So, What Is a PPC, Anyway?

It's a "Palm PC," and it's the coolest device made by man. (Print this page out, and leave it where your spouse can find it!)

Obviously, it's an organizer to begin with: To Do List, Calendar, Address Book, Calculator, Note Taker - the expected stuff.

But, wait, there's more!

How about complete street maps of your city, searchable by street address? How about voice notes - just pick it up, press one button, say what you have to say, and it's saved. Great for thinking on the road! How about E-Mail - read and reply from anywhere! How about reading material - books, articles, reference material, you name it, you can take it with you and read when you've got a minute. How about a pretty creditable chess opponent who's always up for a game? How about "books on tape" - stick a bug in your ear, and listen while your PPC reads the book TO you. Many, many cool applications.

They're made by many manufacturers: Philips, Casio, and Everex come to mind. The different models have their minor differences - the Philips Nino is the coolest looking, and the Casio E-11 has the best screen - but they're really about 99.9% identical. They cost from U.S. $300 to $400 (or more) depending on their options, and they can all accommodate a single expansion card. They generally come with one of two memory capacities: 4MB or 8MB (though there is talk now of 16MB). My advice: save your money by buying one of the smaller (4MB) models, and then spend the money on a fat (16MB or larger) Compact Flash Storage Card to go in that expansion slot. I'm using about 18MB of space on mine right now, and I'm sure I'll find other things that I want to keep with me!

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