Friday, October 17, 2003

Famous Last Words

  • I'll never get a PDA. I can barely decipher my own handwriting. No little box is going to be able to read it.

  • Anyway, I refuse to learn a new alphabet just to please some overpriced piece of technology.

  • Anyway, I would drop it, or lose it.

  • Anyway, I love paper and pens.

  • Anyway, I don't need one. My Daytimer may be big and bulky, but it contains everything I need. Pretty much. Usually. If I carry a notebook, too, and a couple of paperbacks to read.

  • Anyway, I can remember everything I need to do.

  • Anyway, I have the laptop.

Then Doreen told me I could download books to a PDA. There are a lot of wonderful books now out of copyright, and I could keep Saki's Chronicles of Clovis in my pocket. Hmmmm.

Then I started using the Palm software on my laptop as an organizing tool, and I loved it. I could remember to return library books on time! I could track what I was doing! Maybe an organizer was a good idea.

Then I discovered that I could get a keyboard and just type stuff into it. So I started keeping an eye on eBay and Craigslist. Eventually I found what I wanted: a Palm m500 with all the extras, going really cheap. (Partly because it's black-and-white, and everyone seems to want color on their PDA.) It came complete with two cradles, a synching cable, a metal case, a thumb keyboard, a near-full-size keyboard that folds into its own leather case, several other unopened gadgets, and the m500 its ownself: tiny yet powerful. I named her Alyx, after the short but kick-ass Joanna Russ character.

Then I noticed it didn't have any styli. I went out to Staples and, for a moderate percentage of what I got the whole thing for, I bought some styli.

What kind of seller was this, I asked myself. Clearly someone who buys all the latest high-tech toys with all the gadgets, but doesn't necessarily use it. Plenty of this stuff was still in its virginal blisterpak.

Is he too cheap or simply too distracted to include the styli? Or maybe passive-aggressive. "She's getting all this stuff for so little money. Let her buy her own damn stylus. She can have everything but my rod."

Now I had the Palm. I wanted to synch it to the laptop. I had not even plugged in the cradle yet. I tried to start Palm Desktop to find out what I needed to do. No dice. I'm getting a #-50 error message.

I messed with extensions and a dozen other issues. Nada.

I deleted and reinstalled. Still nothing.

I downloaded an older version. Nope.

I cursed with vigor and imagination. I'd already set up everything on the laptop the way I like it. Now it was all gone.

Ah, hell. I decided I should just run it off Michele's PC. The interface on the PC is not nearly as good as on the Mac, but I can live with that.

Since then I've been stuffing goodies into it. The contents of my Yahoo address book. The software to run the two keyboards. Endless lists. Birthdays for most of my family. Social engagements for the next few weeks. Ebooks and reader software. The morning and evening prayers for this month from the Book of Common Prayer.

I am also considering ways to decorate the aluminum case. Stickers, model paint, decoupage. . . . I want to create something unique.

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