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|| News Item: Posted 1999-08-30

Geek Corner
By Robert Hanashiro

-New Uses For Your Palm
The latest, greatest gadget for the Yuppie crowd or us avowed "gear queers" is the Palm, a small PDA from 3Com.

While the Palm has been around for a while, the recent boom in software has made it nearly an essential for us "road warriors." Here are a couple of programs that I highly recommend for the working photographer.

Photo by
Expense Plus by WalletWare. One of the biggest (and most dreaded) chores I have these days has nothing to do with photography. It's filing my expense reports.

I have progressed the past few years from handwriting a triplicate form, to an electronic version written for FileMaker Pro to Expense Plus for the Palm. But nothing has made my life easier than Expense Plus.

Now I just enter the data into my Palm, either at the end of the day or as I make a purchase (which is what I usually do nowadays). When I get home, I "hotsynch" my Palm V to my Mac and within a few minutes, I have a beautiful expense report printed out on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

But the glory of Expense Plus is not just its ease of use, but it's extra features. For example: on my recent trip to Kosovo, I used 5 different currencies. Expense Plus allowed me to assign a US dollar value for the different foreign currencies and all of the values were converted and output without problem.

Expense Plus is available for both Macs and Windoze and will output to expense forms written in Excel or FileMaker. WalletWare will also help with customizing your company's form to work with ExpensePlus. Their customer support is also outstanding.

You can try a demo version for a test drive or purchase and download a fully function version at WalletWare's website:

Tell them Sports Shooter sent you!

-BeamLink by JP Systems. Want to receive AND send email without a telephone line or a computer? Impossible. Not really if you have a two-way pager, a Palm and BeamLink.

SkyTel's two-way paging system allows subscribers to receive and send internet emails and now BeamLink makes this whole process a lot easier.

BeamLink allows you to write full text messages on your Palm and then "beam" them via the infrared port to a SkyTel two-way pager and send the message to any internet email address or --- and get this --- telephone!

SkyTel's "voice-to-text" feature converts text messages to a voice message went sent to any telephone number.

Photo by
Just imagine ... you're on the baseline of a basketball game and you have to respond to a page from on impatient picture editor. Now you don't have to yell into a cellphone (provided you can hit a cell from inside an arena). During a deadball you can just tap out a message on the Palm, upload it and send it from the SkyTel pager, not ever leaving the comfort of your shooting position ("Yeah, I know the deadline's 10pm. I have a killer Shaq dunk that will fit the vertical hole on the page.")

Other features include: an address book, the ability to store "canned" messages, message sent confirmation and user name and password protection to keep pranksters like Cpt. Ron from sending IR messages from you pager.

It seems to me you could carry on entire relationships with just BeamLink and your Palm!

While most will say that it's simpler to just find a phone, BeamLink and your Palm raises the bar on the "coolness factor" to new heights.

For more information on BeamLink, go to JP System's website:
and for information on SkyTel services and products, go to:

(Thanks to Paul Morse of the Los Angeles Times for turning me on to BeamLink.)

-New DSC Acquire Module Posted: Kodak has posted v5.7 of their Photoshop acquire module for the DCS520/D2000 and DCS620 digital cameras. The new software includes an "exposure throttle" for images shot with the above mentioned cameras. The "throttle" is a push-pull function to compensate for under or over exposed images. The free software is available on Kodak's website at:

-Digi-Bible Dealer List Expanded: The dealer list for Rob Galbraith's essential "The Digital Photojournalist's Guide" has expanded to include Beau Photo, B&H, Glazer's, Imaging Spectrum, Interfoto, Linear Systems, MidCity Camera, Pitman Photo, Roberts Distributors and West Canadian Colour. They join long-time digi-guide distributor Penn Camera. For more information on Rob's book, take a look at his website:

-D1 Update: While we're talking about Rob Galbraith . . . fresh from the Digital 99 Workshop, he has posted an updated look at the new Nikon D1 professional digital camera. This report includes the first look at actual images shot with the D1 so we can now compare the quality with the DCS520/D200 and the DCS620. Rob also discusses at length other features of the D1, including the JPEG file format and in-camera sharpening. He also writes about the rumored delay in the October shipping date of the final product. To read this complete report with sample images, go to Rob's fabulous Digi-News page:

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