Bringing Palm to This Old PC

At this point in its history, even the newest Palm handheld
is kind of retro. That means the Palm itself — and the
software that comes with it — is quite friendly to older
PCs.

Now I have the Palm Desktop software running on the XP box
at work, the iBook G4 at home and This Old PC — the Pentium
MMX 333 MHz.

The software is very, very fast — great for older hardware
(you need USB, at least for the Palm Tungsten E that I'm
using). For the moment, the Palm is changing the way I
approach computing. I can write just about everywhere and
either save my work as e-mail and send it when I "hot sync"
the Palm, or create text files in the Palm Memos application
and pick them up after the same hot sync operation.

The Palm also comes with a program called Documents to Go,
whlch can read and write Microsoft Office-format files.
It works very well.

Besides the Memos, Documents to Go and VersaMail applications,
I also use the Palm's Tasks as a running "to do" list (having
the list synced on multiple computers AND with me on the
Palm is key — as it is for all of this. I was also able
to bring both my Outlook contacts and Yahoo! Mail address
book into the Palm's Contacts program. This also helped
me bring all of that data into the OS X Address Book —
which doesn't accept the .CSV files from the old version
of Outlook in This Old PC, but does work with the vCards
generated by Palm Desktop.

Another thing — the Palm's VersaMail e-mail app works very
well with Outlook to send mail. They somehow sync together
— and you can originate and receive Outlook mail on your
Palm.

It's a little dicier with POP and IMAP mail, but it does
work. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to upgrade
VersaMail, and only version 3 allows for SSL on the outgoing
server. The current Palms will do just about any e-mail,
but this older Tungsten E, with VersaMail 2.6, won't do
Yahoo or Gmail.

Still, I can use my DSL Extreme and FastMail accounts, as
well as the Outlook. I believe you can sync up to eight
accounts. And with the current Palms, all of the popular
mail providers are available.

There are also other e-mail programs for Palm, SnapperMail
and Agendus Mail among them. Those programs seem to excel
with either a Wi-fi or cell-phone-connected Palm. For hot-syncing
multiple e-mail accounts, VersaMail is the only way to go.
But if you have an older Palm and just need to sync one
e-mail account, the other apps are definitely worth looking
at.