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Essential Palm Pilot Goodies

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This page describes what I feel are the essential programs that are usually (if not always) loaded on my Palm Pilot. It also contains some general hints on how to install programs, and tricks that I have discovered that make using my palm easier and more fun. This page is somewhat dated, and some of the programs have been replaced by more recent versions, but this should at least give you some idea of the kinds of things that I do with a palm pilot.

This is a work in progress. If you have any corrections or suggestions for additions, please let me know

There are no games here. These are serious toys! :^)

The files on this disk might be out of date. You should check one of the many web sites for more recent versions. Some are shareware, which means that you should pay for them after the trial period. Others are trial versions; you can get a full version after you pay for it.



Hacks are programs that change the way your Palm behaves. For example, FindHack changes the way that the Find button works.


Utilities are background jobs that make it easier to use your Palm.

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These are programs that you run to do various things.

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PC Programs

The following programs actually run on a PC, but are Pam related.

Installation Procedures

Most of the files you download will be zipped files. These are compressed files containing several larger files compressed into a single file. Double click on one of the files to see if you have a program that will unzip files. If not, you will have to get such a file. The most popular ones are WinZip and PkZip.

When you unzip a file, you will extract the files into some directory. I recommend that you create a different directory for each package that you unzip. If you place these directories in your add-on directory, it will be easier to install them.

Start the Palm Install Tool, and press the "Add" button. Browse to the directory containing the package you want to install. You can check the directory first for any specific install instructions for the package you are installing. Usually, you want to add all of the files that the install tool will see.

After you have added all the packages you want, click on the "Done" button. The next time you run HotSync, the new files will be installed on your Palm.

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Tips Tricks, and Other Nice Things

This is a small collection of tips. Entire books could be (and have been :^) written on this topic. If you think of any that you think should be added, please let me know

Date Book

Click on the "Menu" button, then select "Options" and "Preferences". You may then decide if you normally want the alarm on or off for new entries. Also, what is the default time before an event you want an alarm, the type of alarm sound, how often it should ring, and how many times. You can also specify the start and stop display times. Experiment with the optionos until you have found what works best for you.

To create a new entry for a time not shown, simply click the time field of an empty line. Then select the time you want.

When looking at the Week view, a dot above a column indicates an untimed event; a line below the column indicates an event that is later than the last time shown. If you touch a shaded area, the details of that event will be shown at the top of the screen. If you touch a blank area, you will be taken to the Day view for that day.

To add a reminder to call somebody, create a new entry, and then type "Command-L" for phone lookup. You will start a Phone Book search. Find the entry of who you want to call and press the "Add" button.

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Tips and Tricks

Phone Book

When adding entries for companies, add the company name in the Last Name field. Then when you do a phone lookup in Date Book, the name of the company will appear. If the name field is blank, only the phone number will appear for a Phone Lookup.

Use a Note to record store hours, directions, your customer information, names of kids, etc.

Touch an entry when in List view, and you will see the details for that entry. If you use the "Page Up/Down" rocker, you can page through your phone book. If you touch the screen when viewing an entry, it is the same as clicking the "Edit" button.

When in List view, if you touch the Note icon at the far right, you will go directly to the Note.

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Tips and Tricks

Memo Application

The first line of the Memo is the name of the memo. These normally appear in alphabetic order. If you start a line with one or two spaces, that entry will appear at the very top. I use this trick to force several entries to be the first few entries. This saves me having to scroll down and find them.

Memos are of limited size. If you plan to do a lot of writing, or want to read large files, consider using Documents instead of Memos. Then use the application Smart Doc to read and/or write them.

If you have a lot of information to enter, you can use your PC and the Palm Desktoop application to do that. Then, when you are done, HotSync to transfer the data to your Palm.

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Tips and Tricks


Memos are limited as to how big they can get. They are great for jotting quick notes, but not for anything long. I use Documents for that.

A document file is very similar to a memo, but it can be very large. The application Smart Doc can read and write Document files. I use this for anything from storing Church report files on my Palm to writing notes from my Scripture studies.

You can write a document on your Palm by using Smart Doc. There is an icon of a pencil at the top of the screen. If there is a line through the pencil, the Document is read-only; you can read the document, but not change it. By touching that icon, you can change it so you can change the document.

If you have a large text file on your PC, you can make it into a Document file. If you have a MS-Word docucment, you can save it as Text, and then you can make the text file into a Document. The easiest way to convert a text file into a Document file is to use the makedocW program. This will bring up a window that you can use to select a text file and have it converted into a Document file.

There is also a PC program called makedoc. This is a DOS type program that you must run from a Console Window (aka MS-DOS window). I use this program inside BAT files for text files that I frequently create on my PC and covert. For example, I have a number of report files that I convert and always have up-to-date versions on my Palm.

The makedoc program will also convert Document files back into Text files. The makedocW program doesn't do this, so if you want to create text files from your Document files, you will have to use this program.

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Tips and Tricks

Using Categories

You can use categories to break your collections into smaller ones. This is especially useful for the Memo (and Document) programs. By assigning different categories to different types of files, you can save time trying to find the file you want. For example, I have different categories for memos. One is for my own personal use, one for Church, one for Business. By selecting a different category (using the choice list at the top right of the screen), I can have a smaller set of files to search.

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