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GREASING MY PALM

21 January 2003

Well, it's a whole new world out there. I have opened my hand and into my palm have begun to pour a myriad of wonderful things.

I can't just buy a new toy. I have to find embellishments. Cheap embellishments. Preferably free.

The first place I started was the URL which they advertise in the machine itself, www.Palm.com. Nice stuff there--not too terribly expensive, but it does cost money. After getting an idea of what's out there, I wrote to Susan to ask what she had that she could beam to me. Beaming is something I haven't done. Apparently you can point two palms at each other and send messages, programs and lord only knows what across from one to the other.  (I envision an eency weency transporter, beaming molecules across the room.)

Then I went to eBay to find out what I could get cheap there. I am a woman with a mission, which is to surround myself with unnecessary gadgets and programs and peripherals for a machine I'm not quite sure what to do with yet.

I found a disk for $5 on eBay which promises to give me thousands of useless programs. The price was right, so I bought it.

I tried to pay through PayPal, but it said that the recipient was not valid. I wrote to the seller who, after a time, said that there had been a glitch which was now all fixed and to try again.

I tried again and yes, PayPal now recognizes the seller, and it even recognizes me as having been there before, but it won't recognize my MasterCard. We're just fine and dandy up to adding those 3 little security numbers that are printed on the back of your card. Though I have the card in hand and am staring at them, it tells me they are the wrong numbers. BUT, if I re-join (for the bargain basement price of $1.95), they'll recognize me.

No fool I. I may spend money on useless geegaws for a new machine that I haven't quite mastered yet, but I'm not going to fork over another $2 to get someone to recognize this card that I have sitting here in front of me.

I guess Pay Pal and I have come to the parting of the ways.

Next, I checked out "free palm software" on Google and found a few goldmines. I passed the Golden Globe ceremony downloading new stuff. I can now play, I'll have you know, medical Hangman. I can track my books and my movies. I can enter my entire medical history. I can calculate the length of time between any two given dates. If I tap Homer Simpson in the belly, he'll give me his wise saying of the day (White Suburbia's answer to Confucius, I guess!). An best of all, I now have virtual bubble wrap on my Palm Vx. It's not quite as satisfying as virtual bubble wrap on my desktop, which makes a more authentic pop--and not nearly as satisfying as the real stuff, which you can slide under your fingers as you pop it, but it probably won't get me thrown off the plane either!

I decided I didn't really need to know where to find Guinness in Boston, or track the Moscow subway system, check to find out if a number is prime, or learn Chinese. But it's nice to know that if I wanted to, I could. (I also chose not to download the location of every McDonald's in Australia. I'm sure Peggy is very grateful for that.)

Absolutely amazingly mind-boggling what is out there. And this is just the free stuff. Lord help me when I start looking at the stuff you can buy.

And then there are the peripherals: case and keyboards and styli--oh my!

The Golden Globes ended and I finally had to force myself to do some actual typing, and in the morning went off to work. My Palm beeped, reminding me it was time to drive into the nearby town to drop the checkbook off at the accountant's.

...maybe just a short stop at Staples, which is right on the way, to see what they have for Palms....

Fortunately for me (unfortunately for Staples), their service is abominable. They keep all of their software and peripherals behind a desk so you need to have a clerk assist you--and though I stood there for 15 minutes, credit card quivering in my hand, nobody ever came. It's just as well. I don't really think there was anything I wanted anyway...but if I did want something, Staples lost a sale.

I dropped off the bookkeeping, such as it is, and looked at my watch. Our first patient wasn't for 3-1/2 hours. It would take me 20 minutes to get to CompUSA where I'd been when I first got this bee in my bonnet about actually owning a Palm system. 20 minutes down, 10 minutes there, 20 minutes home. I could do it....

But then the cooler part of my head took over. I still have those "thousands" of programs coming. I still have Susan to beam me her shareware. And I have to save my money for Australia anyway.

But maybe just a peek again at www.Palm.com.....

I realized yesterday that you can buy a regular keyboard to attach to your Palm so you can type instead of using the stylus to laboriously punch in letter by letter. I could have sworn it said the keyboards were $19, but when I was at Staples, they had several and they were all $99. Maybe my eyes were playing tricks on my yesterday (like they were when I was trying to balance the checkbook).

But no. At Palm.com, there it was--a nice foldable keyboard that attaches to my particular model of Palm and for only $19.

I bought it.

Well--after all--I can't go an entire day without giving in to my obsession at least once.

Quote of the Day

Leisure and curiosity might soon make great advances in useful knowledge, were they not diverted by minute emulation and laborious trifles.

~ Samuel Johnson:

Today's Photo

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This is how I look when I get ready to leave the house to bike in the mornings these days!

One Year Ago
The Torch is Passed
We were all out there to cheer a gay guy few of us knew because he had been chosen to carry the Olympic torch for two-tenths of a mile.

Two Years Ago
If I had a Cause
I am proud to have helped in some small way to work with Steve to spread his message, to work with Breaking Barriers clients, who give me far more than I give to them, and to do some little thing to spread the message.


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Created 1/17/03