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Software Review of:
Palm Readers Anonymous


Joyce writes the monthly WhatsUp.Doc column for PC Alamode. Her other addictions include any flavor of Star Trek, her five cats, Feng Shui and HGTV.

From the July, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

The title of this article might lead you to believe that it concerns a self-help group for mystics hopelessly addicted to reading life lines and love lines on people's hands. Not so, but close. It is, or should be, a self-help group for people who have discovered the Palm Reader, an application that turns your Palm PDA into an e-book reader. 

I have always thought an e-book reader was a capital idea. How nice to be able to carry an entire library with you and not worry about what to do with a book when you finish it. When I got my color Palm M130, I didn't know that it could be used as an e-book reader until I discovered the Palm Reader software that shipped with it. (Note: it also works on my husband's old monochrome Palm IIIx.)

Necessity and my granddaughter Josie conspired to change my mind. Josie picked up some sort of plague virus at her Preschool and shared it with me on our weekly trip to ChickFila. 

So it came to be that I was in bed on Memorial Day, trying to figure out something to do besides examine the ceiling. After rereading all my PC Alamodes for the past two years, I was in the mood for more magazines.

Forcing my unsteady legs to carry me to my PC, I checked the Palm Website to find out if any magazine titles existed for the Palm Reader. From there, I ended up at Peanut Press .

At Peanut Press, I found a generous selection of books and magazines. I selected five issues of Handheld Computing magazine, which I downloaded, along with an upgraded reader and a free copy of the entire King James Bible. The download cost me about $20. 

Now that I have my e-book reader, Solitaire, my former Palm-related addiction doesn't take up as much of my fill-in time. I can now improve my mind while I wait in line or in the doctor's office, sit under the steam machine at the beauty shop or languish in bed with the plague. 

An added benefit is that the bright backlit screen doesn't require use of my clumsy book light when I'm trying to read at night but not disturb my husband. Another benefit is that you can set your Palm to the Large Fonts option and still read comfortably on the tiny screen. After all, you only read one paragraph at a time.

Useful features of the reader software include a search function (handy in church when the pastor says "Open your bibles to I Corinthians 13:1"), a book marking function, a note-taking function, and an interactive table of contents. You don't have to keep your stylus out, because you use the mechanical scroll buttons at the bottom of your PDA to move forward and back as you read.

Klingons and Vulcans alike, take note: Peanut Press has an amazing collection of Star Trek titles from Classic to the new Enterprise series. 

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