(last edited and updated Oct 26 2009)
Ahem. Actually, it’s really just me only.
Hello! Welcome to the Palm Discovery website. My name is May. For those who are wondering, yes, it is a Treo 650 that I’m holding covered and protected by the first Treo case I owned, the Innopocket Deluxe Metal Case (made of aircraft grade aluminum). I have since owned a variety of smartphones and devices including the Windows Mobile Treo 750, a Palm Zire 71, a Palm Tungsten T3, a Symbian OS Nokia E71 (my current smartphone) and an Apple iPod Touch.
Although I am physically located in Canada, since the bulk of my visitors are from the United States a lot of what I cover will be focused for those in the USA, although nowadays with the world becoming more connected and flat, a lot of it will still be relevant to Canadians and others all over the world.
This is a site where I hope to become a site of resource on the portable Palm® device, Treo smartphone and other mobile devices and gadgets by providing as much information as I know on the subject that I’ve discovered over the years through reading and participating in the various Palm forums, other Palm sites and just through self discovery, thus the “palm discovery” name.
I will attempt (operative word here) to help a potential PDA or smartphone user or owner or even someone who is just starting out with a Palm handheld, Treo smartphone and other PDA device to be better acquainted with how to use it, navigate around it and get a better “feel” of how it works, from a consumer’s perspective. Through the use of Flash simulations or demonstrations of a Palm screen (like the one above) as well as photos, screenshots, videos, I will attempt to show how to do a lot of the basic operations of the Palm such as how to add an address book entry, how to run applications, etc. As well, there will also be descriptions of the process, along with screenshots of how various menus and options look like to help new Palm users feel comfortable learning and using the device. The Palm isn’t a difficult device to learn how to use and I hope that I can allay any fears and dispel any preconceived notions or myths of what they are. In fact, they are actually very simple to use. Once you pick one up and start using it, I’m sure that you will find it an indispensible and invaluable tool in all aspects of your life. As well, I will discuss other information such as tips, tricks or potential problems that may be encountered and possible solutions. I also write up a variety of different reviews covering from software programs to hardware accessories like cases, chargers, and other tools that I think may benefit someone who may be interested. I will also do reviews of other gadgets not necessarily directly related to Palm devices but something that gadget freaks (like myself) may be interested in. Kind of breaks up the monotony or always talking about one thing. Unlike many other video reviews found at other bigger websites, you won’t likely see me in it (I hate being on camera) but the focus will be mainly on the product, and rightfully so. Most of you visit to get a better idea of the product and that’s how I try to approach the review, showing the product as if I were holding it and looking at it myself. Of course, I do show up in the reviews once in a while if it’s necessary to show off the products or demonstrate it but most of the time, I try to keep the focus on the product instead. Hopefully, you will find my reviews helpful and informative in helping you make your decision.
My objective of this blog is to provide a source of information to help anyone who may feel “stuck” on something and if you have found that it has helped you, then, I have achieved my goal. I would love to hear from you if you find any tips or tricks that I have not mentioned or potential ideas that you think could benefit others. Either leave me a comment in any of my postings or drop me an email via the Contact Form.
Just in case you haven’t gotten enough of my objectives of this blog, you can read a posting submission for Problogger where I’ve listed out my goals here
My idea of creating a Palm blog came about when I was finding that there weren’t many resources out there on the internet (at the time) that have a good way of “showing” how the Palm device worked, how it looks, etc. I remembered how I was sort of stumped on how to operate the device in October 2003 when I first got my Palm Zire 71. I didn’t know how to navigate around but being someone who loves to play around things, it didn’t take me very long to be comfortable with it. But, I remembered that it did take me a while to “understand” how the Palm OS works and adjust to that mode of working, compared to Windows. So, with that in mind, I thought that it would be great if I could provide a different approach to help someone learn how to use a Palm by “showing” how the program works so they can easily repeat what I’ve shown them. Wow! That was so exciting! I realize that a lot of people don’t necessarily have the time or patience to go through and do all that research and do so much reading. Then the idea came to me. I would write a blog about the Palm and try to show how the Palm device looked, how to navigate around the basic menus and run the programs. Since I was already participating in the various Palm forums, I know that a lot of Palm newbies and even some not so new Palm users have a lot of questions that get asked often and repeated. By writing a blog, I could compile all the stuff I know or have learned into one place that could be accessible to a wider audience. And, I wouldn’t have to re-type everything all over again, especially when I reply to questions at the various forums (which I still do, on a much more limited basis). The idea was so exciting that I started blogging and have been doing so and loving it ever since. I have since upgraded to a Treo 650 and hopefully to a Windows Mobile Treo 750 so the focus will likely shift somewhat to include the Windows Mobile Platform. I will continue to discuss and review programs and accessories for both the Palm OS Treo 650 and the Windows Mobile Treo 750 since I believe that we should never focus on a narrow mindset with respect to technology and devices. If provided with the opportunity, I would love to be able to review other mobile devices and platforms (eg. iPhone, Nokia, etc) to get a better sense of how they work.
I am first to admit that I’m NO PALM OR TECH GURU OR EXPERT (feel free to insert whatever else related here since I dislike being considered anything like that since I know I’m not) but simply just a normal Palm user, really. There is nothing special about me. There is a limit to what I know so please don’t expect me to know everything. My knowledge of the Palm and software is limited to what I’ve read and experienced. If you have any technical problems or questions, please DO NOT send me an email because I really don’t have the time to reply and answer everyone’s personal questions. I’d suggest you to please try and post your questions and problems at any of the various Palm forums like Brighthand, 1src, or Palminfocenter where the REAL gurus are. The Palm and PDA community is such a great one that I’m proud to be a part of and I hope that I can contribute as much as I can to help spread the word out about how amazing the Palm and similar devices can be and how much it can really change your life, as it has changed mine. Please check out the Links sections for an ever growing list of Palm and PDA community sites, resources that I find helpful. I am using a Dell Inspiron 8100 running on Windows 2000 (yes, I know it’s ancient but it still works fine) and I still love my laptop although it is showing its age. I may upgrade to something else but in the meantime, it’s my main machine where I do the bulk of my work, er, hobby material.
(EDIT. April 18, 2008). I have since upgraded to a newer Dell Vostro 1700 (yes, it’s a 17 inch laptop without all the bloatware running Windows XP (there’s no way I’m going Vista with all the problems)). I’m amazed at how fast Win XP loads up, and how quiet the laptop is. Even with the fan running, I can barely notice it at all. I can’t complain with a 17 inch screen either.
Originally, I created the blog (then named maceyr’s palm discovery) on Blogger hosted on Blogspot and have since decided to get my own domain name and move it over to palmdiscovery.net because it’s probably easier to memorize as a name . Unfortunately, my host, Netfirms.com has a strange way of installing WordPress (being the newbie I was, I went with their quick auto install) and end up with the current palmdiscovery.netfirms.com/nfblog/ url instead of what it should be: palmdiscovery.net AND/OR palmdiscovery.com. Originally, I was seriously considering on moving to another host and install WordPress there so that it will set up the url to what it should be, but I was experiencing a lot of problems at the other host and didn’t get much of any support from them (certainly not a “dream” host, if you get what I mean). I decided that it wasn’t worth my hassle to go through moving everything just to have the palmdiscovery.net url and deal with ongoing host and site problems.
(EDIT April 1, 2008). I have since moved on to another host and I’m much happier. Netfirms was quite frustrating sometimes and other times, okay. Although they were somewhat faster at responding when the site was down or whatever (compare to the other “dream” host which took days), the one day when all of Netfirms was down the entire day, it was the last straw for me. So, I got another host. But, with a domain, that means that I have to pay to register the domain name(s) and for the hosting (so that means money).
Although I truly LOVE doing what I do, I can’t really afford to pay for hosting and domain fees and other expenses to keep this up and running day after day. I don’t mind the time and effort to compose the posts, reviews, videos, but it is costly to keep this site running. As well, I do try to give away most of the products I’ve received and reviewed but out of my own pocket. If you wish for more giveaways, I would need your help and support. I do request that you please consider either donating via PayPal or purchasing software or products with my affiliate links (eg. Boxwave, esellerate, Handango, Fortte, Palm US, Palm UK, etc) so that I can keep this site running. That is really my main reason for having these “ads” to help pay for the fees. I don’t get paid to have them up as they are affiliate links and only get money if people make purchases after clicking on these links. I certainly don’t expect to make a living (you’re kidding, right?) from them and I don’t wish it to be more than a hobby or a small site anyway. I have no plans to expand the website into something much bigger and am perfectly satisfied and happy with it remaining a small niche website. So, I thank everyone in advance for considering on helping me out. Every penny does help! Thanks! I do try to donate a portion of the proceeds to World Vision Canada and/or Plan Canada and I will do it at the end of each year. In 2006, a $20 donation to Plan Canada was made purchasing a bee keeping kit for an Egyptian family. More details about that can be found in this posting. In, 2007 $85 was donated purchasing a birth registration for a child in Sudan, pigs for a family in China and clean water for a child in Benin. Thanks to your generosity, I was able to do so on behalf of Palm Discovery and I’m very grateful for that.
I do have affiliations with some (not all) vendors and suppliers. Some (not all) of the links in the blog are affiliate links and normally they will include special identification in the link such as an affiliate id number or other identifable recognition as well as through “cookies”. I will receive a small percentage of sales that result from purchases made with the special affiliate links. These links or “ads” do not pay me any money by being shown on the site nor do I receive any money even if they are clicked on. The only way I can receive any money is if people purchase products with those links, thus they are called affiliate links. I try to disclose my affiliations with various vendors and suppliers in my reviews so that it’s out in the open.
Currently, these are the suppliers and vendors that I have an affiliation with:
Amazon, Apple USA & Canada, Astraware, Audible.com, Audible.de, Bluehost, Boxwave, ClickApps, ClickGamer, Cordgo, Dell, eforcity, eGrips, eSellerate, Fictionwise, Handango, InfoSystemsPro, Lingvosoft, North Central Comm, NuShield, OneNetwork, Palm France, Palm Germany, Palm US, Palm UK, Parallels, PDATopSoft, Proporta, ProTravelGear, ScotteVest, ShareASale, SimplyAudioBooks, Skype, Smart-link, Stuffbak, TextLink Ads, TotalPDA
With regards to Softpocket.ca, only those purchases with a specially provided coupon code on this site (ie. only those I’ve reviewed) will benefit Palm Discovery. I do not receive any proceeds from other product purchases at Softpocket that I did not review or if the coupon code wasn’t used during checkout.
I DO NOT have any affiliations with the following vendors and suppliers but thank them for supporting Palm Discovery through their generous donation of product samples and others for the reviews:
Brando, JAVOEdge, Otterbox, PDAir, StylusCentral, USB Cell (Moxia), USB Fever, Used PDA Parts, Urban Tool.
From time to time, I do hold giveaway contests of product samples I received from various vendors and suppliers. Everyone in the world is eligible (I hate contests where it’s only limited to those living in a certain country and thus I’m not eligible). I will pay the shipping to send the prize to the winner anywhere in the world, but will NOT be responsible for any fees, or charges that your country may impose on it. If you wish for more giveaways and contests, please consider supporting Palm Discovery by either making a donation via PayPal or by purchasing products that I have an affiliation with. Most times, simply either submitting a Palm Explorer Profile (a bit of info about yourself and what device you own) will give you a few extra chances at winning or just commenting to a particular review posting will be sufficient for contest entry. It depends on the contest so please read the contest rules for the instructions.
As disclosed, I do have a variety of affiliations with various vendors and suppliers. I do make a point of disclosing my affiliations in the review to make it clear where there may be some conflict of interest. I do try to provide as balanced of a review as I can, giving out both the positives and negatives of each product I review. Keep in mind that everyone’s opinion are different and what I may think as the best thing since sliced bread or vice versa, may not be what you personally will think. My job is to try to be as objective as I can and I WILL NEVER slam any product or provide bad or truly negative reviews. The negative or not so positive view and points will normally be found in the area where I discuss my “observations”. This is where I will point out a product’s flaws or things I’ve discovered both positive and negative as well as my own personal suggestions on what I would like in future enhancements or updates. Again, these are always “my observations” so yours may be different. My approach is always from a consumer point of view giving the perspective of showing how something works, feels, etc presented in a way that is easy to understand to a regular consumer without a lot of the technical jargon (I try). Don’t expect my reviews to dig so deep into the nitty gritty and technical problems since my objective is really to show a product and introduce it so that everyone is familiar with it so that you do do your own exploring. So, don’t expect a truly technical review from me. There are plenty of other bigger and commercial sites that will do that. My reviews are always with the perspective of showing something that you may or may not be aware of as well as showing how it looks, works, etc so that you can get a much better idea and maybe help you make a decision. Keep in mind that I’m just a regular Palm consumer and owner and this is a hobbyist and enthusiast site not a huge commercial one.
Time constraints and limitations of timeliness of product reviews
As well, since I’m the only person who keeps this blog going (writing, video, photos, web design, layout, etc), please keep in mind that sometimes it may take a while before a review is published, especially product reviews since I have to first create a video, then convert it and do whatever tweakings are necessary (ie. brighten it up, etc), then upload it to YouTube or other video sites. I also have to take pictures of the product, make any necessary adjustments and transfer them over. And finally, the write up. Because most of my reviews tend to be somewhat detailed to make it as helpful as possible, it does take time. Keep in mind that I am pretty much, just a regular person like you, without all the financial backing and resources like the bigger commercial sites, the videos do not have all the flashy intros, music and whatever else. That goes with a lot of other things with this site so please excuse me for a boring looking site. Again, I’m not that proficient in web design (actually not at all) although I do type out all the html coding (my limited knowledge of html), the site may seem quite bland compared to others with nicer themes and designs. This site is not a business for me, but more of a hobby, something that I enjoy doing. Maybe sometime in the future, that may change, but I really enjoy it being a hobby and not ‘work’. My main objective here is to share what I know and just contribute ideas to the Palm and PDA community and hopefully help out people with their own discovery journey.
The reviews are done in a first come first served basis and I try to push them out each week, although nowadays it seems that my son and family is taking a much bigger chunk of my time that I can’t stick with that schedule anymore. And I’ve been forced to shut down for a few hours each day to devote to the family (I do look forward to that extra family time away from blogging) so you can figure out that my online time is much more limited. I will now post when the review is ready. I normally send an email to the vendors or supplier of the product with the direct link to the review once it’s posted. Be assured that I am working on them and will publish it as soon as I can. But, if I have several products to review (which they seem to arrive all at the same time as I’ve noticed), they will all be done in the order that I receive them. So please be patient, especially since I do try to post throughout the week in addition to helping out at PalmAddicts and TreoBits from time to time as well as participating at other Palm forums. Most of my time is spent writing for new postings, or going back over older postings and editing the material. I do a lot of revising and editing of older postings if I find that there’s something new to add, so even if you don’t notice anything new, be assured that I’m working and writing (practically chained to my computer). As I’ve mentioned already, besides writing for my Palm Discovery blog, I also contribute to Palm Addicts and periodically help out at Treobits as well. Most of my contributions to Palm Addicts and Treobits are more news related while I try to contribute more detailed stuff here. Of course, I do write reviews for Palm Addicts and later put them here, normally adding the Flash simulation/demos to make it even better. In addition, I do check out and help out when I can at many of the Palm forums like Brighthand (my “other” home), 1src, Everythingtreo, TreoCentral, mytreo, Palminfocenter, PDABlast, etc in addition to the official Palm forum. Being a Mom, I’m also busy at home, taking care of my son, taking him to his various lessons, sometimes helping out at school activities, etc. On some days, I can be a bit late in posting due to something that “came up” that took away the time. Or, with Audible postings, the delay a lot of times is from their end since they don’t upload the files until a certain time. And with the This Is Audible files, I actually do listen to it to put out the top ten count downloads list. That also translate into time. I do try to get things done as soon as I can. So, besides all those and taking care of home, I’d say I’m usually quite busy.
I am a Palm Addict, and an avid reader and an Associate Writer of Sammy McLoughlin’s extremely popular Palm Addicts website that is updated frequently during the day. I feel so honored and privileged to be in such great company of writers and be associated with Palm Addict and it’s been a lot of fun to contribute to the site. I am a stay at home mom who loves technology and gadgets as well as writing. This is my way of integrating all three of my loves (writing, Palm, helping people) together and sharing my love of the Palm in hopes of helping people discover and unleash the amazing power of the Palm “Pilot” device.
My interests include learning about anything that interests me. I enjoy learning about new things. I love everything to do with technology. Other interests include stocks and investing, business news, history. Music tastes range from classical music to rock, pop, jazz, world music (especially cuban and latin), classical vocal and some rap and country. I’m not into the “current’ stuff but I love the older stuff. Favorite artists just like the music taste range from Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Doors, Metallica, Eagles, Prince, Patsy Cline, Vanessa Williams, Bangles, Duran Duran, Beatles, Roberto Faz, Struntz & Farah, Mozart and a lot of others. Told you I love a variety of music. I try to stay as open about music as possible because there’s so much to love about all kinds of music.
I really hope you enjoy your stay here and journey with me along this amazing path of discovery of the Palm device and the vast world that it opens up. Please feel free to drop me a line via the Contact form and share me your stories, ideas, and Palm related stuff. I’d love to hear from you! But please don’t send me emails with TECHNICAL help related questions like “help me this isn’t working” or “how do I do this” or problems with the Palm as I really don’t have the time to email a reply for the growing number of technical questions I’m getting daily. Please pose your question at any of the many Palm forums that I’ve provided in the Links sections. Thanks!.
Feel free to wander around the site and search for topics you are interested in. I have set up del.icio.us tags in each posting. Clicking on any of the tags will bring up a page listing of postings that are tagged with that specific tag. For example, notepad will bring up all postings that have the tag “notepad“. Or, you can check out the Archive Listing and pick out the postings you wish to view. Or search using either the Technorati search box or the WordPress search box in the sidebar. Originally, I was providing links at the top of the postings to help readers navigate chronologically through my posts, but found that spam bots were going through the blog via these links. I have since removed them for that purpose. I’d suggest having the Archive Listings page open and then decide on which post you want to read and refer back to it. Please accept my apologies. Spam bots are now starting to become a major menace on the site and I’m hoping to keep them off.
And this is what my “workplace” looks like. Actually, I don’t even have a desk (sad, I know) among other things. Note the HUGE mug of coffee (1 L/34oz) that I have every morning. Too bad I haven’t found any bigger thermo mugs. I guess I’m probably the only one who wants anything bigger.