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Likes the Palmtop

Likes the Palmtop

"What are you doing with that little thing, playing video games? Don't your thumbs get tired?"

You may have heard this inquisitive drivel just as often as I... the irritatingly curious and ridiculing questions from the poor naive souls who have never heard of a Palmtop computer.

In my case, these questions are coming from people in the television production industry... including engineers and operators who toss around $80,000 cameras like they were old teddy bears. But when they see a producer using a nifty hi-tech gadget, well, that's worthy of a few good digs. Then they see the 20-page script spit out of my DeskJet 320, and they clam up rather quickly.

I write and produce various home improvement and remodeling series for cable television (including The Learning Channel's The Home Pro and Home & Garden Television's Dream House). If any of you have ever done any home remodeling, then you know it's tough to plan in advance. In the past, I would research like a panicked college student, then write a clean script timed to the second for a half-hour show. But then when I went into the field with that script, I'd have to scratch nearly every word and start over because the remodeling projects would take many unexpected and frustrating turns. Now I show up at locations with a solid outline, and that's where the magic of the Palmtop comes in.

I wander around the project for inspiration, and lean over subcontractors' shoulders to get specifics on the task at hand. The Memo function is what I use to write my scripts. It's simple and clean. And within minutes, I can print out a script that our host can memorize right then and there. My little 200LX is one hell of an efficient tool that gives me more mobility than a laptop ever could.

And outside of work... with the aid of the Phone and Appointment Book functions, I've sent out so many birthday and anniversary cards in the last two years, Hallmark should be paying me dividends. The art of letter/card writing has been lost for a few decades, and my Palmtop and I are trying to bring it back.

Oh, and one of my favorite parts of owning a Palmtop... I keep a list of critically-acclaimed movies in the Note Taker function. I have about 200 movie titles on my list currently. Most were recommended by either film critic Leonard Maltin, or the fat guy on Siskel & Ebert. Other video store patrons often ask what I'm doing, then end up renting a title from my screen.

What really annoys me about this Palmtop business is that nobody has ever seen or heard of a Palmtop. If anything, they've heard of Apple's "Newton" (which I tried and hated). Everyone has heard of HP printers. What's the holdup for the marketing of Palmtops?

So friends, wave your Palmtops proudly. We're apparently a small club, but a damn smart one.

Peter Clem

Edina, MN

iPhone Life magazine


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