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Book Review: Palm and Treo Hacks

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The Treo takes up one whole chapter of this book plus references in the communication-related. Still although the Treo is a popular PalmOS-based device, it rightfully doesn’t dominate the book. After all, many owners of PalmOS devices don’t need or want to have a powerful device like the Treo.

In spite of “hacks” in its name, the book isn’t as geeky or technical as it sounds. A hack is also known as a trick or add-on for adding more power to a program or system. However, not all of the tips are technically hacks because they provide how-to advice: annotate everything, find anything, get the most out of the date book, how to become a better student, and so on.

One caveat, when the book references another hack or figures, the light gray text barely appears and it is difficult to read. MacHaffie also refers to third-party software as a way to add more options, games, and functionality to the PalmOS device. It’s tough to please people with varying interests. It might’ve been better to refer to places where you can find and download software. Many people would appreciate these discoveries.

The games section, for example, has references to quite a few role-playing games (RPG) in comparison to other types of games. Most of the sections only take a few pages, so it’s not a big waste if the topic doesn’t catch your eye. Again, it’s tough to address a wide audience and there wouldn’t be enough material to create a separate book addressing only PalmOS games, student tips, and advice for business users.

Roughly about a fourth of the book covers communications, phone PDA hybrid tips, and multimedia. So those who have basic PDAs without any connections still get a bulk of information they can use. The 55 tips are listed in the table of contents listed on the book’s Web page, and checking it out should give you a good idea if you’ll find the book useful or not.

You won’t find much tech jargon so the hacks are easy to understand. The book has tips for beginners, moderate users, and experts and each hack is represented by thermometer’s temperature (high for expert and low for easy) for quick reference. Very few hacks are at the expert level, so beginners and moderates should have no trouble applying most or all of the hacks.

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About Meryl K Evans

Meryl K. Evans, Content Maven, is the author of "Brilliant Outlook Pocketbook" and the co-author of "Adapting to Web Standards: CSS and Ajax for Big Sites." She has written and edited for a bunch of places online and off. A native Texan, she lives a heartbeat north of Dallas in Plano, Texas with her husband and three kiddos.