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The next generation of Datebk3 (the program from which Datebook+ was based), has made its way onto the Palm scene, and quite a program it is. A very powerful and customizable program, Datebk4, by Pimlico Software, is designed to fit the needs of Visor owners from all walks of life. Those that have found shortcomings in the built-in Datebook+ will be excited with the dozens of new features Datebk4 adds over Datebook+, and those that enjoy the simple interface of both Datebook and Datebook+ will feel right at home. Be warned however, you must have plenty of free memory for this behemoth of an application (416KB!).
Usability and Features
When Jeff Hawkins, founder of both Palm and Handspring, chose to make a trimmed down version of Datebk3 a feature of the Visor, he commented to the author of Datebk3, C. E. Steuart Dewar, “DB3 [Datebk3] is a remarkable product. It has more features than I use, but the ones I don’t use generally don’t get in my way. You seem to really get the philosophy behind Palm design. The application is also very robust.” (http://www.gorilla-haven.org/pimlico/datebk3.htm) For a program as robust and LARGE as Datebk4 (it is almost twice the size of Datebk3), this philosophy is very important and in my opinion has been continued nicely in this version.
So what does this program do that could possibly take 400+KB of code? Well, it won’t take out the trash or mow the yard, but it’ll remind you to do it about 20 different ways.
The list of features is too great to address in this review. This review will focus on those main features that extend Datebk4 above and beyond Datebook+.
The first feature of note - which is not new to Datebk4, but was a feature of Datebk3 that was dropped in the Datebook+ edition - is datebook categories. These categories are an extremely useful feature in Datebk4 because they not only allow you to view certain categories while hiding others, but they allow for beaming of entire groups of appointments. An obvious example of the usefulness of this feature is a husband and wife can have separate categories for one another, and keep up-to-date by beaming the appropriate categories back and forth. It is then easy to set the preferences to display both categories, just your own, or just your spouse’s. If you are viewing both schedules at once, another feature offered in order to make things more are icons and font assignments. In order to differentiate between your’s and your spouse’s doings, you can opt to set each category to use a different icon and/or font so that perhaps your items showed up bold, and your spouse’s in the normal font. (You are limited to the four font choices that are built into the Pal OS.) The obvious categories of work, home, and kids have plenty of potential to help organize your life.
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