The Death of a Palm

My Palm Tungsten E died today. Or I think it did. The screen was blank so I charged it. Hours later it still didn’t start and it was unresponsive to soft or hard resets. I left it at the office and thought about what to do on my way home.

Actually, I’ve been waiting for this day. I’ve been wanting to migrate all my contacts and calendar entries to Google and get a phone with web capabilities for the rare times I need access to my contacts and calendar but am away from any of my computers. With my calendar on Google I’ll be able to share it with my wife. That should simplify planning, provided I can get her to use Google Calendar.

With all my contacts on Google I will finally have everything in one place. (Well, almost. I still have to use Outlook for one of my work e-mail accounts.) Google’s mail and calendar and other products integrate with one anther very well. I’m excited to take advantage of the convenience.

The first problem is how to get contacts and calendar entries from the Palm Desktop to Google. To my delight, it is possible and for free. I downloaded the free 14-day trial version of Companionlink Express. (I only need it once. The fact that it is a limited trial version is not an issue.) After installation I bumbled through the setup, mostly guessing at stuff. It seemed to me that it wanted to sync with Outlook first. So I ran it to push all my Palm Desktop data into Outlook. Google Calendar can suck in Outlook calendar and contacts (once the latter is saved as a .csv file). Within 20 minutes I had everything in Google. Yay!

The next step is to buy a web-ready phone and phone plan that has web service. My first stop will be Verizon since that’s my carrier now and I like their network. I’m not yet sure what phone to get. I dread dealing with the dizzying array of options. I am not looking forward to buying a plan either. I always seem to have to buy more than I need. I’ll work on this problem another day. A friend of mine who is much more savvy about such things has offered to make a trip to the local Verizon store with me. That should help. (I later bought a phone and plan and posted on it.)

For the near term, I can get by without being able to carry my contacts or calendar around with me. It’ll be like the old days when I had to anticipate needing a number or schedule. I’m sure I can manage. One thing is for sure, I’m not buying another PDA that requires its own local desktop software. I’m not sure they even make such things anymore. It’s Google for me here on out.

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