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Trippin with my Treo 700w

Tue Aug 8, 2006 - 1:59 PM EDT - By Tim Hillebrand


For VoIP, I used Skype software, a free download from Skype in conjunction with SoonR to enhance the connection. SoonR also forwards incoming calls to your cell phone or Pocket PC and facilitates conference calling. It's also a free download.

I wondered if the Treo 700w, like other Pocket PCs and Smartphones, could make and receive calls while performing its GPS duties. I'm happy to report that it can indeed. For the limited calls I was able to make and receive on this trip through the hinterlands, I used a Motorola H500 headset and a Motorola HF 820 speakerphone.

Motorola H500 Headset, $44.95, [Buy]

Motorola HF 820 Speakerphone, $79.95, [Buy]

By now, I must have stopped to take a dozen pictures with my trusty Treo's camera. The brilliant yellow field is rapeseed used to produce canola oil and for bio-diesel fuel. The 700w's 1.3 megapixel camera seems to have been designed by Georges Seurat to take pictures of his pointilistic, impressionistic paintings because that's what most of my images taken on the Treo 700w look like. The one below is from a Pentax Optio.

On our trip, gas prices fluctuated from a low of $2.79 in Washington to a high of $3.09 in Oregon. There are some useful software packages that let you track vehicle cost of ownership, repairs, and gas mileage. Two that I recommend if you require this kind of detailed documentation are Personal Vehicle Manager 2005 and Auto 3in1.

Personal Vehicle Manager 2005, $24.95, [Info]

Auto 3in1, $18.95 [Info]

Auto 3in1 also comes in a desktop version for an additional $22.95, but you can buy it bundled for $29.95 and transfer data back and forth.

MileageTracker is an economical option with a nice graphic interface.

MileageTracker, $3.99 [Info]

I like to keep a careful record of travel expenses in case they are either tax deductible or reimbursable. For that purpose, I depend on Keep Track Professional Edition, which allows me to transfer the data from my handheld to the desktop version and vice versa. It keeps a record of expenditures from all manner of accounts from checking to credit/debit, ATM, and savings—even cash as well as transfers and deposits.

Keep Track Professional $24.95 [Info|Buy]

There was not a room anywhere in Boise because of a regional soccer tournament, so we had to spend the first night across the border in Ontario, Oregon. The next morning as we motored into Boise, hot-air balloons were just making their ascent. Like giant flowers, they blossomed in the sky first three, then six, then a dozen. I lost count after two dozen. Of course, I captured the spectacle impressionistically with my Treo 700w camera. The shot below is from a Pentax Optio. Each morning as I emerged for breakfast, the ascending balloons greeted me—a nice way to start the day.

Checking my position on the GPS screen, I wondered if the balloon pilots used GPS and coordinated their positions with their ground crews. If they were all packing Treo 700ws, they could use them to communicate by phone to relate their GPS coordinates.

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