The Blob 09:43 26 Jul 2003

Looking to get a cheap PDA which has MS Excel (or similar) on it that I can upload the spreadsheets back to my PC - anyone any experience ?

  Forum Editor 10:52 26 Jul 2003

I use a Toshiba PDA that runs Excel, but it costs £250 give or take a few pennies. You may consider that expensive, but it's not when compared to some PDA prices, and it has 64Mb RAM.

Alternatively, you might find an iPAQ that will suit you
click here

  The Blob 11:50 26 Jul 2003

This sounds very promising !
I just thought (in my naivety) that it might be possible to put EXCEL onto a low cost Palm such as Paml 105/125 or Handspring - is this impossible ?

  Pusherman 13:51 26 Jul 2003

I use a Sony Clie SJ30. With the bungled software Documents To Go you can load Excel and Word files. If you have a look around you can get them at quite a decent price now. It's a great little machine.


  The Regster 14:28 26 Jul 2003

I used to use Docs To Go on my old IIIx without any trouble - this was about equivalent to a 105. But I have to be honest and say that moving around a sheet on a low resolution screen is painful. I used the 'Find' function a lot to navigate around the sheet, and this was slow on files of about 500k - so slow I used to think that the Palm had crashed. But it is still quicker than booting up a laptop.

  Forum Editor 15:21 26 Jul 2003

that using a PDA to view Excel spreadsheets is an irritating exercise - the spreadsheet on my old Psion 5MX was far better. I can't bear to part with the Psion, it has so many good features, but it sits gathering dust on a shelf in the office.

If you plan to do much work with Excel I definitely do not recommend a PDA, although again I agree with The Regster - if you just want a quick peek, or need to add a couple of entries it's faster than faffing around with the trusty laptop.

  The Blob 15:28 26 Jul 2003

Ok. Nothing complicated really. I Have an hourly timesheet in simple EXCEL spreadsheet format that I want to put entries in throughout the day and then upload to my PC at night - is this easy to do ?

  The Regster 17:44 26 Jul 2003

That sounds very straight forward. Keep as much of the data to the right of the sheet - you don't want to have to scroll across each time as there is no sideways 'cursor key' on the classic Palm's.

My experience is with Documents To Go from Dataviz. Not the cheapest program - the full Pro version is $50, but basic Word & Excel is $30 and can be downloaded from the web (CD-Roms were also despatched).

It really is fool proof - just drag the Excel file into the Docs To Go folder on the desktop and it HotSyncs with your handheld next time. Each time the sheet is amended on the handheld or the PC it will update (you can choose which version overwrites).

The Docs To Go link is here:
click here

There are other Excel converters for Palm, but I have no experience of these. Just a word of caution - Docs To Go is quite memory hungry, so it might be worth checking that you have space for it on your Palm before purchasing.

Best of luck.

  The Regster 17:50 26 Jul 2003

Just checked my own link...

That final point I made about memory appears to have been addressed. DataViz have a version designed for Palms with the standard 2MB of memory (Docs To Go Version 4). I haven't used this, but if it is half as good as the other versions it will be fine.

  H-J 18:29 26 Jul 2003

"I want to put entries in throughout the day and then upload to my PC at night "

call me old fasioned, but whats wrong with a notebook -the paper kind, not the electronic- and a pencil if thats all you want to do?


  jazzypop 08:37 27 Jul 2003

Every PDA will have a calendar/diary function, that can be used to track your activities throughout each day. Each time you sync the PDA, this data is uploaded to your PC. From there, it is a simple task to export it from whichever app you synced with (on your PC), to Excel or wherever.

Alternatively, there are many, many 'time-tracking & billing' apps available for both Palm and WindowsCE that are dedicated tools for this particular job.

A significant reason that each PDA has the first kind of software, and there are so many variations of the second type available, is that a spreadsheet is about the worst possible way of performing the task that you describe (on a PDA). It may work well on a PC, but there are much better methods on a PDA.

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