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  1.    #1  
    I just felt the need to start a thread about pda users who are students. I am a sophmore Computer Engineer at Bucknell University (Pennsylvania, US) and i have been in the pda word for i suppose about 2 years now.

    Realistically my saga began in middle school when I got my first day planner for classes and such. That lasted me about 3 weeks. I never used a paper organizer seriously from then on.

    I started with one of those very thin fold out things with the full chiclet keyboard and only like a 3 row screen. It was very crappy, was less effective than a folded piece of paper in my wallet, and had no useful time management capabilities.

    After a few weeks I realized this, and entered all the data back into MS outlook and used it's print capabilities to print out a little phone book. 1 millimeter thick and the size of a creditcard made it a obvious improvement from my unhotsync-able organizer. But christmas came,a nd my dad decided to purchase himself and my sister a Windows CE 1.0 Philips Velo. Blown away by how geeky it was and how cool it would be to have a real organizer i found myself a used Velo 500. I used it for about 2 months, but realized i couldn't carry it around, and it was demoted form organizer to cheapo laptop to take notes on and write c++ code on during class. It did this very well.

    Nonetheless, I did some more reasearch and found palm pilots were supposedly superior as a pure organizer. I was interested but my money stayed in my wallet. Then, I realized the product i wanted, a Palm Pilot case AND wallet in one package. I would be forced to be organized if i carried my organizer everywhere. A company called EB Cases made a sexy leather wallet that fit my needs perfectly. [link][/link] I bought the Slipper III, and a Palm III immediately. I was hooked. I had a killer organizer, and a superb case.

    But I wanted to be a Sleek Geek. So I went to the shoe store and got a groomet shoved through the hinge. A trip to the hardware store later, i had perhaps the worlds first (and only?) chain wallet palmpilot. I hopefully can put up pics sometime of the "complete package".

    In any event, the moral of the story is I wanted to start conversation amost students as to what works for them. I would venture to guess almost all students with palm pilots have game so we can skip that area.

    What apps do you think work best. Got any great tricks to share with everyone?...

    Find a really great schoolwork manager?
    Find any neat apps that make tests and homework easier.
    Find a good program to keep from running out of cash?
    Find some really cool toys to impress your buds?

    I personally use Datebk3 to give me a slightly better datebook featureset. I would really like to see a datebook that gives some student oriented features like homework assignment wizards (put the data into the todo list in an organized way) as well as ways to turn off your class schedule in the datebook view. I would also like to see a class view where you see an overview of that class, and all the assignments due. (pulling data out of the todo list)

    I also use some other great apps.

    I use handyshopper to keep a list of grocheries i need to buy, and supplies I need at walmart. I am currently useing Walletmate to keep track of my basic personal finaces but I find it is still not quite what I want. I would also like to see a program that combines a shopping list with a money manager.

    I use avantgo to keep myself in tune to basic world news during boring lectures.

    The last app i use is Quo vadis; a basic map program. I find it difficult to use however and wish there was a more useable mapping app; but the palm screen limits this. Maybe we will see better mapping when bigger screens and color happen.

    Through all this I still would like to see this thread continue as I know there are other palm'ed students out there. We should share what we know works to help other students, and to promote the palm planet through the youth. You don't need a complicated work life to make a palm useful. Between classes, extracurricular activities and maintainainbg a life we have plenty going on.

    I would love to see a student based palm/pda website become an established force in the palmization of the world. If you would like to help e-mail me if you have ideas.

    Thanks, Tom Alphin.

    Tom Alphin III - -

  2. #2  
    I am also a student user of PDA's. I find them incredibly helpful. With my classes, meetings, talks and other appointments, I would be in trouble if I missed any of them. I am a graduate student in Human Factors and Aging. I started using them about when i was a sophomore in college (1994). My first one was a HP200LX which was really cool but a little on the chunky side. Eventually I went through a Palm Personal and finally a Nino. The best of all of them was the Palm which is why im so interested in the Visor.

    My interest and fascination with palm-sized devices partially led me to study what i'm studying in grad school...i'd like to know how devices like these could help older adults (everyone really) carry out or enhance their daily activities.

    Also, I realize the limitations of the PDA, I dont use it for note taking or anything like that (that's what my Crosspad is for) but do use Appt, and Addressbook religiously.

    A funny anecdote that some students may relate to...during class one time (when I was in undergrad), A professor was informing us of a date change for an exam; well I whipped out my Palm to change the date and he stops the class to tell me to put it away. I asked him why and he said that he did not want pagers going off in class. When I informed him that it was my datebook, he looked embarassed and surprised and apologized...oh well the downside of being a "sleek geek" i guess.
    ps, I am a Engineering Psychology grad student at Georgia Institute of Technology (USA).

    [This message has been edited by richp (edited 09-30-1999).]
  3. #3  
    I'm a student, currently transferring from Auburn to Georgia State University, and majoring in CS. And I use (or once did) the Royal daVinci - a similar attempt at what Handspring is doing. They went for a low-cost PDA aimed for the more personal, non-business user. Unfortunately, they didn't license the Palm OS, and the first version only had 256K of memory. On the upside it only cost a hundred bucks, and I managed to talk my dad into paying for half of it, so I had a PDA. It was basically a pocket organizer that looked a lot like a Palm Pilot - they even used the same processor as the Palm Pro, I think, so some game ports were easily done. It did the four basic functions that all PDAs worth their salt do, and supported applications made for it, but there were precious few. So few, in fact, that I could almost fit all that were ever made on my old 256K model. They did make a 2 meg version of late, but as far as I know the plans for the daVinci Pro they'd been talking about for a long time never came to be - a 3 meg version with a few more features. Royal's PDA more or less hit the ground because they counted on Palms staying expensive, but by the time the 5 and 7 came out, the old Pros were getting into the 150s, so people were just blowing the extra 50 and getting a Palm, even if it was an old one. Even if it was kind of crappy, I did become quite attached to my dV (as I came to type it) and I came to rely on it to remember the things I put in it, as I should have. So I was quite devastated when, one day at work (when I was pushing shopping carts off the parking lot and into the store - sounds fun, eh?), I reached into my pocket to pull out my dV and record something I'd just thought of and found the screen to be broken and the BIOS reset. With these things, in order to complete the BIOS reset, you have to calibrate the screen first, and with a broken screen that was impossible. So ended the daVinci.
    I don't think what happened to Royal is what will happen to Handspring, mind you - they seem to be doing right in every category Royal did wrong. And doing right in a few categories nobody has ever touched before, namely the USB and Springboard slots. I'm pretty excited about it, I had actually already had an order in for a 3e when I heard about Handspring, and despite my desire to get a new PDA ASAP to replace the daVinci at its job, I cancelled the order and put in one for a Deluxe Visor (Green, if you must know, but I'm calling tomorrow to change it to Ice and to throw in the golf game. Pushing all those carts pays better than you might think.)
    In the meantime, though, while I certainly am used to - one could say addicted to - PDAs in the normal life, I don't have much experience with Palm applications. Can anyone recommend to me some good student apps? The ones one the first guy's list sound interesting, I'd grab any of them ASAP if anyone mentions anything.
    Oh, and I've been looking at these Springboards, too - OK, let me be the first to say that everyone should just stop dreaming now about a GameBoy cartridge adapter for the Visor. Sure, maybe if these things become prominent in Hong Kong or Thailand. But I HIGHLY doubt it. And while that MP3 thing they have there now looks nice, does anyone have a release date for the Rio64 one? Diamond seems to be the only company out there that makes their mp3 players without all that copy protection insanity that messes up legal users even more than it messes up pirates.

    "Oh, you fall in Lake of Drowned Bolt Crank!"
  4. #4  
    I've always wondered if there was a strong student following of palms! I've always wanted a PDA, but could never justify the cost. The Visor will be my first plunge into the PDA world. My question to all students is: do you take notes on your palm? Or is a crosspad the way to go in this regard? It would be cool if they could somehow link. BTW, I'm now a teacher so the student applications would sort of work for me in the reverse! Class schedules...homework to be marked etc...
  5.    #5  
    i take very brief notes on the palm; but I know some people use a palm with one of the available fold out keyboard to take real notes. Grafitti (the languague you use to enter text into the palm with a pen) is a bit slow and tiresome for extended sessions; but then again, i am the evil kid you may know of; the one who sits in the front row and takes very few notes and gets distracted easily. But i usually do fairly well on the tests so it's hard to mess w/ me.

    But yea palms are gaining some speed; i know about 10 ppl at my college who use palms; and if the visor reaches below 100$ I would bet on seeing many more.

    Tom Alphin III - -

  6. #6  
    I'm with you pshlortz, the front row is the only place to be in college. Can't say I get distracted too easily in class, though. But once I get my visor that should change.........


    Hook 'em Horns!
  7. #7  
    I use the Palm to take down my lecture notes. If your lecture requires you to take down a lot of words (as compared to equations and symbols-like stuff), using the GoType keyboard can't be beat.

    There's no contest between someone scribbling on paper and you typing your stuff...typing is that much faster, and more legible too (for me, at least...;-))

    Singapore Palm Users' Group ~
  8. #8  
    i guess i'm the young'n around here... I'm a sophomore in hight school and use a palm IIIx w/ the GoType keyboard to take notes in my englishn and history class (my other classes are too, how shall i put this, graphics oriented) I sync the pal and printo ut my notes or i use PalmPrint to print to the infared Hp laser jest in the main tech lab (i worked there over the summer so i have a key, hehe) i'll prob not get the visor, even though it has many great aspects, i'mm just get the 8 meg add on for the IIIx, but my friends like the ggek appeal that the pda brings and will prob get ones for themselves (just think, now i can get even more distracted by using the ir chat proggs).
  9. #9  
    I'm a Senior in Political Science at Kansas State University and I just bought a Palm IIIx. I was thinking about getting a Visor but I decided to go with the Palm because I didn't see any Springboards that I would really need and I just couldn't wait 4 to 6 weeks for a PDA when my life is a mess right now. I got my Palm almost a week ago and I have to say it was one of my best investments because by now any other type of planner would be forgotten but not my Palm. One thing I am looking for though is a way that I can use my Palm to write or edit documents that I can then use or send from MS Word? I have been using SmartDoc already but I am looking for a way to easily convert those files to a format I can use in MS Word or StarOffice and I would like to be able to convert those same files to a form that I can use on my Palm. I need this ability because ideas for papers and or speeches always come at the most interesting times. That and I am looking to intern in the Kansas House of Representatives again and I would like to be able to take a few speeches with me incase a representative would like to use it. If you have any suggestions let me know.
  10. #10  
    Man! We student sure write a lot! Regarding the subject at hand, it's nice to know there are other palm addicts in accademia.

    I always thought they made sense and wondered why they wern't more popular. Price? Exposure? The "Uh, like wadayoo need one of those dillz for, I mean it's not like a cell fone er beeper er anything important!" factor? Whatever the case, I think some real marketing efforts on campus are in order (Like HS needs to do that kind of stuff now?!)

    Larry M. Corporate/Organizational Communications, University of Houston...Go Coogs! And an ex-Austinite nod to my Longhorn Buddy

    PS: How is the Cross Pad working out?
  11.    #11  

    we students are a growing force! It looks like you can expect to see a student focused palm page in the coming months.

    e-mail me if interested in helping :-)

    Tom Alphin III - -

  12. #12  
    Compu Sci major here at UCSD.
    I also got handyshopper and DB3. Both awesome.
    For homework/project deadlines I use "Blue Moon." It lets you list what due in order, either by dates or days left. It counts down automatically from weeks, days, hours,then minutes before something is due. Pretty cool as you know which homework needs to get done first!
    For money tracking, I got "Checkbook" a freeware. Ive been using it for 3 months and I am very happy with it. It has categories (for maybe bills, school expences, or cat bills=) and automatic check number sequence. It also has fill-ins. It remembers what youve entered before and suggests it if you write its first letter. Its Freeware too.
    You can check both out at .

    I like your chain wallet pilot idea. Pretty cool=)
    I also think that to get the best out of your palm, you should not be afraid to let it get dirty and scratched. It is a tool and any good tool that is used to its max will get dinged.
    I just got a palmV, hopefully it'll be here by Monday. When it does I'm selling my III at school for $99. My III's actually brand new since 3com sent me a new one free after I sent my 7 month old III in for a hardware crash, no questions asked. Pretty awesome warranty.
    Well, let us know what you think of blue moon and Checkbook or other apps you've tried.
    C ya.
  13. #13  
    I am a grade 10 student, and I have just upgraded to a VD from a palm III.

    I'm still waiting patiently for the VD (Like everybody) and can't wait.

    I find having a PDA absolutely perfect for a student. It makes a busy life easier.

    See yah'

    Get WIGGED
  14. Zen
    Zen is offline
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    Strangely enough, perhaps it is the 'placebo' affect that I order a Visor and decide to get back on track with my whole education.

    When I left college 4 years ago (still a junior) I got married, got a decent job (but unsatisfying) and the whole college degree seemed farther away.

    Now it looks like getting my first PDA has somehow pushed me or given me the initiative to pretty much change my whole life and outlook. I know this sounds dramatic but it is true. I just hope when I actually GET the thing, I will hold the same conviction!

  15.    #15  
    zen; you might be pusing it a bit; but good luck!

    Tom Alphin III - -

  16. Zen
    Zen is offline
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    I sounds silly looking back at my post... But when everything seems so disorganized around me, I figure a PDA would at least give me the structure to plan the days ahead of me.

    My wife thinks I am crazy however.

    Laugh, Zen
  17.    #17  
    well; it does that; and being a person who spends a lot of time online; it also reminds me of my to do's when i'ma tht he computer; which is helpful

    Tom Alphin III - -

  18. #18  
    Well, my ice vdx will be my first official PDA. I'm a highschool senior, and i'm kinda upset by the fact that i really 'need' a vdx. don't get me wrong, i would have bought one either way cuz i'm a tech-junkie, but it just goes to show me that i've got so many things to do i NEED one, not just WANT one. so i guess going along with a few of the above replies, i was wondering about suggestions for a program that helped one manage homework assignments...maybe let you rank them in order of importance and when they are due, and allow you to check off ones that have been turned it. of course it should be freeware, or 'less than five-dollar-ware' because as a student i'm cheap and could just modify the datebook, memo-pad, and to-do list to do the same thing. it's amazing the compromises students with no cash make.

    sort of off topic here, but does anyone have a clue as to when innogear will release that mp3 player. i'd like to have my mp3s available to listen to school in school. also, are there any 'hip' cases available that will fit the visor. i like the incasedesign neoprene 'clam-shell' design.

  19. #19  
    Three years ago, I finally had the initiative (and money) to go back to university part-time to pursue an anthro/history degree. As a technical analyst by trade, complete with all the baggage this sort of career entails, you could say I'm on the 15-year plan, though.

    Anyway, I've had a Psion Series 5 for all three years; I sold my Palm Pilot 1000 back then, and got the Psion. For three years it's been a tireless education/work companion. There are some truly excellent programs for it and it _does_ have a lot of benefits from both the Palm and WinCE world - extremely long battery life for a keyboard unit (30 hours or about a month of use), a good keyboard for typing, and decent portability (it's not much bigger than a Palm III, but it sticks further out of a shirt pocket). It hasn't required a reboot in ten months, either. !! And PC-document compatibility is second to none, particularly if you use a non-MS suite.

    The downsides? Synchronization sucks. This is partially due to its lack of a true 'database' design for agendas, contacts and the like. These are separate files. The bonus is that I have several separate agendas (one for school, one for work, one for new baby needs (ack!)) and the caveat is that synchronization is slow and frought with difficulties. The other issue is that the clamshell design, like any similar design, does not handle situations where one handed access is a must. Impossible to use in a car and hard to 'thumb-type' on while standing, it's just a pain for instant-access type work.

    So, I've ordered two VDx machines (one for my better half). I envision that for the vast majority of my contact/agenda/memo needs, the VDx will be used heavily. But for any sort of long-term document storage, such as my entire class notes database (three years of class notes!), moving-map apps that require larger screen space, etc., I'll not abandon my Psion. I see them working together in harmony as they really compliment each others' features.

    Now that the 5mx is out in the U.S.A., I'd recommend it as a companion for the discriminating student, along side a Palm device. Sure beats lugging a laptop! Using my Rhino Skin Psion case, I can actually carry _both_ devices in one zippered unit.

    I'm finished.
  20. Zen
    Zen is offline
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    Good to see this off topic growing in size.
    One question in regards to the last post:
    What is a 5mx?

    Maybe I am too tired and missed something.

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