkin, around $25. I'm very impressed with this skin. It's brushed aluminum over a lyrca? padded inside. There are holes to access the stylus, connections, and SD card. The case has storage for two SD cards in the cover.

Replacement Styli: I really didn't need these, but they have a built-in ink pen. The geek in me took over.

Thanks Amazon! For about $5 more than the price of a hardcase on www.palm.com I got a hard case, styli and 2GB of storage.

Jay C. Theriot