Sunday, June 08, 2003

Tomorrow I am due for my weekly comment, so I am going to take advantage of some time I have free today to publish my comment today.

This week comment is about PDAs. First I'd like to tell that I am a happy user of a Palm m505 PDA, it is being with me for over two years and it works great, I am starting to feel cramp with my m505 and I am planning in upgrading soon, but you know I am moving away from the topic, I want this weekly comment useful to a lot of people but one group in particular is the newbie’s in the PDA world, I think that people should be able to use the full power of their PDAs and don't feel overwhelmed for the amount of options out there, so I am going to layout a path to try to take advantage of the features of the PalmOS and third party applications, it is up to you if you want to follow it or not, what I guarantee you is that if you follow this path you will use your Palm PDA a lot and you will enjoy. There are like a thousand ways of using it, I am just offering what works for me in hope that it works for you.

The basics

As any path we should start with the basics, first there is a lot of PDAs out there, which should you buy? this is easy whichever you like the most and that fits your budget. As you know my PDA is old but still cover my needs, so I guess this should be a personal decision, you can go from the basic Zire all the way to the fancy Sony NZ, again this is a personal matter. Now the next step is how can I effectively use it?, again this is another tricky question but I hope I can be a lot more helpful with this question.


Obviously you should have a ton of reasons for spending 100-800 dollars plus taxes and extended warranty, but I bet one of those is that you need an effective calendar, where you can input all the important events of you work and personal live, from birthdays to anniversaries to meetings and business lunches. Now the basic date book that comes with any PalmOS PDA is nice but after a while you will find it insufficient. Here I recommend that you get a date book replacement and here I know of three great options:

1. Datebk
2. Agendus
3. MyWeek.

I use to be a Datebk user and I liked the product but to me it offered way to many options as well as Agendus, my needs are basics, I just want to be able to categorize the use of my time, use colors so in a easy way I can see what I have to do and in which context (personal, work, to-do’s , etc) and I wanted to be able to hide some repeat events that I don’t care to see every time (like buying the lotto ticket every Tuesday and Friday). Based on these needs I ended up with MyWeek a simple and marvelous program that allow me to do all of this and a little bit more. This program uses little memory (I have only 8mb so I have to be frugal about this) and offers me all what I need. Obviously your needs could be different but my first recommendations to you, use the KISS principle every time that you can (Keep It Simple Stupid). Datebk and Agendus are great what with so many options that I doubt there is someone out there that use all the options, it’s like Microsoft Word, how many users really use the full power of this applications? How many of these same users will be more than happy with Microsoft Works? Or a simpler version of Word? Count me in, I do use a lot word but believe me, I don’t use 10% of its capabilities, same thing with Datebk and Agendus, great programs but since I don’t use all the features why should I use them? MyWeek gives me what I need and nothing less or more.

Now I know that probably you already know where you can buy Palm software, but anyway I recommend using great site, great prices.

I hope this comment was helpful to you, if you have any ideas or other comments please email me to

See you next week

Monday, June 02, 2003

My idea is that every Monday I will try to post the though of the week,with ocasional updates in between, ok, let's start with todays thought which is about PDAs.

Many people out there doesn't see the tremendous potential of a PDA in their life, it is amazing how they can help you with everything, from the simplest thing like keeping your schedule which I know for some people is critical, not only for the busy executive but also for the soccer mom, I mean I can imagine handling the schedule of 3 children without a PDA, I mean it is possible but with a PDA is just 10 times easier. I use my palm for everything, to keep my checking account balance, to keep my timesheet ( I am a contractor ), to keep the office telephone list, my customer phone list, my wife's tax deductions, to organize my life and projects, reference material, read books, write, internet access, etc, etc, etc. One of my goals of this blog is to allow other people check how I use my PDA (Palm m505) in improving my life, starting with the simple tasks like scheduling, address and to-do to the full fledge relational databases. So each of the people that checks this blog should be able to choose which of the different scenarios fits their lives. I hope you like, please email me if you like any of my ideas, if you don't like them, just don't use it ;)

Gabriel Castellanos

Sunday, June 01, 2003

This blog is a space for me to vent my personal views about life, inmigration and PDAs and any other topic that flashes through my mind. I like the idea of a blog since allows me to express my ideas in a simple format without all the trouble of actually creating a homepage, I hope someone finds my ideas interesting.

Just as a background I am a software engineer, I was born in Mexico but destiny brought me to the USA, currently I live in Albany, NY a wonderful small city but as you will learn sometimes is tough to live in. I love life, mobile technology and the USA, that's the reason behind the odd title, but enough of me, let's start this journey.

Gabriel Castellanos