Friday Feast #4: Goodies and Games for your PDA

Visor PrismAfter a week of being sick with a nasty virus (me, not my computer), I’ve spent a lot more time with my PDA, so I’ll pass along my favorite PDA tools, accessories, and games.

When I’m out, especially if I’m standing in line or waiting in a doctor’s office I occasionally get some interesting looks when I’m working or playing games on my PDA (even though I turn off the sound). Mostly people are curious and want to know all about it, though, especially if I use the keyboard attached to my Visor. I’m still amazed that so many people haven’t seen these devices in action.

Playing games, though, is just a side benefit of having a PDA. My PDA keeps track of my scheduling, maintains names and addresses, keeps all my important notes, and reminds me when it’s garbage day, my friend’s birthday, or that I have a dentist appointment. I also use it for reviewing and editing documents and doing other real work on, too.

I especially appreciate taking notes on my PDA, though. No more do I have to hunt down that phone number or note on a scrap of paper. It’s all on my PDA. I can write directly on the screen using Bugme!

In Portland last summer, a friend used her PDA to help us locate restaurants and other things to do (by category or location!), and even how to get there from wherever we were. Slick!

Here are a few things that I use and wholeheartedly recommend:

Hardware and Accessories:

  • Handspring Visor Prism
    I chose Handspring over two years ago in large part for its handy expandability via its plug-in modules. That feature has proven to be valuable, and I more recently upgraded to the Visor Prism with the color screen.
  • Handspring 8MB Backup Module
    Plug in this Springboard module and backup your entire PDA in minutes. Saves everything and restores with the click of a button when needed. This is especially valuable if you’re on the road and away from your computer. I have this module and the Backup Buddy software (see below) for backup data to my computer.
  • Fellowes PDA Survival Kitimage of the invaluable PDA survival kit
    Includes screen protectors, cleaning cloths, pencap styluses, more, formerly from Concept Kitchen and bought out by Fellowes. The screen protectors fit perfectly over my PDA screen and protect it from scratches and from glare. These have kept both my PDA screens in perfect, new condition, even the Visor Deluxe that’s now over two years old. (I also use the cleaning cloths for my computer display.)
  • Targus Stowaway keyboardimage of Targus Stowaway keyboard attached to the PDA
    An indispensable accessory. It folds up small, almost the size of the PDA, and quickly folds out to be a full-size keyboard to use anywhere. Works great and is extremely convenient and easy to use. I primarily use it for note-taking and writing documents.
  • Travel Chargerimage of the Visor Prism travel charger
    I often use my Visor Prism while it’s plugged in to the travel charger to maintain the charge, so this isn’t used only for travel.


  • Avantgo
    "The Internet on Your Handheld," for PalmOS, Windows CE, Web-enabled phones. Browse your favorite site or choose one of the hundreds of websites available through the site. Wireless modem NOT required. Easy and fast.
  • Backup Buddy
    An absolute must-have for any PDA owner, this software completely backs up everything on your PDA whenever you HotSync, including all your programs. I’ve had to use it to restore my PDA a couple of times now, and it’s worked painlessly to totally and accurately restore everything. It can also be set to schedule regular backups, which I do every day.
  • Bugme!, for writing directly on the screen; alarm reminders.
  • Time and Chaos, for scheduling, To Do lists, names and addresses, reminders. I’ve used this software for many years and was thrilled when they made it available to HotSync with my PDA.


More Info

I’ve written more adventures here about PDAs, too:

Visit Palmgear H.Q. for learning about and trying more software and accessories, too. It’s one of the best PDA-related sites around. has more resources for PDAs, software, and accessories, too.

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Categories: Friday Feast, Technology, Wireless

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