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Adding Mobile Accessories

Business travelers who can't live without their PDAs are likely to invest in a mobile accessory or two. Along with add-ons that turn your PDA into a camera, a portable MP3-playing stereo, or an electronic-book reader, there are plenty of add-ons for getting your wireless work done. It's the age-old question: Should I turn my phone into a PDA, or turn my PDA into a phone? If your PDA accepts expansion cards (not all do) you can still add accessories through the phone's serial port. Here are just a few wireless a la carte items for your PDA:

  • Wireless modem. You can pick up e-mail and view WAP and Web pages or send short text messages via the Internet.

  • Wireless network card. When you return from your trip, a network card can help you jump onto your network without plugging in a cable to access data or synch up contacts or your calendar. Handspring offers a "module" for wireless network connections that slide into the Visor's expansion slot.

  • GPS. Vendors including Delorme, GeoDiscovery (see Figure 3.3), and Garmin make handheld or dashboard global positioning system (GPS) devices you can connect to a laptop or PDA. These are handy for road trips, where you can plot a route and get on-the-fly information, such as your speed, position, and the next turn on your trip. The software shipped with your GPS system is also likely to include some extras like listings of restaurants and lodging, so you can find a good burrito at 12 a.m. in Tucson and avoid wrong turns on the way.

Figure 3.3 The GeoDiscovery Geode GPS device attaches to a Handspring Visor PDA.

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