Cool things you can do with a PDA

Note: Not sure if this is a General Question or a Humble Opinion. There are certainly factual answers, but I’m also looking for suggestions.

My PDA is a Dell Axim x51v. With a nice little processor, integrated wireless, Bluetooth, and infrared, and a bright 640x480 screen here’s the partial list of things I can and do do with it:

  [ul]Surf the *real* internet wherever wireless is available (not the shitty cellphone style internet)

  Watch movies/episodes/etc. in just about any format. Hold it sideways and it'll fill the whole screen -- good size

  Play mp3s, although I generally use my mp3 player for this.

  Synchronize my work Outlook calendar so that even if I'm at home I know shit that's going on and upcoming stuff without having to log in to the Remote Desktop (totally invaluable and pretty much the reason I bought it in the first place).

  Take unlimited handwritten notes anywhere anytime.

  Full scientific (even graphing) calculator

  Conversion software that will convert just about any units imaginable (square centimeters in an acre?)

  2 types of GPS -- both the adventure style with coordinates/waypoints etc., and full street navigation GPS with route planning with 1000 of POI data (i.e. basically no matter where I am I can easily see a list of/navigate to the nearest gas stations/librarys/restaurants/department store/etc.)

  Instantly programmable universal remote control -- if we're sitting in a bar, I could easily change the channel of one of the TVs.

  Complete Oxford English Dictionary and a handful of other foreign language dictionaries

  Complete CIA World Factbook

  Several complete collections of ebooks (not all that bad reading on this type of screen).

  Decent sound recording. Though not stereo or external mic, certainly good enough for voice/room/environment recording.

  A fair amount of pretty sweet little PocketPC games anywhere from puzzle/arcade games to full 3d games.

  NES, SNES, Genesis, GBA emulators and ROMs.

  No camera, but it can read several memory card formats so I often offload pictures from my digicam to see them on a bigger screen.

  And of course new things that I'm figuring out, as I go.

So I don’t use all these functions on a daily basis, but it’s nice to have the possibility right in your pocket all the time.

Anything to add to the list?

I have an old Palm V that I mostly use for reading ebooks from Project Gutenburg.

My primary use for my Palm is the Chinese/English dictionaries. I’m attempting to learn Chinese and my dictionary has flashcards along with pinyin (roman characters) and handwritten input. The only thing it lacks is audio, darn it.

Pictures of the kids, mp3s, all my notes and calendar–the usual stuff, but all in one place when I’m traveling. Pretty much my entire brain is stored there. And backed up to both laptop and desktop, fer darned shure.

If I need to access something on my home computer, and all I’ve got is my Treo650, I’ve found PalmVNC to be invaluable. It’s pretty cool to be able to see my computer’s desktop on my phone.

I also watch a good amount of movies on the phone, as well. I’d really like to get a bluetooth GPS, 'cause that’d be too damned neat.

It’s really nice to not have to pay for an Information call, since I’ve got a couple of phone book programs that’ll look up all the info I need over the web. Need to know where that restaurant is? Just type in the name, and up pops the phone number, address, and a map to the front door. Very cool.

It also doubles as a flashlight, in a pinch.

-There are a few drawing programs for PDAs.
-They make an excellent alarm clock; I can program mine for different hours for different days of the week, so for example I have a 7:30 alarm during the week and a 10:30 alarm for weekends and another to remind me to call my girlfriend to wake her up. =)
-Increases geek factor by 27%!
-A great agenda, with alarms for incoming events.
-Great as shopping lists that doesn´t make you look like a dork.
-Stores phones, e-mails, birthday dates, etc, of friend and family.

Well, you get the idea, those things are mighty useful, I wouldn´t give mine up at the point of a gun.

Do you have a link?

I have a PDA phone. The coolest program I have is one that allows me to call up any of the 100k employees at my company, and get their phone, mobile and email addresses in about 5 seconds.

I take business trips and client meetings with only my pda if I don’t have to present something. I can take all minutes on the PDA.

Email access and ability to synch directly with the Exchange server

I love the Novii remote program I have. Very fun at bars indeed, and usefull at friends houses.

I also love my Handyshopper program. Instead of having to remember everything I need, I can just look through my pre-loaded customizable list of almost anything I might want or need.

I also go to my cities local events page and c/p dates for festivals, shows, sporting events etc. My friends know that they can find out whatever is going on just by asking me.

Do you use AvantGo? Perhaps not if you have live web. I use it mainly for The Onion, and movie times.

Check at least weekly for new stuff. I found a good program that calculates days and months between two givens, or tells you what date is x days away. The on-screen ruler is also kind of handy, although it’s only good to 1/10th of a cm.

I have an old Palm VIIIx that I use for flying.

It calculates distance, flight time, fuel, airspeed, groundspeed, heading, etc. It also can take the flight plan (with the afformentioned data) and put it in to a moving map, in conjuction with GPS. I have it loaded with every airport/airstrip/navaid/fix within single-tank distance. I can even put in restricted airspace or terrain height and it’ll warn me away from it.

It’s also a scientific calculator and can convert pretty much any unit in to any other unit.

It stays in my flight bag.
I also have an old m100 that I use for chess and Sudoku.

I have the palm gps for the 650 and it rawks. I really don’t know how I travelled without it…

Generic list managers (simple DB software) can always be useful on a PDA.

Add ‘text adventure’ to the games list… zork on your pocket PC == very cool. :wink:

Word processor software for editing stories or essays on the go, which is kind of different from just ‘taking notes’.

A lot of my other cool things have already been mentioned. I still want to rig up iSilo so that I can save SDMB threads and read them on the bus.


Since there’s no GQ here, I’m moving this to MPSIMS.

General Questions Moderator

I’m guessing you mean to the dictionary I use. It’s Pleco Software.

What software/device do you use for notetaking? This is something I want to be able to do (take minutes for a meeting) but haven’t been able to find a satisfactory solution. External keyboard or what?

Details, please?

I use a Windows mobile powered device and take notes in Word tapping out on the virtual keyboard. I take highlights and action items - don’t try to transcribe the meeting. The handwriting recognition isn’t bad, but I find that tapping out is fast enough and not prone to errors.

I will never use an external keyboard. The reason I use a PDA or tablet PC to take notes in customer meetings is that it is not intrusive. Frankly, I think using a laptop is less intrusive than the dog and pony show that accompanies whipping out an external keyboard and mounting the PDA on it. YMMV.

I’m probably going to get a new Windows Mobile5 device next week, and I can’t wait because there is a beta version of Microsoft OneNote for the PDA. OneNote is my absolutely most favorite and useful program ever and once I can synch that on my PC and PDA I’ll be in heaven.

Heaven only lasts for 10 months?

Cool, thanks for the info. Totally agree on the dog and pony show. The only thing I don’t like about my PDA is that basically any time I whip it out I have to answer at least 3 questions and at least 2 or 3 "oooooh"s . I was originally hoping that PDA’s would just take off and they’d be common enough that it’d be nothing new when you whip one our, sorta like the iPod is now.

Looks like that’s not going to happen. :rolleyes:

Not simply shopping lists, but shopping lists that can update your total, as you check off items, so you never exceed budget. I even know one supermarket chain that will compile your shopping list, with respect to the store in their chain, so that it’s set up in order of how you go through the store. :smiley:

I have a windows mobile 5 device and love it.

My addition – Orb. If you have a TV tuner in your computer at home you can watch live TV on your palm through an internet connection. Also can listen to any MP3’s or watch any AVI/MPG files you have, or watch any webcams you have hooked up.

It’s good times.

Mine’s a XDA Exec.

Don’t get many calls lately so it’s an expensive alarm, calendar, and mp3 player.

My place of work has a gotomypc setup on the network so I can use my phone to log into work from pretty much anyware. ( and have… even if it means using gprs instead of wireless access)

The IOM is trialing high-speed gprs (upto a meg) but alas my phone can’t use it.

My mum uses it for texttwist. And my nieces were having a whale of a time getting it to guess their handwritten words.

right now it’s plugged in to the pc as I am moving some photies backwards and forwards. It can charge from usb but that’s painfully slow.