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About Handspring Visor

Hi, could anyone please give me more detail descriptions of Handspring Visor? I did send a feedback (">>") to Handspring from its website, and got a brief response (">") as below, then I asked for more but no reply at all. :(

Please read my questions below and I would appreciate for your comments and answer.


>> 1. Is there any word processing and spreadsheet software
>> built-in the box, like those shipped within Windows CE?

> 1. Currently there is no built-in word processing or
> spread sheet software in the visor. However you can export
> and import to these on the computer.

Is any freeware of word processing or spread sheet available at Handspring web site? If I import these programs into the visor, are those original built-in features still operational? 2MB memory can support all of them?

Do all the programs support both visor and visor deluxe? Is it possible a program I want only support visor deluxe? :(

>> 2. The mail function supports MS Outlook, does it mean
>> I can use this feature to access local or remote Exchange
>> server or SMTP/POP3 server?

> 2. You can setup you mail to synchronize with many
> different mail programs , such as hotmail, netscape. Some
> of these require third party applications provided by the
> makers of the mail applications.

I think you mean those inbox, outbox, sentbox, draft folders of outlook express, outlook and netscape can be synchronized with the mail program built-in visor, right? How about the address books of outlook express, netscape or other popular email programs?

In addition, does it mean I cannot send and receive message directly to or from the available local or remote mail server?

>> 3. Does the box has built-in support for dial-up
>> connection to an ISP?

> 3. Currently the visor does not support this but the
> modem that is being released soon will have that
> capability.

If I purchase one visor now, can I upgrade it to support modem? freely?

>> 4. Does the box support Ethernet 10/100 Base-T
>> connection? IP address?

> 4. There is a feature that allows you to sync over a
> network to your original computer.  Different locations
> on the same address.

Same IP address? The visor has built-in 10/100 base-t ethernet port?

>> 5. Can I synchronize my address book on Handspring
>> Visor and desktop PCs?

> 5. Yes, provided with the visor is the palm desktop
> software which allows you to sync address book, to do list,
> memo pad, expense, date book+, install software and make
> changes and then update to the visor.

The synchronization process is between visor and one specific program on desktop computer, other than those applications I preferred, right?

>> 6. Can I use it to visit web site with built-in web
> browser?

> 6. Does not have that capability.  The modem comes with a
> mini browser.

That means I can get this feature when I upgrade my visor with modem support?

>> 7. Is the 2 MB memory enough for most task? When should
>> I expand the memory?

> 7. The 2MB should be sufficient for the average user. If
> you feel that the you will require more memory we have an
> 8MB visor available.

Does visor support memroy upgrade from 2mb to 8mb? That's should be a 6mb module I think.
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1 Solution
Lots of questions. Let me address them. I don't have a Visor but I have a Palm and I'm familiar with the Visor.

1) Those functions don't come built-in. There are many applications which provide that functionality. You should check out and search for what you need. There are over 4000 apps for the Palm. Though some are free, many of the more "business" functionality apps are commercial.

2) The functionality that allows you to sync your mail (though I don't really recommend that), calendar, address book, notes & to do list work by communicating with a local application on the desktop that you are syncing with. What's your desktop application? Outlook? It should handle that fine. You do need to be connected to that machine when syncing the Visor. Let me know if there's something specific you need answered with regards to this question.

3) I think the modem for the Visor will be a Springboard module. It will plug into the Springboard slot of the Visor. The one for the Palm attaches to the Hotsync connector. Anyway, as Handpsring wrote, it doesn't appear to  be available today.

4)What do you want ethernet for? It's not a PC and you shouldn't look for it to work like one. It's really a separate device that can exchange info pretyt easily with a desktop.

5) Same as #2. For the address, mail, calendar, to do and notes, yes it sync's to one application. Is that not what you are looking to do?

6) There are 2 scenarios... like web browsing and offline browsing. AvantGo is free and allows offlne browsing. Check out for more info. I use it and it's very effective. You can also do online browsing, but you need an active connection via a modem (hard wired or wireless). Not sure on the availablity of either for the Visor. This functionality exists today for the Palm and it works fairly well.

7) 2MB is a lot. I do have 8MB on my palm by I do lots of testing of apps for others. Plus if you want to have a lot of web pages for AvantGo available or documents/books then you will need more RAM. I think there is already an available memory module foe the Visor that goes into the Springboard slot. Or, you could look at getting the Deluxe model that comes with more RAM.

Whew. Hope that answers your questions. I'm posting as an answer, but if there's anything that needs more clarification, just ask and I'll respond. You can accept once you have everything answered.

zhanghlAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points to 150
zhanghlAuthor Commented:

Thanks for your answer and time, I still have some confusions on the following points, could you give me more explainations?

2) How do I connect a Visor to a PC, which connector and cable should be used for this operation? For example, each side has a serail port, use a serial cable to connect them?

4) You mean any palm-size computer does not has Ethernet support? So, I cannot use it to access the Internet via my local-area network?

6) In the other hand, the modem is the only possible way to access the Internet on a palm-size computer?

7) How much memory available to additional software on a Visor with built-in applications? 1MB? Moreover, more memos and emails saved, less memory available to 3rd party software?

2) The visor has a connector on the bottom of the unit. It really is there to plug in to a cradle, that comes with it except for the lowest end package. I imagine they also make another cable that doesn't require the cradle as Palm does, but I'm not sure. The Visor cradle comes in 2 versions - USB & Serial. If the computer it will be connected to is USB, get that as the hotsync process runs quicker.

4) For Palm-size, I'm talking PalmOS and not WinCE. I'm not familiar with WinCE technology. But for the Palm, there really isn't a ethernet connection, so looking at #6, yes the way to get on the internet is via a modem. There is one piece of software that does allow you to use your PC as a connection, but if you are at the PC, why would you use your Palm hooked up to it to surf?!

7) I think you have 2MB available when you start. The applications and the OS are in ROM. The databases for the built-in apps are in RAM, so as you start adding data to the apps, your RAM will start to decrease. The Deluxe model has 8MB though. 2MB RAM is in the lower end model.
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