Being a gadget guy and loving technology, I am always trying out new application and devices. Below are a few of my favorite things from the last several months.

Favorite Palm Applications

Vindigo City Guide – Vindigo supplies great information about cities, such as places to eat, museums, hot spots, directions, bathrooms (LOL), weather, etc. I use it mostly for finding places to eat and finding cab companies. I never travel without first adding the city I will be visiting.

QuickTips – A FREE application that quickly and easily divides a dinner tab and figures out the tip. It has preset amounts like 15% or 20%, or you can customize it to a preferred percentage.

Destaller – This application makes trying new programs safe. It will thoroughly remove an application and its associated files.

Facer 3 – Replaces the Palm OS look and feel with a fantastic launcher and home page. The home page presents to-do lists, appointments etc., and the launcher page makes navigation a breeze. I like the program so much I plan write a complete review of it in the near future.

Favorite Pocket PC Applications

SPB Weather – Not that I can’t look outside, but great for planning outdoor events, especially with the weather finally turning nice.

Broken Sword – What a fun game! It has s a great story line with fun, integrated puzzles that propels the adventure. The Pocket PC version is very faithful to the PC version.

Favorite Windows PC Applications

Skype – I use it all the time to “call” my artist in Japan or to setup conference calls. With a good headset and microphone the sound is excellent and it is free.

PC-Cillian – When I upgraded to Norton 2005 my machine took a nose dive in performance. I removed it and machine speed came back. I did this three times until I was convinced it was Norton. After trying several other virus protection software I selected PC-Cillan for its ease of use, speed, and integration with online and offline email.

Dreamweaver – Makes web site building a breeze. I do recommend taking a class to get full use out of it.

Favorite Gadgets / Hardware

Synching / Charging Cables – They are great to travel with. Compact and light. They use the USB Port to charge your device, so a little slow but gets the job done.

Porporta Crystal Clear Case – Not only does it protect my PDA’s but I can check a date, to-do item, etc, without having to open the case. I understand the appeal of the other cases but I am most efficient with a clear case.

Logitech USB headset and microphone.- I bought this to use with Skype and it is great. The advantage of having a USB headset is that you can continue to have music playing while using the headset to talk. Also it is very cool to use on multi-player games.

Part 1 covered ebooks, launchers, and clubs. Today I’ll cover gadget news sites, games, and memory cards. Each one of these ideas are geared to giving you a new perspective and enthusiasm for that great PDA you use to organize your life.

4. Visit Gadget News Sites – If you own a Palm and you have not visited Palm Addicts or Treonauts, then you are missing out daily on great advice. For Windows Mobile try iPAQHQ, WindowsMobile24/7, and PDArcade. For all types of gadgets try engadget or Geek, they both cover a broad spectrum of gadgets that influence our lives with a great sense of humor.

5. Play Games – “All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy”. There are thousands of games appealing to all types. My games at Smart Box Design are strategy and puzzle based, with an emphasis on easy and quick to learn. Astraware, PalmGear, PocketGear, or Sniderware all have a variety of fun games. And since most games have a trial period, you have little to lose but the time to try them.

6. Buy a Memory Card – A 256 MB SD card at Amazon is around $20.00. Imagine how much you can add to your device. Dictionaries, games, references materials, spreadsheets, pictures of your children, music. Skip going to the movies one week and buy a memory card! Once you have it you will wonder why you didn’t get one earlier.

There’s a lot to try in this list, and any one of these items will enhance your experience and justify the costs of your Palm, Treo, or Windows Mobile Device. Try each one and see where it takes you. If you have additional ideas, post your ideas or send me an email. I look forward hearing from you.

I love starting a new year because everything feels possible again and it seems that everyone has an open mind (at least until they return to the office). Make a decision to try someting new in 2006 with your PDA. Here’s a list of three great ideas to start you off with three more coming tomorrow.

1. eBooks – If you have not tried eBooks, then make this your top priority. It is both fun and engaging to fill your device with books on a variety of subjects. It feels like you have your own personal library available at any time. While waiting in line or taking the bus you could be learning Russian, How to Start a Business, Investing, Hang Gliding, etc. Screen resolution has become so clear that I find it very comfortable to read a book on my Palm for extended times. To get started, try eReader which has a huge collection and includes a free reader or your local library (Seattle has thousands of books ready to be downloaded.)

2. Launcher – Both Palm and Windows Mobile come with a decent launcher and navigation system, but there is room for improvement. There are several great 3rd party launchers to try and one of them will be geared towards how you think and organize data. Do a search on Launcher at PalmGear or PocketGear and give them a try. For my Palm I’m going to give ZLauncher another look and WinLauncher. For my Windows Mobile phone I’m going to try PocketPlus and AgendaFusion. If you try one that you think is fantastic, let me know.

3. Join a Gadget Club – I belong to both SEAPUG and PSHUG. They both meet monthly and I always walk away learning something. Plus the attendees are bright and enthusiatic and want to help. You can find a local Palm Group here and a Windows Group here. If you don’t see one near you, then start one. It’s 2006, anything is possible!

There’s a lot of information above and any one can significantly enhance how you use your PDA. Look for Part 2 where I discuss, News Sites, Games, and SD Cards. Send me an email or post a comment if you have an idea to add to this post.