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Palm Tungsten C




Palm Tungsten C - Customizing Tungsten C

The default T|C settings are fine, but there's plenty you can do to customize your Palm. I've added quite a few applications, and have totally changed the layout of the tabs and screens. Here's a little bit of what I've done.

Updated: 5/02/2005

Screen and layout

OK, I accept that this is fairly childish stuff, but I really didn't like the default look of the Palm. It was just too cartoony (see left-hand picture). So I've added a skin and icon set, reduced the icon size, added a background image, and changed the layout (see right-hand picture):

Default screen Skinned screen

That was all done with a great little application called ZLauncher ($12 bargain) which allows quick and easy skinning. There's a host of sites with great - and generally free - skin downloads, icon sets and more. The skin I'm using is called ChaNinja_OS5 with Universal Icons. The screenshots were done with a free application called HRCapt.

Applications

In addition to the default apps that come built-in there is a vast range of free, cheap, and expensive add-ons you can get. Here's a summary of the ones I have, listed by which 'tab' I have sorted by on my T|C:

    Main

  • Date Book (default application). This synchs perfectly with my work calendar system (MeetingMaker). Essential.
  • Memo Pad (default application). Great for notes etc. Synchs with my MeetingMaker system. Essential
  • Documents To Go (upgrade). The default I got was version 5, which worked fine until I upgraded a mail package which requires a later version. I now use version 7 (mid-cost upgrade of about $30). Docs To Go allows you to create and read Word/Excel/Powerpoint files on your PDA.
  • To Do List (default application). Integrates with Date Book and synchs with MeetingMaker.
  • Versamail (default application). Excellent e-mail package which allows multiple POP and IMAP accounts. I use it for POP. The IMAP support is fine but for some reason doesn't support SSL security on 'send', which limited it for my work system.
  • SnapperMail (purchase). I got this as it supports full IMAP, including SSL support for send and receive. The Enterprise version that allows all this is expensive (around $70), but is exceptionally good. It integrates well with Documents To Go but requires version 6 or later of that application.
  • WiFi set-up (default application). Allows you to connect to WiFi points.
  • SetAutoOff (free download). I downloaded this little gizmo because by default the Palm switches off after 3 minutes inactivity. I need mine to stay on longer if I'm referring to notes during meetings. This free programme allows you to set longer periods before the Palm switches off.

    Games

  • SFCave (free download). Great little game. Compulsive.
  • Crosswords (free download). This was free with another software purchase. New crosswords daily. Fine for passing some idle time.
  • Joe's Destruction (free download). Good 'Breakout' clone.
  • Shuffle (free download). I think this was a bonus package with something else. A simple puzzle programme.
  • Solitaire (deafult application). About as fascinating as the Windows version.
  • TetriCrisis (free download). Good Tetris clone.

    Utilities

  • Addresses (default application). Handy address book which integrates with both email packages I use.
  • BackupBuddy VFS (purchase). Excellent 'backup' application, that backs up everything on the Palm to your SD card. It can be set to perform an automatic backup daily. I've not had need to use it (yet), but it means if I do crash I can restore everything while on the move. Update: I had a full on crash tonight (10/4/05) trying out some new software, and could only recover via a hard reset. BackupBuddy VFS had me up and running in a couple of minutes with no lost data.
  • e-Reader (purchase). This is the Palm e-book reader. There are several others on the market, but this is the first one I've tried. It's simple to use, clear to read (I didn't buy the optional extra fonts), and has decent bookmarking and navigational tools. So far I've only read one short book, but reading was fine and I'm likely to use it again. Note: e-readers tend to be format specific. This one reads the DOC format (which ain't the same as the M$ .doc format).
  • CFB Timer (free download). A simple timer that counts down a pre-set time. Great for boiling eggs. There are lots of other 'timers' available.
  • Calc (default application). A useful if basic calculator.
  • Adobe Reader (free download). This allows you to read pdf files on the Palm. It works in conjunction with a desktop application which converts pdfs into the correct format.
  • FileZ (free download). Excellent free application which gives you more control over files.
  • Photos (default application). Allows you to view jpegs and other image files.
  • SplashPhoto (semi-free). This was free with my purchase of Documents to Go. It's slightly more sophisticated than 'Photos'.
  • Expenses (default application). For managing expenses.
  • Note Pad (default application). Allows you to write or draw on the Palm screen.

Note Pad screenshot

  • World Clock (default application). Get the correct time in countless locations across the world.
  • HandZipperLite (free application). Allows you to manage zipped files on the Palm.

    System

  • Card Info (default application). Utility for managing data cards.
  • HotSync (default application). Utility for synching between the Palm and the desktop.
  • Keyboard (default application). Instructions for the keyboard.
  • Prefs (default application). Utility to manage a wide range of preferences, including security, hot-keys, alerts and so on.
  • VPN Setup (default application). For managing virtual network access.
  • ZLauncher (purchased). Excellent utility for managing skins, tabs and files. Well worth the $12.00 it cost.

    Web

  • Web (default application). Basic web browser. It works quite well, but can't deal with pages that are set to launch in a new window. You'll probably want to upgrade, but I still use Web for a number of sites.
  • Web Pro (purchased). Upgraded web browser that deals with pop-ups, javascript and other advanced (?) web design features. Both browsers mentioned here have the option to use pre-set proxies which can aid download time. You can also set your own proxy in both apps. Browsing on a Palm needs some patience, but is a useful option to have.

    Unfiled

  • SuperWaba (free download). It's a web enhancement, but that's about all I know about it.
  • PrintMe (free download). Utility for printing direct from your Palm. You need to set up a PrintMe enabled printer.
  • HRCaptDM (free download). Excellent utility for creating screenshots like those on this page.

    Other bits and pieces
    In addition to software, I've also invested in a 256MB SD expansion card (PNY Technologies). I got this mainly for on-the-road backing up, but I'm also storing images and documents on it. The one other essential was a charging cable which plugs into a USB port and allows the T|C to charge up when I'm not using the main cradle.

Palm Tungsten C: Introduction
Skinning with ZLauncher
OperaMini on a Palm
EiP PDA site

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back all text copyright Paul Cecil, 2005