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Child's Play on the Palmtop

When routines are bogging you down, moments of play with a child or child's toy can be a welcome break.


Next time you are in a restaurant waiting for your food, consider how your Palmtop could entertain the child sitting next to you (or the child in your own heart). Games are an obvious choice, but other features also work well.

For a young child who knows the alphabet, something simple like entering themselves in PhoneBook can be fun. Next suggest they enter Phone Book records for made-up creatures or people.

Ask them write you a secret message in Appointment Book that you will read tomorrow. They can choose a time in your next day's schedule, press (ENTER) and type "secret message from___." Tell them to press (F3) (note) so they have a plenty of room for their message.

You can make up guessing games with World Time and the Map. For a detailed World Time game see p. 3 of HP Palmtop Paper, May/June 1995.

Children always enjoy knowing how many days until their birthday or until summer vacation. Ask them to open HPCALC, and press Menu, Applications, Date Calcs. Highlight "First Date," and press (F10) (Today), (ENTER) if the current date is not already displayed. Show the child how to enter an upcoming date following the format shown in First Date. Have them press (F8) for 365 day year so that the number of days between dates will appear. (They could also check how many days they have been alive by entering their birth date as first date.)

Children will enjoy games like Sokoban <ON DISK ICON>, Worm <ON DISK ICON>, Pac Man, and Bubble <ON DISK ICON>.

In the Sokoban game, the player must move the face (shown in the upper right of the playing area) with the arrow keys to push the balls to the goal (black squares). The configuration differs in each game. HP-SOK.ZIP is postcard-ware.

Children, Softball and the Palmtop Conrad Cox offers this comment: "Some weekends my daughter's softball games are hours away from home. While I drive, she likes to play games on the Palmtop. Her favorites are Solitaire <ON DISK ICON>, Golf <ON DISK ICON>, Dominoes <ON DISK ICON> and Yahtzee <ON DISK ICON>, all written by Curtis Cameron. They occupy her for hours on a long drive.

The other way my daughter uses the Palmtop is to check her ongoing softball statistics in Lotus 123. At the start of a season I build a spreadsheet that compiles her batting average, slugging percentage, number of hits, put outs and assists, etc. I haven't designed a user interface for it. But she knows exactly where to look to find the totals."

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