June 7, 2007: Day One with my Verizon Palm Treo 700p

I slept in until seven this morning because I was quite tired from having gone to the gym very late last night. I went to the gym and did a short forty minute workout before having to run back to the apartment to do some early eight o’clock work that has been scheduled all week.

My morning was quite busy. I worked very solidly until at least ten if not quite a bit later. Oreo had me taken him on a morning walk around eleven which is when I passed by the front desk and discovered that my new Verizon Palm Treo 700p had arrived. So I was able to take that up to the apartment and get it set up.

The Treo 700p is really cool and I think that I am going to be really happy with it. It looks much larger in pictures than it actually is. It is quite small, in fact. It has a 320×320 (.1 megapixel) screen as opposed to the 240×240 (.05 megapixel screen) that comes on the equivalent Windows Mobile based model, the 700w and the 700wx. It didn’t take me long to get the Palm software loaded onto our Windows XP SP2 machine and got the Treo syncing to the desktop.

Once the Treo was syncing to the desktop I was able to start loading some additional software onto it. The first thing that I needed was VersaMail which is Palm’s included email client to compete with Outlook Mobile. In my opinion, VersaMail is far superiour to Outlook. I had Outlook on my Motorola Q and on my HP iPaq and it is not a pleasure to use at all. But VersaMail is much easier to set up, works much more easily with Zimbra’s security features and is easier to navigate and control. In addition, VersaMail is able to delete mail off of the server which Outlook would fail to accomplish on my Q.

A couple of surprise features of the Treo that I was not planning on when I first bought it were PalmOS versions of Audible and Google Maps. These are two of the most exciting applications on the platform. As my readers know, I am a huge fan of Audible and now I am going to be able to take my Audible library with me anywhere that I go without having to download loads of books ahead of time. There is a complete Audible player and manager that ships with the Treo. All I had to do was load the application from the Audible.com web site, plug in my username and password and I had instant access to my personal book library online that I can listen to anytime, anywhere. Awesome! That was worth the price of the Treo right there.

I also navigated in the web browser to see what would happen when I attempted to go to Google Maps – one of my favourite places to go online. And amazingly Google makes a Google Maps application specifically for the Treo. It is free and I was able to download it and have it working in no time at all. It works almost as well as the regular desktop version does! It is wonderful. It even gives you the satellite views and traffic information.

One of my biggest complaints about the Motorola Q was the lack of a working SSH client. PocketPutty is available for it but there are critical usability features missing and it might as well be nothing more than a toy. I was told by a friend that TuSSH was available and worked well for the Treo so I decided to give the Treo a try in the first place because SSH is a major factor for me in any remote access device. I use SSH so much that I happily downloaded and installed both TuSSH and pSSH so that I would have options and flexibility. As it turns out I think that both are going to work although I know for sure that pSSH meets my needs. Yay!

I found other applications that I am working on but haven’t ironed out the kinks with yet such as a Jabber/XMPP client that would give me access to my instant messaging.  That is my next thing to work on.  But quite quickly the Treo 700p is turning into a very useful device indeed.  Another thing that I really was impressed by was how easily VersaMail allowed me to connect to my backup GMail account from Google and use it just as easily as my regular mail.  Now my Treo has my regular mail as well as a backup account “just in case”.  And it gives me the ability to do email testing all from this one device.

The Treo does all the regular stuff that you would expect, of course, like calendaring, task lists, a calculator, some simple games (which I did not install but they are available on the expansion CD that came with the unit,) and it has the regular extra hardware features like voice recording, a built in still and video camera and a speaker so that you can listen to things without having to hold it to your ear or have headphones.

One thing that I have not had a chance to try yet but looks like it will be awesome is VZAccess which is Verizon’s Internet access software.  On my Motorola Q the ability to use the Q as a high-speed Internet “modem” was disabled making the unit nothing more than an expensive stand-alone email device.  But the Treo comes packaged with the connection software that would appear to allow the unit to be used as a modem easily so that we will have a backup should our cable go down and I can use my laptop on the road!  I have not tested this yet so don’t get too excited as this is a feature that people have been looking for for a long time.  But the software is all there and I will try it out very soon.  This is a very major feature if it is actually available.  I am quite excited about it.

Dominica came home and decided that she wanted a Treo as well.  We will see.  Her account with Verizon is up for renewal in January, 2008 so we have a little while to think about it and see if it is something that she will really use.

Tonight is our night to pack and get ready to go out of town for the weekend.  We have nothing in particular planned for tonight.  Just cooking some cabbage lasagna, packing and hitting the gym.  We had been hoping to have been assembling my new desk this evening but it did not arrive as scheduled.  It was supposed to only take one to three days to arrive and today is the third business day (it was ordered on Sunday so Monday was the first day) and it has not arrived yet.  We hope to have it tomorrow so that at least we know that it is here.

Weight Lost So Far: 18.5lbs

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