I bought a Handspring Visor Deluxe...now what?

I bought a used Handspring Visor Deluxe (8mb) on E-bay, because I was told it was a good model for someone’s first PDA. It seems nice, but…I know very little about PDAs at all other than the fact that (somehow) I’ll be able to import txt documents into it to read during breaks. Thus far, I’ve got the cradle plugged in and installed the software, but I’ve only figured out how to get something off it and onto my computer, not vise versa. I haven’t had it an entire day yet, so I figure I’ll learn. And it seems that there’s a lot to learn.

I know other dopers have them, would anyone please tell me what sorts of things you do with yours? (I don’t want to make it into a phone or use wireless web service, though) And what you consider “must have” accessories? I’m wondering if something like this would prove to be useful.

Does it have Palm OS? Does it come with any desktop software? My Clie came with a program called Palm Desktop software. To install a file from my desktop to my hadheld, I double click on the file (it is usually a ,pdb file that I have downloaded) and it gets sent to the install part of the Palm Desktop software, then it automatically installs during the next hot sync. For documents, you have to have the reader installed first. There are a bunch of different types of readers - Palm Reader (now called eReader). Adobe Reader, Documents to Go for Word files…determine what you need to read your files and go from there.

By default, the conduit should be set up to synchronize all data, i.e. if a piece of data (appointments, address book entries, etc) only exists on one, it will be transferred to the other. If you click on the HotSync icon in the system tray (or whatever it’s called - the lower right section of the screen) there’s a section for setting this up.

If you don’t want wireless web service, how about just an off-line web service? AvantGo downloads web pages every time you HotSync and stores them on your PDA. You can read the pages any time.

I also recommend getting a better replacement for the built-in datebook, something that integrates it with the ToDo list. I use DateBk5. I understand Agendus is also popular though I’m not too sure if they are comparable in function. You can get those and other software from PalmGear. You might also want to install some games to help you kill time.

I’m not sure what that does - does your Visor run on built-in rechargeable batteries or AA (AAA?) batteries? Either case, I’ve always found the standard batteries to suffice.

I think a screen protector film is a must-have accessory. Otherwise the screen scratches pretty easily. I prefer clear (not textured) ones. Also some type of case, if yours didn’t come with one.

It came with a screen protector and case :slight_smile: And it takes aaa batteries.

I don’t mean to be flip, but… if you don’t know what a PDA is for, why did you buy it? That said, most people use them to record meetings, appointments, addresses, and notes to themselves.

Because, as I said, I was told that I can import txt documents to read into it. That’s what I’ll primarily be using it for (and creating docs to put onto my computer) but it’s nice to know what else it does, you know?

How large are the text files you want to read? The simplest way is just to copy-and-paste the text into a Palm Desktop “note” (or was it memo?), but I think there’s a rather severe size restriction. You’d be better off with a third-party application. I think iSilo would do what you want. You might also look at the Writing On Your Palm columns.

The Visor Deluxe is certainly a good choice as a first PDA. The biggest drawback of the Visor Deluxe is the requirement for AAA batteries. I strongly recommend getting AAA rechargeable NiMh batteries with a charger. RadioShack has some excellent options. The Saitek Power Station you linked to sounds good too, although I don’t have details on it and the link isn’t completely loading for me (very slow dial-up right now).

Here are some tips to get the most out of your Visor Deluxe:

Get the OS updates for the Visor Deluxe from http://www.handspring.com The latest version for this model is Palm OS 3.1H3. To check your current OS version, tap the Menu icon (below the Home icon) and select Info and then Versions.

Load some or all of the following software, depending on your usage requirements and needs:

Since you’ve mentioned text documents on your device, I’ll recommend iSilo Document Reader. It’s elegant and very easy to use. You can transfer any document from your desktop to your device using the iSilo Windows software.



If you want something more advanced, you can go with DataViz Documents to Go from http://www.dataviz.com/ . Although it’s a bit complicated for a beginner, and I’d suggest sticking with iSilo.

Get AvantGo from http://www.avantgo.com
You can carry your newspapers and magazines with you on your Visor Deluxe. 8MB is ample space for a beginner.

Go to www.memoware.com . You can download tons of documents and e-books for reading on your Visor Deluxe.

Go to www.palmgear.com for software. Exhaustive collection.

Join a Palm User Group in your local area. An extremely friendly and very helpful resource. I’m the founder and president of The Indian Palm User Group. If you need any Palm OS issue resolved, feel free to reach me.

Here are some articles on the Palm OS that I wrote for a leading computer magazine in India:

Beyond the Digital Diary:

Figuring and Configuring your Palm:

The basics of the Palm OS:

Synchronizing with the Desktop:

Palm e-Books - Your digital library:

Hack into your Palm:

Dress up your Palm (software):

Tips and Tricks:

Office in your Palm:

Toy with your Palm:

There’s loads more that I can recommend, but you can start off with this and I’ll post again later when I can (very sleepy right now, and an extremely slow 'net connection).

Here are a few of PDA web sites that I recommend: