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The Indian Palm User Group - Bombay (Act 2)

by: Brian Pereira

Palm and Visor owners met for the second time in Bombay and were delighted to beam their business cards and applications into each other's handhelds. The highlights of the evening were a demonstration on accessing the Internet (wirelessly), using any Palm/Visor and a mobile phone, a demo of various software for the Palm OS, and an introduction to Development for the Palm OS platform.

Sponsors for this event included Cutting Edge ( makers of QuickOffice ), DDHSoftware ( makers of HanDBase, HanDButton, WPM, Thesaurus and Translate, among others ), ThoughtBytes ( makers of TBlight ) and PalmLifestyle (a singapore based international hardware vendor).

The IPUG - Bombay, conducted its second meeting on 23rd March, 2001 at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club. Members from diverse backgrounds -- advocates, journalists, banking executives, programmers, etc -- strolled in between 7 and 8 p.m. There were many new faces. IPUG Founder Subir Shah informed us that the all-India membership had risen from 250 to 400 members since the last meeting.

The IPUG President, Ashish Gupta, kicked off the event with a cheery speech, informing members about the agenda. He also said that the makers of HanDbase were open to ideas for databases focussed on Indian content, and he urged members to make suggestions.

Ashish then went about demonstrating to us how to access the Internet using a Palm/Visor and a mobile phone with infrared capability. He informed us that one needs to enable the Dataline feature with the mobile service provider (Rs 300 per month). One also needs an e-mail client and a web browser, like the Eudora Internet Suite for the Palm OS.

All over the place were Palm and Visor users huddled together in groups to show off their gadgets and exchange tips. We saw many Visors and a couple of Palm Vs this time. Some were drooling over a Visor Prism (colour screen), perhaps its best feature being the excellent screen illumination. Among the rare handhelds seen were the m100 and a Palm VII. Some users brought along accessories like Palm keyboards and external modems, which were cool.

Technical queries were entertained by the more knowledgeable of the members, and the IPUG team looked into various technical difficulties that some members faced with their non-functioning or erratically behaving Palm devices, and fixed most of the problems on-the-spot. The meeting is the best place to hand in your Palm device for service or repair.

Everyone got excited when lucky draws (for free software like HanDButton, QuickOffice, etc.) were announced. All members received a free TRG-Pro T-shirt and screen protectors for their handhelds. The screen protectors are extremely useful in preventing scratching of the screen surface and to enhance the life of the screen.

Towards the end of the evening one of the developers, Ubaid Mohammed, gave a talk about development for the Palm OS platform. Ubaid introduced us to the Appforge tool and CodeWarrior (a C++ compiler). Some members raised questions about creating PRC and PDB files (the Palm's .EXE and database equivalents). The talk gave us an insight into the world of developing for handheld computers. Two copies of a book on Palm Development were circulated. Those members who are interested in borrowing this book can get in touch with the IPUG via the email address given below.

The evening ended with everyone being enthusiastic about the future of the Palm OS platform in India, and having gained valuable knowledge from the meeting we are eager to attend the next one.

To join the IPUG, subscribe to its newsletter or get invited to its meetings you need to visit:

http://www.notcomguys.com/palm

For any other questions, comments or suggestions, write in to :

palm@notcomguys.com