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Preface

Preface

Palm devices have evolved over the almost ten years since the first Palm Pilot. The original Palm Pilot had a black-and-white screen with a resolution of 160 x 160. The only sounds were beeps from a tiny speaker. It had 128KB of RAM and only the basic applications were available (Date Book, Address Book, To Do List, MemoPad, and Calculator). The original Palm Pilots were powered by a pair of AAA batteries and used to last from a week to a month on a single set of batteries, depending on how much you used them (current devices use rechargeable batteries).

Today we have PDAs and smartphones. Color screens of 320 x 320 or 320 x 480 are the norm. Palm devices can connect to the world via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular data connections. You can listen to music, watch videos, and play games on your Palm device now. Palm devices routinely sport 32MB, and you can get memory cards to boost that to 1GB or more. The LifeDrive comes with a 4GB hard disk. And those basic applications are still there, anchoring Palm devices. The applications have been mostly unchanged. A few tweaks and new features have been added over the past decade, but nothing like the changes in desktop applications over the same period.

Despite all the changes, though, some people insist on seeing Palm devices as merely limited organizers. They point at the built-in applications and say, "I can do all of that with a piece of paper." When that piece of paper can connect to the Internet, then we'll talk. This book will show you how to get more out of your Palm device, whether it is a PDA or a smartphone.

Inside you will find hacks that explore the boundaries of the basic applications. You will also find interesting and novel uses for your Palm device. Not every hack may be useful for you, but they should all be interesting and maybe even entertaining.

So come and explore the world of Palm devices and see what you can learn.

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