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  1.    #1  
    I am thinking about upgrading my Visor Deluxe some time toward the end of the summer. I've been thinking about jumping ship to get an iPaq primarily because I am getting really tired of all the compatibility issues associated with Palm OS software and their Windows counterparts. I love Palm OS but the programs to do basic stuff like word processing and spreadsheets are still around the level of a Commodore 64 program -- both in terms of their sophistication and their compatibility with the actual Excel and Word programs on Windows. I am a college professor and something of a "power user" of Excel and Word in that context (making course materials, keeping track of grades, doing statistical analyses, etc.).

    So one of the draws of PPC is that the versions of Excel and Word that these devices use are not third-party approximations of Excel and Word but actual shrunken versions of them, made by the same company, hence -- one would think at least -- a greater ability to use the programs like you normally would on a PC and more seamless integration with Windows on a PC. I've played around with an iPaq in Circuit City, and Pocket Word and Excel certainly felt natural enough (and Pocket Excel was WAY faster on the iPaq (forget which model) than Quicksheet on the Visor).

    My question is whether this impression is correct or not. This is a pretty big issue for me so all input (pro- or anti-PPC) is welcome.
    Mark 12:28-31
  2. #2  
    I also wanted to upgrade to the iPaq. I played around with Pocket Excel on a friend's iPaq and one thing that surprised me was that Pocket Excel has no built-in graphing. I couldn't believe this, so I searched the documentation and sure enough, no graphing capability.

    I collect data every day, and a graphical representation of the data is a must for me.

    The lack of this one feature has killed my upgrade path. For now, I'll stick with Quicksheet and Wordsmith on my Prism.
  3. #3  
    Jeff Kirvin, host of, wrote a review of WordSmith that makes the program out to be superior to Pocket Word. Note that he wrote the review in January, when he switched to a Jornada as his primary handheld, and he was quite pro-PPC at the time. In the review he wrote that, while WordSmith was clearly his favorite word processor to date, "I'm not switching back to the Palm just yet." He switched back to the Visor Deluxe a couple of months later.

    I've never had a problem with synching docs between WordSmith and MS Word.
  4. #4  

    What apps are you using? Wordsmith is great, IMHO. I also just dl'ed tinysheet and after an hour or so, I'm pretty impressed (just be sure that you set it to calc only when you tell it to...).

    I too have a Vdx and I've been thinking pretty seriously about upgrading to a plat (don't care about color). I guess that you should tell us what needs aren't being met, could be that they could be w/out a need for you to upgrade.
  5.    #5  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    I too have a Vdx and I've been thinking pretty seriously about upgrading to a plat (don't care about color). I guess that you should tell us what needs aren't being met, could be that they could be w/out a need for you to upgrade.
    Fair enough. Let me see if I can make a representative list:

    - I use bulleted lists and tables all the time (like right now ) in nearly every document I make in MS Word, which is a lot of documents. Wordsmith doesn't support this formatting. Pocket Word does bulleted lists although I am not sure about tables. Blue Nomad indicated on their web site that tables might be in the next upgrade or the one after that. This is a biggie since it means that I can't view files I've made on the PC without some bizarre re-formatting for the Visor's screen and that if I make a document with Wordsmith and want to use tables or bullets, I have to do extra work on the PC end of sychronization.

    - One thing I wish Quicksheet would do is some of the auto-formatting that Excel does. For instance, if you start a column with a cell that says "1" and one below it that says "2", you can click and drag those two cells and the next ones below them will say 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. This seems stupid but it is an amazing time-saver.

    - I just find Quicksheet to be very slow. Opening a fully-fleshed out spreadsheet (eg. a gradebook for a class, near the end of the semester) will sometimes take upwards of a minute to open, and if I change a cell and the program recalculates something (like adding a test score, and the test average changes in another cell) that is also slow. When a student comes up to me after class and wants to check a grade she got, I can't just pop out the Visor and look it up without lag time; and entering in grades to a spreadsheet with a lot of auto-calculating can be excruciating. Part of this is due to the hardware of the Visor (no math coprocessor) so I don't blame the program necessarily... but that might be an additional reason to think about changing hardware.

    I think those are the three biggest ones. I have had some sychronization problems as well, including an unfortunate incident earlier this semester where I changed Palm Desktop programs and then an entire semester's worth of grades got wiped out on the next synch. (Thank goodness I make backups.)

    I don't mean to be so down on Wordsmith, Quicksheet, or the Visor. They are all excellent products. I just wonder what the other side of the fence is like. As I just mentioned to my wife, upgrading at the end of the summer may not happen because I'm not sure the handheld I want to get has been made yet! (I'm foolishly holding out for the color Edge. )
    Mark 12:28-31

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