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Lots of bite-sized HP Palmtop tips in this issue. In addition to the normal, packed, five pages of Quick and Basic Tips, we added two pages of tips about using popular products. Then Hewlett Packard technical support contributed its answers to its most frequently asked questions, plus HP describes an excellent, extrasafe routine for backing up data. Expanded letters plus the User to User column offer additional abbreviated insights into HP Palmtop computing.

As usual, our user profile offers ideas about how to use the HP Palmtop. Less usual is the fact that Bill Blohm, our profile contributor, is deaf. Bill describes unique ways of using the Palmtop to assist him in his day to day activities.

For those who find that the built-in Palmtop Personal Information Manager (PIM) applications are not sufficient for their needs, we look at using Contact Managers on the Palmtop. Contact Management lets you organize and integrate your phone book, appointment book, todo list, memos, and contact history around the people with whom you deal. We look at ACT!, GoldMine, Pocket Sales Force, and the built-in HP 100LX/ 200LX data base program as contact managers. Also, Mac users will find all the information they need to transfer data between a Mac and an HP Palmtop.

Finally, as our cover indicates, some of the best and most useful ways to extend Palmtop functionality do not cost anything. Programmers enjoy the challenge of coming up with the new HP Palmtop software applications that they need. Then they kindly share them with the rest of us. We put many of these programs on our annual free Subscriber PowerDisk.

One of my favorites is Gilles Kohl's Vertical Reader (VR). VR gives the HP Palmtop yet another more unique application -- it turns the HP Palmtop into a "book" which you can read by turning the Palmtop 90 degrees. Actually, the HP Palmtop can become a variety of books, depending on the text file VR reads. Many of these books in electronic format are available thanks to Project Gutenberg. In this issue you will see a list of some of the books available and how you can augment your Palmtop library.

We decided to add a second 1.44 Megabyte floppy to this issue's The HP Palmtop Paper ON DISK, which contains some of our favorite classics. We had fun selecting electronic text (ETEXT) for the Disk. We include Shakespere's MacBeth and Taming of the Shrew, Dicken's Christmas Carol, The Wizard of Oz, the Autobiography of Ben Franklin, Flatland, Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the Basekervilles, and a number of others. (For those of you not familiar with Flatland, it is about a two dimensional world whose inhabitants our straight lines, triangles, squares, hexagons and so on -- social class is based on the number and regularity of one's sides. One day a sphere enters the plane of Flatland. He finds it very difficult to convince inhabitants of the existence of a third dimension, even though as he cuts through the plane of Flatland, he "magically" transforms himself from a point to a circle to a point and then leaves the plane of Flatland, disappearing from the Flatlander's view. From his perspective above the plane, he claims to Flatland inhabitants that he can see "inside" them. He does manage to convert a square to his way of thinking but then the square cannot convince the sphere the analogous possibility of a fourth dimension.)

Whether you have the self-reflecting bent of Flatland's square, Ben Franklin, or MacBeth ("Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in its petty pace to the last syllable of recorded time"), or you are a mystery or science fiction buff, I hope you find pleasure in this new Palmtop application as well as make use of other free palmtop software.

iPhone Life magazine

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