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|Wed Sep 8, 1999 - 9:30 PM EDT - By Mic Bergen|
The other two parts to the physical construction are the Springboard port and the cover. The unit comes with a plastic cover where the Springboards will go. Itís very much like a cover for the battery compartment on a remote control. Kinda cool, inside the port thereís the handspring guy doing a handpring (youíve probably seen this, itís the logo in 4 positions with dotted lines connecting them).†
The cover is more annoying than cool. It fits quite nicely, but every time I hand the VD to someone, they always have a bit of difficulty figuring out how to take it off and put it back on. My biggest complaint is that it takes 2 hands to remove and put back. If you donít have a Springboard in place, you can put the cover on the back of the unit, where it snaps on securely.†
I prefer the Palm III cover that I could flip up with one hand. Weíll have to see what cases come out for the VD. The VD is a bit narrower than the III series, so I donít think the standard III cases will work well for it. Itís slimness does feel very good in the hand, though.†
It also comes with a leather case. This is very similar to the VIIís leather case, basically a slip case for the VD to slip into, open on the top side, and covering the bottom, front, back, and sides. I havenít used it much, because it adds too much thickness to the unit, making it harder to put in my pocket, but the construction seemed fine.†
I havenít used any of the Springboards, as I havenít been able to get any of them! I hope to get the modem before Comdex, as Iíd like to use it to check email while on the road.†
As for the software, itís fairly standard Palm software. Just to keep things unique, I installed the software in a different directory than my Palm software, but it appears to be exactly the same. I exported my contacts, datebook info, and memos from my Palm software and it imported perfectly into the VD desktop (which says "Palm Desktop").†
The datebook looks like the standard one, but when you go to Options, you can choose to use Datebook+. I did so, and it looks (and I later confirmed it is) licensed from DateBk3. Iím a dedicated user of DateBk3, so was very happy about this, except that Datebook+ leaves out my favorite feature, the icons. I thus had to re-install DateBk3, which works flawlessly. According to C. E.Steuart Dewar, the brilliant developer responsible for DateBk3, "Yes - I think omitting the icons may have been an oversight - that was one item that IS used by a large number of users (and not necessarily "power-users")."†
When you first start the calculator, it appears to be the standard Palm calculator. However, you can click Menu, Options, Change Mode, and select Advanced. You get a rather nice scientific calculator. Itís programmable, in that you can add íviewsí to it. Just under the number display is a drop down menu, where you can choose what kind of calculator it is. It comes with these as standard:
At least one of these (Weight/Tmp) seems to come from a new Memo Pad category that automatically gets installed called íCalculatorí. Thereís probably documentation about this on the CD, but of course I havenít yet read the documentation.
As Iíve said, I came over from a Palm III, and Iíve had some software that didnít work. Iím thinking that if an app works on the V, itíll work on the VD, as they both use the DragonballEZ processor. I had to upgrade to a later version of Switch Hack, for example. I still canít seem to make OmniRemote work. I want to use it to test if the IR is stronger on the VD than on the III.†
I do miss the flash on the III, though. I had a special TRG developerís board in my III that gave me 4 Megs of flash, and I had a lot of stuff in there, including DateBk3, the GoType! driver, TealDoc, and some apps and docs that I use every day. Iíve had my III crash entirely, and lose everything. It was
very nice to have some stuff protected in the Flash.†
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