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Way Too Hi Tech for FawCawnahs Robert Sheridan bobsheridan After thinking about it for awhile, I decided that rather than carry around a 9" X 12" datebook for appointments and reminders, and another thinner version of the same dimensions for addresses and phones I'd accumulated over the years, that one of the hot new handheld palm computers would do just the trick.

So I did a little research project and decided that the Palm IIIxe would work for me. 3Com, the manufacturer,is a new company that nobody ever heard of until it bought the naming rights to Candlestick Park, the home of baseball and football in San Francisco, you know, the Jints (formerly of NYC and Bobby Thomson of StatNisland fame; hell, even Willie Mays played for them. No one else ever did.) and the Fawty-Ninahs. So I hated the company, for taking a colorful name like Candlestick and ripping it down and calling it 3Com instead. Wotthehell is a goddam 3Com anyway.

Last year my littlest kid got accepted to an engineering college that the founder of 3Com attended a generation earlier. The founder later hosted a gathering so that the parents of the new admittees could find out what the deal was about. So we drove to San Jose (pronounced San Hosay, for you Tottenvillains)and located the 3Com company. This place looks like the university you dreamed you got accepted to but didn't. Modernistic buildings, all hi-tech, on a huge campus with plenty of parking. We assembled in the company cafeteria.

The company cafeteria was a hi-tech restaurant with an elegant industrial finish in the post-modern style, with lots of little spot-lights strung along overhead electrical cables.

The counter where you placed your order had a menu with choices from half-a-dozen different countries, but all things that didn't take a half-hour to prepare. If you were working there, you wouldn't want to hop in your car and drive for ten or fifteen minutes to find a San Hosay, excuse me, Jose, Hack-in-the-Box, I mean Jack... You would want to stay right there and talk shop with your fellow classmates, I mean, employees. This guy who runs the place is pretty smart. No way he used to ride the Ferry.

So Saturday I sprung $250 for the Palm IIIxe with the plastic flip top, and brought it home. I'd already read one of those 3rd party manuals sold by Barnes & Noble, you know, the little store that sold those little yellow books that taught you what you needed to know to pass the NYS Regents exam so you could advance to the next grade at Curtis or one of those other rube schools we had on StatNisland.

I bring the thing home and start to install all of the installation programs that you need to get the thing up and running, 'cuz it's in a shrink wrapped box.

Eight hours later, not counting the two naps and several sessions on-line with's support staff, and a couple of cold resets, I decide this piece of Krapola is going back the next a.m. I leave a message on the manager's voicemail at Compustore that that I'm coming in soonest under a head of steam and if he thinks he's going to collect the 15% "box-opening fee" from me he's going to find the box someplace where the sun don't shine.

Next morning there's a nice young man at the desk and he replaces the offending hardware without even questioning me as to why this thing is no good, but I make him get it up and running this time, as I should have done the first time if I'da had a brain. But, Curtis, whaddya expect, right?

So, it's Sunday morning and I want to get this thing cooking. I spend half the day uploading all sorts of programs including half of Shakespeare and the juicier parts of the Kama Sutra. It's amazing what the web has to offer.

Then I decide to do what I bought this little piece of salvation for in the first place and I enter 41 names, addresses, and phone numbers (work, home, mobile, pager, and if available, email address). This takes more than five minutes.

All I have to do now is to upload it off the Desktop by HotSync'ing it by the press of one button on the Module or Cradle onto my Handheld Unit. Some of these terms may be new to somayouse.

Suffice it to say that my Handheld Unit ain't accepting Uploads. It barely accepts Downloads, to my chagrin.

So my 41 top names and addresses and phones remain securely ensconced on my desktop while my portable Handheld carries the Kama Sutra, which I mean to get rid of one of these days soon, when I find something better to do.

I've contacted Support at any number of times. They tell me to do a cold reset, and if that doesn't work to do a hot reset. I've had former girlfriends tell me better things than that. Nuthin' works.

Having one of these portable little computahs is just as much fun as having one of the larger ones, except you can carry it around with you instead of leaving the problem home.

3Com. I should bought the Palm stock. This subsidiary is worth many more times than the parent that spun it off. A lot of people aren't too happy that they bought high and sold low, contrary to accepted wisdom.

You know, wisdom, knowing what not to believe.

I invented that, by the way. Some day it's going to be famous. You heard it here, first.

I think I'm going to have a beer and change the oil in the car.


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