Comments on: Handhelds Go to War

Sailors and soldiers heading off to war are bringing Palm OS handhelds with them. According to a WSJ article, in the past year, Palm has sold between 30 and 50 thousand Palms to the Navy and 25 to 30 thousand units to the Army, mostly in the past year and a half.

Sailors on the USS McFaul, a guided-missile destroyer which is taking an active part in the attacks on terrorists in Afghanistan, use Palm V's to both perform their duties and exchange email with their families. They can access the ship's network through IR ports scattered through the ship.

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Go US!

Davy @ 10/23/2001 12:34:22 PM #
That sounds like a great way to use Palms, for coordination and for communication. Go US!

RE: Go US!
drw @ 10/23/2001 7:20:33 PM #
Also sounds like a great commercial. Rangers in the field with their palms. Mission orders coming in via avantgo. Clipon palms with heads-up display, voice activated. Bluetooth communication with rifle to keep track of how many rounds are left like in DOOM.

David in Pflugerville, TX

now that's just....

GregGaub @ 10/23/2001 1:03:01 PM #
I'm not a military man, but even I think that's cool. If I was in the armed forces, I'd love to be able to check my e-mail using an IR port to the ship's network. Much better than waiting for mail call. ;-)

RE: now that's just....
blind505user @ 10/23/2001 4:22:46 PM #
Ok, I decided to post up here since the level of discussion went downhill after this post. I work for the company that provides the IR ports to the McFaul. If anyone wants more information on that part of the story, please visit or send me an email.

RE: now that's just....
Altema @ 10/24/2001 12:30:53 AM #
Blind505user, thanks for the info, I'm pulling down the overview sheet now and will look around for a price list. My company is deploying Palm M500's to a lot of staff members and it looks like they may be interested something like this in the future. Do they sync to a redundant central server? Seems like that would be the way to go for mass distribution of info (Attention all personnel, sync your Palms and report to stations!) Actually, having accurate and concise communication in the military can be crucial. I can see that something like BeamPro broadcasting would be helpful in the field. On board the ship, I assume that only one Palm can have an active session at a time at each IR station?

RE: now that's just....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/24/2001 12:11:53 PM #
Hi blind user

We are interested to cover this story in our magazine from a technical viewpoint.

Can you provide further technical details and pictures?

Our achievement in ruggedised Palm systems:


Boris Michael von Luhovoy
publishing editor
Palmtop-Pro Magazin
DAS Magazin für mobile Anwender

Award to Palmtop-Pro in english on:

RE: now that's just....
blind505user @ 10/24/2001 4:03:00 PM #

You are correct, there is a one to one ratio when connecting to our IR ports. As far as syncing, I know they were using ScoutSync (Aether) when they started.

As far as beaming, check out out EthIR STAR products. With our SDK, you can use the OBEX protocol to send and receive data from your network. We have kiosks deployed in Circle K stores in the Phoenix area that provide free IR access and when you press a hardware button on the kiosk, it will beam out a file using obex. In this case information about services and a free Tetris clone.

I also have ActiveX objects that allow you to create HTML pages that can distribute information. Say you have a webpage that has choices of different Palm apps or docuemnts. One press of the button on the screen and the EthIR STAR will deliver your file right away.

I'm on this site many times a day, but will be travelling for the rest of the week. Send me an email and we can talk over the phone in more detail if your interested.


Porta Bin Laden?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 1:09:44 PM #
When are the Porta people going to make a Porta Bin Laden? I bet the .mil & the US would love that!

RE: Porta Bin Laden?
Ed @ 10/23/2001 1:17:46 PM #
I'll admit this is off topic but here's a couple of funny Flash animation toons on bin Laden that Mike Cane sent me:

BTW, I disapprove of the domain name of the second one but there's lots of stuff on the Net I disapprove of.

News Editor

RE: Porta Bin Laden?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 2:15:51 PM #
If you disapprove of racist nonsense, how about not spreading it? When people are dying for simply being of a certain flavor perhaps you could have saved the wonderfully amusing link for your own enjoyment. Remove the post, remove my post, remove the link, or lose a reader. Your choice.

PC Bull****
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 2:32:21 PM #
End political correctness! The PC people are trying to end freedom of speech. Nowhere in Constitution does it say "Writing, saying or doing anything that might offend anyone anywhere is illigal." The PC crowd has no respect for the opinions of others. They are damn near thought police.

RE: Porta Bin Laden?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 2:41:04 PM #
And my comment got censored. The irony!!

RE: Porta Bin Laden?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 7:51:27 PM #
Very disappointing to have an editor of this site go so low. This is a slap in every Arabic person's face as much as

would be to you at the moment.

- From a non-Arabic, but still able to differentiate

Politically Correct RIP
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 9:42:12 PM #
Politically Correct died September 11th. These are Islamic Heretics that attacked us.
They have twisted a beautiful religion into a tool for mind control. It is that plane and
simple. Enemies that will not negotiate deserve to be killed in order for the rest of us
to survive. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

RE: Porta Bin Laden?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 10:00:16 PM #
I disparove of Racism, but find no problem with racial profiling... You know, we Americans pride ourselves on religious tolerance, so please tolerate the following;

I pledge Allegiance to the Flag,

So, if you are against Christianity, or my right to express it, stuff it for now! If not, thank you for your tolerance!

RE: Porta Bin Laden?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 10:08:22 PM #
You mean you can't say **** and **** and **** on palminfocenter? What about ***** and ******** or the very poular *******? Not even *** or **? Fuq.

RE: Porta Bin Laden?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 10:10:00 PM #

RE: Porta Bin Laden?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/24/2001 4:34:16 AM #
Here's a site with some great flash movies also .....

Site is sometimes slow due to demand ....

RE: Porta Bin Laden?
mikecane @ 10/24/2001 8:20:42 AM #
"And my comment got censored. The irony!!

-- YOUR comments?! How the hell would we know when you're just one of countless idiots who can't be bothered to REGISTER with a NAME (even a fake one!).

The Lottery is Down?
mikecane @ 10/24/2001 8:22:56 AM #
"Very disappointing to have an editor of this site go so low. This is a slap in every Arabic person's face as much as

would be to you at the moment.

- From a non-Arabic, but still able to differentiate"

-- I tried to go to the site to see if I'd indeed be offended, but the site is unreachable. Hmmm... patriotic hackers killed it -- or is it just too popular?

Powerpuff Girls vs. bin Laden
mikecane @ 10/24/2001 8:26:13 AM #
"Here's a site with some great flash movies also .....

Site is sometimes slow due to demand ...."

-- you've *got* to see the one with the Powerpuff Girls going after bin Laden!

RE: Porta Bin Laden?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/24/2001 1:24:46 PM #
More innocent people are dying. Its not their fault for what the terrorists did. They can't leave the country. And they're dying. I have to think about that before I make bombing jokes.

RE: Porta Bin Laden?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/24/2001 2:26:15 PM #

Thanks for the links. They're great!

now is handspring turn

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 1:16:17 PM #
Now they just need an Anthrax detector springboard module, GO HANDSPRING!

MostWanted 1.1

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 2:30:00 PM #
Wonder if all those handhelds are loaded up with this software?...(MostWanted 1.1)

...or one of the many versions of this database (the FBI 22 Most Wanted Terrorists list) I've seen on PalmGear over the last two weeks? Wild...

Handhelds Go to War

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 2:36:18 PM #
Ah, yes - it figures. 10 years ago, I was active duty Navy. While I'm realatively new to handheld computing, I've often thought to myself if this technology were available then, what I might have been able to accomplish!

It's good to see that there is SOME forward thinking going on!

RE: Handhelds Go to War
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 4:25:12 PM #

I share your same thoughts..

Was a Merchant Seamn up until 1996 when the first Pilot was introduced.

Dman, the things I could have done with today's PDA gadgets while stuck at sea for months at a time.

lugging a laptop around proved to be utterly unsuitable for the conditions.

This news is great to hear and a great example of how useful a Palm can be while away from home.

Palms and Senior Leadership in the USAF

mattyparanoid @ 10/23/2001 4:19:47 PM #
I am a Tech Sergeant in the USAF. I work within the Special Operations Command. My M505 is with me everywhere I go. I use it as a tool for my job. All of the Senior NCO's and Officers in my squadron often comment regularly on my use of a Palm in my job and personal life. They find it amusing that I have it with me everywhere I go, even deployed, living in a tent!

They often say that they are going to buy one soon. They inquire about what I am doing with it at any given time. They talk about how "everyone" in the Navy is being issued them now. What is interesting to note is that they were all issued Palm III's about 2.5 years ago. They are all sitting in desk drawers gathering dust now. Not one of them, that I know of, took the time to learn how to use them to help them better do their job.

As easy as the PalmOS is to use, they could not be bothered to take the time to learn how to use them. Granted our job is fast paced and frenetic. There is hardly time to get the job done, let alone learn something new, but I find that the Palm helps me to keep things straight and I wouldn't be caught without mine.

A Senior Master Sergeant in my squadron has asked me to come up with a plan to integrate PDA's into our unit. I am excited that there is interest, but not keen on the thought of a bunch of old school "Sarge's" grumbling about learning a new "Computer". I am also not so sure about setting into motion an initiative that I can see failing miserably due to apathy and indifference, with my name attached!

Despite the Senior NCO's and Officers feelings towards Palms, I find that many Junior NCO's and even Airmen are carrying them. Both in and out of my squadron they are becoming more and more popular. The BX is sold out more often then not and now has a Palm Software and accessory section! I am constantly "selling" the Palm to lower and higher ranking Airmen, NCO's and Officers. Once they see the wealth of information available within the PalmOS platform, they are hooked!

Incidentally, I use an M505 now, and have had a Palm Professional, III, IIIx and a TRGPro. I have used a Palm in my work since 1997.

An NCO with the Quiet Professionals

RE: Palms and Senior Leadership in the USAF
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 5:16:01 PM #
What kind of software are you using to get your duties?

RE: Palms and Senior Leadership in the USAF
higgy @ 10/23/2001 7:15:12 PM #
I am in the Navy, and our squadron issues Vx's to all senior leaders (officer and enlisted). I've used Palms for years so I supply my own 505.

RE: Palms and Senior Leadership in the USAF
mattyparanoid @ 10/24/2001 12:05:01 AM #
In reply to the question concerning what software I use in my duties:

I can utilize the Palm fully even with its basic configuration of software. Having the PDA utilities ensures I operate in a professional manor, keeping a tight schedule, updating a huge to-do list, maintaining a contact list of a squadron of 400+ and keeping notes, logs and bits of info in the memo pad.

As for third party software, I use MobileDB, MultiMailSE, Route Europe, MonkeyMessenger, Noah Pro, WordSleuth, WorldMate, YAUC, MemoSafe, Lunar, CheckIt, and Countdown in my duties one way or another.

I also rely heavily on Pocket Quicken, AvantGo, SplashPhoto and FireViewer as well as a few games to keep my private life "clean, dry and serviceable"

RE: Palms and Senior Leadership in the USAF
mattyparanoid @ 10/24/2001 12:32:32 AM #
I forgot to mention the PDF viewer from Adobe and Wordsmith from BlueNomad, both of which are not loaded currently, but have been in the past, and will be again soon.

I need to get a larger card!!! 32 Meg is just not enough when the PDF's and Documents are so big!

RE: Palms and Senior Leadership in the USAF
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/24/2001 8:39:06 AM #
What security are you using on your handheld??

RE: Palms and Senior Leadership in the USAF
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/28/2001 1:37:10 AM #
G'day all,

I work in the security industry in Australia (Far North Queensland) and I use my Palm Vx heavily for work and pleasure.

One thing I would like to know from the military users is how do you go about protecting your Palm in adverse weather conditions?

For about 6 months of the year we have very humid conditions and tropical storms that can last for weeks at a time. Usually this is the only time I leave my Palm in my car, but I would like to know what you do in weather like this.

I tried putting py palm in a plastic 'zip-up' sandwich bag but that proved awkward to use.

Any tips??

Niall Wilson

Infrared ports???

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 6:03:04 PM #
What is the Navy using for the infrared device that the variety of Palms connect to?

RE: Infrared ports???
Ed @ 10/23/2001 6:09:03 PM #
I know they are made by Clarinet Systems. I haven't seen anywhere that specifically states which model the McFaul is using but you could ask the company:

News Editor

RE: Infrared ports???
blind505user @ 10/23/2001 8:01:00 PM #
I am the Sr. SE at Clarinet Systems...

The are using our multiport systems on the McFaul. This allows them to deploy one of our switches in the network closet and then use the cat 5 cabeling to light up our Infrared beams at the other side. This actually gives the Palm an IP address and lets it surf the web.

RE: Infrared ports???
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/24/2001 11:19:43 AM #
Using IR ports is incredibly smart. This allows the users to employ whatever device floats their boat (sorry...), The only thing thhat would be smarter would be bluetooth (as the WiFi options are just so dang BIG). Now that there's a viable Bluetooth Springboard coming down the pike, I think it would be IDEAL is Symbol somehow hooked up with Handspring to make a durable visor.

RE: Infrared ports???
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/24/2001 11:23:58 AM #
I agree that a durable PalmOS device would be nice, especially since I'm a law enforcement officer. I understand Symbol makes one, but what I'm looking for is one that is waterproof, shockproof and has built-in security, at an affordable price and compact in size. These features would be more useful than color.

RE: Infrared ports???
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/24/2001 11:48:24 AM #
Have a look at:

If you need a Palm which is in this universe indestructible address me directly:
We provided the 2001 "Polarstern" polar expedition (underway now) with easy handable Palm scientific (GPS included) systems, for so harsh condition - even the extremely ruggedised Symbol could probably not withstand.

Boris Michael v. Luhovoy
publishing editor
Palmtop-pro magazine
---english text on---

RE: Infrared ports???
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/24/2001 12:29:21 PM #
RE: Infrared ports???
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2002 4:57:34 PM #
Take a look at the Web Target from TriBeam Technologies, Inc. Their website is

Multi-user internet access for Palms via infrared from 50 feet away.

Army Leads the Way

talos4 @ 10/25/2001 6:08:06 AM #
I'm engineer working at an Army research facility (and a Palm user since the original Pilot). We're always looking for ways of leveraging commercial technology. Last year, I saw a concept demo of an application that allowed a soldier to transmit a fire mission (direct artillery fires) via a IIIc with a wireless connection + GPS. It also had the ability ro report unit status, supply status, and warn of NBC attack.

Kind of puts a new spin on the "Use stylus to tap center of target" ritual .....



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